Actuarial Science Program

StFX has given me not only the technical knowledge, but also the distinguishing leadership and communication skills necessary to thrive in the dynamic and progressive industry of Actuarial Science!
-Jacqueline Mackay (Class of 2019)

Introduction
The Concentration in Actuarial Science at StFX will put you well on your way to entering the Actuarial field. Actuaries must master financial, mathematical, and economic principles to provide organizations of all types with the confidence needed for future-planning. Actuaries use highly developed analytical skills to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. The insurance sector is the primary employer of actuaries, helping insurers manage premiums and payouts, but this program will also be of interest to students planning to work in areas such as investments and portfolio management, enterprise risk management, and senior management.

For More Information 
Dr. Joe Apaloo (japaloo@stfx.ca)
Dr. Keith De’Bell (kdebell@stfx.ca)

Concentration Description
This concentration focusses on skills necessary for success on the path to becoming an Actuary. The Concentration in Actuarial Science is offered through the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. Students wanting to complete the Concentration will have the option of completing a B.A. or a B.Sc. in Mathematics with Major, Advanced Major, or Honours.

 

COURSES

The concentration in Actuarial Science provides students with skills necessary to get started in the Actuarial field. Students will take courses that contribute towards completing their Validation by Educational Experiences (VEEs). These are courses found in the School of Business, in the Economics department, and in the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science department.

The mandatory courses for the Concentration include:

  • ECON 101
  • ECON 102
  • BSAD 221
  • BSAD 241
  • BSAD 342
  • MATH 236
  • STAT 333
  • STAT 331 or STAT 357 (435)
  • STAT 334

YEAR-BY-YEAR PROGRESSION

Students will need to follow the progression requirements for their chosen program (Major, Advanced Major, or Honours). Typically, a student intending to complete a degree in Mathematics with a Concentration in Actuarial Science will take the following courses in their first year:

  • MATH 106 or 126
  • MATH 107 or 127
  • BSAD 101
  • BSAD 102
  • CSCI 161
  • ECON 101 
  • ECON 102

In their second year, students will have to consult the Academic Calendar to determine their applicable major/advanced major/honours requirements. In addition to completing their program requirements, students should complete the following courses towards their Actuarial Science Concentration:

  • STAT 101 or STAT 231
  • BSAD 221
  • BSAD 241
  • MATH 236

Normal progression through the program would mean students would complete their applicable major/advanced major/honours requirements in addition to the following courses in their third and fourth years:

  • BSAD 342
  • STAT 333
  • STAT 331
  • STAT 334

The following courses are approved for VEEs by the Society of Actuaries:

  • STAT 334
  • ECON 101
  • ECON 102
  • BSAD 241
  • BSAD 342

Recommendations:

  • STAT 445 is strongly recommended
  • STAT 357 (435), STAT 331, STAT 445, and MATH 236 covers some of the material on the new SOA (starting September 2018) “Statistics for Risk Modeling Exam”. 

Note: Always consult the current Academic Calendar to make sure the option chosen is in concordance with your chosen degree’s requirements.

VEES

VEEs are Verified by Educational Experiences identified by the Society of Actuaries and are an Associateship requirement. There are three VEE topics:

  • Economics
  • Corporate Finance (ends July 1, 2019)
  • Accounting and Finance (new, begins July 1, 2018)
  • Applied Statistical Methods (ends July 1, 2018) 
  • Mathematical Statistics (new, begins July 1, 2018)
     

These are topics deemed essential building blocks by the Society of Actuaries, but not core actuarial work.

The VEE topics are not prerequisites for the preliminary exams (Exams P, FM, MLC, MFE and C) and may be fulfilled as desired. Students who fulfill the Concentration in Actuarial Science will have taken the necessary VEE courses, and can apply to the Society of Actuaries for VEE credit after successfully completing two SOA or CAS actuarial exams.

Complete requirements and information for the VEE is available here. It is important that you review the material at this website for current information on the VEE program requirements as VEE program requirements can change.

ASNA

In Summer 2019 StFX became an institutional member of the Actuarial Students National Association (ASNA). More information about the Association can be found at: https://www.anea-asna.ca  

ASNA offers webinars on topics of interest to Actuarial Science students. Past webinars can be found at: https://www.anea-asna.ca/past-webinars

PROFESSIONAL EXAMINATIONS

Professional Exams are a large component in the process of becoming an Actuary. Successful completion of these exams contributes to professional advancement and signals expertise.

By completing professional exams, students will be preparing first for either an ASA (Associate of the Society of Actuaries) or ACAS (Associate of the Casualty Actuary Society) designation. Designations beyond the Associate point include FSA (Fellow of the Society of Actuaries), FCAS (Fellow of the Casualty Actuary Society), and many others which are country specific. Fellowship is the designation with which one is officially considered an Actuary. However, you do not need a fellowship to begin practicing Actuarial work. Most new hire positions require only one or two exams to signify a commitment to the fellowship track.

To obtain each designation, professionals must complete examinations, an e-Learning course, validation of educational experiences outside the SOA Education system (VEE), and a professionalism seminar. Consult www.soa.org for more information

Professional Associations for Actuaries and other Useful Websites
Society of Actuaries (SOA): https://www.soa.org/canada/
Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS): http://www.casact.org/
Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA): http://www.cia-ica.ca/home 
Actuarial Students’ National Association (ASNA): https://www.anea-asna.ca/
Be an Actuary: http://www.beanactuary.org/

INTERNSHIPS, CO-OP, AND EMPLOYMENT

Internships

Internships can provide important experience for an actuarial science student. Real world experience helps reinforce the concepts learned in a classroom and introduces you to industry specific tools that make you more marketable as a potential employee. There are a number of great resources available for finding actuarial internships, see below:

ASNA Convention: https://www.anea-asna.ca/
CAS Career Center: http://careers.casact.org/jobseekers/
SOA Career Development: https://www.soa.org/future-actuaries/career-development/

Co-op

If you are a Math student who is interested in the actuarial science concentration, you have the option to take part in the StFX Co-op Education program. Co-op offers you a combination of academic studies and career-related experience. You alternate three to four work terms with academic study terms and paid work experience. Through Co-op, students can practice professional skills, gain perspective on the world of work, and make connections.
 

Program details

  • If you are interested in completing the co-op option, you can apply to the program after your first year of university study.
  • Co-op students complete 15 hours of professional development training that lays a foundation for co-op success
  • Work terms take place in the fall (September to December), spring (January to April) or summer (May to August), can take place across Canada and last 13-17 weeks per semester.
  • Students can gain 12-16 months of work experience, which can be completed in multiple stages or all at once.
  • A great benefit of the Co-op program is that placements are paid work terms, allowing you to gain valuable work experience while earning money to help fund your studies.
  • Finally, students complete our capstone course, COOP 405 (3 credits)

 

Organizations that Employ Actuaries include

  • Insurance Companies
  • Banking
  • Consulting Firms
  • Organizations serving the Insurance Industry
  • Financial Consultancies
  • Corporate Finance
  • Investment Management

For more information about Co-op, click here: https://www.mystfx.ca/co-op

SOA CASE STUDY COMPETITION

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES