The Appalachian State Actuarial Science program has achieved a ranking of fourth best value actuarial science programs in 2021 in an evaluation by College Values Online. Actuaries are invaluable players in the insurance industry matrix. They manage risk using mathematics and data, evaluate the likelihood of future events, design creative ways to reduce risk, and decrease the impact if undesirable events do occur.
Appalachian State University’s actuarial science degree prepares students with the background to take a number of actuarial exams, including: Exam P – Probability, Exam FM - Financial Mathematics, Exam IFM - Investment and Financial Markets, and Exam LTAM –Long Term Actuarial Mathematics. Further, Appalachian has an actuarial science major, not just a concentration like many other universities. Upon completion of the major, students also complete the validation by educational experience (VEE) courses required by the actuarial societies. Appalachian is listed in the Society of Actuaries (SOA) list of Universities and Colleges with Actuarial Programs (UCAP) as having an advanced curriculum.Appalachian’s program has been completely designed from the bottom up to prepare students to be actuaries. The program currently has one credentialed actuary on staff, a Fellow of the SOA (FSA) and a second actuary working toward their credentials of the Associate of the SOA (ASA). It is housed in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Kevin Shirley, FSA and Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and often faculty advisor to the Actuarial Science Club at Appalachian, worked as an actuary for Transamerica for seven years prior to beginning his career at Appalachian State. “I not only enjoyed the work day to day, but also came to understand the importance of what actuaries are doing for our society,” he said. He also emphasized the importance of students obtaining real-world experience during their time as students; “We expose students to the interview process by bringing potential actuary employers to campus to interview interested students for both full-time employment and internships. I invite actuaries that I know, some I have worked with in the past, to come and speak to the students about their experiences,” he said. He also acknowledges the close cooperation between the Brantley Center and the Actuarial Science Program, “Our students have benefited greatly from the opportunities available to them at the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center. These opportunities include overseas travel, travel to conferences, invited speakers, the Gamma Iota Sigma student organization, and job and internship fairs.”
Learn more about the Actuarial Science program at Appalachian on their website. The Brantley Risk & Insurance Center is proud to work closely with the Actuarial Science program to support students in preparing to enter the insurance industry through professional development, scholarships, and travel opportunities.