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Preparing for the Actuarial Exams

The best sources of information concerning becoming an actuary are:

The first site is sponsored by the two major actuarial professional organizations, SOA and CAS. You should be able to get answers to all your questions at one of these three sites.

Actuaries in the U.S. and Canada achieve professional status by passing a set of examinations prescribed by CAS or SOA. Examinations are held at various times throughout the year.

A mathematics degree is an excellent choice for students who wish to pursue a career as an actuary. According to the Be an Actuary website, entry-level candidates should be prepared to pass two exams before being seriously considered for employment. However, a candidate with one exam and excellent internship experience is just as desirable as a candidate with two exams and no experience. The market discourages candidates from passing more than three exams without experience.

The syllabi for the actuarial exams can be found on the Be an Actuary website. The following is a list of courses at IUP that you could take to prepare you for these exams.

CAS Exam 1/SOA Exam P-Probability

MATH 125/126/225 — Calculus for Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics
MATH 171 — Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH 216 — Probability and Statistics for Natural Sciences
MATH 342 — Advanced Mathematics for Applications
MATH 363/364 — Mathematical Statistics

CAS Exam 2/SOA Exam FM-Financial Mathematics 

Exam 2 covers interest theory (discrete and continuous) and an introduction to derivative securities. It assumes a basic knowledge of calculus and probability. The exam covers some graduate level ideas in Finance, but the courses below will give you the background for future study to successfully complete this exam. Remember, you are not necessarily required to pass the second examination to gain an entry level position. 

ECON 121 — Principles of Macroeconomics
ECON 122 — Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 421 — Macroeconomic Analysis
ECON 422 — Microeconomic Analysis
ACCT 201/202 — Accounting Principles
FIN 310 — Fundamentals of Finance
FIN 320 — Corporate Finance
FIN 324 — Principles of Investment
FIN 360 — Insurance and Risk Management

Course descriptions for the above courses can be found in the IUP Undergraduate Catalog.

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