MS in Actuarial Science

Boston University’s Master of Science (MS) in Actuarial Science program provides specialized courses in actuarial science and related courses in probability and statistics. The program also offers students a broad-based exposure to business and economic principles along with an opportunity to further their knowledge of mathematics. In addition, the program prepares students for the professional qualifying examinations offered by the Society of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and other international actuarial organizations. The program provides an opportunity for students to be aware of and understand the ethical dilemmas that are often encountered in the process of business decision-making.

Learning Outcomes

  • Detailed knowledge of the mathematics and statistics that form the core of actuarial calculations. This knowledge includes topics in probability, financial mathematics and derivatives, life contingencies, and loss models. Our program emphasizes precision, accuracy, and a deep understanding of these core actuarial topics.
  • Proficiency in distinguishing and describing in depth many actuarial practice areas, and an understanding of the principles that govern the development of insurance products for those areas, including emerging trends.
  • The computer skills required to analyze data using leading-edge software tools employed by insurance industry leaders.

Admissions Information

For current admissions information, please visit the Metropolitan College website.

Second Master’s Degree Option

In appreciation of the converging needs of management and technology, the departments of Actuarial Science, Administrative Sciences, and Computer Science collaborate to offer a unique opportunity to students currently enrolled in their degree programs as well as alumni of those programs. Learn more.

Passing Grade

The minimum passing grade for a course in the graduate program is C, but an average grade of B must be maintained to satisfy the degree requirements. Grades from all required and elective courses are counted toward the average.

Degree Requirements

A total of 43 credits is required for the Master of Science in Actuarial Science. In addition to a computer laboratory course (MET AT 602), a minimum of 10 courses (40 credits) at the 500 level or above is required for the MS in Actuarial Science. All required courses are selected from the following lists of core required courses and core elective courses.

Core Required Courses (15 credits)

  • MET AT 602 Laboratory for Actuarial and Financial Data Analysis II (3 cr)
  • MET AT 721 Mathematics of Compound Interest
  • MET AT 722 Finance for Actuaries
  • MET AT 731 Actuarial Mathematics I

Core Elective Courses (28 credits)

A total of seven courses (28 credits) is required, selected from the following course offerings:

  • MET AT 732 Actuarial Mathematics II
  • MET AT 741 Actuarial Statistics I
  • MET AT 742 Actuarial Statistics II
  • MET AT 743 Regression and Time Series
  • MET AT 751 Individual Insurance Applications of Actuarial Principles
  • MET AT 752 Group Insurance Applications of Actuarial Principles
  • MET AT 754 Casualty Insurance Principles
  • MET AT 761 Mathematics for Investment and Portfolio Theory
  • MET AT 762 Mathematical Finance for Actuarial Science
  • MET AT 782 Pension Mathematics and Mortality Tables
  • MET AT 990 Seminar in Actuarial Science
  • MET MA 581 Probability
  • MET MA 582 Mathematical Statistics
  • MET MA 603 SAS with Statistical Applications

Students who have completed any of the above coursework in undergraduate or graduate studies, or who have successfully passed the corresponding professional examinations, may substitute these courses with courses available through BU’s Metropolitan College (MET), College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), or Questrom School of Business. Approval must be obtained from the Actuarial Science department and—if the course is offered from a college other than MET—the CAS or Questrom departments offering the courses. Prerequisite courses identified upon admission must be fulfilled as soon as possible.

Students may take up to two elective courses offered by departments within MET, provided written permission is obtained from the Actuarial Science department:

  • MET AD 571 Business Analytics Foundations
  • MET AD 630 Financial and Managerial Accounting
  • MET AD 632 Financial Concepts
  • MET AD 712 Financial Markets and Institutions
  • MET AD 713 Derivative Securities and Markets
  • MET AD 717 Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
  • MET AD 740 Planning and Operating New Ventures
  • MET CS 521 Information Structures with Python
  • MET CS 544 Foundations of Analysis and Data Visualization
  • MET CS 555 Foundations of Machine Learning
  • MET CS 565 Advanced Java Programming
  • MET CS 579 Database Management
  • MET CS 669 Database Design and Implementation for Business
  • MET CS 677 Data Science with Python
  • MET CS 682 Information Systems Analysis and Design
  • MET CS 699 Data Mining

Directed Studies

Courses in directed studies are offered to students who plan to engage in special research topics under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

  • MET AT 991 Directed Study I
  • MET AT 992 Directed Study II

Actuarial Internships

The following internship courses are also offered to students who seek practical applications of actuarial principles in insurance companies, financial institutions, pension consulting firms, and other related fields.

  • MET AT 981 Internship in Actuarial Science I
  • MET AT 982 Internship in Actuarial Science II

To take these internship courses, students must have successfully completed MET AT 721 and MET AT 731 and must maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.

Relationship to Professional Examinations

Many courses offered in the program are designed to prepare students for the professional actuarial examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and other international actuarial organizations.