Studying Actuarial Science at York will give you the background in the type of mathematics that can be applied in a business-oriented career. You will learn the necessary mathematical and statistical skills, techniques and confidence to succeed in a very demanding business world.
Mathematics gives us the ability to know and describe the world around us. At York, we offer a diverse set of degree programs, designed to respond to many differing academic interests and career aspirations. In addition to studies in Actuarial Science at York, we offer degrees in Computational Mathematics, Mathematics & Statistics, and Mathematics for Education.
The Actuarial Science program offers a variety of degree options, including an Honours BA and a Specialized Honours BA.
An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries make use of mathematics, statistics, financial theory and economics to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. The main responsibility of actuaries is to thereby ensure that these programs operate on a sound financial basis. Due to their extensive quantitative skills, actuaries have recently become involved in the financial risk measurement and management sector.
In North America, the standard way to become an actuary is to pass the examinations set and administered by either the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. University courses are not accepted in place of these examinations, but university courses do prepare you to write the exams. Upon completing the Specialized Honours Actuarial Stream, you will be prepared to write the quantitative certification exams leading to the Associate designation of the Society of Actuaries (A. S. A.).
In Canada most actuaries work for insurance companies, both life and non-life, and consulting firms. To carry out their duties, actuaries must be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the business. Accordingly, it is expected that they will attain top executive positions in the company. In addition, a relatively new area for the employment of actuaries is the banking industry and enterprise risk management. Other opportunities include employment with governments (both federal and provincial) and teaching and research at universities.
There are many rewards for the successful actuary. Salaries are high and compare favourably with other professions. The work is challenging and stimulating. In addition there are the personal benefits that arise from membership is a small and highly respected professional group.
Facilities and Opportunities
Your studies in Actuarial Science at York will take place in energetic classes and tutorials, taught by fifty full-time faculty members, whose teaching and research interests span the spectrum of mathematical studies today. Our strong academic support system includes the Math and Statistics Tutorial Labs and the Peer Study Group program to bolster your mathematical understanding and confidence. Club Infinity, York’s mathematics club, offers social and intellectual exchanges with your peers. The Actuarial Students’ Association at York (ASAYU) organizes study groups, peer advising, networking, and the annual Actuarial Convention. A rich array of academic prizes and awards recognize high achievement in your mathematical studies. The Department of Mathematics & Statistics at York supports its students who enter and achieve highly in international mathematics contests, such as the Putnam Competition and the Mathematical Contest in Modelling.
Graduates go on to various careers in business, industry, government, schools, colleges and universities. They become actuaries, investment managers, consultants, analysts, or statisticians. Examples of activities in which they may be involved are: solving optimization problems, project management, inventory control, forecasting, analyzing data, investigating patterns and trends, creating mathematical models, evaluating pension funds, and determining premiums for life insurance policies. Of course, many of the program’s students also pursue graduate degrees in areas such as Business Administration, Education, Environmental Studies and Law.
In your first year, you will take:
• Problems, Conjectures and Proofs
• Computing for Math and Statistics
• General Education Course
If you choose to specialize in second year, it could be in one of the following areas:
1. The Actuarial Stream
In second year in this stream you will probably take:
• Elementary Probability
• Statistics II
• Intermediate Microeconomic Theory I and II
• Mathematical Theory of Interest
• Financial Economics
• Calculus of Several Variables with Applications
• Linear Algebra
Courses you might take in upper years include:
• Mathematics of Life Contingencies
• Risk Theory
• Mathematical Statistics
• Regression Analysis
• Scientific Computing for Financial Applications
• Stochastic Processes
• Corporate Finance
• Time Series Analysis
Career options for Actuarial Science majors include:
• Operations Research and Optimization
• Accountant/Financial Advisor/Financial Analyst
• Data Analyst
• Education – elementary, high school, college, university
• Post Graduate Studies/Academic Career