Master of Arts in Mathematics (Actuarial Focus)
The Department of Mathematics offers an MA in Mathematics (Actuarial Focus). Students successful in this program receive an MA while taking classes that are actuarial or actuarially related. Alternatively, graduate students can take actuarial classes while pursuing a graduate degree not specifically emphasizing actuarial science. The majority of such students have sought an MS in Statistics, using actuarial studies as their formal minor.
There is not a formal PhD program in actuarial studies at UT Austin, but students have occasionally received PhDs in various fields for actuarial research. although none of the actuarial math faculty are currently active in actuarial research, there are faculty members in various areas (such as risk management, financial mathematics and statistics) that are performing distinguished research in actuarial or actuarially related areas.
Admission InformationInterested students must complete the application for admission to the mathematics graduate program. In addition, applicants must:
1. Include in the Statement of Purpose plans for using the actuarial education - for example, actuarial career plans.
2. Send Dr. Maxwell information on what actuarial exams they have passed, if any, either including a photocopy of actual score reports or identifying the month and year in which the exam was passed so the official pass list can be used to confirm the information.
There is no minimum score required on the GRE Quantitative for admission, although successful actuarial graduate students usually score 740 or above. Actuarial graduate students generally are expected to pass Exam P/1 no later than their first semester in the program, and preferably before they begin the graduate program; thus applicants need to have already succeeded in calculus, linear (matrix) algebra, calculus-based probability and, preferably probability-based statistics.
Since only a limited number of students can be admitted and the program is intended for students needing to learn the academic content of SOA and CAS Exams MFE, MLC, C, 3F, 3L and 4, students that have already had formal classes on much of that material or passed any of those exams will not generally be admitted.
Although the graduate program is small (usually four new students are admitted with financial support each fall - sometimes others are admitted without support), the actuarial math classes often are not small, since they meet with undergraduate classes (but with additional questions on tests and different grading standards).
Requirements for the MA (Actuarial Focus)The MA requires at least 30 semester-credit-hours of coursework, plus either a report giving three hours of credit or an additional three hour math course. The report must be on an actuarial project (usually a write-up of a work or study project rather than original research) approved by the director of actuarial studies.
The coursework must be as specified in the four points below; at most nine hours can be undergraduate (upper-division) hours, with no more than six of those nine in a single subject.
1. Actuarial mathematics courses (15 hours): M 389U, M 389V, M 389W, M 389J, M 389P
2. Minor (6 hours): non-math classes from among those on the core or additional courses list or as approved by the director and graduate advisor.
3. Mathematics courses (6 hours): approved by the director and the graduate advisor, three hours can be the master's report.
4. Other courses (6 hours): math or non-math classes as approved by the director and graduate advisor, at least of which must come from the additional courses list.
Sample Course PlanPossible schedules for graduate students may vary enormously, depending on exam status upon arrival. This is an example of a graduate student who has Exam P/1 successfully completed and is a teaching assistant. Her goal is to stay for four semesters, pass at least two actuarial exams and obtain a summer internship.
Fall: M 398T (required for all TAs), M 389U, M 389F, ACF 129, prepare for Exam FM/2 & pass by January
Spring: M 389V, M 389J, M 349R (VEE), M 189S, prepare for Exam MLC then take it in May
Fall: M 389P, M 389W, elective, have completed coursework for Exam C/4 and Exam MFE
Spring: elective, elective