Actuarial Sciences M.S.

Actuarial science is a special discipline for training students to apply mathematical skills and statistical techniques to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. The Actuarial Sciences concentration in the Professional Science major is a relatively new master’s program at MTSU. The program offers training so that students can make practical use of probability theory and statistical analysis for managing risks and solving problems. An internship takes the place of writing a thesis. Actuaries may work for insurance companies, consulting firms, government, employee benefit departments of large corporations, hospitals, banks and investment firms, or, more generally, in businesses that need to manage financial risk. A career as an actuary is better described as a "business" career with a mathematical basis rather than as a "technical" mathematical career. The occupation of actuary has been ranked for many years as one of the best jobs based on a variety of factors.

Live outside of Tennessee? You could be eligible for in-state tuition and save thousands of dollars.

Successful actuary alum helps program as advisor, mentor

Successful actuary alum helps program as advisor, mentor

MTSU alumnus John E. Daniel, FCAS, MAAA, is now a vice president and consulting actuary in the Willis Casualty Actuarial Practice in Nashville. He also mentors people new to the actuarial profession and serves as an advisory board member for the M.S. in Professional Science program and as the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) college liaison with the MTSU Actuarial Science program. "Every time a graduate of the program achieves success in the actuarial field, the reputation of the program is enhanced and new opportunities are created for current students," Daniel says. "Those opportunities are constantly increasing." Daniel achieved the professional CAS designations of associate in 1999 and fellow in 2004. "I had been working for years in insurance sales roles and was looking for a career that would enable me to best use my analytical talents and also build professional relationships," Daniel says. Daniel has worked 20 years in the actuarial industry for several different types of insurance companies, with experience in deriving pricing recommendations, establishing loss reserve targets, and managing client relationships.

UCLA grad hired full-time through MTSU master's internship

UCLA grad hired full-time through MTSU master's internship

Lucy Zhang, who earned her bachelor's degree from UCLA, chose the MTSU Actuarial Science program to pursue an M.S. degree. After she completed her internship at SIGMA Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc., the Brentwood company hired her full-time right after graduation from the master's program in August 2014. Zhang was working as an adjunct instructor teaching math learning support at Roane State Community College and decided to pursue a master's degree in Tennessee where her parents live. "After doing some research, I found out that MTSU was the only university in Tennessee to have a master's degree in actuarial science," she says. The mandatory internship attracted her to the program and gives students "a competitive edge," she says. Dr. Don Hong is active in helping students obtain internships and job opportunities. "I am very glad to have chosen this program over many others in the country," Zhang says.

A master's degree from MTSU in Professional Science with a concentration in Actuarial Sciences can lead to opportunities for becoming an actuary, a career that is well paying and in high demand. Graduates are well positioned to fill the growing need for individuals with this highly specialized training in the financial services and consulting industries in addition to the traditional insurance and health care industries. Examples of potential positions include

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Actuarial auditing
  • Annuity pricing actuary
  • Chief actuary and vice president
  • Consulting actuary
  • Data analyst
  • Financial actuary
  • General liability actuary
  • Health actuary
  • Investment researcher
  • Investment valuation
  • Life reinsurance pricing
  • Life valuation
  • Model validation financial actuary
  • Mortality valuation
  • Product actuary
  • Risk and hedging
  • Risk management
  • Specialty pricing actuary
  • Underwriting 

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Acuff & Associates
  • Aetna
  • Alfa Insurance
  • American General Life and Accident Insurance Co.
  • Bank of China
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
  • BPS&M – Wells Fargo Commercial, Brentwood
  • Caterpillar Finance
  • China Actuarial Society
  • China PingAn Insurance
  • Cigna
  • Consumers Insurance
  • Direct General Group of Companies
  • Farm Bureau Insurance
  • Farmers Insurance
  • First Acceptance Insurance
  • Genworth Financial
  • Humana Inc., Kentucky
  • Humana Inc., Texas
  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • Select Actuarial Services
  • Sigma Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc.
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Tower and Watson, Memphis
  • Tower and Watson, Atlanta
  • Travelers Insurance
  • Willis North America Inc.
  • Zurich Insurance

The Master of Science (M.S.) with a major in Professional Science includes a business core with specific concentrations in Actuarial Sciences, Biostatistics, Biotechnology, Engineering Management, Geosciences, and Health Care Informatics.

The Professional Science Master's, as it is commonly called, combines the business management skills commonly found in the traditional M.B.A. type program with advanced learning in specific science fields.

This interdisciplinary program is a partnership among the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, and the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.

The concentration in Actuarial Sciences offers preparation, basic knowledge, and professional skills to individual who want to work as an actuary and to pass actuarial professional examinations. 

Applicants must have for unconditional admission

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college
  • Completion of Multivariate Calculus with a grade of C (2.0) or better (MATH 3110 or the equivalent).
  • Completion of a course in Linear Algebra with a grade of C (2.0) or better (MATH 2010 or the equivalent).
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 900 (old) or a combined 286 (new): Verbal 138, Quantitative 148. Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is not accepted.
  • Appropriate undergraduate preparation for advanced study of actuarial sciences.
  • Basic competency in word processing, electronic mail, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and databases 

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Suggested Curriculum - Full Time

Fall Year 1 (9 credits)  Spring Year 1 (9 credits)
  • Core Course: BCEN 6820 or ACTG 6100 (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5230 Mathematics of Compound Intrest (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6010 Credibility Theory and Loss Distributions (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 6040 Actuarial Models for Financial Economics/ MATH 6603 Problems in Mathematics-Mathematics of Finance (3 credits)
  • Core Course: MGMT 6740 (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6020 construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 5140 Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6030 Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies / MATH 6604 Problems in Mathematics-Mathematics of Life Contingencies (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 5330 Actuarial Mathematics I (3 credits)
Fall Year 2 (9 credits)  Spring Year 2 (9 credits)
  • Core Course: BCEN 6820 or ACTG 6100 (select the course not previously completed in the first term) (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6040 Actuarial Models for Financial Economics / MATH 6603 Problems in Mathematics-Mathematics of Finance (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 5630 Mathematics of Risk Management (3 credits)

    OR

  • STAT 5200 Statistical Methods for Forecasting (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5340 Actuarial Mathematics II (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 6030 Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies / MATH 6604 Problems in Mathematics-Mathematics of Life Contingencies (3 credits)
  • BCEN 6910 Internship (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5220 Mathematics of Pricing Theory (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5640 Mathematics of Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 5240 Mathematics of Interest Theory, Economics and Finance (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 6040 Actuarial Models for Financial Economics / MATH 6603 Problems in Mathematics-Mathematics of Finance (3 credits)


Suggested Curriculum - Part Time

Fall Year 1 (6 credits)  Spring Year 1 (6 credits)
  • Core Course: BCEN 6820 or ACTG 6100 (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5220 Mathematics of Pricing Theory (3 credits)
  • Core Course: MGMT 6740 (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5140 Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6010 Credibility Theory and Loss Distributions (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 6030 Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies (3 credits)
Fall Year 2 (6 credits)  Spring Year 2 (6 credits)
  • ACSI 6020 Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (3 credits)
  • ACSI 5230 Mathematics of Compound Interest (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6030 Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6040 Actuarial Models for Financial Economics (3 credits)
FALL YEAR 3 (6 CREDITS) SPRING YEAR 3 (6 CREDITS) 
  • Core Course: BCEN 6820 or ACTG 6100 (3 credits)
  • ACSI 6030 Actuarial Models for Life Contingencies (3 credits)

    OR

  • ACSI 6040 Actuarial Models for Financial Economics  (3 credits)
  •  BCEN 6910 Internship (3 credits)
  • STAT 5200 Statistical Methods for Forecasting (3 credits)

Student Research

Ye (Zoe) Ye

  1. MS graduate thesis: Tail Conditional Expectations for Extended Dispersion Models, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. August 2014.
  2. Paper: Tail Conditional Expectations for Extended Dispersion Models, submitted manuscript, 08/2014. Submission ID number 14-21.
  3. Presentation given at the 48th Actuarial Research Conference: Trend Analysis Algorithms and Applications to Health Rate Review, July 2013, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.
  4. Math Seminar presentation: Trend Analysis Tools and Applications to Rate Review Project, September 2013, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.

Le Yin

  1. MS graduate thesis: Medical Trend Analysis Methods, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, May 2014.
  2. Le Yin, D. Hong, and Q. Wu, Statistical Methods for Medical Trend Analysis in Health Rate Review Process, North American Actuarial Journal, submitted manuscript 2014. Submission ID NAAJ-1298.
  3. Math Seminar Presentation: Medical Trend Analysis Algorithms and Implementation, September 2013, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. 

Xiong Lu

  1. Presentation given at the 49th Actuarial Research Conference: Using Monte Carlo Simulation to Predict Captive Solvency, July 2014, University of California Santa Barbara, California.
  2. Chapter 4 of Ph.D. Dissertation: Statistical Computing Tools for Predicting Captive Solvency, December 2014.
  3. Lu Xiong, Don Hong, and Qiang Wu, Statistical Computing Tools for Predicting Captive Solvency, manuscript Using Monte Carlo Simulation to Predict Captive Insurance Solvency, North American Actuarial Journal, submitted manuscript 2014. 

Faculty Non-Publishable Industry-Related Research

  • RATE REVIEW REPORT for Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI): Health Insurance Rate Review Project, by Don Hong, Ken Hollman, Harold Tuthill, and Qiang Wu, the Program of Actuarial Science, Middle Tennessee State University, September 2012.
  • Trend Analysis Software Package, by Le Yin, Brent Carpenetti, Don Hong, and Qiang Wu, the Program of Actuarial Science, Middle Tennessee State University, October 2014. 

Other research sources

Contact and Student Information

Dr. Hong, Program Coordinator
Don.Hong@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-904-8339


Dr. Saeed Foroudastan
Program Director
Saeed.Foroudastan@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-494-7618

Dr. Hong, Program Coordinator
Don.Hong@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-904-8339

Don Hong, Actuarial Sciences Coordinator
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 34
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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