Actuarial Science After a Bachelor's Degree

For students wishing to study Actuarial Science and who have already earned a Bachelor's degree in a different field, FSU Mathematics offers the following options in cooperation with its popular Actuarial Science undergraduate program.

Second Bachelor’s degree

Pursuing a BS in Actuarial Science requires 30 hours of coursework, which can often be completed in one year by students whose original bachelor’s degree was in mathematics, with prior course work in probability, economics, and finance. Some students opt to begin by taking a few courses as a non-degree student, possibly converting to degree status after a term or two. This options does not require graduate admission.

Master's Degree Options

Although we do not currently offer a Master's degree in Actuarial Science per se, we do have two Master's degree options that allow students to take Actuarial Science courses and seminars during a 2-year course of study.

  1. MS in Financial Mathematics.

    This is a Professional Science Master's degree with a core of required courses aimed at preparing graduates for careers in the investments/finance industry. Effective 2015, an Actuarial Science track is available with courses aimed at preparing for actuarial exams. See the Financial Math program pages for more information: and

  2. MS in Pure or Applied Mathematics, utilizing a Directed Program of Study.

    This option involves completing either a Pure ( or Applied ( Mathematics MS degree, with some of the required courses replaced by a set of courses focused on actuarial science. This individualized option can be more flexible than the Financial Math MS, allowing for more elective choices to maximize coverage of actuarial exam topics.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. I am positive I want to be an actuary and don't want to waste any time. Which option is the shortest, most direct path to an actuarial career?

    Actuarial employers are generally interested in applicants who have passed actuarial exams, and/or who have actuarial work experience, regardless of whether the candidate may have a graduate degree. Therefore, your most direct path is to take courses only relevant to passing the exams. This could mean a second bachelor's degree, the second Master's degree option above, or simply enrolling as a non-degree student to take only exam-related courses.

    For more information, go to

  2. Why do actuarially interested students select the MS in Financial Mathematics?

    The MS in Financial Mathematics provides mathematical coursework in topics related to finance and economics. Students choose this degree program when they want a broader education than just the actuarial topics, and may want to prepare for the possibility of other financial positions, or the option for further advanced graduate work, including the PhD in Financial Mathematics.

  3. If I study for the MS in Financial Mathematics and select the Actuarial Track, how many actuarial exams can I expect to pass?

    Most of our students with this focus have finished the first two exams and are preparing for a third one. It's not uncommon for the graduate students to have 3 exams passed and have completed the course requirements for a 4th before graduation.

  4. Who can advise me about my particular situation?

    Actuarial-intending students should contact Dr. Steve Paris, Coordinator of Actuarial Science in the Department of Mathematics.

Last Revised 12/26/2014