Actuarial Science

Central College Academics

Central’s actuarial science major gives students a firm foundation of mathematics and business to prepare for a career as an actuary. Classes are typically small (25 students or less), so students can easily get personalized assistance. Program directors also provide support to students studying for introductory actuarial exams.

Nearly all actuarial science majors pass at least one actuarial exam before graduating.
of 2016 actuarial science majors accepted job offers before graduation.
Central's program directors have taken and passed actuarial exams so they can better prepare students.

The Central Difference

Preparing for Exams

Central's program directors have taken and passed actuarial exams so they can better prepare students. Actuarial science majors will be thoroughly prepared to pass at least one exam before graduation.

Central College student

Career Opportunities

Central has close connections to local insurance companies. Representatives of Nationwide Insurance and Transamerica visit campus each year to interview actuarial science students.

Off-Campus Experiences

Central students can study off-campus — both internationally or domestically in the United States. These opportunities give students the chance to prepare to be global citizens, equipped to compete in the global job market. Students can check out experiences led by Central faculty or attend select academic programs across the world that provide opportunities for study, service, internships and other types of experiential learning. Options include experiences in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Central America, Ghana, England, the Scottish Highlands and more.

Actuarial science majors also get the chance to gain world perspective on global business and international corporations.


Actuarial science classes meet in the Vermeer Science Center and the Weller Center for Business and International Studies. The Vermeer Science Center was awarded a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) medal rating from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), making the science center the first LEED-rated building in the state.The Weller Center for Business and International Studies houses faculty offices and classrooms for the economics, accounting, business management and modern language departments. The building includes state-of-the-art technologies with a 24-hour computer lab on the main floor and eight high-tech classrooms, two of which contain student computers.

Central College student

Beyond Central

Putting the “Hire” in Higher Education

  • Ryan Stallman ’22, Wealth Retirement Actuarial Analyst, Mercer Inc.
  • Samantha Craig ’21, Actuarial Associate, Athene
  • Taylor Hepp ’20, Assistant Auditor, State of Iowa
  • Joshua Kiskamp ’19, Internal Auditor, Plexus Corp.
  • Paige Dickel Shannon ’18, Associate Product Manager, Nationwide Insurance
  • Colby Taylor ’17, Actuarial Assistant, Principal Financial Group

Leo Bird ’14 Creates Immersive Art Exhibit

Leo Bird ’14 created and exhibited an immersive art display.


  • Business Club
  • Math Club
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon, Mathematics Honor Organization

Graduate Placement

While actuaries complete a bachelor's degree, most also take a series of rigorous exams early in their careers. Central faculty help prepare students to pass these exams, with a goal of passing at least one before graduation.


  • EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Transamerica, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Grinnell, Iowa
  • Bankers Trust, Des Moines, Iowa
Central College student

Courses & Faculty

Actuarial science courses are spread evenly through four years at Central.  First-year students take the year-long Calculus I and II sequence, as well as the year-long Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics sequence.  These courses lead into more advanced mathematics and business courses in the following three years.

Students completing the major will fulfill two and a half of the industry’s three required Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements, with the opportunity to complete the other half of the third VEE requirement while still at Central.

Learn more about this discipline in the course catalog.

Meet the Faculty

  • Russ Goodman, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics
  • Graham Lemke, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., Donald T. Butler Endowed Chair and Professor of Finance
  • Thomas Linton, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Mark Mills, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics
  • Tuan Nguyen, B.B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics
  • George Nwaogu, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
  • Maggie Schlerman, B.A., M.Acc., C.P.A., Economics, Accounting and Management Department Chair and Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Wendy Weber, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Analytical and Physical Science Department Chair and Professor of Mathematics

Sample Coursework

First Year

  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Calculus I and II
  • Central core courses and electives

Sophomore Year

  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Introduction to Management Accounting
  • Principles of Management
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Applied Statistics
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Central core courses and electives

Junior Year

(Junior or senior year)
  • Corporate Finance
  • Principles of Investment
  • Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Probability
  • Central core courses and electives

Senior Year

(Junior or senior year)
  • Corporate Finance
  • Principles of Investment
  • Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics
  • Mathematical Modeling
  • Probability
  • Central core courses and electives


Learn More

Want to find out more about Actuarial Science at Central? Contact us to learn more about this discipline and our other strong academic programs.

Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.