Actuarial Science

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.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.


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

  • Jordan Waddell ’11, product analyst, Brokers International, Des Moines
  • Collin Tjepkes ’13, financial analyst, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines
  • Courtney Nelson ’16, pricing analyst, Nationwide Insurance, Des Moines
  • Jared Nepomuceno ’16, fixed indexed annuity modeler, Transamerica, Cedar Rapids
  • Matthew Schulte ’13, actuary, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Panora
  • Shivani Kharbanda ’13, economic and risk analyst, Vermeer Corp., Pella

Central Partners with University of Iowa for Students to Study Finance at UI’s Tippie College of Business

Central College and the University of Iowa have formed a new partnership that will streamline the process for Central students to be admitted to the Master of Science in Finance program in the university’s Tippie College of Business.


  • 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

  • Crystal Bruntz, B.A., M.B.A., Lecturer of Accounting
  • Russell 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., Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Wendy Weber, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., 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.

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