Actuarial Science Program

New Courses

Here are descriptions of the new courses that are now offered.

ACSC/STAT 3750: Credibility Theory May be offered in future.

ACSC/STAT 3720: Life Contingencies I was first offered in Winter 2015.

ACSC/STAT 4720: Life Contingencies II was first offered in Fall 2015.

ACSC/STAT 3703: Actuarial Models I was first offered in Winter 2015.

ACSC/STAT 4703: Actuarial Models II was first offered in Fall 2015.

Major and Honours Requirements

The requirements and information described below are for information purposes only. I believe they are correct at time of writing, but may not be kept up-to-date in future. The undergraduate calendar is the definitive source for degree requirements. In the case of any discrepancy between the information here and in the calendar, the calendar should be taken as correct.

The following are the required courses for the Major and Honours programs:

1000 level:
  • MATH 1000 & MATH 1010 or MATH 1215 & MATH 1010 or MATH 1500X/Y
  • STAT 1060 [1]
  • CSCI 1100
  • CSCI 1101
  • ECON 1101
  • ECON 1102
  • 2000 level:
  • MATH 2001
  • MATH 2002
  • MATH 2030
  • MATH 2040 or MATH 2135
  • STAT 2060
  • STAT 2080
  • MATH/STAT 2600
  • 3000 level:
  • STAT 3340
  • STAT 3360
  • STAT 3460
  • ACSC/STAT 3703
  • ACSC/STAT 3720
  • 4000 level:
  • STAT 4390
  • ACSC/STAT 4703
  • ACSC/STAT 4720
  • [1] The requirement to take STAT 1060 may be waved for students entering the program in their second year.

    For honours, and additional 3 credit hours of Actuarial Science electives at or above the 3000 level, and a further additional 3 credit hours of Actuarial Science electives at or above the 2000 level are required. Also the honours thesis in Actuarial Science, course ACSC 4950 is required.

    The following courses can be counted as Actuarial Science electives:

  • MATH 2120
  • MATH 3900
  • STAT 4100
  • STAT 4370
  • To help with planning your degree program, the required courses are shown in the diagram below with suggested terms and prerequisites indicated. Note that this diagram is meant as a guide, and is not meant to be complete.
    MATH/STAT courses for actuaries
  • Courses in blue and magenta (with a double border) are required for the major and honours degrees.
  • Courses in magenta are available only in the term indicated (FALL or WINTER). You will need to plan carefully to ensure all the prerequisites are completed in time to take these courses.
  • Courses in red (with a rounded border) are electives for Honours students. (Some double major students also need to choose electives to obtain the necessary number of credits if there is an overlap between Actuarial Science requirements and the requirements for the other major.)
  • Society of Actuaries Examinations

    In order to become a qualified actuary, you need to pass examinations by either the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. A number of courses at Dalhousie cover the material in these examinations. There is also a component of the actuarial examinations called VEE which can be satisfied by passing courses at Dalhousie. Details of the courses that are relevant to the Society of Actuaries exams are as follows:

    ComponentRelevant Courses
    VEE Applied Statistics
  • STAT 4930 Time Series Analysis I
  • STAT 3340 Regression and Analysis of Variance
  • or

  • ECON 3338 Statistics I
  • ECON 3339 Statistics II
  • VEE Economics
  • ECON 1101 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 1102 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • VEE Corporate Finance
  • COMM 2202 Finance I
  • COMM 2203 Finance II
  • Exam FM
  • MATH/STAT 2600 Theory of Interest
  • Exam P
  • MATH/STAT 3360 Probability
  • Exam MFE
  • MATH 3900 Financial Mathematics
  • Exam MLC
  • ACSC/STAT 3720 Life Contingencies I
  • ACSC/STAT 4720 Life Contingencies II
  • Exam C
  • MATH/STAT 3703 Actuarial Models I
  • ACSC/STAT 3750 Credibility Theory
  • ACSC/STAT 4703 Actuarial Models II
  • Certificate in Actuarial Science and/or Financial Mathematics

    The Department of Mathematics and Statistics offers a Certificate in Actuarial Science and/or Financial Mathematics. The certificate will be changed, starting in 2014/2015 to incorporate the new actuarial science courses offered. However, the requirements for the Financial Option are the same as the current requirements, so if you have already completed the requirements for the current version, you will still be eligible to receive the certificate if you graduate in the 2014/2015 academic year. The full calendar entry for the certificate is listed below:

    Certificate in Actuarial Science and/or Financial Mathematics

    This program addresses many of the learning objectives and fundamental mathematical and statistical skills required to complete the classes (and examinations) of the Society of Actuaries accreditation program. Students who are interested in a career in actuarial science should consult the Basic Education Catalogue on the Society of Actuaries web page ( or the Syllabus of Basic Education on the Casualty Actuaries web site ( This program also prepares students for employment in general financial institutions where modeling, quantitative risk analysis, management of investment instruments, asset and liability management, life contingencies and insurance assessment, and other complex financial calculations are required. You must register your intent to complete the requirements with the department before graduation. The requirements are:

    1. Completion of the 20 Credit Major or Honours program in Mathematics and/or Statistics.
    2. Completion of the following mathematics classes: MATH 1000, MATH 1010, MATH 2001, MATH 2002, MATH 2030, MATH 2600
    3. Completion of the following four statistics classes: STAT 2060, STAT 2080, STAT 3340 and STAT 3360.
    4. Completion of Either:
      • Financial Option:
        • MATH 2120, MATH 3300 and MATH 3900;
      • Or
      • Actuarial Option:
        • STAT 3703, STAT 3720, and STAT 4390.

    Actuarial Courses in Mathematics and Statistics

    Here is a diagram showing courses either currently available or new, that are likely to be of interest to students planning to study either actuarial or financial mathematics. The diagram also shows prerequisites for the courses. Some courses have alternative prerequisites - the indicated combinations of prerequisites are very likely to be the most appropriate, but check the calendar if you need to find alternative prerequisites.

    MATH/STAT courses for actuaries


    Courses for the VEE credits in Economics and Corporate Finance

    To qualify as an actuary, you will need to obtain VEE credits in both Economics and Corporate Finance. The following diagram shows how you can do this at Dalhousie

    Other VEE courses for actuaries
  • Courses with green text can be used to obtain VEE credit from the Society of Actuaries.
  • If you are unable to fit the VEE credit for Corporate finance into your program, check here for alternative ways to fulfil this credit.
  • Curriculum Changes

    The Society of Actuaries is in the process of changing the curriculum for the ASA designation. You can learn more about the changes to the curriculum here.

    In light of these changes, it is likely that there will be corresponding changes to the Actuarial Science program at Dalhousie. As per university regulations, students have the option to follow the curriculum in the calendar either for the year they first arrived at Dalhousie, or to follow the new curriculum if any changes are made. However, students intending to complete SoA exams who will not have taken the exams before the transition rules apply, may prefer to follow as much of the new curriculum as they can, in order to be better prepared for the new SoA exams. More details will be given after the SoA have provided the necessary details on the new curriculum.