Actuarial science is the study of mathematical and statistical analyses of risk in finance, insurance and related industries. Accounting, on the other hand, refers to the production of the financial records analyzed by an actuarial scientist. Both of these majors have been linked to a high percentage of successful job placements, with National Public Radio reporting that accounting and actuarial science majors have a zero percent unemployment rate. As these individual majors are so successful, double majoring in them may significantly improve your employment prospects.
Upper Level Math Classes
If you are a high school student planning to apply as a double major in accounting and actuarial science or a college student already getting your paperwork ready to declare, maintain high grades in upper level math coursework. Both accounting and actuarial science majors are expected to have taken a number of classes in mathematics, and it’s in your best interest to stay a step ahead of the curve by getting those sorts of requirements out of the way as soon as possible, including AP classes while in high school.
Do Your Research
At many universities, students are accepted into a specific college and cannot major in fields outside their college without reapplying. When applying to college, be sure that you are either prepared to reapply to the business or math college of your university or ascertain that both actuarial science and accounting are degrees offered within your college. Typically, if actuarial science is housed in the business school, you may encounter fewer obstacles to double majoring than if actuarial science is part of the school of mathematics and accounting is in the business college, as they are at Ball State University, for example.
Built-In Double Majors
Some universities anticipate popular double majors, like economics and mathematics, and build their curriculum around these students’ needs. This frequently means allowing more than the average three courses shared by student-planned double majors. Drake University, for example, offers students the opportunity to major in accounting and actuarial science, as reflected in the predetermined degree requirements for the two subjects.
Even if your program doesn’t offer the two degrees as predesignated double majors, if you pay careful attention to degree requirements, you may be able to create a class schedule giving you the degrees you want. At Central College in Iowa, for example, both actuarial science and accounting degrees require students to take Introduction to Financial Accounting, Principles of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics and classes in statistics. By compiling of a list of the classes you’ll be expected to take to receive each degree, you can develop a plan of action that uses the overlap to your advantage.
- NPR: Want A Job? Study Accounting, Actuarial Science
- Ohio State University: Actuarial Science Major (B.S.)
- Ball State University: Major in Actuarial Science
- Vanderbilt: Double Majors
- University of California Santa Cruz: Pursuing a Double Major or Major/Minor
- University of Virginia Cognitive Science Program: Frequently Asked Questions
- Drake Actuarial Science: Drake University Actuarial Science Program - Center of Actuarial Excellence
- Central College: Actuarial Science
- Central College: Accounting Major
Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.