Actuarial Science program at Appalachian rated Top Value in 2016

BOONE - The Actuarial Science program at Appalachian State University was recently identified by Online Accounting Degrees as one of the "Top 40 Values in Bachelor of Actuarial Science Degree Programs for 2016."

Appalachian's Actuarial Science degree, a cross-disciplinary program housed within the Department of Mathematical Science and directed by Dr. Kevin L. Shirley, was number 31 on the list.

"What sets us apart is the environment at Appalachian," says Dr. Shirley, "as well as the quality of the RMI, statistics, and mathematics faculty who teach the courses required for the major. Having an academic actuary (a person who uses mathematical models to assess risk and provide methods to either value or mitigate risk) who has industry experience also adds something different to our program. I try to bring my experience as a life pricing actuary to the classroom. Our students learn how to construct actuarial models for real products such as warranties and critical illness insurance to get some real-world experience. We invite actuaries working in North Carolina to come and speak to them as well as interview them for internships."

To rank actuarial programs in the United States, Online Accounting Degrees acquired a list of all the undergraduate actuarial science programs and compared them on five key metrics: graduation rate, quality of curriculum, inclusion on the Society of Actuaries' UCAP list, student appeal, and net price. Online Accounting Degrees statement as to why Appalachian ranks so high:

"Seniors pursuing Appalachian State University's Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science undertake a seminar in which they build and use actuarial models in real-world applications. During this senior seminar, which is supervised by professional actuaries, students have the opportunity to practice communicating with stakeholders -- a crucial skill that is not easy to teach. Although Appalachian State is a fairly large school with over 17,000 undergraduates, it's extremely affordable actuarial science program is quite small, providing its students with the personal advantages of a close-knit major and the resources of a big school."

Traditionally most actuaries are hired by insurance companies, financial institutions, and government agencies. For those thinking about actuarial science, according to Dr. Shirley, "Appalachian's program is interdisciplinary and students have to have a broad range of interests both in risk management, general business, mathematics and statistics. The curriculum is, I would say, pretty full."

Published: Jun 6, 2016 9:42am