The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science at the School of Business is a tailored program designed to prepare students for their career as an actuary. The capstone is not a degree program. It is a high-quality certificate program designed to quickly and effectively prepare students to successfully pass the professional credentialing exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA). A key strength of the capstone program is its flexibility and relatively short time to completion. Students can choose either a full-time or part-time learning track. When taking classes full-time, students can expect to complete the program and have their certificate in nine months. Students enrolled part-time must take a minimum of one class each semester, and can take up to three years to complete the program with exceptions being made for special cases.

Students accepted into the capstone certificate program have a strong mathematics background and are interested in applying that strength to the actuarial science profession. Capstone students will take classes in actuarial mathematics, predictive modeling, and loss models, and have the option to take other classes with consent from faculty. Students will receive a transcript from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and will gain access to key resources offered to School of Business students. Further detail is provided at the School of Business website


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree. Applications are accepted for both fall and spring semesters. Admitted students will have the opportunity to take prerequisite math courses in their semester before starting the program. All application materials must be received by the deadline posted on the program website.

Application steps

A complete application includes the following information:

  1. An online application for admission as a University Special student, selecting UNCS Capstone Certificate and the program: Actuarial Science
  2. Application materials mailed to the School of Business, 975 University Avenue, Room 5252A, Madison, WI 53706—to include:
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Transcripts from all universities attended
  • Statement of purpose describing the applicant's interest and goals in actuarial science and how a certificate in actuarial science will help reach those goals
  • Resume or CV
  • TOEFL scores, if applicable


Once admitted, candidates will receive a formal letter of admission to UW–Madison from Adult Career and Special Student Services along with enrollment instructions and information about tuition and deadlines. The capstone certificate coordinator also will send specific information pertaining to enrollment in and completion of the capstone program.

Additional detail is provided on the ACSSS enrollment page.

  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.000
Actuarial Science Core
ACT SCI 650 Actuarial Mathematics I3
ACT SCI 651 Actuarial Mathematics II3
ACT SCI 652 Loss Models I3
ACT SCI 653 Loss Models II3
Specialization Core
ACT SCI/​MATH  303 Theory of Interest and Life Insurance3
or ACT SCI 654 Regression and Time Series for Actuaries
Total Credits15


Courses recommended as preparation for an actuarial career:
MATH/​STAT  431 Introduction to the Theory of Probability3
MATH/​STAT  309 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT 311 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I3
MATH/​STAT  310 Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics II3
STAT 312 Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II3
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics4
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics3-4
ECON 111 Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment4
FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance3
FINANCE/​ECON  320 Investment Theory3
Review courses for actuarial examinations:
ACT SCI 300 Actuarial Science Methods I1
ACT SCI 301 Actuarial Science Methods II1

The program teaches the actuarial concepts that will equip students to pass the preliminary professional actuarial exams accepted by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. Students also learn the practical application of these concepts, experiencing real-world learning opportunities through contact with professionals currently working in actuarial science, risk management, and insurance.

Specifically, students learn to:

  • Solve problems using mathematics, statistics, risk management, finance, and economics
  • Quantify risk for insurance companies, consulting firms, government agencies, or other organizations