The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science at the School of Business is a post-baccalaureate program designed to prepare students for an actuarial career. The capstone program is not a degree program. It is a high-quality certificate program designed to prepare students to pass the preliminary professional exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA). A key strength of the capstone program is its short time to completion. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in two semesters.

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.

Capstone students have access to all School of Business resources available to undergraduate students. Through connections with industry leaders, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Actuarial Science program offers opportunities for students to learn from practicing actuaries and other professionals. Learning opportunities include presentations by industry experts, Co-Curricular Learning Board events and Actuarial Club events. Employers recruit UW–Madison’s actuarial science graduates extensively and the demand for actuaries is consistently strong and resilient to economic factors. Students have many resources, such as the Risk and Insurance Career Fair, to connect them with prospective employers so they can begin their actuarial career. Further detail is provided at the School of Business website.


Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree in a discipline other than actuarial science. Applications are accepted for both fall and spring semesters. 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. The following program-specific application materials mailed to the Wisconsin School of Business, Attn: Jodi Wortsman, Risk and Insurance Department, 5252A Grainger Hall, 975 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706:
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Transcripts from all universities attended
  • 2 letters of teference from previous or current supervisors and/or instructors
  • A personal statement that describes your interest in actuarial science, what you would like to do after completion of the Capstone Certificate Program and how the program will help you reach your goals
  • TOEFL scores, if applicable

See the capstone program website for more information.


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
  • Must complete 15 credits of coursework from the courses listed below. Students can elect to take courses that meet the SOA/CAS Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements with approval from the capstone director.

Prior to joining the capstone program, students must show a strong math background by performing well in a semester-long mathematical probability course or passing SOA/CAS exam P/1.  Admitted students will have the opportunity to take prerequisite math, statistics or probability courses (as needed) prior to starting the program.

Required ClassesCredits
ACT SCI/​MATH  303 Theory of Interest and Life Insurance3
ACT SCI 650 Actuarial Mathematics I3
ACT SCI 652 Loss Models I3
Specialization Core
Choose at least one of:
ACT SCI 651 Actuarial Mathematics II3
ACT SCI 653 Loss Models II3
Choose at least one of:
ACT SCI 654 Regression and Time Series for Actuaries3
ACT SCI 655 Health Analytics3


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

1. Recognize and explain the concept of risk, and apply the knowledge to the development of insurance products that are used to manage risk for the consumer as well as the risk of those products on the insurance organization.

2. Describe the actuarial profession, including the major professional organizations, the professional obligations of being an actuary, and the requirements to obtain and maintain a professional actuarial designation.

3. Demonstrate skills in critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and communication, as well as to develop an appreciation for actuarial theory, research, and the link to practical application.

4. Demonstrate the soft skills of being a professional.

5. Communicate their experiences and inspire others across the WSOB learning community.