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Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science

The Wisconsin School of Business Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science will broaden your knowledge and give you a competitive edge in pursuing your career as an actuary.

Learn how to become an actuary

Make Progress on Passing SOA Exams, CAS Exams

Designed for math-savvy students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than actuarial science, this high-quality certificate program will prepare you for passing Exam P, Exam FM, or other preliminary professional exams required by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

You also will benefit from real-world learning experiences by engaging with actuarial science, risk management, and insurance industry professionals. A key strength of this program is its flexibility and relatively short time to completion.

Pursue a Lucrative Actuarial Career

Actuarial science is consistently rated as a top career, with the potential to earn from $150,000 to $250,000 annually, according to the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 22 percent increase in the employment of actuaries from 2016 to 2026. Actuaries will be needed to develop, price, and evaluate products for the insurance industry and to calculate the costs of new risks for businesses and industries.

The Wisconsin School of Business Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science will strategically prepare you for success in this growing, lucrative field.

Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science at a Glance




15 or 18 graduate level credits


Two or three semesters; start in the fall or spring


Bachelor’s degree; GPA 2.0

Certificate Awarded

Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science

Offered By

Wisconsin School of Business at UW–Madison

Hear From Our Students

Mallory Grossman
“I’ve noticed that employers who’ve hired alumni from the Capstone program know the value that a Capstone job candidate brings to the workplace.”
Mallory Grossman
Actuarial Consulting Intern, Oliver Wyman
Read about Mallory's experience
Hui Hui Guo
“My professors were very personable and made it a point to get to know me. They were always available to answer questions and help me outside of the classroom.”
Hui Hui Guo
Actuarial Analyst II, GEICO
Read about Hui Hui's experience
“I wanted a program that would give me an edge. I left with a solid job lined up and a ton of preparation for future actuarial exams.”
Cole Sebald
P & C Actuarial Analyst, Allstate
Read about Cole's experience
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Frequently Asked Questions

The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science is not a graduate program. It is a separate certificate program for post-baccalaureate, non-degree students. The Wisconsin School of Business does not offer a master’s degree in actuarial science at this time. However, it does offer an MBA specialization in risk management and insurance.

No. Students enrolled in other UW–Madison programs cannot be concurrently enrolled in the Actuarial Science Capstone Certificate program.

No. The Capstone Certificate program is not a distance or online program.

To learn more about Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science Program costs, visit the How to Apply section.

You may be eligible for financial aid. To apply, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Visit the UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.

You may also seek on-campus employment, such as working in academic offices or grading work for classes.

Capstone students are not eligible to receive teaching or research assistantships, and we do not have scholarships for incoming Capstone students at this time.

The Wisconsin School of Business reimburses students for the cost of professional certification exams they successfully pass while enrolled in the Capstone Certificate Program. To be eligible for these reimbursements, students must be members of the Actuarial Club and attend a specific number of club events.

Program Overview

As an Actuarial Science Capstone Certificate Program student, you will learn from globally recognized faculty in the Risk and Insurance Department, as well as industry leaders in actuarial science, risk management, and insurance.

Our inspired learning experience will enable you to build your professional network and to get hired into your first job as an actuary. You also will gain valuable insights, knowledge and connections by participating in Actuarial Club and Risk Management and Insurance Society events.

While you are in the program, you also can get a head start on building your actuarial career by meeting with career advisors, attending the Risk and Insurance Career Fair, and participating in on-campus interviews.

A Focused Actuarial Curriculum Tailored to Your Needs

The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science is an accelerated program. As a full-time student, you can expect to complete the program in two or three semesters.

Do I qualify for the two or three semester track?

To complete the Capstone Certificate, it is required that you perform well in a semester-long mathematical probability course, or pass Exam P/1 for SOA/CAS accreditation. If you’ve done this prior to applying for the Capstone Certificate, you are eligible to complete the certificate in two semesters.

If you have yet to complete this requirement, you can take one of the following courses as a part of the three-semester track.

After you complete any necessary prerequisite work and 15 credits of the coursework listed below, you will receive a transcript indicating you have been awarded a Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science.

You may also elect to take additional courses fulfilling the Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or Society of Actuaries (SOA). Visit to learn more about VEE requirements.

Required classes:

Act Sci 650 Actuarial Mathematics I

(3 credits)

Advanced problems in the mathematical theory of life contingencies; force of mortality, laws of mortality; premiums and reserves for insurance and annuities based on a single life.

Act Sci 652 Loss Models I

(3 credits)

Definition and selection of probability distributions appropriate for insurance data that are heavily tailed and skewed.

Act Sci 303 Theory of Interest*

(3 credits)

Application of calculus to compound interest; interest compounded discretely and continuously; force of interest functions; annuities payable discretely and continuously; bonds and yield rates.

Choose at least one of the following:

Act Sci 651 Actuarial Mathematics II

(3 credits)

Continuation of Act Sci 650. Joint life probabilities, annuities and insurances; multiple‐decrement theory; pension fund mathematics.

Act Sci 653 Loss Models II

(3 credits)

Continuation of Act Sci 652. Estimation of parameters of probability distributions appropriate for insurance data that are heavy tailed and skewed; assessment of credibility of data for rate making.

Choose at least one of the following:

Act Sci 654 Regression and Time Series for Actuaries (Predictive Modeling)

(3 credits)

Linear regression and correlation; generalized linear regression models; introduction to time series; time series model building and forecasting with focus on data of interest to actuaries.

Act Sci 655 Health Analytics

(3 credits)

Introduction to the broad area of health, integrating how researchers from multiple perspectives have investigated various aspects of health, along with the hands‐on practice of learning and using statistical tools to analyze these topics.

Gen Bus 656 Machine Learning for Business Analytics

(3 credits)

Applications for solving business problems, including hands-on practice in the context of various real-world data sets. Supervised learning techniques and unsupervised learning techniques are covered.

How to Apply

Applying to the Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science Program is a straightforward, intuitive process. Here is what you need to know to get started.

Important Application Dates

All application materials must be received by the dates below.

Enrollment PeriodFall SemesterSpring Semester
Domestic ApplicantsJune 1November 1
International ApplicantsMay 1October 1
Priority Deadline*April 15September 15

*These applicants receive special consideration.

Eligibility Requirements for the Capstone Program

If you meet the following eligibility requirements, we encourage you to apply.

Bachelor’s Degree: The Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science is a post-baccalaureate program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than actuarial science. Three-year and four-year bachelor’s degrees are both acceptable.

GPA: 2.0

Prerequisite coursework: All students must show a strong math background. Students who have performed well in a semester-long mathematical probability course, or have passed Exam P/1 for SOA/CAS accreditation can complete the certificate in two semesters. Otherwise, students must take mathematical probability during their first semester and, as a result, complete the certificate in three semesters.

Capstone Certificate Application Guidelines

To apply, please submit an online application form and the supporting application documents detailed below.

Online application for admission: Apply as a UW–Madison Special Student, and select “UNCS Capstone Certificate,” and the program “Actuarial Science.”

Your application documents must include the following:

Additional Notes:

If you are unable to submit your application materials electronically via the online application portal, send them via regular mail to:

Wisconsin School of Business
Attn: Capstone Actuarial Certificate
Risk and Insurance Department
5252 Grainger Hall
975 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706-1324

Enrollment Information

Once you are admitted, you 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 in the Wisconsin School of Business also will send specific information pertaining to enrollment in and completion of the Capstone program.

Capstone Certificate Program Costs

Tuition, Fees and Expenses
Tuition and fees$10,503 (in-state)
$22,163 (out-of-state)
Books and supplies$900
Room and Board$8.871

Tuition and fees are set annually by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System; increases may vary from year to year.

Gainful Employment Act Disclosure
These details are required by the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional Information for International Students

Language Proficiency and TOEFL Requirements

To be successful in this program, students from non-English-speaking countries must be able to communicate quickly and clearly in spoken and written English, and be able to read it with ease.

All applicants whose first language is not English must submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score from a test administered within two years of the date of enrollment (more or less, September 1 of the academic year of entry). The Wisconsin School of Business will accept International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English results as a substitute for the TOEFL.

Individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a country where the official language is English are not required to submit TOEFL scores. Individuals who will complete such a degree by June prior to enrollment are also exempt. Check the box requesting a waiver of the TOEFL requirement on the online application only if you meet one of these two conditions. A master’s degree alone from an English-speaking institution does not qualify for a waiver of the TOEFL.

Individuals from countries where English is spoken, though not the primary official language, or who attended a bachelor’s program where some but not all courses are provided in English, must submit a valid TOEFL score.

Applicants who take the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) generally should have a minimum total score of 106. For a competitive application, it is recommended that component scores be at least the following:

The recommended minimum for a competitive application using the paper-based TOEFL (PBT) is a total score of 620.

Visa Information

If you are enrolled as a full-time international student, you are eligible to apply for a visa to study in Wisconsin for the Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science.

Contact Us

If you want to learn more about the Wisconsin Capstone Certificate in Actuarial Science, we’re here to help. Please contact us for more information about the program, or to get answers to your questions.

Gordon Enderle

Gordon Enderle

Teaching Faculty III
Risk and Insurance
Jodi Wortsman

Jodi M Wortsman

Development Specialist
Risk and Insurance