Actuarial Science

Actuarial science is the "science of risk," utilizing both strong analytical skills and business knowledge to manage undesirable events.

Actuaries and data scientists are highly sought by many industries, including healthcare, finance and banking, insurance, the sports industry, and government. Evaluating the likelihood of certain risks and designing creative ways to reduce them is the focus of actuarial science.  

With a background in math, economics, finance, calculus, statistics and accounting, Roanoke's interdisciplinary approach teaches you not only how to do actuarial science, but also the underlying how and why. You will be prepared to pass the Society of Actuaries' exams, which is key to unlocking future promotions in the field.  

Actuarial science is an emerging field that is high in demand and often leads to well-paying jobs-in many cases, right after graduation.  

We offer a major in Actuarial Science.

Actuary was ranked as the #1 job by CareerCast because of its job satisfaction, future hiring outlook and high average pay.

Profesor David Taylor | Mathematics

Male professor teaching students in a lecture hall

Dr. David Taylor, a card games and poker enthusiast, has written a textbook dedicated to the chances of winning. "The Mathematics of Games: An Introduction to Probability," discusses the basics of probability through games like poker, Yahtzee, Monopoly, blackjack and even bingo.

After developing a May Term course called "The Mathematics of Gambling and Games," Taylor became interested in creating a book that covered mathematics from a gaming perspective. During his course, students played games to observe probability firsthand and then compared discussions and mathematical calculations to see how they matched. Taylor's book uses this same approach; it introduces probability and the idea of chance from a game perspective. "The book walks through mathematical topics in a particular order by introducing various games, asking questions, and then introducing and developing the mathematical framework needed to answer those questions," said Taylor.

Roanoke College is the only institution in Virginia to offer a major in Actuarial Science. 

Certificate program gives students edge with Fortune 500 companies

Logo for SASRoanoke College offers a unique two-year certificate program that teaches students software skills attractive to top companies around the world. It's called the Data and Econometric Analysis Joint Certificate Program with SAS, which stands for Statistical Analysis Software. The program teaches students to use SAS software, which is employed by major businesses and government institutions, including 93 of the top 100 listed on the 2014 Fortune Global 500, according to SAS. It provides the kind of real world learning that students need to compete for top jobs. SAS is a key word on resumes and is likely to draw immediate attention from employers. Jay Laramore'10, an analytical training consultant at SAS, helped Roanoke economics professor, Dr. Allie Kassens, implement the certificate program. "I think Roanoke could be a model on how to do it," said Laramore, explaining that SAS instruction typically is offered in graduate-level programs.   

Sample Course Offerings: 

  • ASCI 201 Financial Techniques in Risk Management 
  • ASCI 301 Theory of Interest 

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Dr. Alice Kassens | Economics

Photo of Dr. Alice KassensRoanoke professor Dr. Alice Kassens was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to his Joint Advisory Board of Economists (JABE). The function of JABE is to advise the governor and the Department of Taxation on the state of the Commonwealth's economy and the nation as a whole. This information is used to project state tax revenues before setting the state budget. "Being an economist who is passionate for data analysis and the state of our local economy, this position is exciting," Kassens said. "I get to showcase the analysis that I do for Roanoke College pertaining to consumer sentiment, inflation expectations and the real estate market in Virginia."