10 Most Affordable Online Actuarial Science Master’s Degrees for 2020

rutgers actuary

Working professionals who want to advance their career in actuarial science might find a master’s degree useful, but finding the cheapest Master degree in Actuarial Science means doing a little bit of homework before actually starting class. Study tuition rates at various colleges for both on-campus classes as well as online class options. Online courses can sometimes be cheaper than those held in the classroom. 

Grants and scholarships are available as well. There are several that are reserved for undergrad students who are trying to achieve a Master’s degree or higher in both scientific and mathematical areas. Employer reimbursement programs are often available to employees who have been working for a company and choose to return to school to receive their Master’s degree in Actuarial Science. They may also offer to pay the cost of taking the certification exam. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Actuarial Science Master’s Programs 

Like always, Great Business School editors want to guide students to reputable, accredited colleges and universities for their master’s in actuarial science. However, for the purposes of ranking the most affordable programs, one factor is primary: Tuition Cost, as reported by IPEDS. Schools are presented from lowest cost to highest. 

1. California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach offers an MS in Applied Statistics for students who are looking for a way to push their career forward. An MS in Applied Statistics provides skills in computing, management, mathematical theory and analysis to students who are ready for the next phase of their education or who are looking to increase their earning potential in their current career. With an MS in Applied Statistics, students will graduate with a degree they can be proud of.

California State University – Long Beach offers residents a learning environment that allows them to explore all of their options and work towards a brighter future. In addition to their advanced curriculum and professional instructors, students immediately have the advantage of learning from the best in the business. Graduating with an MS in Applied Science gives students the confidence and motivation to go after the better jobs that offer the highest pay.

Degree Applied Statistics, MS

2. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an MS in Actuarial Science that allows students to improve their chances for new opportunities and higher-paying jobs. An Actuarial Science degree paves the way for actuaries and statisticians to advance into higher-ranking jobs. A Master’s degree provides skills that an actuary needs as well as management skills that can be used to move out of the lower-paying jobs and into a role with more responsibility and higher rewards. The MS in Actuarial Science degree from Arizona State University is a great way for actuary students to add new skills to their resume.

Arizona State University is well-known throughout the southwest as one of the premier mathematics and actuarial science universities. It provides an environment in which students can feel at ease. They have access to some of the most educated, professional mathematicians in the area. Faculty members are highly experienced and are able to guide students through the learning process. When a student graduates with their MS in Actuarial Science, they have what they need and can begin to look toward the future.

Degree Actuarial Science, MS 

3. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota offers a Master of Financial Mathematics to students who are trying to advance within the financial industry. The Master of Financial Mathematics includes courses for analysis, financial management, risk management, and various other topics that pertain to the industry. Students are able to learn trade skills and tools that allow them to be as efficient as possible when dealing with financial matters. Students who earn their Master of Financial Mathematics are capable of entering the workforce and taking control of their future.

The University of Minnesota is one of many schools in the Midwest that offers a Master of Financial Mathematics. In addition to a positive learning environment, the university faculty members are well-known for their experience as well as their professionalism. Faculty members are able to use their years of experience to guide students to a better, more productive future. Graduates are sent out into the world with the resources and confidence they need to get ahead of their competition.

Degree Master of Financial Mathematics

4. Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University offers an MS in Actuarial Science degree program that is designed to give students who enroll a distinctive advantage. Actuaries are highly-skilled and extremely educated individuals who carry a large amount of responsibility and weight in the financial industry. The right actuarial science degree will be able to teach actuaries the next level of expertise they will need to advance in their careers. A graduate who completes the MS in Actuarial Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University is able to take their degree and open doors to new opportunities.

Middle Tennessee State University has a long-standing reputation for being a leader in the state when it comes to innovative and challenging coursework. Bringing together outstanding academics with professional and insightful instructors is a winning combination. Students are able to face each obstacle knowing that their instructors are there to guide them through the process. It’s a recipe for success that ensures the graduate will be able to accomplish their goals.

Degree Actuarial Science, MS 

5. Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers an MBS in Actuarial and Statistical Analysis for students who are interested in a degree that offers both business and science coursework. With an MBS degree, graduates are prepared to not only work in their chosen career field but also to take on a leadership role. The level of responsibility that can accompany this type of degree may be overwhelming for a graduate who isn’t adequately prepared. This is why students who graduate from Rutgers University with an MBS in Actuarial and Statistical Analysis receive everything they need to be a successful leader.

Rutgers University has a reputation for being one of the best colleges in the United States for both business and science degrees. Within the past 20 years, the University has begun to address the need for more in-depth courses that included both science and business classwork. The resulting MBS in Actuarial and Statistical Analysis degree program is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue a managerial position while continuing to work with mathematics and statistics.

Degree Actuarial and Statistical Analysis, MBS

6. San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers an MS in Applied Mathematics for students who are pursuing an occupation that requires an in-depth knowledge of mathematical theory. An applied mathematics degree includes coursework that teaches students the intricacies involved with mathematical equations, theories, and the models used by actuaries and statisticians to uncover both issues and solutions. An MS in Applied Mathematics degree from San Diego State University is one of the best ways for a graduate to gain an advantage over other candidates for top positions.

San Diego State University is one of the top schools in California when it comes to offering Applied Mathematics degrees, Students not only receive the highest quality coursework available, they also have access to seasoned professionals who teach their courses. Every graduate that completes the program and obtains their degree leaves the school with all of the abilities they need to succeed in a fast-paced work environment.

Degree Applied Mathematics, MS

7. University of Central Missouri

The University of Central Missouri offers an MS in Mathematics with specializations in Actuarial Science and Statistics. This degree program is designed to provide students who are interested in becoming an actuary or statistician the knowledge and abilities they need to be proficient at their jobs. These are highly specialized fields and require an in-depth knowledge of mathematics and the language that makes it so valuable. Graduates who earn an MS in Mathematics specializing in Actuarial Science and Statistics are able to apply for the highest-ranking jobs and have the confidence they need to earn them.

The University of Central Missouri has a reputation for offering advanced coursework for a variety of degrees, including an MS in Mathematics. Faculty and instructors are professionals in their own right and have years of experience that they willingly share with their students. Graduates of the college will be fully prepared to apply for any position they are interested in.

Degree Mathematics – Actuarial Science and Statistics, MS

8. North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University provides returning students with an MS in Applied Mathematics. Many of the students who pursue NCSU’s Applied Mathematics MS degree are already employed in the field and are looking to learn advanced skills and increase their knowledge of management-level responsibilities. Taking the initiative to earn a Master’s in Applied Mathematics will open the door for new opportunities as well as put the graduate on the fast-track to higher-paying jobs and possible management positions.

North Carolina State University has earned a strong reputation for providing quality educational programs for students who are looking for degree programs related to mathematics and actuarial sciences. Staff members and instructors offer valuable information and use their professional experiences to assist each student gain the knowledge and skills they are looking for. With an MS in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University, graduates are able to compete for higher-paying positions and further their careers.

Degree Applied Mathematics, MS 

9. University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers returning students an Accelerated Master of Statistics degree program that will allow them to earn their degree in a much shorter period of time. Traditional Master’s degree programs can take as much as two years to complete. By choosing an accelerated Master’s degree, the student can learn the skills they need much faster. This includes classes in mathematical theory, management, actuarial science, and many others. An accelerated MS in Statistics from the University of Arizona instills confidence in its graduates and prepares them for success in their careers.

The University of Arizona is a leader in the educational community. It is well-known for its in-depth, accelerated degree programs and professional instructors. Each student can expect to receive the guidance and knowledge they need to compete for top-paying jobs, no matter what industry they choose to enter. They will also graduate with management skills that allow them to become strong and effective leaders.

Degree Statistics, MS – Accelerated Master

10. University of Iowa

The University of Iowa is offering an MS in Actuarial Science degree program for students who are interested in furthering their career as an actuary or other mathematical professional. Students can expect to receive actuarial skills, mathematical theory, statistical skills, as well as managerial skills and training. An MS in Actuarial Science degree from the University of Iowa provides all of the essential skills that are needed to succeed in this fast-paced, highly competitive field.

The University of Iowa is considered to be one of the best learning institutions in the Midwest for mathematics and actuarial science degree programs. The university offers course work that is both complex and challenging, providing students with essential skills and abilities that are required within their field. Graduates are prepared to apply for and earn some of the highest-paying jobs in their field when they successfully complete the MS in Actuarial Science degree.

Degree Actuarial Science, MS

How Do I Save Money on a Master’s in Actuarial Science?

There are many ways to reduce the cost of obtaining a Master’s of Actuarial Science:

Online: Even though a university offers cheap courses, it’s important to remember that affordable is not always better. Look into the school’s reputation to ensure that it offers quality coursework and that graduates leave with the skills they need to succeed.

Grants and Scholarships: In many cases, grants and scholarships are recurring and are received over the course of the degree program. These grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid and are not considered to be a loan. 

Employer Reimbursement: If a company agrees to continue to work for the company for a specific time period after graduation, the company may choose to pay for all or part of the employee’s educational costs. Employers who participate in these types of programs encourage their employees to better themselves by earning a Master’s in Actuarial Science degree.

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Actuarial Science?

Actuarial science jobs can be found in a variety of industries. Certifications and degrees can be found for actuarial science graduates that include health insurance, Workers’ Compensation research, commercial liability adjuster, academic/teaching certifications, and even commercial brokers. In an industrial setting, an actuary is beneficial in terms of working with inventory, assets and depreciation, investments, and employee benefit programs. While certifications and degrees are two different things, individuals who have years of experience in their chosen field may choose to pursue a certificate instead of a full degree.

The financial industry and insurance groups use actuaries to assist in determining various types of risks. This can include investment opportunities, various types of loans, and determining eligibility for insurance policies, etc. By assisting companies in understanding a person/entity’s risk potential, the insurance company or financial institution can determine whether or not providing service is in their best interest. Actuaries also have the ability to offer solutions that will reduce a company’s risk and assist them in providing the service or coverage the person needs. When it comes to investments, actuaries are extremely valuable in terms of identifying companies that are worth the money.

Students who already have a Master’s in Actuarial Science degree and have been certified in their chosen career path will need to take so many hours of continuing education to keep their certificate in good standing. If this is the case, the student can pursue a degree program in computer science. Having a dual degree program allows them to enhance their skill sets and increase their overall value as a member of the workforce. This not only makes them eligible for more opportunities for advancement, it can also open the door for pay increases.

How Much Can I Make with an Actuarial Science Master’s?

Actuarial Science majors are extremely important in the workplace. The company relies on their work to make critical decisions when it comes to the financial health and security of the business. Several factors go into determining the wages of an actuary. Graduates who earn an Associate’s degree have wages that range between $98,000 and $105,000. Those with a Bachelor’s degree can earn between $100,000 and $105,000. If a student graduates with a Master’s degree or an MBA, their earning potential can range from $100,000 to $107,000. A JD, MD, or Ph.D. (or the equivalent), may be able to earn as much as $107,000.

Even with those high numbers, experience is the key. If a graduate has earned their degree while they are working as an actuary, the knowledge and skills they bring to the table prior to enrolling in class are extremely valuable. When a seasoned employee earns their Master’s in Actuarial Science, the level of experience they bring to the table will have a direct impact on the wages they are offered. Individuals who have managerial experience in addition to their actuarial experience can also expect additional opportunities for advancement as well. Even recent graduates whose only experience comes from an internship can still list that time as hands-on experience in the field. As an actuary, your ability to earn will also be based on your commitment to succeed.

Carrie Morris

Warren Dahl