Option 2 packages

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The Option 2 math major requires six math courses and four courses in an area of application. These four courses are required to have a certain mathematical content. They should also form a coherent collection of courses that reflect a plan to study some discipline outside of mathematics that uses a fair amount of mathematics. The selection of the four courses, together with the six required math courses must be approved by the student's advisor. This page lists some sample packages in several popular areas.


Actuarial Mathematics

Actuaries use techniques in mathematics and statistics to evaluate risk in a variety of areas including insurance, finance, healthcare, and even criminal justice. In recent history the field has been revolutionized by advances in the theory of probability and the ability to access, store, and process very large data sets.

Professional actuaries are currently in great demand, have lucrative pay, and is a growth field [1]. Similar to some other fields (law, accounting, etc.) there are professional organizations which administer a series of examinations [2]. Oftentimes students complete some of these examinations before graduating which allows them to move right into a career (Note: these exams are not required for graduation).

Students who are interested in actuarial mathematics should consider coursework in probability, statistics, analysis, as well as computational mathematics.

Course Suggestions

Application Courses

  • Math 303
  • Act. Sci 650, 652
  • Act. Sci. 651 or 653

Core Math Courses

  • Linear Algebra: Math 320 or Math 340 or Math 341 or Math 375
    • Note: Students who use either Math 320 or Math 340 to fulfill their Linear Algebra requirement must take Math 421 before any mathematics course numbered above 500.
  • Probability: Math 309 or Math 431 or 531
    • Note: Math 431 is preferred over 309. Math 531 is advanced probability and should be taken only after Math 421 or Math 521.
  • Statistics: Math 310
  • Analysis: Math 521
  • Stochastic Processes: Math 632
  • Linear Programming: Math 525

Additional Courses to Consider

Other Areas

Students interested in the areas of mathematics with applications to actuarial science might consider the following as well:

  • If you are interested in moving on to a graduate program, you might consider some of the advanced courses offered by the Department of Statistics or even a dual major.
  • Consider combining the major with a program offered by the [UW-Madison School of Business].