• Master's Degree

Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies has a history going back to 1995. In 2002, the School of Professional Studies received the authority to give Master of Science degrees. The university is located in the New York metropolitan area. The School of Professional Studies enrolls roughly 6,000 students each year in its thirteen professional Master of Science degree programs.


Masters Program

Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies offers a M.S. in Actuarial Science. No undergraduate or doctoral degrees in actuarial science are offered by Columbia University.

Master of Science in Actuarial Science

This degree program requires a minimum of 36 points for completion and can be completed in 3 consecutive semesters. Some of the courses are available online. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above. Students in this degree program become prepared to take the Society of Actuaries’ exams including P, MLC, FM, C, and MFE as well as Casualty Actuary Society’s exams 1 – 4.

In addition, students earn Validation by Educational Experience credits in corporate finance, economics, and applied statistical methods. Each semester, students must register for either internship in actuarial sciences or pro seminar in actuarial science.

Courses for this degree program usually meet once or twice a week. Required core courses include the following: probability; statistical inference; theory of interest; actuarial methods – part I; actuarial methods – part II; actuarial models; stochastic processes for actuarial science; linear regression and time series models; survival analysis; and elementary stochastic processes.


The M.S. in Actuarial Science degree program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies has 15 faculty members who teach the courses for the degree. Professor Victor de la Pena is the Chair for the program. The faculty members teach a rigorous program and are professional practitioners in their field.


To apply to the M.S. in Actuarial Science degree program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, a prospective student should fill out an online application with an $95 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for the program, students must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent as well as knowledge of elementary economics, linear algebra, and multivariate calculus. Most successful applicants possess a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA in undergraduate work. Additional materials to be submitted include:

  • Resume, with notation on whether any SOA/CAS exams have been passed
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Academic Purpose
  • Official GRE scores


Since Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies is located in the New York metropolitan area, it should be considered a viable option by aspiring actuaries as about a quarter of all of the country’s actuary positions are in the area. The M.S. in Actuarial Science adequately prepares students to pass many of the SOA and CAS exams. The degree program can be completed in as little as three semesters or a year’s time and must be completed in a maximum of three years, or six consecutive semesters. The tuition for the M.S. in Actuarial Science degree is $2,266 per point for the Fall semester of 2020.  The current program requires 36 points.

2020-2021 Academic Year
Semester Year Total
Tuition $ 27,192 $54,384 $54,384
Room $7,302 $14,604
Board $6,915 $13,830
Student Activity Fee $225 $450 $450
Total $83,268


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