The Department of Statistical Science’s Actuarial Science Program at the University of Toronto has been awarded the Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) status by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) for another five years. Out of many post-secondary academic institutions around the globe that offer actuarial science programs, 286 offer programs that meet the levels of the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) recognition criteria. Out of the SOA’s three levels of recognition, CAE is considered to be the highest.
“The programs at each of these schools met eight rigorous criteria and specific requirements related to degree curriculum, graduate count and quality, faculty composition, appropriate integration, connection to industry and research/scholarship in order to qualify for the CAE distinction”, notes CAE in a press conference.
The University of Toronto’s Actuarial Science program stands out for several reasons, from its course structure to strong connections to the industry.
“Our courses cover a hundred percent of the learning objectives of the actuarial professional credential exams, and those courses are taught in an in-depth way that help students fully grasp the theoretical and practical aspects of the course materials”, says Vicki Zhang, associate chair of undergraduate studies in actuarial science at U of T.
Students in the program also have the opportunity to take a unique suite of practice-oriented courses that cover all key actuarial subfields, such as life & annuity, P&C, pension, actuarial business communications. Courses are taught by seasoned industry professionals. “We meet with our professional instructors frequently to discuss course content and further course development” says Zhang, “Those instructors also bring industry practice to our students through case studies, projects and capstone.”
Beginning in the fall semester of 2020, the actuarial science program now offers a professional experience program where specialist students take a semester-long professional experience (PE) course followed by a full-time internship.
In addition to the program’s plethora of hands-on courses and theoretical training, students in the program are given the opportunity to perform research with guidance from acclaimed actuarial researchers.
“Our aim is to provide highly innovative and practically implementable models and methodologies to solve real-world problems arising from insurance,” shares Sheldon Lin, a professor of acturial science in the Department of Statistical Sciences at U of T. “In the research, we emphasize on building flexible and interpretable models, efficient estimation algorithms with computer codes, and real insurance data applications”.
The Actuarial Science Program’s accreditation will allow students and faculty to continue to work together in building the bright minds that make up the industry’s present and future. The University of Toronto is honored to have received this accreditation and remains dedicated to upholding the quality of the program and the growth of its students.
“Universities that have been named Centers of Actuarial Excellence exemplify the highest standards in actuarial education, research, and scholarship,” shared President of the SOA, Michael McLaughlin. “We are thrilled to recognize them for this accomplishment and look forward to building strong links between these universities and the profession.”
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