Columbia’s Certification of Professional Achievement in Actuarial Science is offered entirely online on a part-time basis. The curriculum is comprised of four courses. Each course is worth three points toward the 12 point certification total.

Successful completion of the certification is grade-based as there is no thesis requirement or qualifying exam. All requirements must be completed within three years (six consecutive terms, summer excluded).

Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (B). Every course creditable toward the certification must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certification.

ACTU K7003. Topics: Property and Casualty. 3 pts.


This course introduces the general principles of ratemaking and reserving as they relate to P&C insurance products. Students will analyze data, select appropriate techniques, and develop solutions to problems. This course addresses the advantages and disadvantages of the various ratemaking and reserving techniques as they are applied to specific situations and different lines of business. Classification of insureds for the purpose of risk stratification and other important ratemaking topics are also examined.

ACTU K4621. Investment & ALM for Actuaries. 3 pts.


This course develops an understanding of the fundamental concepts of Investment and Asset Liability Management (ALM) for actuaries. A basic knowledge of financial mathematics is assumed. This course provides students with the knowledge to apply in a practical sense the theoretical framework that they learned from the foundational actuarial examinations. The objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of the tools and techniques mostly used by insurance companies and to a lesser extent by other financial intermediaries (such as pension plans or foundations and endowments) for Asset Liability Management. The course will be aimed at providing a practical insight into the investment process within the insurance industry and other financial intermediaries.

ACTU K8020. Pensions. 3 pts.


This course is a workshop in ERISA and Taxation Rules for Actuaries. Actuarial science can be applied and cover a number of welfare benefit arrangements (such as life insurance, medical, disability, severance etc.), qualified plans and nonqualified deferred compensation plans. The services and products that are developed in the actuarial field may be governed by certain federal laws. In the U.S., these arrangements are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). In addition, certain federal taxation and reporting rules may apply. To be successful in the field will require an understanding of these rules, reporting requirements, taxation rules and the government agencies (Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation) responsible for oversight of such arrangements. Other topics covered will include SEPs, Simple Plans, 403(b) plans, 457 plans and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans.

ACTU K8030. Introduction to Life Insurance. 3 pts.


This course will provide an overview of insurance company investments and the regulations and liabilities that drive the insurance company investment decisions. All life insurance actuaries must master the concepts of financial mathematics and how to apply those concepts to calculate projected present values and accumulated cash flows. You will study these concepts and apply them to calculate Life Insurance and Annuity reserves, new business pricing, and profitability metrics. This will include exploring various types of product designs. Actuaries play an important part in development and interpretation of the various financial statements that insurance companies are required to provide to the public.

The course will illustrate the content of these statements, exhibits, and schedules and provide a description of their purpose. Insurance cash flows are unique in that there are many uncertainties and those cash flows stretch out into the future over a considerable amount of time.

This leads to another important aspect of actuarial science, which is risk analysis and risk management. This course will study how companies map risks and set aside capital to provide for the uncertainties above and beyond those provided for by standard reserves. With the recent economic events of 2008 and their continuing effects, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) has become more focused and we will explore ERM and the role actuaries play as part of overall insurance company risk management.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.