Actuarial Program at the University of Ulm

FAQ about actuarial science

Actuarial science - a description:

Actuarial science covers the evaluation and management of financial risks, particularly in the fields of insurance risks and investments. For this, in Germany the occupational profile of an actuary has emerged – a profession with a long tradition in the Anglo-Saxon nations which enjoys a high reputation over there. However, also in Germany actuaries have outstanding career opportunities (short- and long-term): the demand for graduates exceeds supply by far.   
Being an actuary requires an excellent mathematical education, strong knowledge of statistics and data processing, as well as economic understanding. Thus, studying Mathematics or Econo-Mathematics is an ideal basis for becoming an actuary. Also as an Economics student actuarial science represents an interesting opportunity to specialize.
There is a wide range of possible tasks:

  • In insurance companies actuaries e.g. develop new insurance products and adequate investment instruments, or work in the fields of marketing research and risk management.
  • In banks and investment companies actuaries e.g. evaluate various financial securities and undertake risk analysis.
  • In consulting companies actuaries are not only in great demand because of their knowledge in insurance science and mathematical finance, but also because of their pronounced analytical skills.


And who wants to know why Actuaries are able to save the world, has to watch the following video!

Furthermore, the actuarial rock band “Carl-Friedrich and the abnormal distribution” have released a song “Carl-Friedrich Gauss”, dedicated to the godfather of actuarial profession depicting Gauss’ achievements for actuaries.

Actuarial science at the University of ulm

For those students who want to specialize in actuarial science Ulm is the absolutely right place, because its university is one of the internationally leading ones in this field. Actuarial science is one of the core areas in the graduate study program of Econo-Mathematics. Therefore, students who did their Bachelor in a mathematically orientated study program and want to focus on this area now have highly interesting opportunities at the Faculty of Mathematics and Economics at the University of Ulm. The focus “Actuarial Science” benefits from unique advantages at our faculty: The areas of actuarial science and finance are closely interlinked – with respect to mathematical basics as well as economic applications. This is the reason why students can flexibly choose between mathematical and economic specializations. Furthermore, the University of Ulm was the first university worldwide which established an education program for Actuaries of the fourth generation by offering courses about organization and communication in risk management. Before you have the right to bear the title of an actuary (DAV), you have to pass various examinations – usually extra occupational. A decisive advantage for our graduate students specializing in actuarial science is the fact that all basic DAV exams of the German association of actuaries are completely integrated in the regular study program. That this is a major advantage in working life is not only our belief.

For those who did not study Econo-Mathematics at the University of Ulm, we offer the extra-occupational master program “Actuarial Science”. Precondition to register for the program is a first university degree with a scope of 180 ECTS points in a mathematically orientated program as well as a work experience of at least two years. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The exams, which have to be passed in order to become a member of the DAV, have to be written separately and directly with the DAV.

Another aspect is the perfect match of research, teaching (studies and continuous professional development) and applications at the University of Ulm. Besides the focus on actuarial science at the University of Ulm, the Institute of Finance and Actuarial Science which is a leading German consulting company in actuarial science, plays a central role. All institutions at our university are closely linked so that students whilst their studies and theses have the opportunity to collaborate in application-oriented projects, to examine the practical suitability of innovative ideas and to analyze complex questions scientifically. 

Moreover, the University of Ulm has a close network with leading researchers and universities in the area of actuarial science worldwide and also with all important insurance companies as well as their surroundings (consulting companies, auditors, software companies). This is only possible, because we have maintained close contact to most of our faculty’s graduates for 20 years now, with many of them having made successful careers in the financial service sector.

Actuarial Science in Ulm


If you are interested in graduate studies with a focus on actuarial science, insurance industry, or risk management, you will find the exactly right study program at the University of Ulm, namely in the Master in Finance program specializing in actuarial science which starts every winter semester.

To start the Master of Finance program with actuarial science you need to already have a solid education in mathematics.

The specialization in actuarial science is particularly suitable for Finance students, because they can flexibly use the broad range of optional modules in all areas. Furthermore, they have the possibility to take the entrance examinations of the (-German Association of Actuaries) integrated in their study program.

Our academic program offers a wide variety of elective modules in the fields of risk management, insurance, and actuarial science, but also small-group courses on special topics. Besides, there are actuarial seminars every semester and an actuarial “WiMa-Praktikum” (= practical application of actuarial science) every summer term (as you can see from the current courses). Within each lecture, several practitioners give talks on current issues, so that our students are not only taught in theory, but also get to know current challenges in practice. All students specializing in actuarial science are provided fully developed study plans with lectures that are perfectly coordinated.

Moreover, the University of Ulm was the first university worldwide that implemented the concept of the Actuary of the fourth generation who has not only expertise in actuarial and financial mathematical models but also in their embedding in corporate processes. An essential element for this is a solid education in organization and processes in risk management.
A fully developed study concept ensures the frequent offering of all courses so that the exams can be taken without any extension of studies. It is an advantage that the corresponding entrance examinations of the (-German Association of Actuaries)  can be taken whilst studying and not, as usual in parallel to an existing job– a key advantage if you later start your career in Germany!

working as an actuary - Graduates in business mathematics have the best career prospects

Globalisation and the associated internationalisation of accounting and risk management, serious demographic shifts, developments on the international financial markets, new types of financial instruments and technological innovations are just some of the aspects that are bringing about very far-reaching changes in the insurance industry. As a result of these developments, the actuarial profession has developed in Germany . He is the expert for the assessment and management of financial risks (e.g. in insurance companies, banks and building societies or in occupational pension schemes).

The tasks of an actuary are diverse

  • In insurance, actuaries are involved in the development of new insurance products and suitable investment instruments, market research and risk management. The calculation of the amount of insurance premiums and balance sheet reserves, so that customers can be sure that the insurance company can pay in the event of a claim, can also fall within the scope of the actuary's duties. Here, individual accents can be set during the training in order to optimally reflect one's own interests.

  • In banks and investment companies, actuaries are used, for example, in the valuation of various financial securities (such as futures and options) and in risk analysis. 
  • There is also a high demand for actuaries in the consulting industry, as they are not only distinguished by their knowledge of insurance and financial mathematics, but also by their strong analytical skills.
  • In company pension schemes, it is a matter of calculating how much money the company has to set aside in order to be able to pay pensions to its employees later.
  • Actuaries in public ministries and at the statutory pension insurance institutions deal with the difficult problems of financing social security. Here, statistical methods are used above all to make forecasts about the development of the population and its age structure.
  • As experts, actuaries assist lawyers and judges in determining insurance claims, e.g. in divorce cases.
  • In Great Britain, actuaries are now even used for the financial planning of major projects.

Business Mathematics is the ideal course of study

The tasks of the actuary require a good mathematical education, solid knowledge of statistics and information processing as well as an understanding of economic issues.
Therefore, a degree in business mathematics is ideal for this job description. The best proof of the success of business mathematics is the very good career prospects for graduates; for example, graduates with a major in financial services/actuarial sciences have no difficulty in finding a suitable job quickly, even in times of economic recession.
The specific actuarial knowledge is defined by the German Actuarial Association and comprises 6 basic examinations as well as a professional seminar and four in-depth examinations, which require three years of professional experience. Normally, all examinations are taken on a part-time basis. However, corresponding study achievements can be recognised as basic examinations. For example, the University of Ulm was the first German university to develop a curriculum for actuarial sciences which integrates almost all of these basic examinations into the normal business mathematics degree programme. This ensures that all subjects are offered regularly and that the examinations can be taken without extending the course of study.
For young people interested in mathematics who are open to economic issues, a course of study in business mathematics with a specialisation in actuarial sciences therefore offers an interesting perspective.


For young people interested in mathematics who are open to economic issues, a course of study in business mathematics with a specialisation in actuarial sciences therefore offers an interesting perspective.

Those who already have both feet on the ground in professional life after their studies and want to continue their education at an academic level to become an actuary will find an elegant way to do so in the postgraduate Master's programme "Aktuarwissenschaften" .

Future career opportunities

The fact that the actuary must have mathematical expertise combined with economic understanding and the ability to use information technology makes him or her a valuable and hard-to-replace employee. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, this profession has a long tradition and is held in high esteem - in the USA, for example, the actuary has been ranked number one in the list of all professions for several years.

In Germany, employees with actuarial knowledge are increasingly being sought by insurance companies and banks, but also by auditors, management consultants and software manufacturers working in this field.

However, the upgrading of this occupational profile is accompanied by a significant shortage of such specialists, as corresponding training courses did not exist before. For this reason, there are excellent job prospects and good career opportunities in this field for the coming years. This is confirmed especially in economically difficult times, which naturally include the financial and economic crisis of 2009, in which the demand for graduates with a specialisation in actuarial sciences has remained almost unchanged.

The excellent career opportunities are emphatically confirmed by our graduates. 

In addition, since 1995, personal insurance companies have been legally obliged to appoint a "Responsible Actuary", who is responsible for ensuring that the fulfilment of the insurance contracts concluded is also secured in the long term. In many cases, mathematicians on the company's management board are responsible for this. Within the framework of the new EU-wide solvency guidelines "Solvency II", there will in future be specific professional fields in the actuarial function, risk management function, compliance function and internal audit function, which require qualifications required by law.  
Ulm graduates in particular are ideally equipped for this through our key areas of focus. This opens up a whole range of new, highly interesting and promising professional fields for them!

you can find current job offers here.


Further Questions?

If you have questions regarding the actuarial program at the university of Ulm, comments and suggestions about the presented information just click on one of the contact buttons given on the top of the right hand side. Feel free to ask about a personal meeting to clarify open issues.

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Contact at IVW

Moreover, we offer interesting videos on our YouTube-Channel!

More information about actuarial science, the career and püossible internships here: (in German).

YouTube-Video: Mathematics and Management: the integrated study program at Ulm University (in German)
YouTube-Video: Allianz-Executive Dr. Thomas Wiesemann applied blindly after graduation (in German)