UC Santa Barbara has been named a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). The first university in the western United States to receive the designation, UCSB joins the ranks of 25 other SOA CAE schools that exemplify high standards in actuarial education, research and scholarship.
The honor recognizes schools with outstanding actuarial programs and allows them to compete for substantial multiyear SOA grants for education and research. Subject to their continued conformity to CAE criteria, schools maintain the designation for a five-year period.
“Being named a Center of Actuarial Excellence is a huge step forward for UCSB’s actuarial science programs,” said Pierre Wiltzius, UCSB’s Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science in the College of Letters and Science’s Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences. “It validates both the strong growth of our research in this field and the demand and popularity of the major.”
UCSB established an undergraduate major in actuarial science in 2010. A combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program followed in 2013, making UCSB the first university in California to offer a graduate degree in actuarial science.
“We worked very hard to receive the CAE designation in order to differentiate UCSB from other actuarial programs,” said Raya Feldman, co-director of UCSB’s actuarial science program in the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability. “This will not only attract recruiters to campus — since now it’s clear that ours is indeed a very good one — but will also help us attract and retain the best students who apply to UCSB. It’s a message to them: If you want to be an actuary, UCSB is your campus.”
The programs at UCSB meet the eight rigorous criteria and specific requirements related to degree, curriculum, graduate count, faculty composition, graduate quality, appropriate integration, connection to industry, and research and scholarship that are needed to qualify for the CAE distinction.
Said SOA president Errol Cramer, “The SOA looks forward to working with the university in helping prepare future actuaries and advancing the actuarial profession.”
UCSB is one of 16 CAE institutions in the United States and 26 around the world.
An educational, research and professional organization dedicated to serving the public, its members and its candidates, the SOA seeks to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal problems.