Actuarial Science

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
    • Emphasis

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    Conferences: Students and faculty travel to two conferences each year.

    Seminars: Faculty show what they have been working on and students present their research projects.

    Tutoring Jobs: Available to students interested in teaching others and mastering basic principles.


    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    Brett Calhoon headshot
    Instructor of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.7024
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 216
    Robert A. Cohen, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Mathematics, Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science
    Phone: 970.943.2111
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 210
    Kim Fix, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.3234
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 216
    Erik Kjosness, M.S. headshot
    Lecturer of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.2127
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
    Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D. headshot
    Associate Professor of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.3150
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 112
    Alex Rasche headshot
    Lecturer of Math
    Phone: 970.943.7009
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 114
    Sarah Schaefer headshot
    Mathematics Lecturer
    Phone: 970.943.7023
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 106
    Zachary Treisman, Ph.D.  headshot
    Lecturer of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.2075
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 110


    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     BUAD 311 - Essentials Excel Skills for the Workplace (1 credits)

    This course prepares the student for Microsoft Excel Office Specialist certification. This course covers all of the topics tested by the certifying examination including managing worksheets and workbooks, applying formulas and functions, analyzing and organizing data, visual presentation of data, and sharing worksheet data with others. Prerequisites: college-level mathematics requirement with a minimum grade of "C-" or instructor permission

     BUAD 312 - Advanced Excel Applications (2 credits)

    This course emphasizes the use of computer spreadsheets to organize, analyze and present quantitative information to aid managerial decision-making. The course exercises include examples from several disciplines including business, energy and environmental impact analysis, natural sciences, and social sciences. Specific topics will include business planning and budgeting, capital budgeting and net present value analysis, time value of money, cost / benefit analysis, goal seeking, scenario planning and pivot tables. Prerequisites: BUAD 311, Excel Office Specialist certification or instructor permission.

     ECON 201 - Macroeconomics (3 credits)

    An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or university-level math requirement with a minimum grade of C-. Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

     ECON 202 - Microeconomics (3 credits)

    The theory of microeconomics makes use of the tools of marginal cost-benefit analysis to provide a framework for the economic analysis of decision-making. The focus is on the choices of individual firms and consumers, and the resultant outcomes in individual markets. The social implications of the functioning of competitive markets are examined, as well as the causes of market failure and the potential roles of government in correcting them. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 500 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

     ECON 316 - Econometrics (3 credits)

    The application of advanced statistical methods and modeling to an empirical understanding of economic issues. Combines elements of statistical reasoning with economic theory and provides an excellent opportunity to combine concepts learned in previous economics courses. Topics covered include multiple regression analysis, model specification, dummy variables, multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, limited dependent variables, simultaneity, time series, forecasting, and methodological issues. Prerequisites: ECON 201or ECON 202; and ECON 216 or MATH 213.

     ECON 361 - Money, Banking and Financial Markets (3 credits)

    A survey of the core topics relating to the monetary sector of the economy. This includes an examination of the role and nature of money, financial institutions and markets, banking structure and regulation, determinants of interest rates, central bank policy, exchange rates, and the international monetary system. Attention is also given to particular monetary episodes such as the Great Depression, the Latin American debt crisis, the collapse of the Mexican Peso, and the Asian monetary collapse. Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; ECON 201.

     MATH 213 - Probability and Statistics (3 credits)

    A course in the use of statistical techniques to draw knowledge from data. Topics include exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, t-procedures, ANOVA, chi squared procedures, regression, and non-parametric tests. Statistical software is used extensively to analyze real data sets. Prerequisite: MATH 141 with a minimum grade of C-, or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test score of 85 or above; or instructor permission. GT-MA1

     MATH 252 - Calculus III (4 credits)

    Topics include calculus of functions of several variables, differentiation and elementary integration, vectors in the plane and space. Prerequisite: MATH 251 with a minimum grade of "C-."

     MATH 313 - Statistical Modeling and Simulation (3 credits)

    A study of statistical techniques used to model and simulate stochastic processes. The core topics include linear and nonlinear multivariate models, generalized additive models, time series models with auto-correlated error, and mixed effects models. Emphasis is placed on computational techniques appropriate to large data sets and data visualization. Prerequisites: MATH 213 or ECON 216, MATH 260, CS190.

     MATH 314 - Applied Probability (3 credits)

    A study of the basic principles of probability theory and their applications. Topics include combinational analysis, conditional probabilities, discrete and continuous random variables, and measures of centrality and variance. Emphasis is placed on applications using probability distributions (including binomial, geometric, Poisson, uniform, exponential, and normal distributions) to assess and manage risk in the fields of finance, insurance, medicine, and quality control. Prerequisite: MATH 251 with a grade C- or better.

     MATH 414 - Actuarial Mathematics (3 credits)

    A study of mathematical concepts useful in risk management, including multivariate probability and interest theory. Topics include the Central Limit Theorem, joint distributions, combinations of distributions, conditional and marginal probabilities, time value of money, annuities, and loans. Emphasis is placed on solving problems from the actuarial field, including applications to insurance and business. Prerequisites: MATH 252 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ò; MATH 314 with a minimum grade of ÒC-.Ó

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
    • Emphasis


    Actuarial Science is an interdisciplinary field that uses mathematics, statistics, economics and business to analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. Actuaries are essential to the insurance industry and have among the best job outlooks of any profession.

    The Program

    The Actuarial Science emphasis provides a strong mathematical background that emphasizes topics in statistics and probability with supplementing courses in business and economics. The coursework in this program prepares students for the first actuarial exam in probability (SOA exam P) and provides much of the background needed for the second exam in financial mathematics (SOA exam FM). Most Actuarial Science students are able to pass the first professional certification test before they graduate.

    Careers & Opportunities

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Actuarial jobs will grow 22 percent by 2026, which is much faster than the national average. Actuaries work with other professionals in a variety of fields, including:  

    • Enterprise risk management
    • Government
    • Health insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Market research
    • Pension and retirement benefits
    • Property and casualty insurance

    Learn More

    Reach out to Robert A. Cohen, Ph.D. for more information.