Actuarial Science Certificate

Learn the advanced statistical, econometric and mathematical fundamentals needed for success as an actuary, rated 1st in "The 10 Best Jobs of 2013" according to Understand specialized quantitative models and concepts in order to analyze data, accurately predict future trends and effectively manage risk. Study modern, advanced statistical and actuarial theory, and gain skills critical to strategic decision making.

Key outcomes: You will gain the necessary mathematical and quantitative modeling skills to prepare for the actuarial certification exam series and enter or advance in the actuarial profession.


An Actuarial Science Certificate will be awarded to individuals who successfully complete the following four online courses from the MS-CF&RM curriculum for a total of 16 credits. Students who started in summer 2013 are enrolled in either AMATH 461 Probability and Statistics for Computational Finance (3 credits) OR AMATH 462 Introduction to Computational Finance & Financial Econometrics (5 credits). Students who start in Autumn 2013 can "qualify out" of these courses and start in the Autumn 2013 quarter.

Actuarial Science Certificate On-Demand Information Session - New! 

Actuarial Science Certificate Flyer (PDF)

The Opportunities for Actuaries (99 second video by SOA) 

To Apply for the Actuarial Science Certificate

  • The application for the online Actuarial Science Certificate program #4424 can be found here and single course enrollments are also possible. 
  • The application for the classroom Actuarial Science Certificate program #4530 can be found here and single course enrollments are also possible.

Other Certificate Information

The UW Department of Applied Mathematics, Computational Finance & Risk Management Program, in collaboration with UW Professional & Continuing Education, offers certificates for working professionals seeking advanced knowledge and modern skills to advance their career in Computational Finance. Courses in the Computational Finance certificate are a subset of the MS-CF&RM degree and are offered online using the latest distance learning technologies.

  • The Computational Finance Certificate program is 3 quarters in duration and starts in autumn and ends in the spring with a student load of one 4 credit course each quarter.
  • The Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate program is an intense 3 course, summer-only, undergraduate certificate program (classroom and online format) that is designed for students who wish to prepare for a graduate degree in Computational Finance & Risk Management, Financial Engineering, Mathematical Finance, and/or Quantiative Finance OR who might already be employed in the financial sector but are seeking to refresh or update their skills.

Credits are awarded by the University of Washington. Students seeking to apply credits for further graduate degree study are encouraged to register for Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status. Up to 12 UW credits earned in these certificate programs may be applied to future Graduate degree programs at the UW. The certificates are administered and awarded by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) at the University of Washington.

More details on each of these programs can be found in the following sections.

Learn the key mathematical, statistical and econometric foundations needed for quantitative management of financial investments. Study classical methods of portfolio construction based on volatility as a risk measure. Learn modern theory of portfolio optimization, examine how to minimize risk, discover how to balance alpha generation versus downside risk and study the latest risk budgeting techniques. Complement your foundational knowledge with training in open source R programming language for quantitative finance modeling and analysis.

What the Certificate covers:

  • Mathematics of fixed income, interest rates and terms structure
  • Introduction to forwards, futures and options pricing and hedging use
  • Linear regression factor models and their uses in finance
  • Introduction to statistical analysis of financial data with R
  • Advanced R modeling tools for financial time series and portfolios
  • Classic mean-variance risk portfolio optimization and risk management 
  • Post-modern tail-risk based portfolio optimization and risk management


A Computational Finance Certificate will be awarded to individuals who successfully complete the following three online four-credit courses from the MS-CF&RM curriculum for a total of 12 credits:

  • Autumn: CFRM 541 Investment Science
  • Winter: CFRM 542 Financial Data Modeling and Analysis in R
  • Spring: CFRM 543 Portfolio Optimization and Asset Management

To Apply for the online Computational Finance Certificate click here


This summer certificate program provides a comprehensive set of tools to support advanced studies in the area of quantitative finance, or to prepare for employment in the financial or investment industries. Students will master the mathematical, statistical and economics fundamentals necessary for advancement in financial professions today, and will develop a fundamental understanding of R programming via course utilization. 

You can augment skills and knowledge gained from your degree study or professional experience with an additional area of focus. For undergraduate students, you can take care of some of your general education credits to earn a companion credential that complements your degree. Set yourself apart in the job market with this marker of professional readiness.

This 11 credit program runs full term in Summer Quarter 2014 with late afternoon/early evening classes held Mondays through Thursdays.

The Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate is administered and awarded by Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) at the University of Washington.

Watch a 2 minute program overview video featuring Professor Konis


A Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate will be awarded to individuals who successfully complete the following three online courses during an intensive Summer Quarter from the MS-CFRM curriculum for a total of 11 credits:

  • CFRM 460 Mathematical Fundamentals for Quantitative Finance (3 credits)
  • CFRM 461 Probability and Statistics for Computational Finance (3 credits)
  • CFRM 462 Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics (5 credits)


Applications will be accepted for this program starting in April 2014. 


Additional Curriculum Information


Kjell Konis and Eric Zivot



Students should have completed entry-level college calculus courses that include an introduction to multivariable differential calculus (the UW Mathematics Department courses MATH 124, 125 and 126  are good examples: see course descriptions); additional introductory mathematics and statistics coursework is desirable.


Credits:  11

Fee: The course fees for this Certificate were $9,900 ($900 per credit) in the summer of 2013 and are subject to possible change for summer 2014.

NOTE:  The above courses also serve as preparatory courses to prepare students needing them as background study for the UW Applied Mathematics MS-CFRM.


Single Course Enrollment Applicants:

Each of the above courses can be taken on a single course enrollment (SCE) basis.

Pursue a MS-CFRM degree with graduate credit from the Computational Finance certificate. Upon successful completion of the certificate program courses and acceptance into the MS-CFRM program, students will be able to transfer up to 12 certificate credits toward the MS degree.

If you are considering this option, you must apply for UW Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) status at the same time you apply to the certificate program. Details are provided in the Graduate Non-Matriculated Application.

Finance industry professionals and other students taking a course in one of the Certificate programs, possibly on a single course enrollment (SCE) basis, may wish to take the course on a pass or fail basis. Such students may elect to have a course graded S/NS by paying a $20 fee at the time of registering for the course or until approximately the 8th week of the course. For option details please see Nontraditional Grading Options.

NOTE: This option is not recommended for students with GNM status who intend to pursue the MS-CFRM degree. Numeric grades are required for courses whose credit is to be applied toward the MS degree.