Program Tracks

The actuarial studies and quantitative finance certificate program offers two tracks:

  • actuarial studies track
  • quantitative finance track

Actuarial Studies Track

The actuarial studies track, offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, is designed to help students obtain the expertise in mathematics, economics and finance necessary to become actuaries—the mathematical planners of the insurance and pension industries.

Students in the program can be of any major or college, or can be classified as nondegree. The entrance requirement is three semesters of calculus completed with grades of B+ or better. There are a number of courses in mathematics, economics and business required to earn the certificate. The certificate is awarded by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Besides taking courses, students are encouraged to take the professional exams offered by the various actuarial societies. The entrance requirements can be waived for students who pass the first actuarial examination.

Interested students should contact one of the co-directors: David Grant at 303-492-7208 or Anne Dougherty at 303-492-4011, who will also provide advice on actuarial studies to students who are not in the program. For more information, visit the Actuarial Studies and Quantitative Finance Certificate Program webpage.

Quantitative Finance Track

The quantitative finance track, offered jointly by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Leeds School of Business, was initiated in the fall of 2004 and is designed to prepare students for financial and economics analyst positions that require outstanding quantitative skills. Often employers hire graduate students for such positions due to a shortage of undergraduates with the required combination of skills and training. This program is designed to meet this need.

The required curriculum is extensive and rigorous. Potential participants are encouraged to begin work early in their studies, preferably during the first year. Coursework draws from the Departments of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Economics; and the Leeds School of Business. Qualified students enrolled in any college are invited to participate.

For admittance to the program, a student must earn a GPA of 2.87 or higher in Calculus I through III. However, students may be provisionally admitted after completion of Calculus I (MATH 1300 or APPM 1350) with a grade of B or better or through advanced placement. Additional GPA requirements must be met to earn the certificate. Participants may be given preference when enrolling in certain courses in the Leeds School of Business.

Interested students should contact Daniel Brown, Leeds School of Business, at daniel.brown@colorado.edu. For more information, visit the Actuarial Studies and Quantitative Finance Certificate Program webpage.

Requirements

Overview

Curricula are rigorous and multi-disciplinary, with required coursework drawing from the Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Economics Departments, as well as the Finance Division of the Leeds School of Business. The confluence of such widely varying material is one of the unique features of the program. Successful completion of the program requirements is a significant accomplishment.

Actuarial Studies Track

The courses listed below are the minimum required in order to complete the actuarial studies track of the program. You must achieve a grade of C- or better in all courses.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Mathematics Courses
MATH 1300Calculus 14-5
or APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers
MATH 2300Calculus 24-5
or APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers
MATH 2400Calculus 34-5
or APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers
MATH 2130Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors3
or APPM 3310 Matrix Methods and Applications
MATH 4510Introduction to Probability Theory3
or APPM 3570 Applied Probability
MATH/STAT 4520Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
MATH/STAT 4540Introduction to Time Series3
Required Economics Course
ECON 3070Intermediate Microeconomic Theory4
ECON 3080Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory3
ECON 4070Topics in Microeconomics3
Required Finance/Accounting Courses
BCOR 2203
BCOR 2204
Principles of Accounting I
and Principles of Financial Management
3
FNCE 3010Corporate Finance3
Additional Recommended Courses
Markov Processes, Queues, and Monte Carlo Simulations
APPM 4570
Introduction to Statistics with Computer Applications
Introduction to Econometrics
Investment and Portfolio Management
Derivative Securities
Introduction to Operations Research
MATH/APPM 4650
Statistical Learning
Total Credit Hours40-43

Quantitative Finance Track

Program requirements are extensive and challenging. Students must meet two separate GPA requirements:

  1. The overall GPA for all courses applied to certificate requirements must be at least 3.00.
  2. Students must meet a requirement specifically for mathematics and statistics courses applied to certificate requirements. This requirement can be met one of two ways, either by achieving a GPA of 2.7 or greater in calculus courses or a GPA of 3.00 or greater in the six mathematics and statistics courses required for the certificate.

Most students will begin study during their freshman year and continue throughout their undergraduate career. The number of credit hours taken may vary according to the specific courses completed.

The courses listed below are the minimum required in order to complete the quantitative finance track of our program. Please note that students must pass Calculus I, II, and III with a B grade or better in order to be admitted into the program. Students are encouraged to go beyond the minimum requirements, and most students do.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Calculus Courses
MATH 1300Calculus 14-5
or APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers
MATH 2300Calculus 24-5
or APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers
MATH 2400Calculus 34-5
or APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers
Linear Algebra
MATH 2130Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors3
or MATH 2135 Introduction to Linear Algebra for Mathematics Majors
or APPM 3310 Matrix Methods and Applications
Probability
MATH 4510Introduction to Probability Theory3
or APPM 3570 Applied Probability
or STAT 4000 Statistical Methods and Application I
Statistics
MATH/STAT 4520Introduction to Mathematical Statistics3
or STAT 4010 Statistical Methods and Applications II
Economics Course Requirements
ECON 2010Principles of Microeconomics4
ECON 2020Principles of Macroeconomics4
ECON 3070Intermediate Microeconomic Theory4
ECON 4818Introduction to Econometrics3
or ECON 4848 Applied Econometrics
or ECON 4858 Financial Econometrics
Principals
BCOR 2203Principles of Accounting I1.5
or BUSM 2020 Principles of Accounting
BCOR 2204Principles of Financial Management1.5
or BUSM 2021 Principles of Finance
Finance Requirements
FNCE 3010Corporate Finance3
FNCE 3030Investment and Portfolio Management3
FNCE 4040Derivative Securities3
Accounting/Computer Science
ACCT 3220Corporate Financial Reporting 13
or CSCI 2270 Computer Science 2: Data Structures
Mathematical Finance or Finance & Institutions
FNCE 4070Financial Markets and Institutions Topic for FNCE 4820/APPM 4720 must be Mathematical Finance3
or FNCE 4820 Topics in Finance
or APPM 4720 Open Topics in Applied Mathematics
Elective
FNCE 4000 level, ACCT 4000 level, or CSCI 3000/4000 level3
Computer Science3-4
Introduction to Python Programming
Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
Python for Mathematical and Statistical Applications
Total Credit Hours60-64

For a complete list of requirements and further information regarding the quantitative finance track and the related actuarial studies track, see the Actuarial Studies and Quantitative Finance Certificate Program webpage. Interested students should contact Daniel Brown, daniel.brown@colorado.edu, Leeds School of Business.