Mathematics and Actuarial Science

Prepare for careers in finance, data analysis, education, and other fields with a quantitative emphasis, or for graduate studies, with a degree in Mathematics or Actuarial Science.

Mathematics majors are well prepared—and highly sought after—for positions in statistics, systems analysis, and business, and increasingly within the biological sciences. Actuarial science majors readily find positions in the insurance and finance worlds, where they are in high demand. Our students have interned for several large corporations in Louisville, and these experiences often lead to job offers after graduation.

Why earn your Mathematics degree at Bellarmine?

A great benefit of our program is the teamwork approach used in our mathematics courses, where small groups work together. This is an exciting and effective way to learn, and it is good experience for future careers. Each year, student teams participate in the national Mathematical Modeling Competition, solving complex real-life problems. Some of these teams have presented their work at the Kentucky Mathematics conference. Students doing research projects present their results in poster form at Bellarmine’s annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research each April. A recent actuarial science student developed a unique study of highway traffic patterns and published her paper in a mathematics journal. Professors in our department get to know their students well. The friendly atmosphere of the classes is one of the many things we enjoy about teaching at Bellarmine, and it is something you will find across the entire university. The BA and BS programs are aligned with the curricular guidelines from the Mathematics Association of America. In addition, the Actuarial Science curriculum is designed according to the guidelines of the Society of Actuaries and prepares students for success in passing initial actuarial exams.

Program Highlights

Mathematics is much more than a collection of methods for solving problems or a set of recipes for analyzing quantitative situations. Mathematics is a powerful mode of inquiry that uses careful logical analysis to reveal and understand relationships between numbers, functions, shapes, and sets. It is also a creative endeavor, and great theorems are its works of art. Our program strives to engage students with this dual nature of mathematics, presenting the power of its methods and revealing the beauty of the underlying theory.

The Mathematics faculty incorporate the best practices in teaching. Many mathematics courses, from first-year calculus through senior-level operations research, are taught in the Mathematics Laboratory, where students use specialized software to aid their learning. Our faculty have received awards for outstanding teaching from Metroversity and from the Mathematical Association of America. They also maintain research programs in which they work one-on-one with mathematics majors and publish their results. Recently a member of the department had support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his work in developing a college geometry text.

In addition, the mathematics curriculum provides students with enough elective hours to achieve a double major or a minor.

Learning Goals

  1. Mathematics graduates will demonstrate skills in problem solving.
  2. Mathematics graduates will demonstrate the ability to communicate mathematical ideas.
  3. Mathematics graduates will demonstrate proficiency at understanding and creating mathematical proofs.
  4. Mathematics graduates will demonstrate the ability to employ mathematics for a broad variety of applications.
  5. Graduates will be able to apply mathematical principles in an actuarial context (B.S. in Actuarial Science only).

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses are required to complete the program?
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree has a stronger tie to the liberal arts. Those students wanting to teach mathematics at the secondary school level may be more attracted to this degree.
  • Prerequisite course: MATH 117.
  • Required basic courses: MATH 118, 120, 205, 215, 216, 231, 314, 331 or 403, 450, 499, and six to 17 hours selected from 300- or 400- level Mathematics courses. BA Math majors must also complete six credits of a foreign language or satisfy the Bellarmine College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts foreign language proficiency requirement.
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics:
  • The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for those students who plan to pursue graduate study in Mathematics or a related field.
  • Prerequisite course: MATH 117.
  • Required basic courses: MATH 118, 120, 215, 216, 231, 314, 331, 403, 450, 499, one course from 312, 315, 332, 352, 411, and nine to twenty hours selected from 300- or 400-level Mathematics courses. Students intending to be certified to teach Mathematics at the secondary level may substitute MATH 332 for 331, MATH 411 for 403, and must take MATH 305. CS 130 is strongly recommended for all mathematics majors.
Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science:
  • Prerequisite course: MATH 117.
  • Required basic courses: MATH 118, 120, 215, 216, 231, 314, 315, 340, 353, 331 or 403, 450, 499, and six to seventeen hours selected from 300- or 400-level Mathematics courses.
  • Required related courses: ACCT 101; BUSA 103; COMM 205; CS 130, 131; ECON 110, 111, 231, 232, 351, and 410; FINA 315.
Minor in Mathematics:
  • Required courses: MATH 117, 118, 215, one of 205, 314, 352, and two additional courses. One of these additional courses must be at the 300- or 400-level; the other can be any course except 101, 102, 105, 107, 116 or 125.

What employment opportunities are available with a Math degree?
The Mathematics Department educates majors in the primary content and methods of mathematics as preparation for graduate studies or for careers in finance, data analysis, education, and other fields with a quantitative emphasis. Opportunities for continued study also abound. Graduate programs in economics, law, meteorology, operations research, and mathematics welcome our graduates.

Do you provide job or internship placement?
Yes. Bellarmine guarantees every student the opportunity to have an internship, develop a career plan and build a professional network. In recent years, our students have completed internships at Schneider Electric, Mercer, Humana, YUM! Brands, and the Bellarmine Academic Resource Center (ARC). The corporate internships pay extremely well, and many internship experiences resulted in jobs after graduation.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. Please go to Bellarmine’s financial aid website for detailed information on financial aid packages. Additionally, students can work with our Faculty Development Center to apply for grants and awards outside of the Bellarmine offerings.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?
Students have their own learning styles so this can vary greatly. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend an average of two hours studying for every hour you spend in class.

Alumna Story

LaCinda Glover

“It’s hard to believe I walked onto Bellarmine’s campus as an eager freshman over 11 years ago. I planned on getting a great education, but I never could have imagined how much I would grow as a person. My passion for helping others grew over the four years I was there. Through my work in admissions, service trips, tutoring, and campus involvement, I knew I wanted to work with people. Now I use my math and economics degree to consult with all types of companies on their human resources issues. I’m still very involved in my community and have Bellarmine to thank for pushing me to embrace my liberal arts education. I couldn’t sing Bellarmine’s praises high enough. Go BU!”

LaCinda Glover, Mathemathics/Economics ’06
Senior Associate
Mercer Consulting Firm

Career Prospects

Our mathematics majors are in high demand for their strong analytical, logic, and quantitative skills. Many students find jobs in the private sector in systems analysis, data analysis, or finance. Another popular career choice is teaching mathematics in high schools, and many of our graduates are doing this successfully. Bellarmine mathematics students have had good success in graduate school—and not just in mathematics; our students have gone to law school and even into meteorology.

On- and Off-Campus Experiences

Math Club: This group, which provides both social and professional opportunities, is affiliated with the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Every spring, several club members attend the Kentucky meeting of the MAA. Club members also attend the Bluegrass Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium in the fall and other mathematics conferences. We bring in speakers from the various professions in which one can work with a mathematical degree.

“Mathematics and the Public Good” Series: To fulfill Bellarmine’s motto, <em>In Veritatis Amore</em>, “In the Love of Truth,” the Mathematics Department invites researchers from a variety of fields to visit and speak about applications of the mathematical sciences. These free lectures, which began in the fall of 2008, are designed for talented high school students, area professionals, and other members of the public.

Math Competitions: Our students regularly participate in competitions in mathematical problem solving. The Virginia Tech Mathematics Competition and the Putnam Exam are national contests for individual students. The Math Modeling Competition is a team effort, requiring a team to develop a mathematical model of a “real-world” situation and present their solution in a written report. Our students typically have done well in both team and individual competitions.

Labs: The O’Toole Math Lab in Pasteur 104 and the smaller math lab in Pasteur 106 are important components of our teaching, especially for mathematics major courses. The first-year calculus courses and other courses feature exploratory computer work to develop understanding of the concepts and the applications. Our software includes Maple and Geometer’s Sketchpad. The amount of computer usage in our courses exceeds that at most schools, which we feel is important for future employment.

Alumnus Story

Spitza

“During my college searches over 10 years ago, I knew that Bellarmine University was a place I could call home. It was a very welcoming environment with professors who were easily approachable and knowledgeable in the field of mathematics and actuarial science. My career as an actuary truly began at Bellarmine University. With the assistance and guidance of the mathematics department faculty, I passed two actuarial exams during my junior and senior years. Since then, I have completed the remaining actuarial exams with the anticipation of receiving my ASA credentials by the end of 2019. For the past four years, I have gained valuable knowledge about retirement consulting at Mercer and have recently moved on to the health care industry at Humana. I know that I would not be where I am today without my experiences at BU.”

Sean Spitza, Actuarial Science ’15
Actuarial Analyst 2
Humana Inc.

Faculty

Here is a list of our faculty members. Read profiles of all of our distinguished faculty.

Michael Ackerman, Ph.D. (email)
Bill Fenton, Ph.D. (email) (website)
Greg Kelsey, Ph.D. (email)
Jennifer Miller, Ph.D. (email)
Anne Raymond, Ph.D., Chair (email)
Susan White, Ph.D. (email)
Daylene Zielinski, Ph.D. (email)

Accreditation

Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

Contact Information

Anne M. Raymond, Ph.D., Chair
502.272.8169 or araymond@bellarmine.edu

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