Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) Course Approval Frequently Asked Questions

Updated March 1, 2015

For more information please see the VEE home page.

How does the VEE process work?

Candidates seeking to attain membership with the CAS, CIA, and/or SOA are required to complete the VEE requirements for economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics. This is in addition to passing exams and other membership requirements.

Most candidates can receive VEE credit by showing that they have successfully completed (grade of B- or better or its accepted equivalent) VEE-approved university or college courses. There are other approved options for VEE, such as online courses and exams. You may find these by selecting “Alternate Options” in the online directory. All approved courses appear in the VEE Directory of Approved Courses and Alternate Options.

A candidate is eligible to submit a VEE Candidate Credit Application once credit for at least two of our actuarial exams appears on the SOA online transcript. While unofficial pass/fail results are available at the conclusion of CBT exams, the results are official only when added to your SOA online transcript. More information on the process and the applications can be found on the VEE home page.


How can I get credit for a course taken before or after the approved timeframe?

The time frame for an approved course may be extended if its content is the same as the syllabus previously reviewed/approved. Please ask someone in the university’s department who is familiar with the course content to contact vee@soa.org for extension instructions.

If the content is not the same, the syllabus must be evaluated for the time period when you took, or plan to take, the course. In this case you will need to apply for VEE course approval by completing the VEE Course Approval Application and submitting it along with the requested course descriptions and syllabi (or course outlines) with detailed topic coverage. Complete directions are printed on page two of the application.

The acceptable grade options do not reflect the scale used at my university. How do I place my VEE candidate credit order?The grading scale requirement can be updated if we receive documentation published by the university or an email from a university representative (faculty or Office of the Registrar). Email directly to vee@soa.org.


Can I use transferred courses for VEE credit?

Transferred courses may be used for VEE credit if the accepting university has applied for and received VEE approval for the course(s) for which you were given transfer credit. When submitting an online VEE Candidate Credit Application, please use the grading scale equivalents used by the accepting university. The following documentation is required:

  1. An original official transcript from the school where the course was completed that shows a grade of B- or better, and
  2. An original official transcript from the accepting university that shows credit for the approved course listed in the VEE Directory. If the transcript only lists a total number of transfer hours, it must be accompanied by other documentation that correlates the two classes: a degree evaluation, course mapping or other paperwork that details specific course credits.

I took a course as Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit. Can I use it for VEE?

A candidate who has passed an approved VEE course on a credit/no credit basis may receive VEE credit if he provides, in addition to the original official transcript, a letter from the instructor stating that the candidate actually scored a B- or better in the course.


Can an Independent Study course be used for VEE credit?

An independent study for a course that has received VEE approval is acceptable for VEE credit. The independent study course number must be the same as that of the actual approved course and a grade of B- or better must be documented. If the course number varies from that of the approved course, a separate course approval evaluation process will be required before credit can be applied.


I live outside North America and my university has a different grading structure. Can I use my classes for VEE credit?

Courses from universities outside of North America can be considered for VEE approval. The application form for the approval of courses/experiences includes information about translating other grading structures to the A, B, C format. To receive credit for an approved course, a candidate must receive a grade of B- or better (or the equivalent of a B- or better for another grading structure).


If my university courses do not appear in the Directory of Approved VEE Courses, can I submit them for approval myself?

Yes. If a particular course(s) does not appear in the Directory, candidates may submit the VEE Course Approval application after contacting the school or institution for information and/or documentation required for an accurate evaluation. Links to the VEE Guidelines and VEE Course Approval application can be found on the VEE home page.


Will my course be approved?

The VEE Administration Committee (VEEAC) reviews course submissions and determines approvals based on the VEE Guidelines for course approval. A comparison of each course’s content to the Guidelines for Course Approval information posted on the VEE home page will aid you in getting a sense of whether the course(s) are likely to be approved for VEE. The school representative listed on the application and the individual submitting a VEE Course Approval application are notified via email once the outcome of the committee review is known.


Do I have to have all the courses listed under a VEE topic for my school in the VEE Directory?

No. You do not need to have all of the courses listed for particular VEE topic. Review the listing carefully to see which courses are needed to fully complete a VEE topic. The Directory lists all courses that may be required to satisfy a particular VEE component and whether more than one component is required to fulfill a VEE topic.


Why VEE?

Validation by educational experience (VEE) was added to the Associateship requirements beginning in 2005. The topics of economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics are not tested on the four preliminary exams. These topics are validated through the VEE process. Validation through the VEE process is appropriate for topics that are either best learned in a classroom environment (applied statistics) or are considered important, but not core to actuarial work (economics and corporate finance).

Applied statistics requires the analysis of data and the ability to draw appropriate conclusions from those analyses. These skills are extremely difficult to verify with a traditional multiple-choice examination. Economics and corporate finance are sufficiently important building blocks to require some verification of learning.


Can SOA courses from the pre-2000 system be used for VEE?

If you have credit for pre-2005 Course/Exam 2 or Course/Exam 4, the 2005 transition rules will apply. Also, if you have unused PD credits earned from passing the pre-2000 Course 120/CAS 3A they were applied as VEE credit for applied statistics. These credits may not be used to satisfy PD or any other requirements.


Do I have to go back to school to get VEE credits?

No, other options such as standardized exams and online courses have been approved for VEE credit. A link to the Standardized Exams and Other Educational Experiences list is found on the VEE home page.


Why do I have to wait until I have credit for two SOA or CAS exams before I can submit my application for VEE Candidates Credit?

Many candidates pass only one actuarial exam and then decide not to pursue an actuarial career. Reducing the volume of requests by limiting the process to those with credit for two or more exams helps to keep the review and response time at a reasonable level.

However, candidates whose courses are not listed in the Directory may apply to have their courses approved by the VEE Administration Committee at any time.