Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) - Program Overview

The Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) program allows universities and colleges with outstanding actuarial programs the opportunity to be recognized for that achievement and to compete for grants for education and research.

The CAE program was designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Strengthen the position of the academic branch of the profession
  • Enhance actuarial research and intellectual capital development
  • Encourage universities to play an integral role in advancing actuarial knowledge
  • Build connections between the profession and top-tier actuarial programs and faculty 


How does a university attain a CAE designation?

Universities seeking a CAE designation must complete and submit an application along with other required documentation by the application cycle deadline.

A CAE designation will be awarded to universities that meet the following criteria:

  • A Criteria  
  • The university must meet each of four A criteria.  These relate to the degree offered, curriculum, graduate count and faculty composition.

  • B Criteria   
  • The university must meet four B criteria, which are by nature more qualitative.  These relate to graduate quality, appropriate integration with other areas of study, connection to industry as well as actuarial research and professional involvement.
  • Site Visit   
  • Upon approval of the A criteria and the likelihood that the university will also pass the B criteria a site visit will be arranged.  A team of CAE committee members and SOA staff visit the university to fully assess the A and B criteria and complete a series of interviews and meetings.  Universities receiving a site visit will be asked to pay an administrative fee. There is no fee for the application itself.

How long does a university retain the CAE designation?

Universities that are designated CAE will retain the designation for five years, but must file an annual report with the SOA reporting on key criteria and noting if there are any significant changes in the program.  If the program changed in a negative way (such that, on new application, the university would not meet the requirements for CAE status), the university will be asked to provide a plan for how it will remedy the situation within a reasonable time frame (e.g. one year).

What are the benefits of the CAE designation to the university?

  • Selection as a Center of Actuarial Excellence gives a university the ability to use that designation and the CAE logo in its promotional materials.
  • CAE universities are eligible for grants in education and research.
  • Reimbursement of fees for three individual student preliminary exam registrations each academic year (IFM, LTAM, STAM, and SRM are eligible)
  • Participation in one of the following programs each academic year:
    • Reimbursement for the purchase of study materials for SOA preliminary exams up to $500 USD
    • SOA sponsorship for an approved on-campus event up to $500 USD
    • Reimbursement of travel costs and/or registration fees for student travel to an approved actuarial conference up to $500 USD

Who manages the CAE program?

There are two groups directly involved in the designation of CAE status:

  • CAE Evaluation Committee (CEC): evaluates CAE applications, conducts site visits and determines CAE status.
  • CAE Appeals Board (CAB): hears appeals for universities who believe they should have received a site visit or been awarded CAE status.

In addition, a separate committee awards the CAE research and education grants (CAE Grants Committee).

Please direct questions regarding the CAE program to