Director’s Message

Demography is the scientific study of the human population and is vital for understanding population trends, forecasting future demands for essential services, improving public health outcomes, and promoting social justice by identifying patterns of inequality. It is a crucial field for planning a better future.

The Center for Demography and Population Health (CDPH) at Florida State University (FSU) is an interdisciplinary unit that conducts research on demographic processes to support evidence-based public policy. The Center also provides graduate and undergraduate-level instruction.

The Master of Science in Demography (MSD) program at FSU emphasizes population growth and decline, with a focus on research factors such as gerontology, fertility, immigration, mortality, and statistical demography. The program provides students with a strong foundation in demographic techniques and statistical analysis.

In 1967, FSU’s Department of Sociology established the “Population & Manpower Research Center” led by founder Charles B. Nam, Ph.D. The center was later reorganized into the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy in 2001. Today, situated in Tallahassee, the state capital, FSU’s CDPH provides numerous opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in applied demography.

FSU is the only public university in the Southeast that offers an M.S. in Demography and is recognized among the nation’s elite public universities according to independent evaluations by College Factual. CDPH’s distinguished faculty, all associated with multiple departments and campus affiliates, offer students the possibility to collaborate on a variety of interesting projects.

The MSD program is a specialized one-year course that provides focused mentorship and training to carefully selected students. With an emphasis on quantitative skills and active demographic techniques, students work under faculty guidance to complete a capstone research project.

Despite being home to a large university, our research center provides a nurturing environment for our students and propels them to become world-class MSD graduates. Our distinguished alumni have excelled in doctoral programs, professorships, and various private/public sector professions, guided by our mission and shared commitment to support evidence-based public policy through interdisciplinary research. With a 100% employment rate for recent graduates, our program is highly regarded, and our alumni have careers in federal, state, and local government agencies including:

  • Dozens of MSD Alumni are currently working for the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Yesenia Acosta (M.S. Demography ‘10) is the Chief of the Coordination, Dissemination, and Outreach Branch in the Population Division. In this role, she oversees the coordination of production, data intake, and outreach activities within the projection areas.
  • Heather Rubino, Ph.D. (M.S. Demography ‘08; Ph.D. Philosophy ‘14) serves as the Director of Safety Surveillance Research for Pfizer, one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies.
  • Alexander Parodi (M.S. Demography ‘19) is the Lead Epidemiologist for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Parodi worked with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) on several state opioid response projects.
  • Laura Cilek, Ph.D. (M.S. Demography ‘15) completed her Ph.D. at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Federal Institute for Population Research (Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung) in Wiesbaden, Germany. BiB is a government-funded research institute that promotes international collaboration on population issues within the UN.

I invite you to apply for FSU’s M.S. in Demography and consider CDPH for your academic home. Our program supplies unparalleled advantages, innovative research, rigorous training, and a collaborative cohort. Your time spent at CDPH is a valuable investment in your future, and we are dedicated to equipping a successful community of scholars.


John Taylor, Ph.D.
Director, FSU Center for Demography and Population Health