Master’s Program

Master of Science Degree in Demography

The Center for Demography and Population Health offers a one-year program of study leading to a Master of Science degree in Demography. This program is one of only a few one-year Master of Science in Demography in the United States. The program features a small cohort with more faculty than students which allows students to receive a hands-on education and a commitment from the faculty that extends beyond the classroom.

Program Overview

This multidisciplinary program has been designed for students seeking to develop proficiency in the use of demographic concepts, data, and techniques. The curriculum emphasizes demographic practice and the development of intellectual and analytical skills useful in a research or data-intensive setting.

The typical applicant to our program:

  • Wants to learn more about real-world issues that affect populations, such as
    • how coastal populations will change as sea levels rise
    • how changing US family structures affect adolescent health
    • how migration and birth rates affect the number of children in local schools
    • how labor markets will change as populations become older
    • many other social, economic, and health-related topics
  • Enjoys the challenge of working with numbers and statistical software.
  • Seeks to develop proficiency in the use of demographic data, methods, and concepts.
  • Plans a career in research/data-intensive positions in the public or private sectors.


A minimum of 30 semester hours are required to earn the MS degree in Demography. Candidates for the degree complete at least 27 semester hours of course work and a Master’s Research Paper (3 to 6 semester hours). Required course work includes 18 hours of statistics and data analysis courses, six hours of graduate-level seminars in demographic core courses, and three hours of electives. Students also participate in a Professional Development Seminar during their first semester, which provides professional guidance in résumé and portfolio development, interviewing, and professional networking. Many of our students benefit from practical training acquired through summer internships with federal or state agencies.

The program is designed to be completed in one calendar year. Students begin the program in the Fall semester and graduate the following summer. Coursework may be completed over three semesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer), although students planning a summer internship typically complete course requirements in two semesters. During the Summer semester, students enroll in a Master’s Research course, which guides them through the process of completing a demographic research project on a topic of their choosing. The course has been designed to accommodate students who are in residence and students who are doing summer internships away from Tallahassee.

We also accept part-time students, who complete the degree in more than one calendar year. Part-time study is a particularly good option for university or state employees who are eligible for tuition benefits through their jobs.


Required courses are offered through departments in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (CoSS); electives are offered through CoSS departments and through various departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.

Course offerings vary by semester and academic year. Courses offered in the past include:

  • Population Data (ECP 5118)
  • Urban and Regional Information Systems (URP 5272)
  • Health and Survival (SYD 5215)
  • Aging and the Life Course (SYA 6933)
  • Changing Families (SYO 5117)

All course offerings aim to familiarize students with the statistical methods used in demography, how demographical research is conducted, and current trends in this field.

Course offerings and descriptions for each semester are provided in the University’s Graduate Bulletin, available online at Course substitutions may be made with the Director’s permission.


Application to the one-year program leading to the Master’s of Science degree in Demography must be made online, through the Office of Graduate Admissions (  

Admission Requirements

Admission to Graduate Studies at the Florida State University requires the following:

  • An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA)in all work attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree; or
  • A graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution; and
  • Test scores from a nationally standardized graduate admission test may be required; and
  • An English proficiency exam for those applicants whose native language is not English.

Departmental Requirements

  • An upper-division (junior and senior year) undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); and
  • The Graduate Records Exam (GRE) is currently optional through Fall 2026 but may be required in the future. Check the university website for more information.

Supporting Documents

  • Departmental Application (1 required)
  • Letters of Recommendation (2 required)
    • Two letters of recommendation that attest to your likely success in a graduate program. At least one letter should be written by a faculty member from your undergraduate program; the second writer may be a faculty member or a professional in the field.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
    • Submission of Resume/Curriculum Vitae is optional.
  • Unofficial Score Report
    • Upload an unofficial copy of any required test scores, to expedite the review process.
  • Unofficial Transcript
    • Upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to expedite the review process.

Additional Information:
All documents listed above are required for consideration for admission to the Master’s in Demography program unless otherwise indicated as optional. Missing materials will delay the processing of your graduate school application. All documents, with the exception of transcripts, should be submitted electronically.

For more information on University requirements, click here.

Evaluation of applications:
Application materials are evaluated by members of the CDPH Executive Committee and the Center Director.  Admission decisions are based on our evaluation of the applicant’s suitability for the program, based on the writing sample and personal statement, and the likelihood that the applicant will complete the program successfully, as indicated by the applicant’s academic record, GRE scores (if required), and recommendation letters.  Applicants are notified by email at two points in the application process:  (1) when CDPH has received all of the application material, and (2) when the admission decision has been made (typically 4-6 weeks after the application is complete). 

Admission deadlines
The MS-Demography program admits students in the Fall semester only.  Prospective students may file an application at any time from July 2nd of the year prior to anticipated admission up through June 1st. We strongly urge prospective students to complete their applications prior to March 15th.  Space in the program is limited and the federal financial aid window typically closes on or about June 1st. 

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
Information on tuition and fees is available at the Student Financial Services website (link this to

Non-Florida residents may be eligible for in-state tuition and fees if they are residents of states participating in the Academic Common Market. International applicants may be eligible for Florida Linkage Institute Out-of-State Tuition Exemption. In order to qualify, the applicants must be from one of the countries where a Florida Linkage Institute has been established. 

CDPH does not offer graduate assistantships (see Scholarships).  Students in the MS program may be eligible for financial aid in the form of federal loans, work-study funding, or institutional grants. Information on these and other forms of financial aid is available from the FSU Office of Financial Aid (link to Students are also strongly encouraged to visit the website of the Graduate School’s Funding and Awards page for information on sources of external fellowships (link to