Master's Degree Programs in Demography

Feb 15, 2018

During the course of completing a master's program in Demography, students will take courses in areas such as demographic modeling and statistics, which will help them generate data that predicts population changes.

Demography is the study of populations, including births, deaths, and changes in population patterns. There are a number of programs available to students looking to earn a master's degree in this area.

Master's Programs in Demography

Students attending master's programs in demography can expect to encounter a broad range of coursework. As a master's program, the demography degree will typically take around 2 years to complete. Here are a few examples of the courses you can expect to find.


Courses in modeling give students the opportunity to research the creation of models that demonstrate population changes. These courses attempt to improve the rigor with which these models are created. As such, students learn about assessing the quality of the data they are presented with, generating and interpreting life tables, and applying models in such a way that the student can predict population shifts.


Demographers often apply statistical processes to the general population and to medical data regarding that population. Coursework in these areas introduces students to the basics of statistical work, including an introduction to the basics of statistical data and understanding univariate and bivariate analysis. Students are also taught how to identify differences and patterns in the data by examining the visual output from statistical programs.

Demographics Analysis or Methods

Demographic analysis requires that students learn the basics of how to perform that analysis. Master's coursework begins with an introduction to how to conduct this analysis, what sources of data are, and how population composition is gauged. Students are also taught how to estimate things such as the rate of change in a population or how to recognize trends in demographic data.

Population Patterns

Population growth and shrinkage are balanced between human reproduction and human death. Courses focusing on sex and death look at the patterns of population growth that occur and are typically focused on specific areas of human history. The industrial era, for example, is a period in which population changes occurred due to a variety of new practices, such as family planning and migration.

Human Migration

Courses in migration focus on movements in human populations. Human populations move across the globe, both into and out of nations. Coursework in this area focuses on different factors that impact these movements.

Admissions Requirements

Admission into a master's degree program in demography will typically require students to submit their transcripts. Students will need to demonstrate that they maintained at least between a 3.0 and 4.0 GPA during their bachelor's program. It's also common for universities to ask for GRE scores, though they typically don't list a minimum GRE score. Instead, they may list the typical GRE scores of program applicants. It's also common for schools to request up to three letters of recommendation as well as a written statement of purpose as part of the application process. In some cases, you may also be asked to submit your resume alongside the rest of your application materials.

Coursework in demography requires students to to learn about changes in human populations due to births, deaths, and migration. Upon completion of a master's degree in demography, students will better understand theories of population change and how to analyze that change with statistics.

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