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Master's Programs in Demography, Population Studies & Social Statistics

Students can take demography, population studies, and social statistics either as self-standing graduate programs or as concentrations within advanced degree programs in the social sciences. Learn more about the curriculum requirements, admission standards, completion timelines, and potential career tracks for these programs.

Graduate Degrees Related to Demography, Population Studies, and Social Statistics

Master of Arts in Applied Demography

A graduate program in applied demography, which normally takes two years to complete, trains students in data analysis and presentation using relevant statistical tests and techniques. Common courses include demographic analysis, intermediate statistics, population science, data analysis, migration, morbidity and mortality, and human fertility and family planning. Applied demography graduates often find work in government planning and statistical agencies, policy research firms, and private industries. Students with a baccalaureate degree in any discipline can apply. Transcripts, GRE scores, a resume, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a sample of academic writing are among the common application requirements.

Master of Science in Applied Statistics for Social Science Research

A master's degree in applied statistics for social science research offers three concentrations: data science for social impact, computational methods, and general applied statistics. The coursework consists of generalized linear models, multilevel models, statistical inference, causal inference, survey research methods, machine learning, and applied statistics electives; students with prior statistical training may skip some core courses. This is a flexible-credit degree that can be taken full-time or part-time as long as students complete the program within six years. To qualify, applicants must have an undergraduate major or minor in a quantitative field, such as statistics, mathematics, or computer science. GRE scores, a strong academic record, and superior writing skills demonstrated through the applicant's statement of purpose and supplemental statement are major considerations for admission.

Master of Science in Social Analysis and Research

A master's degree in social analysis and research is a one-year program with a strong emphasis on spatial analysis, qualitative methods and market research, and multivariate techniques for population analysis and behavioral modeling. Core and elective courses include multivariate statistical methods, market and social surveys, ethnography, spatial data and demographic analysis techniques, and principles and methods of geographic information systems. Graduates usually find work as market researchers in private industries and data analysts in academic and research institutions. While the program is open to baccalaureate degree holders from any discipline, a background in basic statistics and social science research would be an advantage for admission. Applicants need to submit transcripts, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Master of Arts in Social Sciences, Concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis

A graduate degree in social sciences with a concentration in demographic and social analysis focuses on population theory, demographic methods, research design, and descriptive and inferential statistics. Students may also take courses in transportation planning, immigration, housing, epidemiology, geographic information systems, sampling techniques, and social network data analysis, among others. It takes nine months to finish the program, including all the required courses, internship, independent study, and an oral exit examination. An applicant's GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and writing sample or professional experience are considered in the screening process.

Master of Arts in Sociology

A graduate program in sociology offers several concentrations, including demography, social statistics and research methods, population studies, criminology, social inequality and stratification, and labor force and industrial networks. Students typically take courses in sociological theories, research design, statistics, migration, culture and politics, and population science. The two-year program culminates in either a thesis or a comprehensive exam, depending on a student's chosen track, and often leads to a career in academia as a teacher or doctoral candidate. Competitive GPA and GRE scores are among the basic application requirements. Non-sociology majors can apply but must demonstrate an interest in the field through their personal statement, letters of recommendation, or a sample of academic writing in the social sciences.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
Master of Arts in Applied Demography 2 years Undergraduate degree Demographer
Data analyst
Master of Science in Applied Statistics for Social Science Research 6 years Undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline Applied statistician
Data scientist
Master of Science in Social Analysis and Research 1 year Undergraduate degree Market researcher
Policy researcher
Master of Arts in Social Sciences, Concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis 9 months Undergraduate degree Market analyst
Survey researcher
Master of Arts in Sociology 2 years Undergraduate degree College professor
Academic researcher

Graduate degrees with concentrations in demography, population studies, and social statistics provide relevant training in quantitative and qualitative research methods, large-scale data analysis and interpretation, and practical applications of social science theories. These programs equip students to build research careers in academia, research institutions, public policy and planning agencies, and private industries.