New Penn State master’s of applied demography is first of its kind

Penn State is now offering a master's degree in applied demography online. Credit: Thinkstock/RGBAlphaAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is accepting applications for the country’s first graduate degree in applied demography, which will be offered fully online.

The 30-credit master of professional studies in applied demography has been designed to teach the analytical skills that professionals in business, government and nonprofits need to use demographic data and statistics. It is being offered online through Penn State World Campus, and students will be mentored by the highly ranked demography faculty from College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.

“Demographers provide information that allows policymakers and business leaders to make informed decisions with as much information as possible,” said Alexis R. Santos, the lead faculty member of the new program. “We’re devoting the resources available to create a cutting-edge, emerging program for online delivery.”

Applied demography involves the practical application of demographic methods for decision-making purposes, including analyses of population change, demographic trends and the development of population estimates and projections. 

The tools and methods taught in the program are applicable to the work of market research analysts, political scientists, statisticians, local and regional planners and economists in both the public and private sectors, Santos said. A local government might use demographic analysis to know whether to build a new school or a nursing home, or where to locate a hospital. Or, a company might use demographic analysis of potential customers to determine where to locate a new business.

Students will analyze real-world case studies and hands-on applications in their core courses. Students also can choose from courses that use demography in business decision making, the public sector, public health and spatial analysis. Students will complete a final, capstone project.

Penn State is a leader in demography research. The University’s doctoral demography program is ranked by the National Research Council in the top five among the 120 schools that offer a degree in this field.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn from faculty members of a highly respected program,” said Karen Pollack, assistant vice provost for online programs at Penn State World Campus. “This online degree gives working adults in this field access to a high-quality Penn State education in a way that is convenient for them and their busy lives.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus website for more information about the new master’s degree in applied demography.

Last Updated November 28, 2016