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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy


Dean: Timothy Chapin; Associate Deans: Jeffrey Brown, Mark W. Horner, Deana Rohlinger; Assistant Dean: Cindy Michelson, Tanya Perry

The University established Social Sciences as a separate College in 1973. The departments and programs that make up the College date from the earliest days of the University.

The College

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy focuses upon both basic knowledge and the application of that knowledge to policy questions and public affairs. In applied policy, the College's interests center on regional, national, and international affairs, and it has a particular interest in state issues, befitting the University's location in Florida's state capital.

The College consists of the Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy; the departments of Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning; the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy; the Center for Demography and Population Health; the DeVoe L. Moore Center for the Study of Critical Issues in Economic Policy and Government; the Leroy Collins Institute on Public Policy; the Florida Center for Public Management; the Florida Public Affairs Center; the Gus A. Stavros Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Economic Education; the Center for Disaster Risk Policy; the Claude Pepper Center; the William A. Kerr Intercultural Education and Dialogue Initiative; and interdisciplinary programs in Asian Studies, African American Studies, Environment and Society, Public Health, Social Science, International Affairs, Law and Society, Russian and East European Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.


Many of the great scholars in the history of the University are associated with the social sciences. This tradition of faculty excellence continues. Today the social sciences provide the University with faculty members who serve as the Mildred and Claude Pepper Eminent Scholar Chair in Social Gerontology, Pepper Professor in Sociology, Daisy Parker Flory Professor, Raymond F. Bellamy Professor in Sociology, Charles Grigg Professor in Sociology, Charles Nam Professor in the Sociology of Population, Jerry Collins Eminent Scholar Chair in Public Administration, Reubin O'D. Askew Eminent Scholar Chair in Florida Government and Politics, Augustus Turnbull Professor of Public Administration, Frank Sherwood Professor of Public Administration, Rod and Hope Brim Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, DeVoe Moore Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, DeVoe Moore Professors in Economics, John and Hallie Quinn Eminent Scholar Chair for the Renewal of American Heritage and American Free Enterprise, Gus Stavros Eminent Scholar Chair in Economic Education, James Gapinski Professor in Economics, LeRoy Collins Eminent Scholar Chair in Civic Education, LeRoy Collins Professor in Political Science, Francis Eppes Professor in Political Science, as well as Marian Irish Professor in Political Science. Its faculty also includes numerous University teaching and advising award winners and presidents of such national bodies as The American Sociological Association, The American Society for Public Administration, The Public Choice Society, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, and The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Several have won prizes in their fields both for research and service.

Programs Offered

The College offers programs leading to the master's degree in fifteen fields, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in six fields, and numerous graduate certificates. The graduate programs in the College produce competent and up-to-date professionals for employment in the public and private sectors, as well as non-profit organizations. The College's doctoral programs prepare students for entry-level faculty positions in colleges and universities. Doctoral students in most departments of the College have opportunities for employment as teaching assistants during their programs of study.

The College offers one health-focused interdisciplinary master's degree, the Master of Public Health (MPH). MPH degree graduates will be trained principally as health administrators and health policy analysts. They will have a rich background in epidemiology, health economics, health behavior, health administration, health policy and policy analysis, and statistical and qualitative analytic skills. Careers are likely to include government agency or legislative staff positions, policy and consulting firms, think tanks, advocacy organizations and lobbying firms, international organizations focused on health and population issues, academic or media positions. For additional information see the "Public Health Programs" chapter in this Graduate Bulletin.

Master's Programs

  • Applied American Politics and Policy
  • Applied Economics
  • Applied Social Research
  • Asian Studies
  • Demography
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Geographic Information Science
  • International Affairs
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration (Master of Public Administration)
  • Public Health (Master of Public Health)
  • Russian and East European Studies
  • Sociology
  • Urban and Regional Planning (Master of Science in Planning)

Doctoral Programs

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration and Policy
  • Sociology
  • Urban and Regional Planning

Joint Graduate Pathways

Joint graduate pathways share academic content that allows a student to expand their breadth of knowledge and content expertise to include additional domains not covered in a single degree. They are offered as follows:

  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Science in Planning (MSP)
  • Master of Arts/Science (MA/MS) in International Affairs and Juris Doctor (JD) in Law
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Juris Doctor (JD) in Law
  • Master of Science in Planning (MSP) and Juris Doctor (JD) in Law
  • Master of Science in Planning (MSP) and Master of Science in Demography (MS)
  • Master of Science in Planning (MSP) and Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Science in Criminology (MS)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Master of Arts/Science (MA/MS) in International Affairs and Master of Science in Planning (MSP)

Graduate Certificates

Graduate certificates are offered in the following disciplines:

  • Application of Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Civic and Nonprofit Leadership
  • Emergency Management
  • Florida City and County Management
  • Public Administration and Policy
  • Public Financial Management
  • U.S. National Intelligence Studies


Master's Degree

The College's minimum requirements for master's degrees are the same as the University's (see the "Graduate Degree Requirements" chapter of this Graduate Bulletin). However, individual departments may set requirements that exceed the University minimal requirements. Entry to joint graduate pathway requires formal admission to both programs before registration for either. Refer to the individual program or department entries in this Graduate Bulletin for details.

Doctoral Programs

In conformity with University regulations, it is the normal expectation of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy that the doctoral dissertation will require at least two semesters of full-time effort to prepare. Graduate students registering for dissertation hours are normally expected to register for twelve semester hours of dissertation credit for at least two semesters. Graduate students holding assistantships and registering for dissertation hours are encouraged to register for nine semester hours of dissertation credit for at least three semesters. A minimum of twenty-four semester hours of dissertation credit is required by the time of the dissertation defense, including dissertation hours taken in the semester of the defense.

All doctoral students must meet the University's scholarly engagement requirement. To meet the Scholarly Engagement requirement, doctoral students should interact with faculty and peers in ways that may include enrolling in courses; attending seminars, symposia, and conferences; engaging in collaborative study and research beyond the university campus; and utilizing the library, laboratories, and other facilities provided by the university. For program-specific ways of meeting this requirement, refer to the individual program or department entries in this Graduate Bulletin.

Certificate Programs

There are no college-wide requirements for graduate certificates. Each certificate has its own regulations. For details, see the relevant entry in this Graduate Bulletin: Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Most of the College's departments have large undergraduate teaching programs, and the departments, institutes, centers, and programs engage in substantial outside-funded research and contract work. Accordingly, many graduate students are appointed as teaching or research assistants. Graduate students on assistantships are normally provided with office space to carry out their duties, including meetings with students if they are teaching. Appointments to assistantships are competitive; therefore, applicants should inquire of their department or program as early as possible in the calendar year for fall appointments. Students on assistantships normally are encouraged to register for twelve semester hours of credit per semester. Assistantship appointments normally carry waivers of matriculation fees and, if required, out-of-state tuition waivers, legislative appropriations permitting. Assistantships normally carry an obligation of twenty hours of work per week, but some appointments with lower work hours are sometimes available. Assistantship stipends, which are taxable, are set by the departments or programs and vary from year to year and program to program, but generally exceed University minima and are competitive with stipends at comparable institutions.

Graduate students in the College are eligible for University fellowships and college-teaching fellowships. University fellowships carry stipends plus waivers of matriculation and out-of-state tuition fees. No duties are required of fellows. The stipends for college-teaching fellowships are made to superior candidates on a competitive basis. Applications are submitted through programs of study. The programs should be contacted for information on application procedures. Contact programs of study by December of the year prior to the academic year for which the fellowship is desired. In addition, there are a variety of fellowships and assistantships to support minority graduate students. Information and applications should be sought from intended departments or programs of study as early as possible.