The Center for Population Studies (CPS) was initially established as the Demographic Training and Research Center (DTRC) in 1982 to satisfy the country’s human resource needs in the areas of demographic data collection and analysis. The Center was established with the financial and technical support from the United Nations Population Fund, with the major objective of conducting research in the areas of population and development interrelationships; providing training at graduate, undergraduate and in-service levels; and providing community services. The first batch of graduate students was admitted in 1986, and since then over 400 population experts had been trained and graduated with the Master of Science Degree. In the 2020/21 A. Y., the center has also launched a PhD program in Population studies. Until recently when other public universities (Bahir Dar, Mekelle, and Gondar) have started programs in population studies, the Center was the only institution of its kind in the country.

At the beginning, the focus of the graduate training program was on formal demography; that is, demographic analysis, which is confined to the study of components of population structure and change. However in 1991, the graduate curriculum was revised to give a balance between formal demography and population and development linkages. The 1991 revised curriculum was more multidisciplinary. Based on suggestions from a consultative meeting of stakeholders in the late 1990s, and taking on issues that emerged with the International Conference on Population and Development into account, a second revision of the graduate curriculum was made in 2004. This lately revised MSc program resulted in three areas of sub-specialization: Technical Demography, Population and Development, as well as Reproductive Health. The program was revised in 2011 and again in 2015/16 with the view to updating it to later developments. However, while the availability of various tracks was meant to meet the varying interests of the students, the tracks were not able to increase the number of applicants to the program. In addition, the reproductive health track was seen by staff as going away from the core teaching and research areas of the of center, and instead suggested one strong program with a good mix of technical and substantive demography. As a result, the program was revised in 2022/23 A. Y. which eliminated the various tracks of the MSc in Population Studies program in favor of a single-track program.


The Center for Population Studies strives to be a prominent center of training and research in population studies in Africa.


The mission of CPS is to:

  • Produce well-qualified scholars in population studies;
  • Conduct research on population and development issues and disseminate policy relevant knowledge;
  • Provide community-based training and consultancy services on population and development.