Skip Navigation
search: People | Departments | Penn State | Web
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 524 The Demography of Human Fertility (3) Overview of major issues and methodological approaches in the demographic study of human fertility in developing and developed countries.

SOC 524 The Demography of Human Fertility (3)

This course provides a graduate-level overview of the study of human fertility, one of the three basic demographic processes (i.e., fertility, mortality, migration) emphasized in the field of demography. The first part of the course will focus on the timing and nature of historical and contemporary fertility declines. The major theories that have been set forth to explain why fertility declines occur will be studied, as will empirical evidence that bears on the applicability of the theories to fertility patterns in specific areas of the world. The second component of the course will focus on fertility patterns in the contemporary United States. Theoretical perspectives on the determinants of fertility in advanced industrial countries will be examined. Variation in fertility by race, ethnicity, and various social characteristics will be addressed. In addition, students will learn how to measure fertility with various types of data (e.g., surveys, vital statistics, censuses) and they will be exposed to a variety of research methodologies employed to assess the nature and determinants of fertility patterns. The class will be organized as a seminar. Major requirements are class participation, leadership of one or more class sessions, and completion of a class project. The class project can be an empirical research paper, a research proposal, or a literature review.

This course covers core content that is essential for demographic training. The course has been approved by the Dual-Title Graduate Degree Program in Demography as a core seminar on demographic structure and change; it can therefore be used by students in that program (in addition to students in Sociology) to fulfill the requirements for the degree.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Fall 2000

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Graduate Course Descriptions
  2. Graduate Programs
  3. Doctoral Degree Requirements
  4. Master's Degree Requirements
  5. Application and Admission Procedures
  6. Credit Certificate Programs
  7. General Information
  8. Tuition and Cost
  9. Intercollege
  10. Academic Information and Procedures