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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Demography (DEMOG)

Program Home Page 

STEPHEN A. MATTHEWS, In Charge
601 Oswald Tower
814-865-0486
demography@pop.psu.edu

 

Degrees Conferred:

Students electing this option through participating programs will earn a degree with a dual title at both the Ph.D. and M.A./M.S. levels, i.e., Ph.D. in (graduate program name) and Demography, or M.A. or M.S. in (graduate program name) and Demography.

The following graduate programs offer dual degrees in Demography: M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography; M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics and Demography; M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology and Demography; M.S. and Ph.D. in Rural Sociology and Demography; M.S. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, and Demography; M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy, Environmental, and Food Economics, and Demography; M.S. and Ph.D. in Health Policy and Administration.

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The Demography dual-title degree program option is administered by the Demography Program Committee, which is responsible for management of the program. The committee maintains program definition, identifies faculty and courses appropriate to the option, and recommends policies and procedures for its operation to the dean of the Graduate School. This dual-title degree program is offered as an option to graduate major programs in three colleges: Agricultural Sciences, Health and Human Development, and the Liberal Arts. The option enables students from diverse graduate programs to attain and be identified with the content, techniques, methodology, and policy implications of demography, while maintaining a close association with areas of application. Through demography, students study (1) the size, composition, and distribution of the population; (2) changes in these characteristics; (3) the processes that determine these changes--fertility, migration, and mortality; and (4) their social, economic, and cultural causes and consequences. To pursue a dual-title degree in Demography, the student must apply to the Graduate School and be admitted to one of the following graduate programs: Energy, Environmental and Food Economics, Health Policy and Administration, Anthropology, Economics, Human Development and Family Studies, Rural Sociology, or Sociology.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to the dual-title in Demography must provide a positive recommendation by a Demography Graduate Faculty member in their graduate major program.

Applicants should have a junior/senior cumulative grade-point average of well above 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) and appropriate courses in statistics and in the social science department to which they are applying. The application should include three letters of reference and a statement describing and explaining the applicant's interest in demography and goals during and after graduate study. Doctoral students must apply and be admitted to the Demography dual-title program prior to taking the candidacy exam.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the graduate program in which they are enrolled, including the communication/foreign language requirements, if any. In addition, they must satisfy the minimum requirements for the dual-title in Demography described here, as established by the Demography Program Committee. Within this framework, final course selection is determined by students and their degree committees. All dual-title degree candidates who are in residence must enroll in DEMOG 590 for 1 credit each year in residence.

Master's Degree: For the M.A. and M.S. degree with the Demography option, 12 course credits are required in addition to the colloquium credit or credits. A minimum of 3 credits is required in each of the following areas: (1) disciplinary perspective courses; (2) demographic methods courses (SOC 573 is required of all candidates); (3) seminars in demographic processes; (4) seminars in population studies. See a complete course list on the program home page

Particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the Demography option. The thesis supervisor must be a member of the Graduate Faculty recommended by the chair or the graduate officer of the program granting the degree and a member of the Demography faculty.

Ph.D. Degree: For the Ph.D. degree with a dual-title in Demography, a minimum of 24 credits is required in addition to the colloquium credits. For students entering with a master's degree from another institution, equivalent course credits may be accepted. The following minimum number of credits is required in each curriculum category: 3 credits of disciplinary perspective courses; 6 credits of demographic methods courses; SOC 573 is required of all candidates; 6 credits of seminars in demographic processes; 3 credits of seminars in population studies; and 6 credits of electives. Final course selection is determined in consultation with the doctoral committee.

The candidacy examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Demography program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single candidacy examination, containing elements of both the primary graduate degree program and Demography. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for doctoral committees, the chair and at least one additional member of the doctoral committee must be members of the graduate faculty in Demography. The Demography faculty members on the student's committee are responsible for administering an examination in demography that constitutes a portion of the comprehensive examination of the dual-title doctoral student. Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their doctoral committee and reflects their original research and education in both their primary graduate program and Demography. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Other Relevant Information

A Ph.D. minor in Demography is available for doctoral students in graduate programs other than the dual-title participating programs who find it advantageous to include demographic content, methods, and policy analysis in their program of study. The student's doctoral committee must approve the choice of this minor, and one member of the doctoral committee must be from the Demography Graduate Faculty.

To qualify for a minor in Demography, students must satisfy the requirements of their graduate major program and take at least 15 credits in demography in addition to colloquium credits. A minimum of at least 6 credits must be at the 500 level. A minimum of at least 3 credits each in (1) disciplinary perspective, (2) demographic methods courses (SOC 573 is required of all candidates), (3) seminars in demographic processes, and (4) seminars in population studies is required. Students must enroll in DEMOG 590 for 1 credit during each year enrolled in the program and in residence.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin. In addition, the following awards typically have been available to graduate students in this program:
Affiliated departments and The Population Research Institute Assistantships, and the NICHD Traineeship awards.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

DEMOGRAPHY (DEMOG) course list

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 46-01-000

Review Date: 8/22/2017

Faculty linked: 6/5/14

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