UC Berkeley Demography offers three graduate degree tracks independently and in conjunction with the department of Sociology.
1. Ph.D. in Demography
The doctoral program is intended to provide advanced training in demography, with particular attention to research and theoretical issues.
2. Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD)
The purpose of this Ph.D. program, administered by the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD), is to foster intellectual exchange between graduate students and faculty in the two disciplines, and to improve the competitiveness of graduate students with interests in both sociology and demography on the academic job market.
3. Master of Arts in Demography
The terminal Master's program is intended to provide training for those interested exclusively in the M.A. in Demography and for those who will acquire the degree in addition to a doctoral degree in another subject. Applicants interested in earning a Ph.D. in Demography should apply directly to the Ph.D. program, whether or not they already hold a Master's degree.
Occasionally students holding or earning a Master's degree in another subject may wish to earn an M.A. in Demography as well. They may do so provided that there is no overlap between the courses used to satisfy the requirements for the two degrees. Individuals holding a Master's degree in Demography from another institution (even if under a different title, like Population Studies) cannot earn an M.A. in Demography at UC Berkeley.
Common First-Year Curriculum
The first-year curriculum is designed to introduce all graduate students to the essentials of demographic theory and methods. Therefore, students on all three degree tracks begin by completing a set of required courses in the first year as outlined below. Students in the doctoral program take the same curriculum in the first year as Master's students and sit for the same written examinations, which they must pass at a level commensurate with the requirements of the doctoral program. All first-year courses, with the exception of DEMOG 213, must be taken on a letter-grade basis.
Demographic Methods: Introduction to Population Analysis
Sex, Death, and Data
Social Demography: Population, Culture, and Society
Demographic Methods: Rates, Structures, and Models
Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis: Introduction to Computing for Demographers
2 (taken for S/U)
Special Topics in Demography (topics vary)
Graduate-level courses in Demography or other disciplines relevant to the student's research interests
Min. 7 (taken for letter grades)
Min. 24 units
Toward the end of the Spring semester of the first year, students take an M.A. Qualifying/Ph.D. Preliminary Exam. This M.A. exam is a written test of fluency in demographic theory, methods, and substance. The exam consists of two 3-hour long sessions, one devoted to methods and the other to substance and theory. Although all of the content included on the M.A. exam is covered in the required courses, the exam is not a simple repetition of course exams. Instead, students are required to demonstrate the ability to synthesize forms of knowledge acquired in different courses and to think critically about the assumptions and implications of demographic models. Non-circulating copies of old exams are available in the Sharlin Library and are now also available on-line to Demography students.
Upon the successful completion of the first-year coursework and the M.A. exam, students earn their Master's degrees in Demography. Students in the doctoral programs continue on their respective tracks, fulfilling the requirements for advancement to candidacy and submitting their dissertations.
Demography Ph.D. Degree Requirements
1. Ancillary Master's Degree
Those working for a doctoral degree are expected to enter with, or obtain concurrently at Berkeley, a Master's degree in a different but related subject (e.g., Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, Statistics, Public Policy, Public Health, Biostatistics, Regional Planning, Geography). This ancillary Master’s degree must be earned before the dissertation stage. We recognize that some students may enter the doctoral program with a Master's degree in Demography, or with a one in a subject not clearly related to their demographic work. The applicability of such degrees to the doctoral program is determined on an individual basis.
2. Foreign Language Exam
3. Oral Qualifying Examination
4. Dissertation Prospectus
Sociology and Demography Ph.D. (GGSD) Requirements
1. Approximately 23 units of required coursework in addition to the Common First-Year Curriculum
Advanced Demographic Analysis
Intermediate Quantitative Methods
Methods of Sociological Research
Two (2) courses from SOCIOL 280 series
Graduate-level courses in Sociology or Demography or other disciplines relevant to the student's research interests
[Note: Students may not count elective courses that were used for the first year MA degree toward this elective requirement.]
3 or 4
Min. 23 additional units
2. Foreign Language Exam
All candidates to the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography must fulfill a foreign language requirement before taking their oral Qualifying Examination. The foreign language exam for the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography is administered by the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD) following the standards and procedures used by the Department of Demography.
3. M.A. Research Paper in Sociology and Other Joint Program Requirements
The Demography preliminary examination must be passed at a level commensurate with the usual requirements for the doctoral program in the Department of Demography in order for a student to continue toward the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography.
4. Oral Qualifying Examination
What is the relationship between the Master's and the Doctoral programs?
The graduate program in Sociology and Demography does not allow students to earn a joint M.A. degree since the goal of the program is doctoral studies only. If there is no overlap between required courses and other requirements, students can earn both an M.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Demography at the discretion of the two Departments. These degrees are not the end goal, but rather milestones en route towards the Ph.D. However, in those cases where a student's progress is not deemed sufficient for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography, terminal M.A. degrees may be granted by one or both departments.