The Certificate Program in Demography is the first demographic training program in the New York metropolitan area. The CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR), established by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York in November 2007, serves as a focal point for this program. Faculty from throughout CUNY, and who are affiliated with the Institute, teach the courses that comprise the Certificate Program.

CUNY doctoral students may enroll in the Certificate Program in Demography through their home doctoral program. Prospective doctoral students must apply for admission to one of the many doctoral degree programs in the traditional disciplines associated with demography, such as Sociology, Economics, Public Health, and Political Science. Once admitted, a student is then eligible to take demography certificate courses en route to the doctoral degree.

The Certificate Program, which began in Fall 2010, consists of core courses in demographic theory and methods and a range of electives. A limited number of fellowships will be available for demography students. On their applications, prospective students should describe their interests and background in demography and note their desire to be considered for a fellowship in demography. The fellowship consists of tuition, fees, and stipend, contingent on proper progress, for five years.

The Certificate Program in Demography provides students with the tools to understand deeply, and conduct rigorous analyses of, population structure and processes. Specifically, the courses comprising the certificate focus, for example, on understanding the causes and consequences of changes in population-related phenomena such as family formation, fertility and reproductive health, disease, aging and mortality, urbanization, racial and ethnic composition, and mobility, and how such changes shape social, economic, and political processes and outcomes at the local, national, and international level.

General information for prospective students in CUNY doctoral programs can be found here: [Prospective Students].

CUNY doctoral program application information can be found here: [Instructions for Applying].

Academic Information

The Certificate Program in Demography is open to any student who is newly admitted to a doctoral program at the Graduate Center and to students (in good standing) currently enrolled in doctoral programs at the Graduate Center.

Demography Certificate Program students are defined as those students matriculated for a doctoral degree in any of the participating doctoral programs, who have filed with the Coordinator an application for the certificate and who are engaged in fulfilling the requirements for the certificate.

The Demography Certificate Program consists of 15 credits: nine credits of core courses and six credits of elective courses. The program will offer several three-credit courses and many one-credit courses. The one-credit courses are intended to allow students to tailor the electives to their interests. A one-credit course, will meet once per week for two hours, over a period of five weeks. In any given year, up to nine credit hours worth of elective courses may be offered (depending on the number of core courses offered).

One-credit courses will be offered sequentially within a given semester to fill a standard three-credit time/place slot. For example, then, three one-credit courses offered in a given semester will be scheduled back-to-back in a single classroom.

Core Courses: 9 credits

DCP 701, Introduction to Demography (three credit hours). This course will review the demographic, social, and economic determinants of fertility, health, mortality and related demographic aspects, and the effects of population size, composition, and structure on social and economic conditions. Each week will focus on the predominant themes in these subareas of demography. Topics will include, among others: demographic transition; aging and mortality; fertility, family planning, and reproductive health; urbanization; migration; family demography to include marriage, living arrangements, and family structure; population and environment; consequences of population growth for economic development; and the demographic future.

DCP 702, Methods of Demographic Analysis (three credit hours). This course gives students an overview of some of the major demographic methods used in the study of population, and includes the standard procedures for the measurement of fertility, mortality, natural increase, migration, and nuptiality. Students will learn how to compute demographic rates, construct life tables, and implement population projections, and how to carry out standardization, decomposition of differences, the analysis of fertility and nuptiality patterns, analysis invoking model life tables and stable population theory, and analysis of nonstable populations. Anyone examining demographic data from various sources can find the sheer quantity of data daunting. Further, often we have strong reason to believe that data are of less than adequate quality and would be misled by taking them at face value. This course will allow the student to “make sense” of the data and infer accurately the trends and patterns in demographic phenomena that may not be obvious without the application of the methods learned in this class.

DCP 701 and DCP 702 are prerequisites for all advanced methods and elective courses. If a student does not possess the necessary prerequisites for a course, then she or he may enroll in the course with the permission of the Coordinator of the certificate program.

DCP 801, Advanced Methods of Demographic Analysis (three credit hours). In this course we study advanced methods of demographic analysis. They are widely used in research on mortality, fertility, nuptiality, migration, population composition, and other demographic processes, but many of them can also be applied to a broad range of topics in other areas of social sciences and biomedical sciences. Those methods include event history analysis (nonparametric, semi-parametric and parametric versions; continuous and discrete time versions; fixed and time-dependent covariate versions), life table techniques (single-decrement, multiple-decrement, and multi-state), decomposition analysis, age-period-cohort models, methods for analyzing multiple time trends (e.g., Lee-Carter model), Lexis map analysis, smoothing and non-parametric regression techniques, and mathematical models of population dynamics. Computer exercises are included. Prerequisites: (1) Introductory statistics including multiple linear regression; (2) DCP 70200 or permission of the instructor.

Elective Courses: 6 credits

Six credits worth of classes must be chosen from a range of courses, varying in the number of credits. Proposed electives for the certificate program include courses that relate to any of several major disciplines, such as sociology, economics, public health, and political science. Elective courses may include titles such as “Economic Demography,” “Public Health Demography,” “Demography of the Marital Life Course,” “Population and the Environment,” “Politics and Demography,” and “Spatial Demography.”

Some existing courses from allied disciplines may also fulfill elective credits towards the certificate, subject to the approval of the Coordinator of the Demography Certificate Program. Also subject to the approval of the Coordinator, students may substitute up to six credits of comparable courses taken at other institutions, if they have not been counted towards another degree.

All students enrolled in the certificate program will be encouraged to attend the Demography Seminar Series. Seminar attendance is mandatory for fellowship recipients.

We provide this Guide for prospective students to answer some of the most commonly asked questions you may have as you search for a program suitable for your needs. In some cases, you can link to additional, more detailed information. Please feel free to contact us if any questions remain.

What Is CIDR and Its Relationship to Graduate Training?

The CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR) was created by the City University of New York to foster demographic research and facilitate interaction among demographers throughout the CUNY system. Most doctoral programs are located at the CUNY Graduate Center (at 34th Street and 5th Avenue). Courses for the Certificate Program in Demography are taught there by CIDR-affiliated faculty. Please click here for further information. CIDR’s offices are located a short distance (22nd Street and Lexington Avenue) from the Graduate Center.

Who Are the CIDR-Affiliated Faculty?

CIDR faculty associates and affiliates bring a wide array of academic backgrounds to demography. It is a field that is very much interdisciplinary in character and our faculty hold doctoral degrees in a range of fields that include, for example, sociology, economics, public health, and political science. A list of our faculty may be found here, with links to further details about each of them.

What Degree Programs Are Available?

Prospective graduate students must apply to any one of the many doctoral programs located at the CUNY Graduate Center. These might include, for example, Sociology, Economics, Public Health, Political Science, History, Earth & Environmental Sciences, or Anthropology.

Where Does the Certificate in Demography Fit In?

Once enrolled in a doctoral program at the Graduate Center, any student in good standing may take demography courses. The Certificate Program in Demography consists of 15 credit hours in total, nine of which are required and six of which are electives. The certificate is earned en route to the Ph.D. in the student’s discipline.

What Courses Are Available in the Certificate of Demography Program?

Nine of the 15 credit hours, in the form of three three-credit core courses, are required for the certificate: one course that serves as an introduction to the substance and methods of demography and two courses that examine in depth the methodological tools that demographers use in their research. The remaining six credit hours are for electives of special interest to the student. These are a variety of three-credit and one-credit hour courses, focusing on areas such as economic demography, spatial demography, immigration, demography of the life course, mortality, fertility, and biodemography, among many others.

What Are the Research Interests of CIDR Faculty?

The CUNY demography faculty conduct research on a great number of subjects spanning many regions of the world. Topics of interest include, for example, the impact of climate change on population distribution, the demographic impact of forced migration, the modeling of mortality, marriage, and divorce patterns, the impact of policy on the use of abortion, and the relationship between biomarkers and self-rated health and mortality. Please click here for a summary of each CIDR faculty member’s research interests.

Where/How Should I Apply?

To earn a Certificate in Demography, you must be enrolled as a doctoral student in one of the many disciplines represented at the CUNY Graduate Center. A prospective student should apply to the program of his/her choice, the application deadlines for which are located here.

Is Funding Available?

Select students will be awarded fellowships in demography, which consist of full tuition, fees, and a stipend for up to five years. As part of your application, you should mention your interest in a fellowship and discuss in some depth your interest and background in the field of demography. The awarding of fellowships in students’ fourth and fifth years is also contingent upon demonstrated progress on demographically-oriented doctoral dissertations (as determined by the Coordinator of the certificate program). Further, the awarding of the certificate to students receiving fellowships is contingent upon the completion of a sufficiently demographically-oriented doctoral dissertation.

What are Tuition Costs? And May I Attend Part-time?

Tuition costs vary by residency status, full/part time status, and whether one has been advanced to candidacy. Details are available here. Many students at the Graduate Center study part-time. The above mentioned fellowships are available to full-time students only, but part-time students may avail themselves of other funding opportunities.

May I Visit CIDR and the CUNY Graduate Center?

Indeed, we encourage you to visit. Please contact Neil G. Bennett to arrange your visit.

Whom Should I Contact if I Have Any Questions?

Please feel free to e-mail or call Professor Neil G. Bennett, Director of CIDR, or Professor Shiro Horiuchi, Coordinator of the Certificate Program in Demography, if you have any questions about the program. A short form to express your interest and receive feedback can be found here.