Required Core Course (for Training Program and Minor)

PA 5301 – Population Methods and Issues in the US and Global South

This course surveys population trends and issues and teaches basic demographic methods. Topics include fertility, mortality, and the demographic transition; population growth and the environment; infant mortality; sexuality and the control of fertility; US trends in family structure; and aging. The course is aimed at Master's and Ph.D. students but serious upper- level undergraduates are welcome. The course will be "web enhanced" but the home page will be available only to registered students.

Elective Courses (for population studies minor)

FW 5051 Analysis of Populations

Factors involved in regulation, growth, general dynamics of populations. Data needed to describe populations, population growth, population models, regulatory mechanisms. 3 cr. Check for prerequisites for this course. 

GERO 5103 Aging and Society

An examination of the broad range of topics and issues related to aging. Consideration of how the processes of aging affect individuals, groups, cohorts, and societies by drawing from research in sociology, psychology, gerontology, and health sciences. Comparisons are made of the processes of aging in U.S. and other countries. 2 cr.

HIST 5797 Methods of Population History

Standard methods of population analysis with a special focus on methods widely used for historical population research. 3 cr.

HIST 5970 Advanced Research in Quantitative History: Fertility and the Family

The first part of this course examines trends, differentials and transitions in human fertility, focusing on historical and contemporary fertility transitions in developed and developing countries and economic, social, and biological factors affecting fertility. The second part of the course examines issues related to marriage and other romantic partnerships, family, and family change. 4cr.

HIST 8970 Advanced Research in Quantitative History: Demographic Transition

This course focuses on the transition from high birth and death rates in the United States and Europe in the late nineteenth century to low birth and death rates in the early twentieth century. We will examine early demographic transition theory, recent criticisms, and new and classic studies of the transition and its causes. Although theories of demographic transition have not fared well, the fact remains: life expectancy nearly doubled between 1870 and 1930 while fertility fell from almost 6 children per woman to less than 3. Approximately half of the course will be dedicated to the mortality transition (and the related epidemiological and health transitions) and half dedicated to the fertility transition. Topics will include the public health movement, medicine, contraception, and abortion. A few weeks will be dedicated to comparing demographic transitions in Asia and elsewhere to those in the United States and Europe and the possibility of an on-going "second demographic transition." 4 cr.

PA 5043- Economic and Demographic Data Analysis

This course aims at developing quantitative data analysis skills in the areas of economic and demographic analysis of small geographic areas. The methods covered are used to analyze the structure of regional and local  economies, such as location quotient analysis and the economic base model, and to analyze the structure of the population and project population change over time. Familiarity with Excel is assumed.

PA 5204 Urban Spatial and Social Dynamics

Behavioral theories of internal spatial arrangement, functioning, and characteristics of cities at macro level and how they produce a system of cities. Factors influencing urban spatial structure over time. Urban form, land use/rent. Spatial expression of economic, social, and political forces. 3 cr. Population studies area of concentration: population geography.

PA 5281 Immigrants, Urban Planning and Policymaking in the U.S.

Social, political, economic experiences of contemporary U.S. immigrants. Draws from sociology, economics, demography, political science, public affairs. Local government policies/plans. Cities/suburbs as contexts for immigrants. Interactions between immigrant communities/urban planners/policymakers. 3 cr.

PA 5401 Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy

Nature/extent of poverty/inequality in the United States, causes/consequences, impact of government programs/policies. Extent/causes of poverty/inequality in other developed/developing countries. 3 cr. Population studies area of concentration: economic demography

PA 5490 Section 002 The Politics and Policy of Demographic Change

The first part of the course focuses on the history and politics of the US Census. Students will have a clear understanding of some of the major uses of census data; understand how historical events and policy debates have shaped the census overtime; and understand the concerns relating to undercounting, privacy, and debate about the citizenship question. Next the course focuses on the impact of demographic change on politics and policy, specifically voting behavior and party competition. Specific demographic trends of interest include population ageing, immigration, changes in US racial composition, and distribution/internal migration. Finally in the third section, we focus on policies that impact demographic behavior (for instance gender equality policies) and policies that manipulate/distort the impact of census counts such as gerrymandering and felony disenfranchisement. 3cr.


PA 8312 Analysis of Discrimination

Introduces students of policy analysis and other applied social sciences to tools for measuring and detecting discrimination in market and nonmarket contexts. Application of modern tools of labor econometrics and race relations research to specific problems of market and nonmarket discrimination. 4 cr. Population studies area of concentration: economic demography.

PA 8331 Economic Demography

Classical theory, advanced econometric methods, recent empirical work, and available datasets for research in economic demography. Topics include the economics of mortality, fertility, migration, marriage, women's labor supply, intra-family bargaining, and age structure. Students develop critical analysis and academic discourse skills through in-depth discussions and replications of papers, presentations, referee-style writing assignments, and a term paper. Prerequisite: Grad-level economic theory (PA 5021 or equiv) and econometrics (PA 5033 or equiv) and instructor permission. 3 cr. Population studies area of concentration: economic demography

PA 8461 Global & U.S. Perspectives on Health & Mortality

The health of populations in developing and developed countries is very different. Within countries, great health disparities exist between more advantaged and more disadvantaged populations. When crafting policies that aim to improve population health, it is crucial to know how to measure health and how to think about the health needs of the specific population in question. This course will provide an overview to the factors driving health, mortality, and aging across different populations. In addition, students will learn the best sources of data and measures to use to describe the health status of a population. Furthermore, students will be able to assess policy options that address the health of their population. 3 cr.

PubH 6370 Social Epidemiology

This course aims to introduce public health and other interested graduate students to the sub-discipline of social epidemiology, including theory and methods. Social epidemiology is the branch of epidemiology that consider s how social interaction and purposive human activity affect health. 2 cr. Population studies area of concentration: public health population studies, and family and life course demography.

PubH 6605 Sexual, Reproductive and Perinatal Health

Epidemiology, programs, services, and policies. Social, cultural, psychological, physiologic, environmental, economic, and political factors that affect reproductive health, pregnancy, and childbearing. Check prerequisites for this course. Population studies area of concentration: public health population studies, and family and life course demography.

PubH 6737 Structural Racism and Health Inequalities 

This course will examine relevant historical issues, theories, and empirical data, emphasizing critical analysis and application of knowledge about structural racism and health inequities. Students will gain a better understanding of the literature and research related to racism and health inequities and develop a critical lens to explore public health and policy interventions geared at their elimination. Population studies area of concentration: public health population studies, and family and life course demography.

PubH 6845 Using Demographic Data for Policy Analysis

Practical instruction in posing researchable policy questions, locating existing demographic data, converting data into usable file format, understanding documentation, analyzing data, and communicating findings according to standards of the professional policy community. Check prerequisites for this course.  3 cr. Population studies area of concentration: all areas

SOC 5246 Diseases, Disasters and Other Killers

This class is about the past, present, and future of why people die. Why did infectious diseases rapidly seem to disappear—and will they come back? How have historical changes in social organization and interaction with the natural environment changed when and how we die, and what do medical advances, climate change, and persistent inequalities imply for what we might die of in the future? We will:

  • Explore the causes and consequences of a historic worldwide transformation in death and disease
  • Analyze how that transformation occurred differently in different parts of the world, and why it matters
  • Consider to what extent mortality can—or can't—be further eradicated.

SOC 8090 section 002/GEOG 8080 Global Health Data Analysis

This seminar will provide an introduction to research on health issues in low-resource countries. Students will craft and carry out their own research projects using global health survey data. Projects can focus on a single country or make comparisons across countries. The course runs for two semesters; at the end of it, students will have created a poster suitable for submission to an academic conference and/or a paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. While it is preferable for students to take the two-semester series, they may also choose to take only the first semester. Check prerequisites for this course. 

SOC 8607 Migration and Migrants in Demographic Perspective

This course provides a demographic point of entry into major theoretical, methodological, empirical, and substantive debates on international and internal migration (as a type of transition) and migrants (as a status or type of actor) drawing from such disciplines as economics, geography, public policy, sociology, and statistics. 3 cr.

SOC 8551 Life Course Inequality and Health

Central concepts and premises of life course analysis as applied to intersocietal (comparative), intrasocietal (socioeconomic status, race, and gender), and historical variability; institutional patterning of life course (family, education, work, the polity); deviance and criminal careers; changes in the self; and methodological strategies. 3 cr. Population studies area of concentration: family and life course demography.

SOC 8540 Patriarchy, Power, & Pay: Families in History

This seminar will explore the sources of revolutionary changes in family life, including the marriage boom and bust, the rise of divorce and cohabitation, and the decline of multigenerational families. Although the course will focus primarily on the United States, we will also examine family trends in other parts of the world. We will examine the impact on families of factors including shifting norms and values; the rise of wage labor (first among men and then among women); inequality; and contraception and abortion. 3 cr.

SOC 8890 Advanced Topics in Research Methods- Advanced Demographic Methods: Sex, Death & Mobility: Population Modeling

Populations are made up of people whose lives are changing all the time. This course covers population modeling techniques from the demographic tradition, organized around life transitions. These techniques excel at describing social and epidemiological changes occurring along multiple time scales simultaneously; identifying the inequalities lurking beneath population averages; relating multiple dimensions of population structure; and figuring out what population a research question is really about. Check prerequisites for this course. 3 cr.