Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Policies and procedures involved in the Certificate Program are listed here. If you have questions on the administration of the Certificate Program, please contact Emilio Zagheni (Training Director), Aimée Dechter (Assistant Training Director), or a member of the CSDE Training Committee.


1. Coursework

The Certificate Program’s core coursework consists of 17 credit hours (16 for cohorts entering the program prior to Fall 2016) in core demography. The program requires an additional 3 elective courses (a minimum of 9 credit hours) that may be selected from a broad range of disciplines. In addition, students must comply with two distribution requirements:

  1. CSDE requires that at least one elective be offered outside the student’s degree-granting department and not cross-listed in the degree-granting department. Exposure to multiple disciplinary perspectives is a foundation of the Demographic Methods Certificate program.
  2. The Graduate School limits overlap of coursework applied toward the certificate and the student’s degree granting unit to electives and to a maximum of 6 credits. Because graduate certificates are intended to enhance graduate education beyond the regular course of study, overlap is not permitted with required courses or between two or more graduate certificates. More detailed information on overlapping credits is below.

Learn about Restrictions on Credit Overlap

The courses that qualify as eligible electives may vary over time as the content of courses and course offerings change based on developments in the field and the expertise of the faculty. Students may identify a course that is not on the list of electives and ask that it be considered for inclusion by submitting a formal requests containing course materials (i.e., syllabus, reading lists, and assignments) to the Assistant Training Director,

Required and elective courses are listed below.

Browse Courses

2. Two-Year Terminal Degree Programs

By formal request, Trainees enrolled in two-year terminal degree programs may complete fewer than 6 quarters of the weekly seminar, CSDE 501.

3. Restrictions on Credit Overlap

The Graduate School ensures that graduate certificate programs for matriculated graduate students are not simply a subset of courses required for their degree by limiting the overlap of coursework applied towards both programs to 6 credits and limiting the overlap to elective coursework in each program (Memo 43: Graduate Certificates).  When enrolled in two degree programs (e.g., terminal masters and doctorate) and a graduate certificate program, no course can count for all three programs, and the maximum overlap of any one course can only be between two of the three programs. Moreover, overlap of coursework between Graduate Certificate programs is prohibited. There are no restrictions on overlap with certificate programs that are not under the purview of the Graduate School. These programs do not record the certificate on transcripts and are distinct from graduate certificates.

Tracking Credits Across Programs

Trainees must work with their graduate program coordinators to develop a course plan that meets the requirements of their degree and those of the Certificate Program. CSDE strongly recommends Trainees track certificate activity and which courses they are using for which degree. Developing curriculum plans for the distribution of courses and credits is also recommended, as misallocating credits can be costly.

4. Faculty Mentoring

The population research community strongly adheres to the value of apprenticeship training in conjunction with coursework. CSDE Trainees are required to engage in a research apprenticeship or close collaboration with a CSDE Affiliate mentor. The Director or Assistant Director of Training will help pair trainees with an appropriate CSDE faculty Affiliate Mentor. The mentor is responsible for advising the Trainee on his/her individual research program and involving the Trainee in the mentor’s research project or another faculty member’s project that more closely aligns with the trainee’s interests.

5. NIH Requirements

Trainees must acknowledge support provided directly or indirectly by institutional and individual grants. A template can be copied onto presentations, posters, papers, and publications to acknowledge direct and indirect funding.

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results from NIH funded research. To comply, all CSDE Trainees and Affiliates must deposit manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central and receive a PCMCID number (if the journal has not already done this for you).

Trainees entering the program in Fall 2015 and later complete Individualized Development Plans (IDP) and update them in coordination with their advisors.

Trainees are also required to complete online certification in the Protection of Human Research Subjects (PHRS). There are several online options. The spring Proseminar (CSDE 502) requires the CITI web-based training course called Human Subjects Learners (Stage 1 – Basic Course).

6. Minimum GPA

Successful completion of the Demographic Methods Graduate Certificate requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for the core courses and 2.7 or higher for each additional course counted toward the certificate.

7. Mandatory Reporting

Trainees must submit progress reports and evaluations of the training program at least annually, usually in Spring Quarter, and promptly respond to other CSDE requests for updates and other information.


1. Requesting a Certificate

Upon completing the requirements of the Demographic Methods Graduate Certificate, students are responsible for submitting a written list of courses indicating which apply toward each respective degree or certificate code [i.e., degree program(s) and Graduate Certificate program(s)]. This list must demonstrate that no credits fulfilling the Demographic Methods Graduate Certificate are used to fulfill the credit requirements of another graduate certificate. The list must also show that no more than 6 credits overlap with electives in a degree-granting program, and no required courses in either the certificate program or the degree-granting program overlap with courses used to fulfill credits in another unit. The list must be approved by all programs and signed by administrators of the other units.  The Graduate School may audit this list. A template for the list will be downloadable in the near future. Students must also submit a transcript with the required and elective courses highlighted.

These materials documenting the completion of the requirements may be submitted anytime but will be reviewed mid-quarter. The Graduate School and the Registrar’s office generally process certificates at the end of each quarter.

2. Requesting a Travel Grant

Presenting at conferences is important for academic and professional growth, and CSDE recognizes this. CSDE offers about five grants (depending on funding) each year to support travel for research presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America. The grant covers up to $500 in travel and conference-related expenses, including hotel and a per diem for meals. The call for applications is generally made soon after PAA sessions are completed and presenters are informed.

Funds are limited. Only trainees presenting their research in a paper or poster session are eligible for travel awards. Priority is given to single authors and first authors in a paper session. Higher order authorship paper presentations and poster presentations receive lower priority. Consideration may also be given to efforts to secure travel funding outside of CSDE in previous years.

The application consists of an online questionnaire, CV, and a proposed budget following a template. Applicants will be asked about prior travel funding from CSDE, the Graduate School , the GPSS Travel Grants Program, and home departments. The application will ask for the session, whether it is a paper or poster session, the authors of the paper in order, and the title of the paper.

3. Course Waivers

Courses may be waived based on the completion of comparable courses at another institution. Waiver requests will be assessed by CSDE Affiliates from the discipline on the basis of course comparability—namely, the rigor, depth, and breadth of the material. The request must contain course materials (i.e., syllabus, reading lists, and assignments) and should also include transcripts and graded assignments, including papers and problem sets. Send these materials to the Assistant Training Director .