Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

The policies and procedures of  the Certificate Program are discussed on this page. 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 required courses 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. Review the curriculum requirements and rules below.

Curriculum Requirements and Courses Offered

2. Two-Year Terminal Degree Programs

Trainees enrolled in two-year terminal degree programs and not a doctoral program may complete 3 quarters of the weekly seminar, CSDE 501, instead of 6. No distinction is made between fall, winter or spring quarters.

3. Distribution Requirements and Restrictions on Credit Overlap

The courses you complete for the CSDE curriculum count toward your degree by contributing to the minimum number of credits you earn toward your degree. However, the Graduate School restricts how those credits are distributed to ensure that graduate certificate programs are not simply a subset of courses already required for your degree.   The restrictions are listed below:

  1. At least one elective must be taken outside the student’s degree-granting department and not cross-listed in the degree-granting department  to ensure exposure to multiple disciplinary perspectives.
  2. Required courses in a degree program or graduate certificate program cannot count as a required courses or elective in another Graduate School program (Memo 43: Graduate Certificates).
  3. Elective courses in a Graduate degree or certificate program can count as an official elective in another Graduate School program, up to six credits.
  4. When enrolled in more than one degree program (e.g., terminal masters and doctorate) and a graduate certificate program, no course can be considered an official elective in more than two programs.
  5. The Graduate School prohibits overlap between Graduate Certificate Programs. When enrolled in more than one Graduate Certificate Program, no course may be considered a required course or official elective in both programs.
  6. There are no restrictions on overlap with certificate programs that are not under the purview of the Graduate School (e.g., CS&SS specialization). These programs do not record the certificate on transcripts and are distinct from graduate certificates.

Tracking Credits across Programs

Trainees must work with the Graduate Program Advisors of their degree program(s) to develop a course plan that meets the requirements of their degrees and those of the Graduate Certificate Program. CSDE strongly recommends that 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

  • The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results from NIH funded research, which includes research that uses CSDE’s core services, including computing. To comply, deposit manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central, if the journal does not submit the manuscript on behalf of the authors. Please email the unique identifier your receive and the citation to For additional information click here.
  • Appropriately acknowledge NIH and CSDE support. Each publication, conference paper or poster, press release, or other document or presentation about research supported by this award must include an acknowledgment of NIH award support. The acknowledgement can be copied from here.
  • Add the disclaimer “ The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”
  • Outline your plan for professional growth in an Individual Development Plan (IDP). All new cohorts of trainees and Fellows are asked to complete and maintain an IDP and to discuss their IDP periodically with their mentors so that they achieve a mutual understanding of the student’s personal and professional goals. Trainees  are also encouraged to discuss their IDP with the CSDE Training Director or Assistant Training Director who may work with them to help them achieve their plans. This is required in the fall quarter Proseminar (CSDE 502)
  • Complete online training in the Protection of Human Research Subjects Protection. 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). Comply with all regulations of the UW Human Subjects Division. IRB approval is required before starting research involving human subjects.

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 and Minimal Response Time

Promptly respond to inquiries regarding your professional progress for up to 15 years post completion of the certificate. Submit progress reports and evaluations of the training program each year that you are a trainee. Promptly respond to other CSDE requests for updates and other information.

Assist in the self-promotion of your research and professional developments when your work has been supported in part by CSDE’s NIH infrastructure grant or training grant. This means informing the Assistant Training Director when you receive awards and fellowships, and letting them know whether the news can be reported publicly, for example in the weekly News and Events announcements, or you prefer to limit circulation of the news to the training grant reports.


1. Requesting a Certificate After Completing All Requirements

Trainees are responsible for tracking their progress in the Demographic Methods Certificate program and working with the Graduate Program Advisor(s) (GPA’s) of their graduate degree program to plan how courses will meet the distribution requirements for each degree and Graduate Certificate. Trainees may submit a form and transcript to request the certificate.

Complete This Form

The purpose of the form is to demonstrate that the curriculum requirements of the Demographic Methods Certificate program have been fulfilled, and comply with the Graduate School regulations on overlapping credits between Graduate Certificates and Graduate Degrees. The Form includes the following instructions:

  1. To show the successful completion of the required and elective courses, save a transcript in a pdf format in which you have highlighted the required courses and three electives that you have completed. Save the pdf file with the option to display highlighting.
  2. To demonstrate that these courses comply with the restriction on overlapping credits across degrees and Graduate Certificates, complete the form.
    • The first column identifies each required and elective courses completed for the Demographic Methods Certificate. Fill in the names and course numbers of the electives.
    • In the next column, indicate the number of credits earned for the course. In the last columns, confirm that the course does not count as a required course or whether the course counts as an official elective toward a degree.
    • The GPA in each degree program you are enrolled in or have been enrolled in must sign the form to confirm the that no courses count as requirements in the degree program and that no more than six credits of electives overlap.
  3. The form and highlighted transcript should be saved in one pdf and sent to the CSDE Assistant Training Director, Aimée Dechter, or shared in Google.

A call will be made spring quarter for students to submit their documentation to demonstrate they have completed the requirements for the certificate program and are eligible for a certificate. However, students may request the certificate and submit the documentation to CSDE anytime. Students who have been awarded certificates before the end of spring quarter will be presented with a framed certificate at CSDE’s end of year reception in June.

Note to Trainees Who Will be Graduating in the Spring or Summer Quarter: If you have completed all the requirements for the certificate, except for one credit of CSDE 501 or the spring quarter of CSDE 502 AND you are currently enrolled in the class, you may submit preliminary documentation so that you may receive the framed certificate at the end of year reception in June. However, to receive the formal Graduate School certificate on your transcript, you must update the documentation and resubmit it after you have received credit for the course(s).

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 or lightning talk 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 .

4. Withdrawing from the Graduate Certificate Program

Under no circumstances should a student or their department remove the Demographic Methods Certificate code from a student’s record without first informing CSDE.

The Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) must approve the removal of the code for a degree program or graduate certificate program. GEMS informed CSDE that degree and certificate codes are usually not removed when a student withdraws.

Students who wish to petition GEMS to remove the certificate code from their records, must first inform the Assistant Training Director. Otherwise CSDE has no  knowledge of the student’s status in the certificate program. Once the code is removed, CSDE can no longer access the student’s records.

In rare circumstances, the number of degree programs and Graduate Certificate Programs can exceed the Graduate School’s record capacity. Students who have received the Certificate but have no room for another Certificate or degree they are pursuing should request removal of the Demographic Methods Certificate code by contacting Aimée Dechter.