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 Zack Almquist (Training Core P.I.), Christine Leibbrand (Training Director).


1. Coursework

The Certificate Program’s required courses consist of 14 credit hours in core demography. The program requires an additional 2 elective courses (a minimum of 6 credit hours) that may be selected from a broad range of disciplines.

Students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Demographic Methods are required to complete a specific set of courses in the curriculum for a total of 20 credits (or more if the electives chosen are more than 3 credits). Specifically, Graduate Certificate students must take:
  • 3 quarters of the CSDE 501 Seminar series
  • The CSDE 502 Proseminar series (3, 1-2 credit courses, graded CR/NC)
  • The two core Demography courses (CSDE 503 and CSDE 513)
  • And two electives, including one course not in the student’s home department

Review the curriculum requirements and rules below.

Required Courses and Electives

2. Distribution of Courses

  • At least one elective must be taken outside the student’s degree-granting department and must not be cross-listed with the degree-granting department to ensure exposure to multiple disciplinary perspectives.
  • The overlap of coursework applied toward both a Graduate Certificate Program and a graduate degree program or a degree track or specialization that appears on the transcript must not exceed 6 credits and is limited to elective coursework in each program. (Memo 43: Graduate Certificates)
  • Overlap of coursework toward two Graduate Certificate Programs is prohibited.
  • There are no restrictions on overlap with certificate programs or tracks and specializations that are not under the purview of the Graduate School (e.g., CS&SS specialization). These programs are not recorded on transcripts and are distinct from graduate certificates or transcriptable tracks and specializations.

3. 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 of Training or the Training Program Coordinator 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.

4. NIH Requirements

  • The NIH Public Access Policy: 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 Individualized 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 Training Program Coordinator 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.

5. Minimum GPA

Successful completion of the 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.

6. 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 Training Program Coordinator 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 may submit a form and transcript to request the certificate.

Complete This Form

Ask the Graduate Program Advisor in each  of your degree programs to sign the form to confirm the information on the form is correct and that no courses completed for the Graduate Certificate program will count toward any of your degree program(s) or tracks or specializations that appear on your transcript, with the exception of six elective credits.

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

CSDE recognizes the importance of presenting at conferences for academic and professional growth, and offers about five travel 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 CSDE Trainees presenting their research in a paper, flash talk or poster  session are eligible for travel awards. Priority is given to presentations in regular paper sessions, and to single authors and first authorship. Higher order authorship paper presentations, flash talks, 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.  One of the requirements of the award is to participate in the practice  PAA session, held a week before PAA. Award recipients are expected to present a draft of their paper, flash talk or poster, and to support colleagues who will be presenting at PAA by attending the entire practice session and providing constructive feedback.

CSDE also offers a service grant in recognition of trainees and fellows who have taken on leadership roles at CSDE.  CSDE encourages service contributions by trainees throughout the academic year because it is a fundamental part of becoming a professional research scientist and benefits CSDE. Nevertheless, some of this service provision is a significant responsibility and requires considerable time and effort to be done well. Trainees and Fellows may become organizers of working groups, the CSDE Biannual Trainees Lightning Talks and Poster Session, or the PAA reception. Students have been recognized for contributing in others ways, such as reviewing posters for PAA. In return, for for their leadership and service, CSDE offers travel awards. Trainees who receive travel awards are still eligible to apply for CSDE’s PAA travel grants.

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 Training Director .

4. Withdrawing from the Graduate Certificate Program

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

The Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) makes the decision to approve the petition to remove the code for a degree program or graduate certificate program.

Students who wish to petition GEMS to remove the certificate code from their records, must first inform the CSDE 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 Graduate Certificate in Demographic Methods code by contacting the Training Director, Christine Leibbrand.