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Department of Demography

Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography

The purpose of this Ph.D. program,administered by the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD), is to foster intellectual exchange between graduate students and faculty in the two disciplines, and to improve the competitiveness of graduate students with interests in both sociology and demography on the academic job market.

Overview of Program requirements

  1. Approximately 43 units of course work
  2. MA research paper in Sociology
  3. NOTE: if you are planning to pursue an MA degree in Sociology there will be additional class and unit requirements to the ones listed below. Be sure to follow the guidelines in the Sociology Department's Handbook on Academic Progress (pdf).
  4. Preliminary examination in demographic methods and substance
  5. Foreign language examination
  6. Oral qualifying examination covering four fields of study (sociological theory, general demography, and two specialized fields)
  7. Ph.D. dissertation





Course Requirements

Department Course Number Title Units
Demog 110 Introduction to Population Analysis 4
Demog/Soc C126 Social Consequences of Population Dynamics 4
OR Demog 260 Social Demography: Population, Culture and Society 4
Demog/Econ C175 Economic Demography 3
Demog 210 Demographic Methods 4
Demog 211 Advanced Demographic Analysis (offered every other spring) 4
OR
Soc
271C Intermediate Quantitative Methods 3
Demog 213 Practical Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis 2
Demography elective One from 220 to 289 4
Soc 200 Proseminar 1
Soc 201A Sociological Theory 3
Soc 201B Sociological Theory 3
Soc 271A Methods of Sociological Research 4
Sociology electives Two from 280 series 6
Electives in Sociology, Demography or other departments 3 or 4

Faculty of the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography

# = core member; + = affiliated member


Program of study for the Ph.D. Degree in Sociology and Demography

The foreign language requirement

All candidates to the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography must fulfill a foreign language requirement according to Option 3 of the Graduate Division guidelines before taking their oral Qualifying Examination. The foreign language exam for the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography is administered by the Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD) following the standards and procedures used by the Department of Demography.


Specific fields of emphasis

The specific emphasis of this academic program is the intersection of the fields of sociology and demography. Potential areas of study include, but are not limited to, the following: population history, social stratification, inequality, race, ethnicity, causes and consequences of population growth, the demographic transition, population-environment interactions, economic development, immigration, globalization, gender, family, kinship, child welfare, sexuality, intergenerational relations, aging, mortality, health care, disability, fertility, family planning, birth control.

Preliminary examination and other pre-qualifying requirements

Consistent with the standard practice in the Department of Sociology, students in the joint program are required to write an MA research paper. This paper is written with the supervision and approval of a personal MA committee comprising two Sociology faculty members. The student's MA committee must approve in advance all details regarding the design, research, content, length, and timetable for the research paper project. Each candidate for the MA selects a faculty member as the Chair of her/his MA committee (with that professor's approval) and a second reader. The student may ask the Graduate Advisor of the GGSD to assist in finding a second reader. The MA research paper requirement is fulfilled when both members of the MA committee have signed and dated the cover page.

After all the coursework, methods, and paper requirements in Sociology are met, each student in the program is required to have an MA Advising Conference, organized by GGSD in conjunction with the Department of Sociology (and following the rules prevailing in that department), where it is decided whether the student satisfies doctoral requirements or not. Thus, a student must satisfy the usual doctoral requirements in the Department of Sociology in order to continue toward the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography.

The Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography also requires a written Preliminary Examination in demography, which is administered by the Graduate Group in conjunction with the Department of Demography. This examination contains two parts (demographic methods and substance) and is offered at the end of each academic year. It covers the materials contained in the core Demography courses (Demography 110, C126 (or 260), C175, 210, and 211) plus other graduate courses offered each year and designated as required material for this exam. The preliminary examination must be passed at a level commensurate with the usual requirements for the doctoral program in the Department of Demography in order for a student to continue toward the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography.

Oral Qualifying Examination

This program includes one oral Qualifying Examination, to be taken when all pre-qualifying requirements have been met, including the language examination. The orals committee consists of five members, all of whom must be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate. At least three but not more than four of the committee members must be core faculty in the GGSD, with at least one committee member representing the Department of Demography and another representing the Department of Sociology. One of these “inside” members will serve as chair of the Orals Committee. That person may not also serve as Chair of the student's dissertation committee. At least one and not more than two members must be outside of the core faculty of the GGSD. The Graduate Adviser of the GGSD recommends the membership of the Qualifying Exam committee and the topics of examination to the Graduate Dean.

The student prepares four fields of study for the oral Qualifying Examination, including Sociological Theory, General Demography, and two specialized fields in sociology and/or demography. Preparation for the exam is supervised by the Chair of the orals committee, who may separate and delegate the task of supervision to other committee members with expertise in one of the student's fields of examination. The oral Qualifying Examination itself consists of questions on each of the four topics, in an order chosen by the student. For a successful outcome, the committee must vote unanimously for a "pass." The jurisdiction for ruling on split votes rests with the Administrative Committee.


Dissertation

After passing the oral Qualifying Examination, the student assembles a provisional dissertation committee. This provisional committee will become the permanent dissertation committee once the student is advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. This committee will consist of three members, including two core faculty member in the GGSD and one outside member who does not belong to core faculty of the GGSD. All committee members must be members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.

With the guidance of the Chair of the provisional committee, the student prepares a dissertation prospectus. Once the provisional committee approves the dissertation prospectus, the student will be advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. Once the dissertation committee members have accepted the dissertation, they sign and date the cover page. A public dissertation defense is not required although students are strongly encouraged to give a final presentation to the Graduate Group.

As with the oral Qualifying Examination, dissertation committee members are chosen by the Graduate Adviser of the GGSD in consultation with the student. The dissertation committee is approved formally by the Graduate Dean.


Relationship between master's and doctoral programs

The graduate program in Sociology and Demography does not allow students to earn a joint MA degree since the goal of the program is doctoral studies only. If there is no overlap between required courses and other requirements, students can earn both an MA in Sociology and an MA in Demography at the discretion of the two Departments. These degrees are not the end goal, but rather milestones en route towards the Ph.D. However, in those cases where a student's progress is not deemed sufficient for advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography, terminal MA degrees may be granted by one or both departments.

Sample programs of study for the Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography

Example 1

The student is accepted into the Ph.D. program in Sociology during the Spring semester before arriving in Berkeley.

Fall semester, first year

  • Sociology 200—Pro-seminar
  • Sociology 201—Sociological Theory
  • Sociology 271A—Methods of Sociological Research
  • Sociology 280H—Development

Spring semester, first year

  • Sociology 271C—Intermediate Quantitative Analysis
  • Sociology 280P—Area studies
  • Sociology 280Q—Economy and Society
  • Demography 220—Human Fertility

Fall semester, second year

  • Sociology 202B—Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Sociology 280U—Environment and Society
  • During this semester and the following Spring, the student prepares the MA research paper in Sociology.

During the Spring semester of the second year, the MA research paper is accepted according to the Department of Sociology standards. The student also participates in her/his MA Advising Conference in Sociology, and it is decided at this meeting that the student has satisfied all Sociology MA requirements at a level commensurate with the doctorate. The student applies for a change of major to Sociology and Demography, and begins coursework in demography the following year.

Fall semester, third year

  • Sociology C126—Social Consequences of Population Dynamics
  • Demography 110—Introduction to Population Analysis
  • Demography 210—Demographic Methods: Rates and Structures
  • Demography 213—Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis

Spring semester, third year

  • Economics C175—Economic Demography
  • Demography 276—Population and Development
  • A the end of the third year, the student passes the written Preliminary Examination in Demography at the Ph.D. level. During this semester, the student also begins preparing for the oral Qualifying Examination, having chosen the following four fields of study: 1) Sociological Theory, 2) General Demography, 3) Population and Development, and 4) Economy and Society.

During the Fall semester of the fourth year, the student passes the oral Qualifying Examination in Sociology and Demography. During that semester and the following Spring, the student prepares the dissertation prospectus.

At the end of the Spring semester of the fourth year, the student's prospectus is approved, and s/he then advances to candidacy for the Ph.D.

During the fifth year and possibly sixth year, the student writes her/his dissertation, which is approved and signed within one to two years.


Example 2

The student is admitted to the Ph.D. program in Sociology and Demography during the Spring semester before arriving in Berkeley.

Fall semester, first year

  • Sociology C126—Social Consequences of Population Dynamics
  • Demography 110—Introduction to Population Analysis
  • Demography 210—Demographic Methods: Rates and Structures
  • Demography 213—Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis

Spring semester, first year

  • Demography C175—Economic Demography
  • Demography 211—Advanced Demographic Analysis
  • Demography 240—Migration
  • Sociology 280F—Family and Life Cycle
  • At the end of the first year, the student passes the written Preliminary Examination required for Demography at the doctoral level.

Fall semester, second year

  • Sociology 200—Pro-seminar
  • Sociology 201—Sociological Theory
  • Sociology 271A—Methods of Sociological Research
  • Sociology 280L—Gender

Spring semester, second year

  • Sociology 202A—Classical Sociological Theory
  • Demography 220—Human Fertility

During the Fall semester of the third year, the student writes a Sociology MA research paper, which is accepted and signed at the end of the semester. At the end of this semester, the student participates in his/her MA Advising Conference, following the procedures of the Department of Sociology. It is decided at this meeting that the student has satisfied all the Sociology MA requirements at a level commensurate with the doctorate (according to the same criteria applied to Ph.D. candidates in Sociology).

During the Spring semester of the third year, the student prepares the oral Qualifying Examination, covering four fields of study : 1) Sociological Theory, 2) General Demography, 3) Migration, and 4) Family and Kinship. The student passes the oral Qualifying Examination at the end of the third year.

During the Fall semester of the fourth year, the student prepares the dissertation prospectus, which is approved at the end of that semester. The student then advances to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Beginning the Spring semester of the fourth year, the students writes a dissertation, which is approved and signed within one to two years.