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Population Studies Certificate

Contact: Sanjiv Gupta
Office: W36D Machmer Hall
Phone: (413) 577-1773
Email: sangupta@soc.umass.edu

The Faculty

Ralph Faulkingham, (Anthropology); Nancy Folbre, Carole Heim (Economics); Piper Gaubatz, James Hafner (Geosciences); Robert Muth (Natural Resource Studies); John Gerber (Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences); Susan Sturgeon (Public Health); Douglas Anderton, Michelle Budig, Sanjiv Gupta, Jennifer Lundquist, Richard Tessler (Sociology).

The Program

The program in Population Studies prepares undergraduate students for careers requiring demographic skills or for entering graduate programs in related areas. The program is not a major in itself. It requires 15 semester hours of coursework, some of which may satisfy other university and major requirements. Applications of demographic analysis to the problems of human ecology are illustrated in the preparation of population estimates and forecasts, family planning, aging, migration, marriage and family structure, labor markets, gender, and environmental impact analysis, as well as the academic study of communities.
Successful completion of the program leads to a Certificate in Population Studies attesting to a special competence in the application of demographic skills to solving problems in population-environment relations. The certificate requirements cover introductory work in population, culture, and society, and population and human ecology. Next, preparation in demographic methods leads to a choice of coursework offered by the participating faculty listed above. Work on the certificate concludes with a seminar in the senior year. The population methods course (SOCIOL 363) satisfies the Analytic Reasoning requirement (R2) in the General Education program. Students enrolling in this course are expected to have a score of 20 on the Mathematics Placement Test (or its equivalent). In the course of their studies, students are urged to gain familiarity with a computing package such as EXCEL, QUARTRO PRO or STATA, any of which may be used in their coursework.

Required Courses

1. Conceptual introduction to demography (SOCIOL 261 Population Studies or equivalent).
2. Population methods (SOCIOL 363 Techniques of Demographic Analysis).
3. Topical courses. Two courses involving the application of demography to a particular subject area (for example, SOCIOL 565 Sociology and Ecology of the Community; ANTHRO 208 Human Ecology; GEO-SCI 370 Urban Geography; GEO-SCI 530 Population and Environment; SOCIOL 244 Sociology of Immigration; SOCIOL 222 The Family).
4. Seminar. At least one senior or graduate-level seminar on a topic employing demographic analysis. If none are available, an independent-study course with a professor qualified in demography may be substituted (for example, an independent study in the demography of disability, or aging, or women’s health in developing countries).

In the cases of requirements 1, 3, and 4, students should seek advice and approval of their choices from the Program Director.