Population Studies Certificate

The Population Studies Certificate Program

Demographers study the types of human population processes that play a key role in the fields of education, international development, environmental impact analysis, marketing, urban planning, healthcare, public safety, government, actuarial science, and academia. (Find specifics on the career application of population studies.) Using empirical, evidence-based data, demographers shape government policy and contribute ideas to the betterment of society. The Department of Sociology’s Certificate in Population Studies prepares undergraduate students for careers requiring demographic skills or for entering graduate programs in related areas.

In just the last few years our world has experienced a number of major demographic milestones. The global population reached its 7 billionth mark, triple the size of what it was just a century ago. For the first time in human history, more people are now living in cities than in rural areas. And, although the HIV/AIDs epidemic remains a significant mortality threat, it reached its peak and has begun to decline. Almost half of the global population living in every region of the world now has below-replacement fertility. Thus, the world’s growth rate is slowing and very soon the elderly will outnumber young children in the world. The 2013 United Nations Human Development Report showed that health, education, and income gains have accelerated over recent years for many developing countries. Nevertheless, global poverty and disease remain pressing issues and environmental concerns stemming from rising global consumption continue to mount. Skills that can understand these complex human processes are needed now more than ever.

Please note that the Population Studies certificate is not offered through UWW Sociology Online.


Students must take eighteen (18) credits:

  1. One required course (3 cr.):
    ​SOCIOL 261 Population Studies
    or Soc 232 (at Smith College)
  2. One (1) of the following substantive courses:

    SOCIOL 222 The Family
    SOCIOL 223 Work & Society
    SOCIOL 244 Sociology of Immigration
    SOCIOL 252 Intro to Human Rights
    SOCIOL 262 Globalization and Inequality
    SOCIOL 287 Sexuality & Society
    SOCIOL 316 Environment and Society
    SOCIOL 353 Sociology of Medicine
    SOCIOL 360 Urban Sociology
    SOCIOL 361 Demography of Minority Groups
    SOCIOL 385 Gender & the Family
    SOCIOL 388 Gender & Globalization
  3. SOCIOL 212 Statistics​
    (A statistics course in another department or college—such as PSYCH 240, PUBHLTH 223, or RES-ECON 212 may be substituted.)
  4. One (1) of the following methods courses:

    SOCIOL 213 Data Collection & Analysis
    SOCIOL 313 Survey Design and Analysis
    SOCIOL 351 Social Network Analysis
    COMM 355 Behavioral Research in Communication
    GEOGRAPH 352 Computer Mapping
    POLSCI 328 Research Methods for Political and Social Sciences
    PSYCH 241 Methods of Inquiry in Psychology
    PUBHLTH 224 Epidemiology in Public Health
    RES-ECON 313 Quantitative Methods in Applied Economics

    (Additional methods courses from UMass and the Five College consortium are acceptable as substitutes for these electives; see the Director of Undergraduate Advising for approval.)
  5. Two (2) elective courses:

    Global Development
    COMM 297A Intro Global Communication
    ECON 366 Economic Development
    ECON 367 Post Independence African Development
    ECON 397D Latin American Economic Development
    GEOGRAPH 102 Diversity, Globalization, and Sustainability
    GEOGRAPH 360 Economic Geography
    GEOGRAPH 364 Geography of Development
    GEOGRAPH 450 Indigenous Peoples & Conservation
    POLSCI 290P Power, Privilege, and Inequality on a Global Scale
    RESECON 263 Natural Resource Economics
    RESECON 397E Special Topics - Economic Development and the Environment

    EDUC 357 Intro to Urban Education
    GEOGRAPH 370 Urban Geography
    GEOGRAPH 372 Urban Issues
    POLISCI 214 Urban Government & Politics

    ANTHRO 218 Anthropology of Transnational Migration​
    BLST 294/EUST 294 Black Europe (at Amherst College)
    ECON 335 Economics of Immigration
    HISTORY 297U History of Refugees, Borders, and Migration
    HISTORY 358 Immigration and Migration in US History
    LABOR 204 Labor & The Global Economy

    Global Environment
    ANTHRO 208 Human Ecology
    ECON 308 Political Economy of the Environment​
    ENVIRSCI 213 Introduction to Environmental Policy
    ENVIRSCI 214 Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Global Change
    GEOGRAPH 250 Natural Disasters
    GEOGRAPH 364 Geography of Development
    POLISCI 382 Environmental Policy
    POLISCI 397ES Special Topics: Environment and Sustainability Politics
    REGIONPL 587 People and the Environment
    RESEC 262 Environmental Economics

    ANTHRO 233 Kinship and Social Organization
    ANTHRO 273 People and Pathogens: An Introduction to Disease Ecology
    ANTHRO 415 Women's Health Across the Lifecourse
    COMM 319 Health Communication
    ECON 340 Economics of Heath
    PUBHLTH 200 Introduction to Public Health
    PUBHLTH 203 Intro to Environmental Health Sciences​
    PUBHLTH 224 Epidemiology in Public Health
    PUBHLTH 301 Principles of Community Health Education
    PUBHLTH 323 Public Health Communications
    PUBHLTH 390E Understanding Health Disparities
    PUBHLTH 397A ST-Intro to Global Health
    WGSS 205 Feminist Health Politics

There are many research methods courses available as part of the Five College consortium that may count for this certificate - other courses (UMass and Five College) may be approved on a case-by-case basis by the Director of Undergraduate Advising.

Multiple Credentials Policy

No more than two courses used to fulfill the requirements of any one credential may be applied towards the fulfillment of another credential, wherein “credential” is defined as an academic degree program (major), minor, or certificate. One course may only be applied to two credentials. For more information, view the Multiple Credentials Policy.

Completing Your Certificate

Once you have enrolled in the final class for your certificate, please fill out the Certificate Completion Form and submit an unofficial transcript. Forms may be submitted via e-mail to advising@soc.umass.edu.

Note: To receive the Certificate in Population Studies, a minimum 2.0 GPA must be maintained across courses applied to certificate requirements.

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