Ph.D in Population Studies and Social Policy (PIPS/JDP)

Students can pursue a joint degree in population studies and social policy (JDP).  PIPS/JDP students have an interest in population and social policy, and have a strong quantitative background, often in statistics, mathematics, or environmental sciences (though not limited to these fields).  Students may apply for the joint degree at the time of application to Princeton, or during their second or third year of study in the PIPS program.

Applicants are required to submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and for those students whose native language is not English and who have not had advanced training at an English-speaking institution, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required. 

Designed as a five-year program, the joint degree program in Population Studies and Social Policy requires approximately two and a half years of courses, general examinations, and research and teaching, which culminates in the final public oral examination. Specific requirements include completion of the General Examination, which consists of two examinations in Demography and Population sub-field, usually taken over the course of two years.  Students must demonstrate proficiency in basic demographic theory and methods as well as proficiency in one of the following fields of concentration: economic demography, family demography, fertility/fecundity, health, historical demography, mathematical/statistical demography, migration/immigration, mortality, population and development, population and environment, population policy, poverty/child wellbeing, and urbanization.  JDP students must also complete a third field exam in inequality in addition to a specialized sequence of half-term courses in their second year. Students also complete a research paper of publishable quality, and the Ph.D. dissertation.

More information about the JDP program can be found here.  Degree requirements are summarized Degree requirements are summarized in the PIPS/JDP Program Requirements and below. More detailed requirements can be found in the Graduate Student handbook.

  • Attain a passing grade in 12 to 14 courses in the first two to three years of enrollment.  This includes the core POP sequence (POP 501; POP 502; POP 503), the statistics sequence, the JDP sequence, an advanced empirical seminar (SPIA 590s) and POP electives.
  • Attend and actively participate in the year-long weekly Notestein Seminar Series as well as the JDP lecture series.
  • Successfully complete a course or workshop in Responsible Conduct of Research.
  • Successfully write an empirical second year paper.
  • Pass the General Examinations. The first exam on demographic methods and content is normally taken in May of the first year. The other two are taken as a population-related field exam, and an inequality field exam. These field exams are normally taken May of the second year or October of the third year.
  • Complete six assistant instructor (AI) hours, normally during second and third year.
  • Complete and defend an acceptable dissertation prospectus by the end of the third year.
  • Present your work at a Notestein Seminar.
  • Complete an acceptable dissertation and pass a final public oral examination.