Ph.D in Population Studies (PIPS)

PIPS students have an interest in population and a strong quantitative background, often in statistics, mathematics, or environmental sciences (though not limited to these fields).  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. Application should be made to Population Studies (POP). All graduate students in Population Studies are candidates for the Ph.D. There is no separate M.A. program. The M.A. may be awarded as an incidental degree for students continuing to the Ph.D. or as a terminal degree for those leaving the program.

Designed as a five-year program, the Ph.D. in Population Studies 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 three examinations, usually taken over the course of two years.  Students must demonstrate proficiency in basic demographic theory and methods as well as proficiency in two 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. Students also complete a research paper of publishable quality, and the Ph.D. dissertation.

Degree requirements are summarized in the PIPS Program Requirements and below. More detailed information on degree requirements can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook, and from the Director of Graduate Studies or the Graduate Program Administrator.

  • 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, and POP electives.
  • Attend and actively participate in the year-long weekly Notestein Seminar Series.
  • Successfully complete a course or workshop in Responsible Conduct of Research.
  • Successfully write an empirical second year paper.
  • Pass three General Examinations. The first exam on demographic methods and content normally is taken in May of the first year. The other two are taken as population subfields. 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.