About the Program
The Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography (GGSD) is an interdisciplinary training program in the social sciences designed for students with broad intellectual interests. Drawing on Berkeley's Department of Sociology and Department of Demography, the group offers students a rigorous and rewarding intellectual experience.
The group, founded in 2001, sponsors a single degree program leading to a PhD in Sociology and Demography. The GGSD helps foster an active intellectual exchange between graduate students and faculty in the two disciplines. In addition, faculty and students associated with the group often maintain close ties with other disciplines both inside and outside the social sciences (for example, economics, anthropology, statistics, public health, biology, and medicine).
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: 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, and birth control.
Students in the GGSD typically earn both an MA in Sociology and an MA in Demography both an MA in Sociology and en route to the PhD in Sociology and Demography; however, it is not required to earn an MA in Sociology to get the PhD in Sociology and Demography. Students already enrolled in another graduate program at Berkeley who wish to earn a PhD in Sociology and Demography should contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer to receive application instructions. Students not already enrolled at Berkeley who wish to enter the PhD program should complete the required online application. The general deadlines for the application specified by the Graduate Division apply, as do the general requirements of the Academic Senate and the Graduate Division for PhD degree programs.
Minimum Requirements for Admission
The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:
- A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
- A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
- If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
- Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.
Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree
The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.
Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.
Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.
The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:
- Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
- Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.
Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.
Required Documents for Applications
- Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
- Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
courses in English as a Second Language,
courses conducted in a language other than English,
courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
courses of a non-academic nature.
If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.
Where to Apply
Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.
The Department of Demography requires all applicants to take the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination. Applicants may apply for the Masters in Demography, PhD in Demography or the PhD in Sociology and Demography.
Doctoral Degree Requirements
Normative Time Requirements
Normative Time to Advancement
Normative time to advancement to doctoral candidacy for the Sociology and Demography PhD is eight semesters from the time the student entered the program.
Normative Time in Candidacy
Normative time in doctoral candidacy for the Sociology and Demography PhD degree is four semesters.
Total Normative Time
The total normative time of the program is 12 semesters.
Time to Advancement
|DEMOG 110||Introduction to Population Analysis||3|
|DEMOG/ECON C175||Economic Demography||4|
|DEMOG 200||Fundamentals of Population Thought||4|
|Sex, Death, and Data  (May substitute for DEMOG 200)|
|DEMOG 210||Demographic Methods: Rates and Structures||4|
|DEMOG 211||Advanced Demographic Analysis||3-4|
|or SOCIOL 271C||Methods of Sociological Research|
|DEMOG 213||Practical Computer Applications for Demographic Analysis||2|
|DEMOG 296||Advanced Research Techniques||4|
|DEMOG Graduate Elective (choose one course from 220 to 289)|
& SOCIOL 201B
|Classical Social Theory|
and Modern Social Theory
|SOCIOL 271A||Methods of Sociological Research||4|
|SOCIOL Graduate Electives (choose two courses from 280 series)|
|Electives per approved study list|
Coursework and Preliminary Examination
During the first year of study students in all Demography and Sociology and Demography degree programs complete the required coursework (24 units) and then take the preliminary examination at the end of the spring semester.
Each student is expected to demonstrate reasonable reading competence in at least one other than English language that is relevant to demographic studies. Students must pass a language exam before advancing to doctoral candidacy.
The dissertation prospectus is developed in the context of a research seminar and under the advisement of the graduate academic advisor. The dissertation prospectus must be approved by the proposed dissertation advisor.
Oral Qualifying Examination
The oral qualifying examination for admission to doctoral candidacy should be taken during the second or third year.
CITI Human Subjects Training
Students are required to take CITI Human Subjects training as specified by the Office for the Protection of Human Subjects before advancing to doctoral candidacy. For more information please see the OPHS website: http://cphs.berkeley.edu/training.html
Time in Candidacy
Upon successful completion of the foreign language requirement, the oral qualifying exam, and the prospectus, students enter into the final phase of the program, doctoral candidacy. During this period, students are expected to take another research seminar, DEMOG 296, every semester until the completion of the dissertation. The department does not require a formal defense of the completed dissertation.
Required Professional Development
The department does not formally require professional development but all students are encouraged to attend the weekly Demography Brown Bag Presentation Series. Students are also encouraged to attend and present papers at the annual Population Association of America Meeting or other demographic conferences.
Faculty and Instructors
Irene Bloemraad, Professor of Sociology . Immigration, social movements, political sociology, multiculturalism, race and ethnicity, Canada, non-profit organizations, research methods.
William H. Dow, Professor of Public Health. Health economics, international health, economic demography.
Dennis Feehan, Assistant Professor of Demography . Demography, social networks, sociology, and statistics.
Claude S. Fischer, Professor Emeritus. Social networks, American social history, technology, urban sociology, sociology.
Neil D. Fligstein, Professor of Sociology . Economic sociology, organizations, methodology and statistics, political.
Marion Fourcade, Professor of Sociology . Culture, social theory, political sociology, economic sociology, comparative methods, knowledge and science.
Joshua R. Goldstein, Professor of Demography . Fertility, marriage, social demography, historical demography, population aging, formal demography .
David Harding, Associate Professor of Sociology . Poverty, inequality, causal inference, mixed methods, incarceration, prisoner reentry, education, neighborhoods, urban, community, adolescence.
Heather A. Haveman, Professor of Sociology . Organizations, economic sociology, entrepreneurship, China, careers and social mobility, gender, social history.
Rucker Charles Johnson, Associate Professor of Public Policy . Determinants of intergenerational mobility, societal consequences of incarceration, effects of maternal employment patterns on child well-being, socioeconomic determinants of health disparities over the life course.
Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Professor of Demography and Sociology. Culture, population, social action, intentions, Africa, gender, fertility, marriage.
Danya Lagos, Assistant Professor of Sociology . Gender studies, transgender studies, LGBTQ communities, survey research methods.
Mara Loveman, Professor of Sociology . Comparative and historical sociology, political sociology, ethnoracial politics, development, demography, Latin America.
Samuel R. Lucas, Professor of Sociology . Research methods, demography, sociology, social stratification, sociology of education, and research statistics.
Ayesha Mahmud, Assistant Professor of Demography .
Jane Mauldon, Associate Teaching Professor of Public Policy. Demography, public policy, quantitative methods, health policy and economics, poverty and public policy, the teen-parent component of California_Â _s welfare reforms.
Trond Petersen, Professor of Sociology. Inequality, comparative gender inequality, hiring, promotions, wages, quantitative methods, social stratification, economic sociology, comparative studies, and quantitative methods.
Leo Goodman, Professor Emeritus. Sociology, statistics, log-linear models, correspondence analysis models, mathematical demography, categorical data analysis, survey data analysis, logit models, log-bilinear models, association models.
Eugene A. Hammel, Professor Emeritus. Kinship, social anthropology, stratification, statistical and formal analysis, computer applications, peasant society and culture, demography, Balkans.
Ronald D. Lee, Professor Emeritus. Economics, evolutionary theory, mathematical demography, population aging, intergenerational transfers, economic demography, life history theory, population forecasting, national transfer accounts.
Kristin Luker, Professor Emeritus. Social policy, jurisprudence.
Kenneth Wachter, Professor Emeritus. Mathematical demography stochastic models, simulation, biodemography, federal statistical system.
John R. Wilmoth, Professor Emeritus. Demography, sociology, methodological research, longevity, life expectancy, mortality differentials, familial resemblance, mortality and life expectancy forcasting, historical population trends, world population growth, international migration forecasting.
Graduate Group in Sociology and Demography
2232 Piedmont Ave