Demography is the study of how the three core population processes -- fertility, mortality, and migration -- interrelate with major societal institutions, such as the family and the economy. Demographic issues encompass some of the most pressing social issues of our time including population aging, unprecedented changes in the structure and functioning of the family, social inequality, and environmental challenges, to name a few. Owing to this wide breadth, the field of demography is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from diverse fields such as anthropology, biology, economics, geography, history, medicine, public health, public policy and sociology. But it also possesses a clear identity as a scientific field, with professional associations, annual conferences, and peer-reviewed journals dedicated to demography (broadly defined).
The Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization
The purpose of the GISD is to provide graduate students with interdisciplinary training in the techniques and substance of demography. Through coursework and interactions with faculty across campus, and engagement with IPR (e.g. regular attendance at the weekly seminar series), participants will receive the training necessary to conduct high value research on population-related issues with a high degree of technical rigor. Across departments and colleges, training in demography (both techniques and substance) will be an asset for graduate students from a wide variety of fields, and formal recognition of such study on the student’s transcript upon completion will improve prospects in the academic and non-academic job market.