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Department of Demography

Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Applied Demography

Students accepted for admission into the Ph.D. program in Applied Demography have the opportunity to engage in advanced study and research in the field of Applied Demography as it applies to questions in such areas as public policy and administration, urban and regional planning, life sciences, medicine, business, and the social sciences. Depending on their area of focus, students may work with faculty from a variety of areas of study offered at UTSA. Students may also choose to take related courses at, or work with contributing faculty members from, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the San Antonio regional campus of The University of Texas School of Public Health.

The Applied Demography program prepares students to address the expanding education and research problems that are at the intersection of demography, public policy and administration, education, public health, and health care. Students may pursue careers in university departments that teach demography, university-based medical centers, public-health related organizations and agencies, health science centers, national and corporate settings, and local, state and federal government. Students are trained to examine the effects of demographic factors on policy—both private and public.

The regulations for this degree comply with the general University regulations (refer to Chapter 2, General Academic Regulations, and Chapter 5, Doctoral Degree Regulations).

Admission Requirements. In addition to satisfying the University-wide requirements for admission to graduate programs, all prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree from an accredited university in demography/sociology, geography, economics, biology, political science, statistics, mathematics, business, or a similar field. Students who have not earned a qualifying master’s degree may be required to complete the equivalent courses in the appropriate discipline area before admission to the Ph.D. program in Applied Demography.

In addition, applicants must submit:

  1. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework completed,

  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from a GRE-administered examination completed no more than five years prior to the Ph.D. student’s date of application. All applicants are required to submit scores from the GRE math, verbal, and analytical portions of the examination and scores for a related specialty area,

  3. three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources familiar with the applicant’s background, and

  4. a letter of application describing the applicant’s academic and work backgrounds and goals and objectives related to the applicant’s Ph.D. program.

International students from non-English-speaking countries must also submit a score of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) paper version or 79 Internet version, as required by the University. These test scores may not be more than two years old at the date of application to the Ph.D. program.

A complete application includes the application form, official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a letter of application stating academic and work experience, interests and goals, and if required, a TOEFL score. Admission is competitive and satisfying these requirements does not guarantee admission.

Degree Requirements. The Applied Demography Ph.D. requires students to complete a minimum of 48 hours of organized coursework and a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation credits for a total of at least 60 hours beyond the master’s degree. The doctoral program has a base of core courses that will result in all students having a firm grounding in demography and related areas of statistics with students then choosing their area of specialization. All students will be required to complete the core courses listed below and a set of courses in their chosen track.

All students are expected to enter the program with some proficiency and aptitude for utilizing statistical software (i.e., SAS, Stata, R). Basic ability to use the DEM-Research server to import and transform data sets and conduct basic statistical analyses is a requirement to be successful with a number of courses, and skills demonstrated by this ability are important to being an applied demographer. Recognizing that some students start the program with computer and software skills and knowledge, an examination has been developed that will assess this competency.

Program of Study

  1. Core Research and Statistics Courses (15 semester credit hours):

    1. 6 semester credit hours of the following required courses:

      DEM 7243    General Research Methods for Demographers
      DEM 7253    Survey Methods for Demographers

    2. 9 semester credit hours selected from the following:

      DEM 7143    Applied Mathematical Demography
      DEM 7223    Advanced Methods for Life Table Analysis
      DEM 7233    Applied Forecasting Methods in Demography
      DEM 7263    Spatial Demography
      DEM 7273    Statistics for Demographic Data I
      DEM 7283    Statistics for Demographic Data II

  2. Core Demography Courses (18 semester credit hours):

    1. 9 semester credit hours selected from the following courses:

      DEM 7013    Demographic Methods of Analysis I
      DEM 7023    Demographic Methods of Analysis II
      DEM 7093    GIS for Population Science
      DEM 7113    Social Demography and Community Trends

    2. 9 semester credit hours selected from the following:

      DEM 7033    Mortality

      DEM 7043    Migration
      DEM 7053    International Migration

      DEM 7083    Fertility

  3. Advanced Courses (a minimum of 15 semester credit hours selected from the following is required):

    DEM 7063    Applied Demography in Policy Settings
    DEM 7073    Disparities in Health and Health Care
    DEM 7123    Applied Demography in Education
    DEM 7153    Applied Demography in Public Health
    DEM 7173    Applied Demography in Urban and Regional Planning
    DEM 7183    Social and Economic Impact Assessment
    DEM 7413    Demographic Perspectives on Poverty
    DEM 7423    Demography of the Labor Force and Labor Markets
    DEM 7433    Demography of Race and Ethnicity
    DEM 7443    Demography of Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood
    DEM 7783    Internship in Applied Demography

  4. Doctoral Dissertation (minimum 12 semester credit hours):

    DEM 7911-6    Doctoral Dissertation

The entire program of study must be approved by the student’s dissertation advisor and graduate committee, and must be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School through the Dean of the College of Public Policy for final approval.

Admission to Candidacy. Advancement to candidacy requires that a student complete University and Applied Demography requirements. The student must choose a graduate committee and designate one faculty member as chair of that committee. This faculty member must be a member of the graduate faculty of UTSA. A degree plan must be submitted by each student to his or her specific graduate committee and must be approved by the committee before the end of the second semester of enrollment. The student may seek candidacy by taking and passing written and oral qualifying examinations. The written examination is administered by the graduate faculty. The oral qualifying examination will assess issues not adequately addressed in the student’s written examination. The student will also submit and undergo an oral examination in defense of the student’s dissertation proposal. Written qualifying examinations will be scheduled twice a year. Oral examinations are administered at the discretion of the student’s committee and must meet the timeline and requirements of the University. All students must schedule a defense of their dissertation at which all members of their committee are present to examine the student and issue a pass/fail evaluation of the student’s work. The Chair of the student’s committee is responsible for approval of the final corrections of the student’s dissertation.

Dissertation. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research by completing and defending an original dissertation. The research topic is determined by the student in consultation with his or her supervising professor. A dissertation committee, selected by the student in consultation with his or her supervising professor, guides and critiques the candidate’s research. The completed dissertation must be formally presented and defended to, and approved by, the student’s Dissertation Committee. Awarding of the degree is based on the approval of the Dissertation Committee. The UTSA Dean of the Graduate School certifies the completion of all University-wide requirements.

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