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Certificate in Population Studies - List of Courses

The following courses are currently approved for application toward the Certificante in Populations Studies awarded by the Maryland Population Research Center. Specific certificate-rated courses for the coming semester can be accessed using the link at the bottom of the page.

Please note that some of these courses may require the fulfillment of prerequisites.


  • SOCY 611 Introduction to Demographic Methods
  • SOCY 626 Demography of Aging
  • SOCY 627 Migration
  • SOCY 630 Population and Society. Selected problems in the field of population; quantitative and qualitative aspects; American and world problems.

  • SOCY 635 Social Aspects of Fertility. Demographic and socioeconomic aspects of fertility behavior; causes and consequences of fertility decline; relationship between women's status and fertility; determinants of adolescent and non-marital fertility; differential fertility by race/ethnicity and migration status.

  • SOCY 636 Population and Development. Population issues as linked to social and economic change; primary focus on developing nations and regions.

  • SOCY 637 Demography of the Labor Force. Demographic trends as related to the composition of the U.S. labor force and trends in income; employment status of immigrants, women, and minorities; relationship between skills and jobs; types of data available for study of the labor force.

  • SOCY 640 Population Policy in Social Context. Both implicit and explicit population policies from an international perspective, and the political and social context in which they occur are examined. Of special interest are the assumptions that underly population policies about the nature of the family and gender relations and the role of ideology in the science-policy nexus.

  • SOCY 653 Family Demography. Demographic perspective on family and household relationships; relationships among economic institutions, family structure, and the content of family life; research from contemporary U.S., historical and cross-cultural sources.

  • SOCY 666 Poverty and Welfare
  • SOCY 709 Advanced Special Topics in Data Analysis. An intensive examination of an area of interest in data analysis, including such topics as log linear analysis; discriminant function analysis; canonical correlation; factor analysis; analysis of qualitative data; content analysis; mathematical models. Sample syllabus.


  • ECON 615 Economic Development I. Analysis of the forces contributing to and retarding economic progress in less-developed areas. Topics include the relationship of international trade to development, import-substituting and export-led industrialization, the effects of population growth on economic development, and the analysis of institutions and institutional change in land tenure, finance, and labor markets.

  • ECON 616 Economic Development II. Current topics in economic development. Special emphasis on application of theory and research techniques to special problems or countries.

  • ECON 626 Empirical Microeconomics. To provide students with the opportunity to use Empirical techniques that are particularly valuable in the analysis of microeconomic data. Topics include panel data, nonlinear optimization, limited dependent variables, truncated, censored, and selected samples, the analysis of natural experiments, and quantile regressions.This course will emphasize hands-on practical experience.

  • ECON 652 Public Economics I. The characteristics and effects of government programs whose role is redistribution and social insurance are considered. Examples include cash welfare assistance, unemployment insurance, and Social Security. The focus is on U.S. programs, though other countries may be considered. Both theories of program design and empirical research on program effects will be covered. Topics in empirical methodology generally will also be stressed. Sample syllabus.

  • ECON 771 Advanced Labor Economics: Theory and Evidence. Modern analytical and quantitative labor economics. Labor supply decisions of individuals and households; human capital model and distribution of income. Demand for labor; marginal productivity theory, imperfect information and screening. Interaction of labor demand and supply; unemployment; relative and absolute wages; macroeconomic aspects of the labor market.

  • ECON 772 Population Economics. Covers the central ideas in population economics. These include theories and test of theories of mortality, fertility and immigration.


  • CCJS 661 Crime and the Life Course. Designed to provide an intensive examination of crime and the life course. Life course is examined as a theoretical orientation, a research methodology, and an empirical field of study with special reference to crime and deviance. Course includes development of criminal behavior and criminal careers; stability and change in criminal behavior across developmental stages; trajectories, transitions, and turning points through life; quantitative and qualitative approaches to studying crime and the life course; and social change and its link to individual lives.


  • EDMS 655 Multi-Level Modeling. This course will allow students to obtain a firm grounding in the statistical theory of multilevel modeling as it is employed in the social and behavioral sciences. More specifically, students will: 1)gain an understanding of the central statistical concepts underlying the methods (e.g., intraclass correlations, random slopes, random coefficients, variance components); 2) learn about a variety of multilevel models (e.g., random effects ANOVA, compositional effect models, slopes-as-outcomes models) as well as unique applications of the models (e.g., longitudinal analysis); and 3) gain experience in estimating multilevel models with several software packages, interpreting results, and drawing meaningful substantive conclusions
  • EDMS 769L: Statistical analysis of longitudinal data. This course will cover modern approaches to analyzing longitudinal data with an emphasis on linear mixed effects models for normal data. We will deviate from this path midway through the semester to explore linear latent growth curve models. Traditional methods such as repeated measures ANOVA/MANOVA will be discussed in reference to linear mixed effects models. We will discuss graphical data exploration, correlation structures, parameter estimation/testing/inference, model selection, diagnostics and model limitations.


  • EPIB 622 Social Determinants of Health. Overview of the major social variables that affect public health, including socioeconomic status, poverty, income distribution, race, social networks/support, community cohesion, psychological stress, gender, and work and neighborhood environment.

  • EPIB 623 Epidemiology of Health Disparities. Determinants that influence health outcomes of the most disadvantaged populations in the United States. Focus on social factors contributing to health disparities and inequities in the US.

  • EPIB 655 Longitudinal Data Analysis. Statistical models for drawing scientific inferences from longitudinal data, longitudinal study design, repeated measures and random effects to account for experimental designs that involve correlated responses, handling of missing data.


  • FMSC 700 Application of Advanced Quantitative Methods in Family Research. Optimal use of various designs, statistical methods and procedures in behavioral research in families.
  • FMSC 710 Current Topics in Maternal and Child Health. Overview of key health issues for various maternal and child health populations, especially those within the US. Review of maternal and child health databases and major programs and public policies aimed at improving the health of mothers, children, adolescents, and their families.

  • FMSC 730 Maternal and Family Health in Adulthood and Aging. Overview of major public health problems during the adult and elderly years, including cigarette smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and HIV/AIDS. Examination of life course research, prevention, and intervention programs, and public information campaigns.
  • FMSC 750 Family and Health Policy. Development and analysis of public policies affecting the health and well being of children, youth, and families, with an emphasis on low income and ethnic minority populations. Examiniation of social, economic, and political dynamics that influence family and health policies and the delivery of health care. Introduction to health advocacy within the US public health system.

  • FMSC 850 Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. Determinants and trends in Maternal and Child Health, including analysis of the role of economic inequalities, race and ethnicity, community contexts, and psychosocial factors across the life course. Overview of methods and data systems used to monitor Maternal and Child Health. Development of a complete population health study.


  • GEOG 606 Quantitative Spatial Analysis. Multivariate statistical method applications to spatial problems. Linear and non-linear correlation and regression, factor analysis, cluster analysis. Spatial statistics including: trend surfaces, sequences, point distributions. Applications orientation. The course has a $40 lab fee.
  • GEOG 673 GIS Modelling. Process modeling and spatial analysis within the GIS context. Introducestheoretical fundamentals and conceptual approaches to frame and represent geographical phenomena and spatial decision making. This course has a $40.00 lab fee.

  • GEOG 738B: Poverty, Development and Global change.

    This graduate level seminar traces the intellectual history of economic development and approaches to alleviating world poverty. It presents a geographical perspective on the economy (namely how economic activity locates over space) in order to enhance our understanding of why some people live in poverty despite growing theoretical commitments to equity and global justice.


  • HLSA 721 Using Demographic Data for Health Policy Analysis. Prerequisite: EPIB650. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the major demographic data sets that are used in health policy research and to provide hands-on experience using these data to answer policy oriented research questions.

Joint Program in Survey Methodology

  • SURV617 Applications of Statistical Modeling. Prerequisite: SURV615 and SURV616; or permission of instructor. Designed for students on both the social science and statistical tracks for the two programs in survey methodology, will provide students with exposure to applications of more advanced statistical modeling tools for both substantive and methodological investigations that are not fully covered in other MPSM or JPSM courses. Modeling techniques to be covered include multilevel modeling (with an application to methodological studies of interviewer effects), structural equation modeling (with an application of latent class models to methodological studies of measurement error), classification trees (with an application to prediction of response propensity), and alternative models for longitudinal data (with an application to panel survey data from the Health and Retirement Study). Discussions and examples of each modeling technique will be supplemented with methods for appropriately handling complex sample designs when fitting the models. The class will focus on practical applications and software rather than extensive theoretical discussions.


  • PLCY 699D Selected Topics Public Policy: Disease, Disasters and Development. Development - cultural, agricultural, industrial, social, economic, political - will be reviewed as a bringer of disease prevention and treatment and as a bringer of disease itself, from acute infections and poisonings to chronic conditions attributable to the “westernization” of diets. Then, development’s uncertain resilience in disaster and the developed world’s uneven response to disasters of various sorts - political, military, economic, environmental, geophysical, meteorological, nutritional, epidemic, epizootic, epiphytotic - will be considered, with particular attention paid to the performance of national agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, institutions, charities, professions, and activists.
  • PLCY 699Q Selected Topics Public Policy: Demography, Development and Social Policy. Rapid demographic changes - falling fertility rates, declining mortality rates, cross-national migration and urbanization - have profoundly changed societies in the last half-century. This course covers the recent history of these demographic trends and examines their implications for public policy in the US, other OECD countries, and developing countries. Demographic tools, concepts and sources of data and projections useful for policy studies will be introduced.
  • PLCY 782 International Development Economics. Examines key current economic and policy issues for developing and transition economies. Topics include inflation stabilization, fiscal policy, selected trade issues, dealing with international capital flows, the role of multilateral organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and issues relating to saving, investment and growth.

Other courses may be substituted with the approval of the graduate co-coordinator of a department affiliated with the Certificate program.

See the listing of eligible courses for the current semester

For more information about this program, please contact or Judith Hellerstein.