The DASA program is organized around the interdisciplinary field of demography and draws faculty and courses mainly from the School of Social Sciences. A student who completes the program will earn an M. A. in Social Sciences (Concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis).

The nine-month Master of Arts curriculum is integrated with the introductory graduate courses in the school, and includes population theory, research design, descriptive and inferential statistics, and demographic methods. These core courses are complemented by a varying menu of population-relevant electives. Throughout the academic year, students will apply the training and skills they are learning through a research project. The year culminates in an oral exam wherein students present their research.

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A sample course rubric is found below.


Required (core) courses are shown below, in bold. Whereas core courses remain the same year-in and year-out, elective offerings vary. The sample electives are compiled from past offerings by DASA faculty. Actual choices extend beyond this sample list. Also, students who have not completed an undergraduate statistics class with a grade of B or better have several ways to demonstrate required competence before enrolling in Grad Statistics II.

Rubric for DASA

Sample Electives (partial list from 12 departments)

Students may choose DASA-related electives (i.e., population issues or research methods, such as quantitative, survey, or other approved research methods courses) from the School of Social Ecology, School of Social Sciences, School of Public Health, or the Paul Merage School of Business.

To help with your planning, here is a list of recent and planned future classes offered by the Sociology Department.


Events throughout the Year

These are the regular events that DASA students could participate in throughout the academic year:

  • Fall Welcome Back Dinner and Colloquium
  • GIS Seminar
  • C-DASA Colloquiums throughout the year
  • Alumni Panel
  • The Population Association of America Annual Meeting (PAA),
  • Final Paper Symposium


Program Learning Outcomes

Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate a general knowledge of major theories, issues, and research findings in the fields of population studies and social demography.
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge of demographic analysis sufficient to carry out basic demographic research.

Research Methods and Analysis

  • Understand the array of tools available for demographic research. Such tools include demographic modeling and empirical analysis (statistics).
  • Understand and critically evaluate research in their area of demographic or social analysis.
  • Plan and conduct an independent research project guided by previous research, theory, and applied work.

Scholarly Communication

  • Structure a coherent academic argument that rigorously presents and evaluates evidence to support their claims.
  • Review and cogently synthesize relevant literature.
  • Write at a level and style of English consistent with that found in leading academic journals.
  • Understand and properly use styles of citing, referencing, and formatting found in academic research outlets.
  • Effectively present research in both oral and written presentations.


  • Prepare manuscripts or research reports that meet standards of their profession.
  • Collegially evaluate others’ research and respond appropriately to suggestions and critiques of their own research.
  • Participate in professional meetings.
  • Develop professional networks.
  • Undertake research ethically and adhere to tenets of academic honesty.

Independent Research

  • Develop their own research projects that meet high standards of theoretical and methodological rigor.
  • Design independent research in accordance with the standards in the field under the advisement of program faculty.
  • Produce scholarship that is suitable for presentation and publication in relevant professional outlets.

Best Paper Award Winners

Each year we recognize the student whose oral presentation and paper demonstrate the best combination of demographic understanding, research skills, professionalism, and polish. The Best Paper Award winners for the past several years are listed below.


What's in the UCI catalogue about the DASA degree?

The M.A. requires 36 units of study, an oral exit examination during which students present their research project, and a written summary of their research. All students must complete 20 units of required courses which include one course in research design, one in demographic methods, one in populations, and two in statistics. In addition, students must complete 16 units of elective courses in population issues or research methods. No more than four units may be internship, independent study, directed readings, or thesis courses (to prepare for the oral examination). One or two electives may be upper-division undergraduate courses, with the remainder being graduate courses. All courses must be completed with a grade of B or better.

The M.A. in Social Sciences with a concentration in Demographic and Social Analysis may also be awarded to Ph.D. students who complete the necessary requirements. Ph.D. students are not required to complete the program within the one-year timeframe.

The complete UCI catalogue can be accessed at The DASA curriculum is guided by an Advisory Board of prominent California demographers presently working in industry, government, and non-profit organizations.


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