The CDE training program fosters an interdisciplinary community of junior scholars in population research, builds expertise in demographic theory and methods, and cultivates students' professional skills. The training program has three components: (1) formal training through regular courses and mini-courses in an interdisciplinary environment, (2) exposure to cutting-edge research of scholars in the broader community of population studies, and (3) participation in substantive research projects, including mentored trainee-initiated research and participation in the research projects of CDE faculty.
CDE students apply for admission to the UW–Madison Graduate School through an academic department. PhD and MA degrees are awarded through these departments. The Department of Sociology is the academic home of the majority of our graduate students. Students in the Departments of Statistics, Economics, and Population Health Sciences are also affiliated with CDE.
Much of the research conducted by CDE faculty takes place within the five signature themes:
- Demography of Inequality
- Fertility, Families and Households
- Health and The Life Course
- Environmental & Spatial Demography
CDE offers integrative methodological training through the courses, seminars, and informal workshops. An interdisciplinary training proseminar provides training in the skills of writing grant applications, making presentations, writing papers for publication, applying for academic and research jobs, responsible conduct of research, and other essential professional skills.
CDE's training faculty consists of a diverse and productive collection of population scholars. In addition to the three main departments, CDE faculty also have appointments in agricultural and applied economics, educational policy studies, educational psychology, environmental studies, gender and women's studies, geography, public affairs, social work, and statistics. Some faculty members also hold joint appointments with biostatistics, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and political science. Faculty are also affiliated American Indian Studies, the Institute on Aging, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and with area studies programs such as the Center for East Asian Studies, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, and the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia. Most CDE training faculty have ties to multiple departments, programs, and research units.
The resources available to pre-doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows for demographic research are outstanding. The University of Wisconsin–Madison is regularly ranked among the top five U.S. public universities and is first among that group in research and development expenditures. The sociology department (which has historically been closely affiliated with CDE) and its joint graduate program with community and environmental sociology are routinely ranked among the top ten in the United States. The department of economics is consistently among the top 15 programs in the country, with highly-regarded specialties in labor economics, empirical microeconomics, econometrics, international economics, and public finance.