Program Description

Cal-ADAR seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in demography (with an emphasis on aging) by providing a robust educational program to qualified students.

Being a Cal-Adar trainee offers many important benefits:

•Financial support (fees and/or stipend)

•One-on-one mentorship throughout the program

•Paid mentored research experiences during the summer and academic year

•Specialized training in quantitative social science research

•Paid travel to one or more academic conferences, including opportunities to present research

•GRE preparation

Cal-ADAR training includes coursework in demography, in particular Demog/Soc C126 ("Sex, Death and Data", Fall) and Demog 160 ("Special Topics: Writing a Research Paper", Spring), and coursework in research design, statistics and social theory. Trainees also attend a seminar on professionalization skills and on applying to graduate schools (Demog 198, Fall). Trainees have access to the Director and Assistant Director for one-on-one mentoring, and to a GSI who provides research support during the semester.


Academic:  As this is a three-semester program, Cal-ADAR is targeted to juniors, although seniors may apply. Prerequisites for admittance to the program are introductory statistics, an introductory course in research design (e.g., Sociology 5), and a course in social science theory (e.g. Econ 1, Soc 1, Soc 101, PS 1, etc.). These courses are usually taken during the freshman and sophomore years, and can be completed at other institutions. The grade point requirement for coursework overall and for prerequisite courses is a 3.3 or B+. The application consists of a transcript (unofficial), an essay describing an area of inquiry, and a letter of recommendation or nomination. The Department of Demography welcomes all qualified students to take the minor degree.

Underrepresented Populations: Demography is officially a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) and like many STEM fields, there are many Caucasian and Asian scholars, but few African-Americans and Latinos. Disabled persons are also underrepresented. This is a problem because those voices are not being adequately expressed such that scientific results and policy do not get appropriately framed. As a federally-funded program, Cal-ADAR seeks UC Berkeley undergraduate students who meet any of the following criteria:

  • African American, Chicanx/Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander students
  • Students with UC Berkeley EOP status
  • Individuals with disabilities, defined as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

While the Cal-ADAR program in its fullest form is designed for those who fit the NIH definition of under-represented as described we will admit others to the program as space and funds allow.


Program Curriculum

Students will complete the following educational goals:

•Demog/Soc C126 and Demog 160

•An option to complete a minor in Demography (Demog 110, Demog 126, Demog 175 and other requirements)

•A workshop in applying to graduate school and professionalization, held in the Fall semester (Demog 198; 1 unit)

•A summer internship

•Additional coursework in research methods to the extent possible (e.g., Soc 106, PubHealth 141, Econ 140)

•A mentored research project either with a faculty member, or with a graduate student, or through the SMART program

•An upper division course in social science theory (e.g., Economics 100A, 101A, sociology 101, or political science 112C)

•A trip to the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in the spring