University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin

Population Research Center

The Population Research Center (PRC) is an interdisciplinary research and training unit of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) that provides infrastructure support services and project development support for a very productive, interdisciplinary group of population-related researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students at UT. Most of the research is concentrated in four overlapping and reinforcing thematic areas: Health Disparities; Parenting, Partnering and Human Development; Educational Inequality and Opportunity; and Socioeconomic Inequality and Work. Underlying the work of the PRC is a foundation that emphasizes:

  1. fundamental attention to issues of social and economic inequality, particularly by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status;
  2. rigorous attention to, and application of, the most appropriate and advanced methodological techniques; and
  3. an orientation toward federal and major foundation grant funding and publication in top quality scientific journals.

The purpose of the PRC is to provide the resources and culture that are necessary to facilitate the highest level of population-related research and training activities among its faculty members and students. Resource-wise, this most centrally involves providing faculty members and students with state-of-the-art administrative and computing and information services that support their population-related research agendas. Further, researchers are supported by active collaborators and mentors within the PRC, a Brownbag Series to support and extend their research agendas and interests, and dedicated space to conduct their research and training activities. Culturally, the PRC is oriented toward supporting the submission and support of federal and foundation grants, the production and dissemination of the highest level of population related knowledge, and rigorous training activities that orient both undergraduate and graduate students towards population-related careers in the US and abroad. These goals are accomplished within an environment that is intellectually stimulating and demographically diverse, and which emphasizes the support and mentorship of junior-level faculty researchers as well as graduate and undergraduate students.

Areas of Specialization: 
Families, Fertility, and Children
Health and Social Inequalities
Population Health and Well-being

Pathways into Program

Although PRC is not a degree-granting unit, it provides an intensive graduate training program. Students seeking a graduate degree with a specialization in population studies must apply through an academic department at the University of Texas at Austin. The Department of Sociology at UT is the most common academic department of our graduate students and offers specializations in demography, health, family, education, religion, and other areas of central interest to population-related researchers. Graduate students from the Departments of Human Development and Family Sciences, Economics, Educational Psychology,Psychology, and Anthropology, as well as the LBJ School of Public Affairs and School of Social Work are also graduate student trainees in the PRC.

Graduate students can apply to become a PRC Trainee here. By being accepted as a PRC trainee, graduate students get access to computing resources and become eligible to apply for fellowships through the PRC. 

Degree Types

Master's Programs
Ph.D.
Postdoctoral/Fellowships
Robert Crosnoe, professor in the Department of Sociology and Population Research Center affiliate, has completed one of the most comprehensive studies of the long-term effects on teenagers who say they don't fit in. He used national statistics from 132 high schools and spent more than a year inside a high school in Texas with 2,200 students, observing and interviewing teenagers. His findings will be published in his new book "Fitting In, Standing Out" (Cambridge University Press; April 11, 2011). His research, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and William T. Grant Foundation, has resulted in recommendations for how parents, teachers and policymakers can ensure that the social side of high school supports, rather than undermines, academics.

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