Cal-ADAR Program Description

Cal-ADAR seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority researchers in demography of aging and life course research by providing a robust educational program to qualified UC Berkeley undergraduates.

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 (“Migration & How to Write a Quantitative Research Paper”, Spring), and coursework in research design, statistics and social theory. Trainees also attend a seminar on on applying to graduate schools and professionalization skills (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 two-semester program, Cal-ADAR is targeted to current juniors. Prerequisites for admittance to the program are:

  • Introductory statistics
  • Introductory course in research design (e.g., Sociology 5)
  • 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 overall GPA requirement and the GPA for prerequisite courses is a 3.3 or B+. The application consists of all college transcripts (unofficial – at Cal, community college, etc); an essay describing an area of inquiry and interest in demography of aging; and a letter of recommendation. The Department of Demography welcomes all qualified students to take the minor degree in Demography.

Underrepresented Populations: Demography is officially a STEM field (science, technology, engineering and math) and like many STEM fields, there are many scholars who identify as White and/or Asian, but few who identify as African-Americans and/or Latinx. Persons with disabilities are also underrepresented. This is a problem because if academia, policy think tanks and decision-making bodies lack these voices, science and policy suffer greatly as a result. As a federally-funded program, Cal-ADAR seeks UC Berkeley undergraduate students who meet any of the following criteria:

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

Cal-ADAR program also works with the NIH definition of under-represented and 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
  • A workshop in applying to graduate school and professionalization, held in the Fall semester (Demog 198; 1 unit)
  • Additional coursework in research methods to the extent possible (e.g., Soc 106, PubHealth 141, Econ 140)
  • An option to complete a minor in Demography (Demog 110, Demog 126, Demog 175 and other requirements)
  • A mentored research project with faculty or graduate student mentors
  • A summer internship (as funding allows)
  • A trip to the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in the spring