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:: Background

Initiated in 1993, IPSR’s Ph. D. Program is designed to meet the needs for advanced training in demography. During its first decade, the program focused on training Thai researchers. Since 2002, it has been open to interested applicants from other countries. All classes are conducted, and the dissertation is written, in English. It is the first international program in Thailand that provides doctoral – level training in this field.

Current population trends interact with dynamic global changes in the economy, technology, society and health, heightening the importance of demographic sciences such as formal demography, social demography, business demography, medical demography, population and the environment, and epidemiological demography. The Ph.D. Program in Demography provides opportunities for professional careers in universities and international organizations, as well as a path to career advancement and collaboration both in Thailand and internationally.

:: Voices from Alumni

“My study time at IPSR was an unforgettable time of my life.
Studying in such a good environment gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and plan my future”.
Ramesh Adhikari, Nepal

“IPSR teaches me that “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, but adjust the action steps”. Thanks to my IPSR masters, they help me to be strong enough on my way”.
Wimontip Musikaphan, Thailand

“Joining the PhD program in Demography at IPSR was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I received wonderful research experience there by attending training workshops and field visits. The multidisciplinary teaching faculty was excellent, and the student-friendly learning environment, supportive staff, and nice friends made my life happy there. I feel it is my second home, and I would recommend this program to anyone”.
Sunethra J. Perera, Sri Lanka

:: Academic calendar

The program’s academic schedule follows the two – semester system of Mahidol University. The first semester runs from August to December, and the second from January to May.

:: Study plans

Plan 1 Research: Suitable for students with backgrounds in demography who already have earned a master’s degree. No coursework is required. Students prepare for and pass the qualifying examination and then undertake their dissertation research. For students of the Ph.D. by Publication plan, besides the qualifying examination and dissertation research, they are required to take at least one course and have at least three articles included in thesis.

Plan 2 Coursework & Research: Suitable for students with no background in demography who have a bachelor’s degree with honors or a master’s degree, or for those with a master’s degree with a demographic background who wish to take additional coursework. Students take prerequisite courses in demography and research methods as appropriate to their background. All students take three core courses in demography and three elective courses, pass the qualifying examination and then undertake their dissertation research.

For students graduating over five years with background in demography/population studies in their Master’s degree, the enrollment for prerequisite courses will be required.

:: Qualifying examination

All students must successfully pass the qualifying examination before proceeding to dissertation research. The qualifying examinations are held twice a year, in August (first semester) and in January (second semester).

:: Courses Offered

Prerequisite courses
Students with no background in demography or research methods are required to take prerequisite courses as appropriate:

  • Substantive Demography
  • Analytical Techniques of Demography
  • Social Research Methodology
  • Statistics for Social Analysis

Core courses

  • Advanced Analysis Techniques in Demography
  • Social Demography
  • Advanced Research Methodology

Elective courses

  1. Advanced and applied demography
    • Family Demography
    • Advanced Fertility
    • Advanced Mortality
    • Advanced Migration
    • Political Demography
    • Economic Demography
    • Population and Social Determinants of Health
    • Business Demography
  2. Technique and methodology
    • Advanced Demographic Projections
    • Demographic Epidemiology
    • Qualitative Research Methodology
    • Geographical Information System and Social Science Research
    • Monitoring and Evaluation of  Population and Reproductive Health Program
    • Applied Multivariate Analysis for Demographic Research
    • Applied Regression Modeling for Panel Data Analysis
  3. Contemporary topics and issues
    • Seminar in Demography
    • Gender Perspectives in Demography and Social Development
    • Special Topics in Demography
    • Population Issues and Trends in ASEAN
    • Social Research on the Elderly
    • Older Persons in Cross-cultural Context
    • Economics of Population Aging

Summary of admission requirements

Requirements Plan 1 (Research) Plan 2
Thesis and publication Ph.D. by Publication
Previous degrees

Master's degree in any field with minimum GPA 3.5 Master's degree in any field with minimum GPA 3.5 or bachelor's degree (Honors) in any field
Background in demography/
population studies
Required Desirable, but not required
Publications At least 1 research article published in peer-reviewed journal as first author - Experience as principal investigator or co-investigator for at least 5 years
- A minimum of 3 articles (not for graduation) published in peer-reviewed journal within 5 years
Publications desirable,
but not required
English proficiency and computer skills
  • TOEFL  (PBT of 500 or CBT of 173 or IBT of 61) or IELTS of 5.5 (Students having lower scores are required to take English courses offered by Faculty of Graduate Studies)
  • Basic computer literacy is required

Illustrative costs for a three-year program (in Thai baht)

Plan/Expense Plan 1 Plan 2
Master's degree
graduates with
Master’s degree
graduates with
Master’s degree
graduates without
Bachelor’s degree
- 9,000 baht/credit for international student 100,800 237,000 345,000 370,000
- 4,200 baht/credit for Thai student 100,800 151,200 201,600 226,800
- For international student 33,600 33,600 33,600 33,600
- For Thai student 29,700 29,700 29,700 29,700
- For international student 134,400 271,200 379,200 404,400
- For Thai student 130,500 180,900 231,300 256,500

* IPSR has limited number of full/partial scholarship                                
* Each student is required to pay 4,200 baht for each qualifying examination.

:: Application
Application for admission to the Program may be made through either of these two channels

1. Mahidol University Selection Process (for Thai applicants): Applications are obtained from, and must be submitted to, the Faculty of Graduate Studies. There are two rounds of application opened between October and February. The selection process involves a written examination and an interview. Final selection is announced at the beginning of the following year before the first semester starts in August.

2. Institute for Population and Social Research Selection Process (for Thai and international applicants): Applications are obtained from, and must be submitted to, the Ph. D. Program at IPSR. Applications are accepted year-round, with the deadline of April 30. Final selection is announced about two months before the start of first semester. Applicants of Plan 1 (Research only) can start the study in either the first or the second semester, if admitted. The selection process  involves review of the application  materials and interview. Only complete applications with all required documents will be considered.

:: Scholarship

Outstanding applicants may be selected for full scholarships under the Royal Golden Jubilee Scholarship Program (for Thai students only), for partial scholarships from IPSR, or for Research Assistantships and Thesis Scholarships from the Faculty of Graduate Studies. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to seek funding support from other sources, as only a limited number of scholarships are available.

For more information, please contact :

Monchaya Dulyarkorn

Monchaya Dulyarkorn
Program Officer
Ph.D. Program in Demography

Institute for Population and Social Research,
Mahidol University
Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand
Email: monchaya.dul@mahidol.ac.th
Phone:+66 2441 0201-4 ext. 311

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Telephone: +66-2441-0201-4 Fax: +66-2441-93333