Genealogical Programs at Boston University's Center for Professional Education

Click here to register for classes in the Online Genealogy Studies Program

Genealogy Studies Program

The Genealogical Principles course is ideal for serious beginners, hobbyists, and enthusiasts who are seeking to hone their research skills. This course also serves as excellent preparation for the Genealogy Practicum and Genealogical Research Certificate. In this course students:

  • Improve genealogical research skills
  • Gain a solid understanding of genealogical concepts and terms
  • Master the Genealogical Proof Standard
  • Locate and search public records to resolve identity problems
  • Gain an understanding of DNA and ethnicity

The Genealogy Practicum course is designed for both experienced Genealogists (including Genealogical Research Certificate alums) who want to sharpen their skills or spend time working on real cases, and students who have completed our Genealogical Principles course and want to put their skills into practice. The Practicum course is an excellent bridge between the Principles course and Research course. Cases will rotate out, allowing for repeat engagement.  In this course students:

  • Work on real world cases
  • Develop key genealogical work products
  • Hone skills in research planning and documentation
  • Learn best practices for compiling family histories
  • Prepare proof discussions
  • Write quality research reports

The Genealogical Research course leads to a certificate from Boston University and is excellent preparation for those who seek to work professionally as a well-rounded genealogist who may be interested in eventual certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists®.

Genealogical Research course covers the following topics:

  • Problem-Solving Techniques and Technology
  • Evidence Evaluation and Documentation
  • Forensic Genealogical Research
  • Professional Genealogy

Prior genealogical experience is strongly recommended, either by taking our Genealogical Principles class or demonstrating prior experience.  It will be assumed that students have spent significant amounts of time searching for multiple generations of a family through record repositories and online sources, then documenting their results using industry standards. Throughout their course of study, students will be expected to research many genealogical problems and write reports. In addition, candidates should have attended national genealogical conferences or local meetings and queried various genealogical databases and critiqued their content.

Where to Begin

Our assessment can help to evaluate which course is a good starting point.

For all courses, students must be able to complete the following tasks and communicate their findings clearly in English: access many websites, work within multiple windows, effectively use web browsers, edit documents, read tracked changes in a document, and upload and download forms, photographs, deeds, PDFs, and census data.

Additionally, we recommend that students take a year between the Principles and the Research classes to put what they've learned to practice.  The Practicum is an excellent way to further develop skills.

Contact our enrollment team for more information.


Program Streams

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