Course Description

Genealogical Methods (4 weeks)
This module focuses on understanding the essential techniques and methodologies required to effectively tackle intricate genealogical challenges. Students will develop logical reasoning and critical thinking skills, will have the chance to apply these to real-world case studies. Focus is placed on understanding the research cycle, developing research questions, uncovering identities, making links between generations, and applying genealogical theories. Throughout the module, technological tools, particularly the internet, are placed in perspective and thoroughly explored. The Genealogical Proof Standard is introduced, and students are prepared to continue applying its principles throughout the course.

Evidence, Evaluation, and Documentation (4 weeks)
This module addresses key elements for determining the credibility and authenticity of evidence. Students learn how to classify sources, information, and evidence, and are introduced to citation principles to accurately identify sources and describe their quality. Focus is placed on developing research plans, analysis and correlation of information, and assembling evidence to support a conclusion. The module prepares students to express their own research in a written narrative format.

DNA as a Genealogical Source (2 weeks)
Students explore how Y-chromosome DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA can be used to trace ancestry and family lineage. Students will focus on the skills needed to use DNA test results as a genealogical source, and the methodologies used to solve genealogical problems. The foundations related to DNA taught in this module will be built upon later in the course.

Genealogical Writing (2 weeks)
This module highlights the significance of genealogical writing to prove kinship between generations, record research findings, and present complex evidence in genealogical writing. Written assignments provide students with hands-on experience working on different genealogical work products. The skills learned in this module are useful for genealogists looking to take clients, as well as those seeking to produce quality work for their own families.

Forensic Genealogical Research (3 weeks)
Students will learn about the many subspecialties within the forensic genealogy field, and will gain the skills necessary to solve forensic genealogy problems. This module uses practical examples, intriguing cases, and problem-solving exercises that teach about the parameters of ethical forensic work. Exercises focus on tracing living individuals, preparing work products for legal cases, and using DNA to identify unknown parentage.


OGEN150 Genealogical Principles; or completion of the following courses: Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research Course 2 (Intermediate Genealogy and Historical Studies), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Intermediate Foundations course; completion of the PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies) program; or completion of other similar coursework as approved by the Program Director; or submission of a research paper approved by the Program Director.


Completion of OGEN150 Genealogical Principles and OGEN185 Genealogical Practicum. It is recommended that students who have only taken Genealogical Principles wait at least one year before taking OGEN255 Genealogical Research Certificate, spending that year focusing on gaining practical experience researching on-site at archives and repositories.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates


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