Options in Formal Genealogical Education

I rarely write about paid genealogy resources, but today is an exception. For those wanting formal genealogical research training leading to certificates, degrees and/or letters after one’s name, the choices out there are through paid programs. Not that that is bad – colleges, after all, aren’t free either. How much the training will cost varies and, for some of these options, you will have to contact the organization directly.

  1. As far as I know, Brigham Young University is the only college in the United States that offers a BA in Family HIstory-Genealogy. However, the catalog also has in parentheses (55-77 hours), so it appears that it is not the equivalent of a four year program leading to a traditional BA. The undergraduate catalog from 2013-2014 lists the requirements. Tuition rates vary by number of credits per semester and LDS or non-LDS. It appears that for non-LDS students taking 12 or more credits per semester, the cost would run about $5,000. The 2012-2013 catalog shows a Certificate in Family History – Genealogy (18 hours).
  2. The Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research is an online program offered three times per year. Tuition appears to be just under $3000. There are five modules to be completed in the certificate program. I have two friends who are enrolled in this program and it is intense! They have both said that they have learned so much. There is also a 4 week Genealogical Essentials online course, which is described as a way to improve research skills and/or prepare for the full certificate program. Tuition for the 4 week program is $775.
  3. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) offers 2 two-week sessions each year, covering various topics taught by top notch instructors. The 2017 sessions will run from 25-30 June 2017 and from 16-21 July 2017. Speakers include Blaine Bettinger, Harold Henderson, Kimberly Powell, Melissa A. Johnson, Thomas W. Jones, Michael J. Leclerc, David McDonald, CeCe Moore, David Rencher, Judy Russell, Richard G. Sayre, Pam Boyer Sayre, Paula Stuart-Warren and Amy L. Wachs. Visit the website for the course titles. Cost in 2016 for early bird registration was $425; regular registration was $450.
  4. The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is similar to GRIP in terms of offering courses over a limited period of time. However, SLIG attendees sign up for only ONE course offering that runs all day for the entire week. Next year’s dates are 22-27 January 2017. Instructors include Thomas W. Jones, Judy G. Russell, Richard G. Sayre, Pamela Boyer Sayre, Paula Stuart-Warren, D. Joshua Taylor, Barbara Vines Little, Elaine Hasleton, John Philip Colletta, CeCe Moore, Cyndi Ingle, Gena Philibert-Ortega, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, Catherine B.W. Desmarais, Amber Goodpaster Tauscher and Angela Packer McGhie. Again, see the website for exact course titles. I can’t find the registration fee, but it seems to me when I looked into attending last year that it was similar to GRIP.
  5. The Genealogical Institute of Federal Records (Gen-Fed) is a one week program held in July in Washington, DC that presents lectures at various repositories in the DC area with a focus on the National Archives and optional lectures at other venues, such as the DAR Library. The 2016 tuition fee was $400.
  6. The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research, traditionally held at Samford University in Alabama has moved to the University of Georgia at Athens, hosted by the Georgia Genealogical Society,  in 2017. This is also a one week program, slated for 23-28 July 2017. If the format remains the same, ten courses are offered over the one week period. Tuition in 2016 was $515.

There may be other institutes and programs out there, but those are the ones with which I am most familiar. The next program is one with a slightly different format.

7. The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, based in Toronto, offers over 200 online courses, from about $50 and up, for all levels of researchers, from beginning to advanced. A sampling of their offerings includes Business Skills: Creating a Genealogy Business, Canadian: Archives, German: The Language, Irish: Electoral and Taxation Records, Methodology – 6 parts from basic to advanced, Research: British India Ancestors, Skill Building: Evidence Analysis and Evaluation Using Case Studies, U.S.: Migration Patterns and Writing the Genealogist’s Memoir. There is quite a range in their offerings.

8. The National Genealogy Society’s home study program has been replaced with American Genealogical Studies, a series of four modules online: The Basics, Guide to Documentation and Source Citation, Beyond the Basics and Branching Out. The cost for this program  is well hidden. I could find FAQs for everything but the price.

9. Excelsior College Center for Professional Development offers two online courses.  Genetic Genealogy is a 16-week online course with Blaine Bettinger as the facilitator. Practicum in Genealogical Research is also a 16 week course taught by Melinde Lutz Byrne. Each costs $1595.

If you are interested in any of these programs, please use the links to read details about each. Letters after one’s name – e.g. AG, CG, etc. will be the topic of another post. There is just too much to cover in one blog post.


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