Genealogical Research Certificate Programs: Online

Genealogical Research Program at Boston University's Center for Professional Education

When genealogical research is used to authenticate an identity, solve a medical mystery, trace property ownership, find lost friends and family, or write accurate historical discourses, the results must be irrefutable.

The Genealogical Research Program offered by Boston University’s Center for Professional Education introduces current genealogical technologies and research methods that reflect the exacting standards and investigative best practices used by professionals. Developed in collaboration with—and taught by—some of the premier genealogists in the country, the Genealogical Research Program employs lectures, demonstrations, hands-on learning, workbook exercises, practice activities, and open discussions to help students identify and evaluate evidence, design research strategies, and write quality reports.

The program leads to a certificate from Boston University, and is excellent preparation for those who seek certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists®.

Available online, the Genealogical Research Program covers the following topics:

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

Program Details

View the online curriculum.


The program requires prior genealogical 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. 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.

Students must be able to complete the following tasks and communicate their findings in clear 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.

While a bachelor’s degree is not required, we recommend either a bachelor’s degree, or significant related work experience.

Please refer to the FAQ section for more information on requirements.

See also the online Genealogical Essentials course, which serves as excellent preparation for the Certificate Program in Genealogical Research.

To Learn More or Register

To inquire about Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate Program online, including upcoming course schedules and registration, please contact our educational partners at MindMax, Inc. by calling 1-877-290-9005 or by visiting their website at

National Genealogical Society Quarterly at BU

Reflecting its ongoing involvement in advanced genealogical education, BU’s Center for Professional Education proudly houses the renowned National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ). The journal is co-edited by the director of CPE’s Genealogical Research program, Melinde Lutz Byrne, FASG, and program faculty member Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. For more information about the journal, please visit the NGSQ website