Course Detail

Genealogical Research - Online OGEN200

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 617-502-8822 or by visiting their website at

Course Description

The Certificate in Genealogical Research Program online consists of the following six modules:

Foundations of Genealogical Research

This first module is an overview of general genealogical principles, goals, ethics, and end products. It covers the research principles needed for successful results. It focuses on three primary skill-building areas (problem-solving, research design, and report writing). The module will introduce and establish the “Genealogical Proof Standard®” as the basic framework for all research assignments to be covered in this program.

Problem Solving Techniques and Technology

This module utilizes multiple examples to impart the skills necessary to design and follow the most direct path to a supportable conclusion. The use of technological tools, particularly the internet, is placed in perspective and thoroughly explored. Students create and execute a research plan, with particular attention to organizing, documenting, verifying, and presenting the findings in a report for a client

Evidence Evaluation and Documentation

This module presents the key elements necessary for determining the credibility and authenticity of evidence. It will prepare the student to recognize unreliable evidence and its origin. Once the evidence is evaluated, students learn complete citation formats and construction principles

Forensic Genealogical Research

This module provides practical examples, famous cases, and in-class problem solving that will define the parameters of ethical forensic work. Generally the most lucrative of the genealogical specialties, forensic research is done for the legal community, often at the direction of an attorney. Tracing heirs for probate, identifying people in old photographs, and other problem-solving exercises will provide practice and define the parameters of ethical forensic work. Techniques for opening cases, uncovering assets, collaborating with attorneys, and interviewing informants will also be presented.

The Professional Genealogist

After learning the skills and competencies necessary to perform genealogical research according to set standards, this module explores the business opportunities, specialties, and trends for genealogists. It covers ethics, client relations, contracts, additional educational venues, BCG certification requirements, and many other resources that will launch you into an exciting and fascinating profession.

Scheduling Details

  • Offered online three times per year