Professional Genealogy Educational Opportunities (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice  by Louise St Denis, Brenda Dougall Merriman and Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Educational Opportunities

For those interested in a post-secondary degree, there is presently only one university which offers a degree in family history (see Brigham Young University, below). Genealogy has not yet been recognized as a stand-alone field of academic study. A degree in the associated field of history is often the closest option. However, there is a growing number of universities and colleges which offer individual courses or affiliated diploma/certificate programs. Leaders in genealogy have been very active in promoting educational standards to encourage scholarly publishing and academic acceptance. You should check the course offerings, particularly in continuing or adult education departments, of colleges and universities near you.


National Institute for Genealogical Studies
92 Ashbury Blvd.
Ajax, Ontario, Canada L1Z 1N1
Telephone 416-861-0165 or 1-800-580-0165

The National Institute, leaders in online genealogy education, has been offering genealogy and history courses since 1997. We now offer over 200 courses in genealogical studies to help enhance researcher’s skills. Although courses were initially provided ‘in-classroom’ now all courses are online. With well over 100,000 course registrations, students can be found all over the world!
For those looking to acquire more formal educational training, The National Institute offers Certificate Programs in the records of Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland and the United States, as well as a General Methodology, a Professional Development and a Librarianship Certificate Program.
Please see the website for full details on individual courses, certificate programs, faculty and other services.

United States

Boston University
Telephone: 617-502-8822

Online program working with noted Boston University faculty, including Certified Genealogists and members of the American Society of Genealogists.

Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah, USA 84602
Telephone: 801-422-4636

BYU offers a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Family History. In addition, they offer a variety of free introductory Web courses and are leaders in satellite television broadcasting.

Genealogical Institute on Federal Records
P.O. Box 24564
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21214

For 50 years the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records, also known as Gen-Fed, has been a leader in American genealogical education. Formerly known as the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR), its program delivers an in-depth study of U.S. federal records of genealogical value, with emphasis on the National Archives as the Institute is located in the Washington, D.C. area. It operates for a week of intensive studies in the summer. They stress that the Institute’s program is aimed at experienced researchers and is not an introductory level.

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
P.O. Box 44
Wexford, PA 15090
Email: info@gripitt

Genealogists of all levels will find our week-long courses of interest from novice to advanced and professional. GRIP typically is held at La Roche College in Pittsburgh, PA, the last week of June and the third or fourth week of July each year. Each week has a different set of courses they offer.

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
IGHR Director
3710 Barnett Shoals Rd
Athens, GA  30605-4712
Telephone: 678-439-7503

The IGHR is also one of America’s oldest week-long Institutes, featuring top genealogical instructors, on the University of Georgia campus. This is a very popular summer destination for all levels of genealogists and family historians, with perhaps more emphasis on intermediate and advanced learning. Their methodology stream is unequaled.

British Institute (BI)
International Society for British Genealogy and Family History(ISBGFH)
P.O. Box 3345
Centennial, CO 80161

The British Institute strives to further education about the British Isles. This yearly Institute takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah and classes are intentionally small in order for the participants to experience individual instruction.

Mid-west African American Genealogical Institute (MAAGI)
Ft. Wayne, Indiana

MAAGI is the only African American focused event offering a total of 48 classes over 3 days with evening lectures, and guided personalized instruction by nationally recognized instructors.

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Utah Genealogical Association
P.O. Box 1144
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 84110
Telephone: 801-259-4172

Sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, this Institute generally takes place once a year in January. Students choose one course of several offered, and follow it through the week. Besides experienced instructors, you have all the rich resources of the Family History Library on which to draw.

Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research (VIGR)
7283-102 NC Hwy 42 W, #402
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

Virtual Institute offers online courses on a wide variety of genealogical subjects, providing vigorous year-round education for the genealogical community using a virtual platform. It provides in-depth genealogical education without the expense of travel and lodging associated with other institutes.


Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
79-82 Northgate
Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom CT1 1BA

This is an Institute with residential facilities as well as home study courses. Studies apply only to British research. Certificate and diploma programs are available. Some universities in the UK.—as in the U.S.—have a few courses related to genealogy, as continuing education offerings and/or online studies. For example Oxford University has an advanced diploma in Local History and University of Central Lancaster has a program in Local and Family History.


University of Strathclyde
Centre for Lifelong Learning
7th Floor (Reception)
Graham Hills Building
40 George Street
Glasgow, G1 1QE
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 548 2116

Offer a Postgraduate Certificate, a Diploma and MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies which can be completed by distance learning.


University of New England
Armidale, New South Wales 2351

Offers undergraduate and post graduate diplomas in Local, Family and Applied History―study is done by distance education.

Society of Australian Genealogists
120 Kent Street
Sydney, New South Wales 2000 Australia
Telephone: (02) 9247 3953

Offers a Certificate in Genealogical Research and a Diploma in Family Historical Studies.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Methodology - Part 1: Getting Started, Methodology - Part 2: Organizing and Skillbuilding, Methodology - Part 3: More Strategies, Methodology - Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording, Methodology - Part 5: How To Prove It, and Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.