Genealogy Studies Program


Suggested Qualifications – Genealogical Principles

  • Serious students who are new to the field of genealogy
  • Hobbyists and enthusiasts who would like more formal training
  • Has conducted research on
  • Subscribers and regular users of sites such as FindMyPast, FamilySearch,, GenealogyBank, genealogical society membership databases, etc.
  • Researchers with limited on-site experience such as applying for a record (i.e. filling out a form)

Suggested Qualifications – Certificate in Genealogical Research

  • Practicing genealogical researchers with more advanced knowledge of the field
  • Students who have completed the Genealogical Principles Course
  • Professional genealogists looking to advance their careers
  • Subscribers and regular users of sites such as FindMyPast, FamilySearch, genealogical society membership databases, etc.
  • Researchers with on-site experience at libraries, archives, repositories – meaning that you have used microfilm, touched original records, and have gone through record index books.

Technological Requirements

To successfully function in our online environment, students must possess basic computer skills and a recent version of Microsoft Word. Students will be expected to perform tasks such as:

  • Using Word to save documents, create and insert tables, and create and insert footnotes
  • Submitting all assignments in a .doc or .docx format
  • Navigating the internet
  • Uploading documents

The teaching staff does not teach computer skills. Fluent use of the computer and word processor is the student’s responsibility. Students must review the technical requirements for Blackboard Learn prior to the program start date (it is recommended that they do this prior to registration) to ensure that their computer is compatible with all the technical requirements of Blackboard Learn. To learn more about the necessary system requirements and what to expect from an online course, click here.

Accessing online courses requires a high-speed internet connection, as the online learning interface for the program (Blackboard Learn) will not function effectively using a dial-up line. The program can run on either a Mac or PC, but we advise that students do not attempt to complete coursework on a tablet alone. The Blackboard system does not allow students to submit assignments or take exams (among other functions) from a tablet environment.

The program will not run with the Norton AntiVirus Software. Students must either disengage Norton while running the online program or delete Norton from your computer and install McAfee AntiVirus Software.

Computer access issues and/or technology failures do not excuse a student from any aspect of the program and is not sufficient justification for dropping the program.

Workload and Time Commitment

Boston University’s Genealogy Studies Program is designed for the adult learner. There are four modules (or subject matters), and each module will open and close so that you progress as a cohort through the material on a schedule. Each module requires a minimum of 3 hours per day while you are in the program. During this time you will be reading course content, reading outside assignments, responding to online discussion questions, and completing written assignments. Classes are limited in enrollment with one instructor and 2-3 facilitators per module.

Consistent attendance, even in an online format, is key. Each week students will be provided with some form of learning assessment (quizzes, papers, tests, discussions, etc.) on the course content. These assessments must be completed on or before the last day of that module; there are no exceptions. Modules close according to a schedule and cannot be extended; after that period students will no longer have access to that module. Vacation and other planned events, as well as unplanned events/circumstances, do not excuse students from their coursework; students must complete all work in each module while that module is open. Modules cannot be retaken and/or extended for any reason. We recommend that students print the module content at the beginning of each module for future reference.


One week prior to starting your class, you will be given access to an Orientation to introduce you to navigating the learning management system.