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College of Education

Certificate of Graduate Study in Qualitative Research

What will I study?  

The Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Program is an 18-hour post-Masters Program. The Educational Foundations and Inquiry program offers the opportunity to earn a Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research along with the doctorate.

The certificate brings together several courses in qualitative research theory, method, and design in an effort to prepare graduate students, professors, professional researchers, and program evaluators, among others, to conduct and apply best practices in the study of qualitative research and in the practice of qualitative inquiry. The certificate program is open to all post-Masters students in education and related disciplines interested in developing expertise in qualitative research methods. The certificate may also meet the doctoral cognate requirements for a number of other degree programs within the University; consult your advisor for more details. 


What kinds of work will I be able to do?  

Certificate holders are competitive for academic and research positions both inside and outside academia. With the certificate as a hallmark of qualitative research expertise, you will have the opportunity to distinguish yourself and highlight your research expertise when applying for positions in policy institutes, nongovernmental and community organizations, departments of education,  within school districts, or any other institution. 


What kinds of research will I be able to do? 

You will gain deep expertise in qualitative inquiry. Our students engage in a range of qualitative and mixed method research paradigms and nimbly apply a broad range of theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The Educational Foundations and Inquiry program has designed the certificate to take full advantage of our faculty's qualitative expertise in order to help you advance your skill base. 


Will I be able to specialize? 

The Qualitative Research Certificate is based on a rigorous set of courses that provide both a foundational basis for inquiry through ontological and epistemological explorations and introductory qualitative methods to specialized seminars.

Advanced courses, including Ethnography, Narrative Analysis, Participatory Action Research, and Oral History, among others, allow you to develop a breadth of qualitative-inquiry exposure and skills. 


Typical Course Work

The certificate program in Qualitative Research is open to any person with a Master’s degree (or the international equivalent).  The certificate consists of 18 semester credit hours of course work.

All of the required hours in the program must be in courses at the 700-level or above. The three required core courses are housed in the Educational Foundations and Inquiry program in the College of Education and provide a foundation of the history and practice of qualitative research. 

You will further this foundation with advanced level topical courses in qualitative inquiry both inside and outside the College of Education. The final three hours of course work, selected with the Certificate coordinator, must include a public presentation of a culminating project. 


Where can I find information on gainful employment, tuition rates or fees for this program?

For more information, contact Allison Anders at or 803-777-0521. We invite you to read the gainful employment information about this program and our general gainful employment information. Visit the Bursar’s Office webpage for information on tuition rates and fees.

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