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  • Institutional Research

    This online certificate program provides academic and professional development opportunities to current or prospective institutional researchers or higher education assessment staff. The program is designed for full-time institutional researchers, administrators, graduate students, and/or faculty from all areas of higher education. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding of institutional research and assessment, explore institutional, state, and national databases, and apply their knowledge to practical situations. The goals of this program are:

    • To enhance knowledge and understanding of assessment and institutional researcher and the relevant issues of current practice.
    • To promote the use of institutional researcher in policy development and administrative processes at educational institutions.
    • To stimulate interest in using national databases to address educational issues.
    • To promote professional collaboration and the advancement of institutional researcher in the US and other countries.

    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    Admission Requirements

    Applications for the Certificate in Institutional Research are accepted on a continuous basis. Applications are evaluated by the program coordinator and the program director using the following criteria:

    1. Completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution.
    2. Evidence of ability to meet program goals and objectives.
    3. Research interests and experience.

    Note: Lack of experience in institutional or educational research will not negate acceptance. Research interests and the potential for professional development are major considerations in the application evaluation process.

    To apply to the Institutional Research certificate program, please fill out the online application here.

    If accepted, the program coordinator will direct you to the Florida State University non-degree seeking admissions application. There is a $30 application fee and you will be asked to send copies of your transcript to FSU Admissions.

    • FSU non-degree seeking applications are due on December 1st for the spring semester, May 1st for the summer semesters, and August 1st for the fall semesters. The applications open about 2 months in advance of the deadline.
    • The IR Certificate application that follows is due one week in advance of the FSU non-degree seeking application deadlines listed above.

    Before the end of your first semester, you must also submit a Certificate Admissions Form to the College of Education. Program staff will remind you of this deadline.

    Course Offerings and Deadlinesexpand menu

    A list of our expected deadlines are below. We accept applications on a rolling basis; however, Florida State University has specific deadlines for the non-degree seeking application. If you plan to take a class during a particular semester, we ask that your application is submitted by a specific date so we have time to process your paperwork.

    Course syllabi are available on our blog at http://fsuircert.wordpress.com.


    Certificate Requirementsexpand menu

    The Certificate program consists of 18 credit hours of graduate-level coursework in three areas of study:

    • Institutional Research Theory and Practice
    • Higher Education Administration
    • Educational Research

    Students are required to complete the program within 5 calendar years to receive the certificate. Students are not required to be continuously enrolled.

    Two courses are required: Introduction to IR and the capstone course, IR Practicum. Students may select from our curriculum to fulfill their remaining 12 credit hours. In addition, students may transfer in up to 6 elective credits from graduate-level courses in Research and/or Statistics.

    ir cert curriculum

    Note: Each students’ path through the IR Certificate program is unique. To have an individual advising session, contact the Program Coordinator.


    Certificate Completion Form 

    Program Costsexpand menu

    We understand that the cost of the IR Certificate program may be of chief concern. By state law, students are charged different fees based on their residency and student status. See current rates below:

    Table to post-001

    FSU Full-Time Employees (not OPS):
    If you are a full-time employee at FSU receiving benefits, you may be eligible for the FSU Employee Tuition Scholarship. The scholarship waives the tuition and fees for 6 credit hours per semester. Click here for more details.Note: Fees were calculated based on distance-learning rates as shown here: http://pc.fsu.edu/Admissions/Graduate-Tuition-Fees.

    State Employee (FL) Tuition Waiver:Some employees of the State of Florida are eligible for the State Employee Tuition Waiver. Click here for more details.

    Current FSU Graduate Students:In most cases, the cost of FSU IR Certificate courses should match the cost of your other graduate coursework.

    FAQsexpand menu


    Q: Are standardized tests, like the GRE, required for admission to the program?

    A: We do not need GRE scores. All we look for in new applicants is that they have a bachelor’s degree and have an expressed interest in the field of institutional research.


    Q: I’ve taken courses similar to the ones offered by the IR Certificate in the past; can I transfer them?

    A: In many cases, yes. If the courses were graduate-level and you completed them within the last five years, we should be able to transfer two of the courses.


    Q: If I transfer courses, do I have to take other IR Certificate courses in place of those credit hours?

    A: No, you do not have to take additional courses to make up the credit hours. Your transferred courses will simply take the place of 1-2 of the IR Certificate courses.


    Q: Is there any financial assistance for the IR Certificate?

    A: FSU does not provide financial assistance for the IR Certificate, but many of our students qualify for the State Employee Tuition Waiver or they are able to utilize  professional development funds at their home institutions to supplement the cost of the course(s).


    Q: How quickly am I expected to complete courses?

    A: The IR Certificate must be completed within five years of starting the first course.


    Q: My supervisor just told me that I’m responsible for a new project, so I’m going to have to withdraw from a course. What should I do?

    A: Withdrawing from courses and possible penalties depend on timing. If you find that you need to withdraw from a course before class begins, your tuition and fees might be refunded to you. If you are past FSU’s drop/add date for the semester, we may be able to give you an “Incomplete” and you can finish the course at a time agreed upon by you and the instructor. To review all of these options and your particular situation, please contact the IR Certificate’s Program Coordinator.


    Q: What is the student-faculty ratio? Are faculty members accessible via Skype for students who need some “face time” interaction?

    A: Most of our courses have from 10 to 25 students in a course, with teaching assistant to help the instructor in larger courses. It is an option for our faculty to Skype with students but not a requirement. All of our faculty want students to succeed and are certainly willing to make personal connections with students. Faculty may be willing to Skype or sometimes staying in touch with a phone call works well.


    Q: Are there specific meeting times during the courses when we will be expected to attend?

    A: Our courses do not have a set meeting place or time. You’ll be completely within the Blackboard online environment for all classes. Our courses are “asynchronous” which means “off the clock.” Your assignments and discussions will have timelines and due dates but you will not to be “in class” during a specified time period. Asynchronous courses means you can match your class time to coincide with your responsibilities in the office.

    Program Contactexpand menu

    Program Coordinator/Certificate in IR

    Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
    1209 Stone Building
    1114 W. Call Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-4452
    (850) 644-6777
    (850) 644-1258 (FAX)

    Questions? We’re here to help. Please complete this form and we will be in touch soon.


    You can also find more information on our blog.

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