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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.

    Note: Unfortunately, we are not currently accepting new students in this program. Students who have taken their first course in the program as of fall 2018 will be permitted to apply.

    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    Note: Unfortunately, we are not currently accepting new students in this program. Students who have taken their first course in the program as of fall 2018 will be permitted to apply.

    Admission to the graduate certificate program is required. Students are not enrolled in a certificate program by virtue of being enrolled in related courses. Students must apply to and be admitted to the certificate program in order to be considered enrolled.

    Admission to College of Education (COE) graduate certificate programs requires submission of the Certificate Admissions Form to the appropriate department Certificate Program Coordinator and to the COE Office of Academic Services and Intern Support prior to the completion of two courses in the certificate program. All coursework in the certificate program must be completed with a grade of B or better (B- is not acceptable) and must be completed within 7 years of first enrolling in certificate program coursework.

    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.

    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.

    Florida Residency Form: If you are a Florida resident, you must complete the Florida Residency Affidavit even if you were previously designated a Florida Resident by the University. If you do not complete this form, you will be classified as a non-Florida resident for tuition purposes.

    Before the end of your second course in the program, 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

    Students must complete 18 credit hours within seven academic years. All courses below are three credit hours and are offered online.

    1. Required courses (6 credit hours):

    • EDH 5055: Introduction to Institutional Research (Fall, Spring, Summer)
    • EDH 5941: Institutional Research Practicum (capstone) (Fall, Spring, Summer)

    2. Electives (12 credit hours):

    • EDH 5647: Data Analysis for Institutional Researchers (Fall)
    • EDH 5042: Student Success in College (Fall)
    • EDH 5645: Data Driven Decision Making (Summer)
    • EDH 5646: Data Mining (Spring)
    • EDH 5068: Outcomes of Undergraduate Education (Spring)


    Take up to two graduate-level research methods or statistics courses from FSU’s Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department or from another institution.

    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 here.

    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.

    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.

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    You can also find more information on our blog.

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