Graduate Certificate Programs in Institutional Research

Dec 18, 2019

This article will provide an overview of graduate certificate programs in institutional research, inclusive of the courses they may have in common as well as their general admission requirements.

Institutional research describes the area of study that handles how higher education institutions use data to inform their decisions in areas such as enrollment, financial aid, and staffing. As such, graduate certificate programs in institutional research can be great for educators looking to advance their careers as well as persons who would like to venture into that area. These programs may have some course topics in common and these will be explored in the following.

Typical Courses in Graduate Certificate Programs in Institutional Research

When it comes to institutional research, graduate certificate programs might have up to 18 credit hours that in some cases can be transferred to a related master's degree program. Students in the programs may be able to choose from on-campus or online learning formats.

Institutional Research

These courses tend to be introductory in nature and teach students about the basics of institutional research. Students can learn about using pertinent information for making decisions. Some of the topics that may be covered include applied research, research methodology and institutional effectiveness.

Administration in Higher Education

As the name suggests, these are the courses that show students how administrative leadership can work in a higher education institution. Some of these courses focus on an organizational theory perspective. Topics might include governance, culture and organizational change.


Courses that deal with statistics are designed to introduce students to the basics of statistics as they relate to institutional research. Classes may cover topics like regression, correlation and covariance analysis. In some cases, students may need to analyze real-world education problems.

Data analysis

Courses of this nature may focus on specific topics related to institutional research such as performance and compensation. Students may learn how to use specific techniques to analyze important data that could include multivariate models. At the end of these courses, students may be able to use data to evaluate the productivity of a faculty as well as determine a faculty's workload.

Evaluation of Education Programs

These courses generally focus on teaching students how to evaluate the education programs that are available at an institution. In some instances, students may need to analyze existing programs and communicate their findings. A few of the topics that may be covered in these courses include learning outcomes, evaluation models and accreditation demands.

General Admission Requirements for Institutional Research Graduate Certificate Programs

While some programs are meant for applicants with an undergraduate degree, others may be only open for those with a master's degree. These degrees should be from an accredited college or university and there may be a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5. Along with an application, prospective students may need to submit school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, passing scores on a GRE and a current resume. Applicants who are non-native English speakers may also need to submit passing scores on an English Language proficiency test.

Generally, graduate certificate programs in institutional research have a maximum of 18 credits that students can take online in a few cases. Some programs can be accessed by persons with an undergraduate degree while others require a master's degree.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?