Course Syllabus


  • Course Description: Students will produce a multi-generational report that meets professional credentialing requirements for a family that resided in different nations.
  • Credits: 3

In this course, students will apply the skills they have gained in the Family History Applied Associates Degree program as they learn about earning professional genealogical credentials. Students will practice evidentiary analysis and writing skills. Students will learn about real-world genealogical environments and adapt to new geographic research areas. Student will gain experience in completing a directed three or four-generation research project.

Program Message

This course, as the capstone course in the Family History Research Program, will help students prepare to apply for a professional genealogy credential through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) or the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). (Note that earning the BYU-Idaho Certificate in Family History Research is not equivalent to being a Certified Genealogist (CG) through BCG.)

Important Information: "The words Certified Genealogist and letters CG are registered certification marks, and the designations CGL and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation" (BCG website). "The ICAPGen℠ service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® registered marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists" (ICAPGen website).



Successful completion of all required courses for the Family History Research Certificate and FHGEN 340 and FHGEN 351.


Completed or concurrently enrolled in FHGEN 411.

Required Resources

No outside resources are required unless you choose to create your own geographic specialty project. You may learn more about the geographic regions project in the W04 Choice: Geographic Specialty.

Optional recommended text: Genealogy Standards, second edition (2019) by the Board for Certification of Genealogists® and Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills


Course Outcomes (CO)

  1. Understand the credentialing process and requirements of both the ICAPGen and BCG credentialing organizations.
  2. Use skills obtained in the Family History Research Program to learn how to complete research in a new geographic region.
  3. Plan and conduct research for a three or four-generation family that lived in the US and another geographic region of the world.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes (CO).

NOTE: There are two options for the three or four-generation family report. The first is to use the course options, however, you are not limited to the course. You may choose to create a project for a chosen geographic region but you will need to collect and ship documents which will most likely not be free. You can learn more about the options in the W04 Choice: Geographic Specialty

Major Assignment Description CO#
W02 Quiz: BCG Prove your understanding of the BCG credentialing process. #1
W03 Quiz: ICAPGen Prove your understanding of the ICAPGEN credentialing process. #1
W04 Preparation: Define the Problem Review the known information and define the problem for the project by writing an introductory paragraph for your report. #2, 3
W05 Assignment: Research Plan Use your knowledge of record types and repositories for your geographic area to put together a beginning research plan. #2, 3
W10 Assignment: First Draft Submit a first draft of your report to receive feedback from instructor. #2, 3
W12 Assignment: Final Draft Submit your final draft of your report. #2, 3
W14 Assignment: Professional Plan Submit your plan for one year, three years, and five years complete with goals for each level. N/A

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions.

Due Date* Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare Prepare Readings, quizzes, and/or discussions to review material from earlier courses and learn new material to develop skills for researching in specific geographic regions.
End of Week Prove Project Checkpoint Quiz that student will complete to account their time and progress on their project.

*Set your time zone within user preferences so the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Learning Model

This course is designed to give you opportunities to follow the steps of the Learning Model. You will prepare each week by completing the assigned study materials and continuing to work on your research project. You will ponder the materials as you prepare to complete your project and set your goals for the future. You will prove your understanding of the materials of the degree by completing a research project at the end of the course. Due to the nature of credentialing requirements, which require you to complete an entire project on your own, this course provides limited opportunities to interact with one another. However, both before you start and after you complete your project, you will be given opportunities teach one another about the merits of certain credentialing bodies and your goals in family history and genealogy.



Students are expected to put in 9–12 hours of work for each week in this course.

  • Even though this course is online, students will be required to communicate and collaborate with fellow classmates.
  • Discussion boards are opportunities for you to share and learn from your classmates. Posts should be thoughtful, meaningful, and move the conversation forward.

Group Work

There is no group work for this course.

Late Work

As a sign of professionalism and respect, you should complete your work according to the pace of the course. However, your instructor has the discretion to accept late work or extend due dates as appropriate. If you feel you are unable to complete your work by the deadline, contact your instructor promptly and explain your situation. If your request for an extension is granted, be aware there may be a grade reduction penalty. 


Retries or re-submissions are also allowed at the discretion of the instructor. 

Extra Credit

From time to time, extra credit may be offered at the discretion of the instructor.

Instructor Feedback

In this course, you will receive feedback from your instructor most weeks on all assignment submissions. However, the instructor will also be reaching out on a case by case basis with students in need of further guidance and mentorship.

Writing Requirements

As you complete your assignments throughout the semester, you will be graded on grammar and spelling. As a professional genealogist, you will be expected to compose documents in a professional manner. Grammar and spelling errors reflect poorly on your business. Spend time learning to become a good writer. There are many resources available to help you with this task. BYU-Idaho also offers its Writing Center services here.

While writing, make sure that all work is original. If you use other sources, make sure to cite them properly. Plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment and possibly the course. Read the following guidelines about plagiarism on BYU-Idaho’s Academic Honesty site.

Grading Scale

Letter Grade Percent
A 100%–93%
A- 92%–90%
B+ 89%–87%
B 86%–83%
B- 82%–80%
C+ 79%–77%
C 76%–73%
C- 72%–70%
D+ 69%–67%
D 66%–63%
D- 62%–60%
F 59% and lower

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

BYU-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by BYU-Idaho Disability Services. If you need assistance or feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established policy and procedures.

If you have any disability that may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact Disability Services as soon as possible, preferably before the beginning of the semester, in order to insure that you receive appropriate accommodations.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Disability Services Contact Information:

Other University Policies

Go to the Student Resources module to review the university policies regarding honesty, online etiquette, communication expectations, etc.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due