Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research in Education

Only students who have been admitted at the graduate level at the University of Memphis are eligible to apply. Graduate students in good standing will be admitted to the certificate program on the recommendation of the student’s advisor and a review of the application materials by the EDPR qualitative research faculty. See application process below.

This is a 2 step application process. Successful applicants must:

  1. visit the Graduate School Admission page to apply.
  2. have a minimum GPA of 3.0; 
  3. complete all Certificate Program course requirements with a B or above average;
  4. have a qualitative methodologist sit on their dissertation committee;
  5. complete the Application for Admission Form; and
  6. complete the Certificate in Qualitative Research Completion Form.
  7. complete the Course History Form and upload it to the Supplemental Documentation section of your application as indicated.

Submit all application materials (in one PDF, if possible) to Melynda Whitwell at

Students who are not making satisfactory progress will be subject to removal from the program following faculty review.

Certificate Coordinators

  • Dr. Alison Happel
  • Dr. Susan Nordstrum

Certificate Course Requirements

The certificate requires 12 semester hours of credit. Below are the required and elective qualitative courses available to students:

Required core courses (9 credits):

  • EDPR 7/8561: Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education (Offered Fall and Spring semesters)
  • EDPR 7/8562: Designing Qualitative Research (Offered every Spring semester)
  • EDPR 7/8565: Qualitative Methods and Analysis (Offered every Fall semester)

Example Electives (3 credits unless otherwise noted):

  • EDPR 7/8563: Applied Qualitative Theories and Methodologies
  • EDPR 7/8566: Writing Up Qualitative Research (Week-long Spring/Summer Retreat)
  • EDPR 8008: Directed Readings in Qualitative Research
  • EDPR 8081: Supervised Research in Qualitative Inquiry
  • ANTH 7/8075: Methods in Anthropology (4 credits)
  • ANTH 7/8076: Anthropological Data Analysis (4 credits)
  • SOCI 7/8320: Seminar in Methods of Social Research
  • SOCI 7/8325: Seminar in Qualitative Research Methods
  • COMM 7/8332: Seminar in Communication Research: Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
  • COMM 7/8434: Qualitative Research Methods
  • PSYC 7/8312: Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

Because qualitative methods vary across academic disciplines, the way in which the credit hours are packaged may vary. The qualitative coordinators will assist students in developing a program that meets the needs and interests of the individual student while also complying with the certificate requirements.

We recognize that many courses across campus can enrich our elective selection. However, we cannot list all current and future potential electives. If a student feels that a course outside of EDPR is appropriate as an elective, the student can complete the Petition for Elective form to be reviewed and approved by the qualitative coordinators.