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Certificate in Qualitative Inquiry in Education

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The Certificate in Qualitative Inquiry in Education (QIE) is an embedded certificate that will prepare qualitative researchers with advanced training within educational studies settings, including higher education, education policy, counseling, philosophy, workforce, leadership, community colleges, student affairs and schools. It is based in the Department of Educational Studies (ESQUAL) and includes courses in the Department of Teaching & Learning and Department of Human Sciences. It provides a scaffolded pathway through the existing qualitative curriculum for Ohio State graduate students. Please note the “in order” requirement, meaning, the introductory course must be taken the first semester (simultaneously with another course is okay) and the capstone course must be taken at the end.

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QIE is an “embedded certificate” and available to all graduate students enrolled at The Ohio State University. The certificate is awarded after fulfilling requirements and a successful “degree audit”. For questions, contact Maggie Kruth, Senior Academic Program Services Specialist or Penny Pasque, professor, Director of QualLab and Director of Qualitative Methods

Student Interest from Outside Ohio State

Graduate students outside of the university have taken ESQUAL courses in the past. These graduate students have come from within (e.g., Michigan State) and outside of the Big Ten (e.g., Kent State). There are two options for graduate students interested in any EHE course, however, non-degree students may not obtain an embedded certificate. We hope these courses are a gateway for you into an Ohio State degree program or that they supplement your current degree program. Please note that these options take time, so please plan accordingly.

  1. Option 1: Graduate Non-Degree Student. Any graduate student is able to register for EHE courses where the first step is to apply through our Graduate and Professional Admissions to become a graduate non-degree student. Once students apply and are admitted, they should be able to register for courses following already set processes. 
  2. Option 2: Big Ten Alliance Program - CourseShare. Students in the Big Ten may take advantage of the CourseShare program. Interested graduate students should reach out to the respective departments’ student service office at their home institution and at Ohio State. 
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Certificate Goals

The Embedded Certificate in Qualitative Inquiry in Education will provide a scaffolded pathway for incoming graduate students interested in educational studies (i.e., educational policy, higher and postsecondary education, workforce development, counseling):

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  • To take an introductory / survey-type course where students learn about and discuss the philosophies, paradigms, epistemologies, ontologies, axiologies, methodologies and methods for qualitative research.
  • To provide an introduction to qualitative research, qualitative research national associations, and professional discourse regarding qualitative inquiry within the fields of education and higher education. 
  • To choose from a number of qualitative theoretical, collection, coding, and analysis courses chosen by the student based on their own research interests in educational studies. 
  • To encourage an initial critical exploration of the various facets and complexities of qualitative inquiry.
  • To reflect critically and deeply about the influence of one’s own positionality and standpoint in relation to qualitative inquiry (e.g., power differentials, researching within or outside one’s own identities, de-colonizing approaches, framing questions, and interpreting findings).
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  • To practice conducting qualitative research collection strategies, including writing research questions, interviewing, conducting focus groups, observing, accessing policy documents, and/or other methods of collection. 
  • To learn and practice qualitative research analysis strategies, including diving more deeply into different coding techniques, tools, analysis processes, and writing up findings.
  • To apply criteria for assessing trustworthiness, congruence in design, language, and other relevant terms.
  • To obtain CITI certification and learn about the Institutional Review Board process.
  • To take a capstone course that provides an opportunity to put the previous courses in practice through conducting, writing up, and disseminating the research study within and beyond the academy.
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Degree Requirements

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Program start

Autumn Semester

In person program, although courses may be taken online.

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Minimum Program Hours


Note the “in order” requirement, meaning, the introductory course must be taken the first semester (simultaneously with another course is okay) and the capstone course must be taken at the end.

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