Course Structure

Course Description

This course teaches how you can apply your genealogical skills to conduct paid genealogical research for clients. This course has been designed to provide you with solid academic content and develop practical skills which are critical for a professional genealogist. You will learn how to establish and manage a research business. You will also learn about other types of job opportunities for genealogists.

Whether you hope to start your own company or work for another company, the skills you will learn in this class will educate you on basic business principles. Many of the assignments are designed with the idea that you will start your own company in the future. Even if this is not your plan, this course will help you to develop certain entrepreneurial skills as well as basic skill in conflict resolution that will help you learn how to work with difficult coworkers.

In this course, you will prepare a business plan and a marketing plan that uses various media sources. You will also create a professional resume. To better understand various career options that would be suitable for you, you will take a career assessment and then set goals by creating a life plan. You will explore basic business accounting techniques, as well as various business types, licenses, and taxes. By the end of this course, you should have sufficient knowledge to start the process of creating a professional genealogy business. These are just a few of the things that you will do throughout the course.

Course Outcomes

Upon completing this course, you will be able to do the following:

  1. Identify various job opportunities in the genealogical field.
  2. Identify types of services to offer clients.
  3. Create a business plan.
  4. Market genealogical research services and create a marketing plan.
  5. Establish an appropriate fee structure.
  6. Communicate effectively with clients and resolve questions and concerns.

Learning Model Architecture

The Learning model is not only designed to enhance and enrich your learning experience at BYU-Idaho, but to help you become a disciple of Christ. The following guidelines have been created to help you understand the things that will improve your learning experience in this course:

Prepare: You will prepare by setting goals and scheduling your time wisely. These will help you to complete assignments, stay on task, and perform valuable work in the future. You will have little predefined structure and will be responsible for thinking ahead and establishing your own productive schedule.

Teach One Another: You will teach one another as you research specific individuals and their families. Many others in your class will be able to provide you with tips and assistance that can help you reach your goals. You, likewise, will have much to offer them and will have many opportunities to do so throughout the semester.

Ponder/Prove: You will demonstrate your work each week by turning in time logs or a research project. These projects sharpen your research skills as you spend time and effort completing them. Your accounting of them to your instructor will further help you to ponder and prove.

The course is not an independent study course. The group teaching and learning activities require students to cover material at the same time and at the same pace. For more information on the learning model, visit the following site: BYU-Idaho Learning Model.


Lesson 01-Career Options for a Genealogist 
Lesson 02-Should You Go Pro? 
Lesson 03-Create and Structure a Business 
Lesson 04-Licenses, Taxes, and Insurance 
Lesson 05-Market Your Business, Part 1 
Lesson 06-Market Your Business, Part 2 
Lesson 07-Obtain and Manage Your Clientele 
Lesson 08-Operate Your Business, Part 1 
Lesson 09-Operate Your Business, Part 2 
Lesson 10-Accounting and Finance, Part 1 
Lesson 11-Accounting and Finance, Part 2 
Lesson 12-Work with People 
Lesson 13-Ethics and Professionalism 
Lesson 14-Course Conclusion


Course Expectations

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 write professional type documents. Grammar and spelling errors reflect poorly on your business. Spend time learning how to become a good writer. There are many resources available to help you with this task. BYU-Idaho also offers Writing Center services online.

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 website.


Course Texts and Materials

Weekly Time Commitment

The online class policy is that for every credit hour you should expect to spend 3 hours of work per week. For this class, you should plan on spending approximately 9 hours per week.


Grading Scale
A 93%-100% 
A- 90%-92%
B+ 87%-89% 
B 83%-86% 
B- 80%-82%
C+ 77%-79% 
C 73%-76% 
C- 70%-72%
D+ 67%-69% 
D 63%-66% 
D- 60-62%
F below 60%

Plagiarism: (To steal/pass off the ideas of another as your own/without giving credit) of any kind will not be tolerated. Any form of plagiarism, cheating, or attempt to deceive will result in a failing grade.


If any technical difficulties arise throughout the course, contact the Online Support Center or the Help Desk before contacting the instructor.

Missing Content

Most modern browsers block content that is not secure or does not meet certain security specifications. There may be times when content in this course does not display properly. If you experience this, you may download this document for help.

Online Support Center

Phone: (208) 496-1411 
Text Messaging: (855) 808-7102 
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 7 PM, MT 
Skype: onlinesupportcenterbyui 
Live Chat: Available on the Online Support Center Website.

Help Desk

Phone: (208) 496-1411 
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 9 PM Saturday, 9 AM to 5 PM


Materials in this BYU-Idaho online course and related sites may be protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). These materials are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be further disseminated.


University Policies

Please become familiar with the University Academic Honesty Policy. Pay particular attention to the links under the BYU-Idaho Standards Related to Academic Honesty.

Policy on Sexual Discrimination/Harassment

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an education program or activity that receives federal funds, including Federal loans and grants. Title IX also covers student-to-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender based discrimination, please contact the Personnel Office at (208) 496-1130.

Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities Office, (208) 496-1158. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by this office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures. You should contact the Personnel Office at (208) 496-1130.

Personal Conduct

All of your correspondence with the teacher or other classmates must be respectful. Writing something disrespectful or "venting" is unprofessional and not becoming of a university student. In addition, it is not in accordance with the Honor Code of BYU-Idaho and you will be subject to discipline accordingly. You are invited to re-read the BYU-I Honor Code and the "Principles of Personal Honor."