2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    May 07, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Research Smarts Graduate Certificate ► ♦

College: https://sciences.ucf.edu/ Degree: Certificate
Program Websites: https://sciences.ucf.edu/sociology/graduate/

Program Description

The Graduate Certificate in Research Smarts provides students with the essential skills and critical thinking needed by today’s consumers of news and information.

Increasing one’s Research Smarts will provide students with the practical skills and critical thinking necessary to produce and to consume findings, facts, and information with the assurance that it was arrived at systematically.  These skills are not only useful in daily life, as we wade through the mass of news and information that comes our way, but also in private business, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and other employment opportunities.  Students seeking employment, those with jobs currently, or those working toward advancement can benefit from a critical examination of how knowledge is gained and which sources of information can be trusted.  This is because nearly all employers value employees who are confident in their understanding and use of scientific research skills.

Students earning the Graduate Certificate in Research Smarts will acquire the following skills:

  1. Be able to define knowledge, social science research, and research methods.
  2. Summarize why understanding research methods is important.
  3. Evaluate and describe each of the major steps taken to conduct research as well as the importance of each step.
  4. Develop research questions and compare the different types of research questions.
  5. Understand why ethics are an important consideration during research.
  6. Understand a variety of ways to analyze data.
  7. Understand the relationship between research methods and data analysis.
  8. Be able to design a sound research project from developing the research question to collecting the data, to selecting the best analysis strategy to making strategic conclusions.
  9. Use the above skills to critically assess news and information as well as evaluate the claims and assertions of others. 

Please note: The Research Smarts Graduate Certificate may be completed remotely during the academic year 2020-2021.  After that, not all elective options or program prerequisites may be offered remotely or online. Newly admitted students choosing to complete this program exclusively via UCF online classes may enroll with a reduction in campus-based fees.

International students (F or J visa) are required to enroll in a full-time course load of 9 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters. Only 3 of the 9 credit hours may be taken in a completely online format. For a detailed listing of enrollment requirements for international students, please visit http://global.ucf.edu/. If you have questions, please consult UCF Global at 407-823-2337.

UCF is not authorized to provide online courses or instruction to students in some states. Refer to State Restrictions for current information.


The Research Smarts Graduate Certificate consists of three required courses.

Total Credit Hours Required: 9 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Application Requirements

Admission is open to those with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and at least one statistics course or math course of Algebra II or higher. An application to the graduate certificate program and official transcripts must be submitted. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

Application Deadlines

Research Smarts Graduate Certificate *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants   Jul 1    
International Applicants        
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Timothy L. Hawthorne, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Telephone: 407-823-3744
HPH, RM 403

Bridgett Burk
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
Department of Sociology
HPH, RM 403

Graduate Admissions

Christina Dabrowski
Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address
UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233