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College of Education

Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate

This 18-credit hour graduate certificate is offered in response to the demand for trained qualitative researchers at the national and international levels. The need for trained qualitative researchers reflects an interdisciplinary demand, such as those who can work in academia, public health, non-profit sector, business and marketing, amongst others.

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Program Features

  • Online, hybrid and face-to-face courses
  • 18 credit hours of work (15 credit hours coursework and 3 credit hours of applied research)
  • Nationally and internationally visible faculty
  • Core and affiliated faculty throughout campus
  • Courses include historical and current theoretical and methodological approaches 
  • Exposure to various traditional, arts-based, and other innovative research designs
  • Integration of digital tools in qualitative inquiry
  • Strong emphasis on writing for interdisciplinary purposes
  • Invitation to participate in writing retreats (in person, or virtually) throughout the program
  • Students conduct pilot studies for publication and presentation purposes
  • Dedicated faculty mentoring to help students’ meet their professional goals
  • Appropriate for Ed.D, Ph.D, and non-degree seeking graduate students

Students will be introduced to learning qualitative methods from a broad social science perspective so they understand how qualitative research has been taken up in education and other fields. This experience will allow students to make connection between different parts of the inquiry process, thereby developing a stronger understanding of how to conceptualize, execute, and report projects conducted through qualitative inquiry.

Specifically, students will be trained to gain an understanding of their identities as a researcher so that they may conduct research with due diligence, create trust and rapport with participants, and maintain high ethical standards. To that end, we would train students to understand their positionality as researchers, interrogate their privileges, identify their ethical responsibilities, how they construct knowledge, their worldviews, and their values, beliefs, and assumptions.

Application and Admission

Students New to K-State Graduate School
  • Submit a Graduate School Application indicating the field of study will be the Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate program
  • Two official transcripts for all undergraduate coursework (minimum 3.0 GPA required)
  • Two official transcripts for all graduate coursework
  • Statement of professional experience and goals and purpose for seeking certificate.
  • Complete the Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate Application Form (PDF) and submit it, along with a current resume, to Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya, program coordinator at kakalibh@k-state.edu.
Students Already in a Master's or Doctoral Degree Program at K-State
  • The Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate is available to students admitted to the Graduate School who maintain both good academic standing in the Graduate School and a 3.00 GPA. Applicants need to complete the Qualitative Research Graduate Certificate Application Form (PDF) and submit it, along with a current resume, to Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya, program coordinator at kakalibh@k-state.edu.


Students are expected to take 18 credit hours of courses to earn the certificate, of which 9 credit hours will be required courses, 6-9 credit hours will be research electives, and 0-3 credit hours will be an applied project.

Core Classes – 9 credit hours
  • EDLEA 838 – Qualitative Methods in Education (or equivalent)
  • EDLEA 938 – Advanced Data Analysis in Qualitative Research (or equivalent)
  • EDLEA 948 – Data Representation and Writing Up Qualitative Research (or equivalent)
Electives - 6-9 credit hours
  • In College of Education
    • EDLEA 828 – Scholarly Orientation to Graduate Studies (can only be used if students choose to write a research interest paper that explores a research interest via qualitative inquiry)
    • EDLEA 958- Case Study in Qualitative Research
    • EDLEA 848 - Philosophies of Inquiry
    • EDLEA 968 - Discourse Analysis
    • EDLEA 988 - Differentiated Research
    • EDLEA 978 - Qualitative Data Management and Analysis using NVivo
    • EDLEA 929 - Narrative and Arts-Based Inquiry
    • EDCI 760 - Action Research in Education
    • EDCI 920 - Narrative Inquiry (currently not being offered, but there are students who have taken this class who could still use it towards the certificate)
  • Outside Electives (or others as approved by advisor)
    • THTRE 862 – Workshop in Playwriting
    • THTRE 880 – Project in Ethnodrama
    • FSHS 902 - Qualitative Research Methods in FSHS
    • FSHS 908 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Applied Project – 0-3 credit hours

Applied project could constitute a completion of a dissertation using qualitative methods. Students who wish to use their completed dissertation using qualitative methods could use a maximum of 3 credit hours to complete this requirement. Certificates will be granted only after the completion of a dissertation.

Students who wish to submit a publishable paper to a refereed journal based on an empirical study, could use 3 credit hours earned from EDLEA 988 – Advanced Seminar/Differentiated Research.

Other ways of submitting a publishable paper to a refereed journal could include, but not limited to, preparing the manuscript as a result of specific coursework, or preparing the manuscript as an independent study with a faculty member, or preparing the manuscript, outside of coursework through the student’s own initiative.

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Graduate Certificate:

Qualitative Research


Educational Leadership

Course Delivery:

Online, Hybrid, Face-to-Face



Tuition Information:

See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.


Qualitative Research News (PDF)

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