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Program at a Glance

Graduate Certificate
College of Sciences
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges - Most Innovative 2021

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 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.

Application Deadlines

July 1

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Career Opportunities

UCF prepares you for life beyond the classroom. Here, you’ll experience a wide range of opportunity, like learning diverse skills from world-renowned faculty to networking with top employers across Central Florida to gaining first-hand experience in internships nearby. Achieve your degree and more as a Knight.
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