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    Jan 18, 2022  
American University Catalog 2018-2019 
American University Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Community-Based Research (Undergraduate Certificate)

Administered jointly by the Department of Government  and Department of Justice, Law and Criminology  (School of Public Affairs ), the Community-Based Research (Undergraduate Certificate) is for students who are interested in applying community-based research methodology and social science research methods to community-based settings domestically or internationally. Community-based research is an orientation based on the philosophy that research to inform solutions for a pressing community problem should involve the community. In this certificate program, students learn to collaborate with community partners to conduct research aimed at meeting community-identified needs and apply what they learn in a final independent capstone project.

Admission to the Program

Open to undergraduate degree and nondegree students.

Certificate Requirements

  • 15-18 credit hours of approved coursework with at least 9 credits at or above 300-level with grades of B or better. Grades of B- or lower in certificate program courses will not be accepted toward the fulfillment of certificate requirements although these grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. Students must have a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA in certificate courses in order to be awarded a certificate. Students in certificate programs must take a minimum of 6 credit hours during each 12-month period after they are admitted. International students must enroll in 12 credit hours each semester (except for summer). A maximum of 3 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university may be applied toward the certificate as transfer credit
  • Community-based experience: Participation in a for-credit or non-credit relevant community-based experience such as an internship, a significant volunteer experience, paid employment, community-based research project, community-based learning course, or Community-Service Learning Program approved by the program director

Course Requirements

Community-Based Learning (3 credit hours)

Note: The list of approved courses is published each semester by the Center for Community Engagement & Service. Students can search for the Community Based Learning course type in Student Planning.

  • 3 credit hours from course type Community Based Learning

Methodology (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours from the following, or other approved community-based research methodology course:

Capstone (3 credit hours)

Complete 3 credit hours from one of the following:

Note: Capstone can be conducted in combination with another capstone or thesis requirement, with approval from the program director.

  • 3 credit hours of an independent research project conducted in collaboration with a non-profit organization (XXX-490 with course type Community Based Learning) and approved by program director

Community-Based Experience (0-3 credit hours)

Complete one of the following:

  • XXX-X94 Community Service-Learning Project (1)
  • 1-3 credit hours in additional coursework with course type Community Based Learning
  • 0-3 credit hours approved by the program director