The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Graduate Certificate in Ethnographic Research

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Ethnographic Research

The Graduate Certificate in Ethnographic Research provides interdisciplinary training in the art and science of deep, immersive research. The credential prepares students to cultivate ethnographic sensibilities as they produce critical and valuable insights related to lived experience. A student-centered approach features a menu of courses to maximize flexibility and support a range of field experiences. Certificate students will join a community of ethnographic practitioners.

Open to graduate students interested in humanistic as well as social scientific approaches to ethnographic research, the program exposes students to emerging scholarship in the digital age: from scholar-produced texts based on participant observation to participatory methods using digital storytelling, photovoice, and collaborative ethnographies. Ethnographic analyses are powerful at highlighting place-based knowledge and transregional connections as well as advocating community-based interventions. 

Pollinating Across Fields and Regions 

The graduate certificate was born from a faculty-driven initiative to cross-pollinate ethnographic approaches from perspectives of anthropology, communication, gender & sexuality studies, health communication, education, political science, public policy, and sociology. It is open to graduate students pursuing master’s or doctorate degrees in any field. Students are encouraged to take advantage of various field work opportunities in the context of seminars, independent studies, thesis or dissertation research. 

Career Opportunities

Those with ethnographic skills may find their credentials enriched as they seek employment not only in academia and other education settings but also with community-based organizations, the nonprofit sector, government entities, health agencies, international development organizations, as well as a range of options in the arts and entertainment industry, heritage fields, and  sustainable or cutting-edge businesses. The certificate serves as a supplement to disciplinary studies for students pursuing M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.F.A., Ed.S., or Ph.D. degrees.