National Genealogical Society

Educational Courses

NGS American Genealogy: Home Study Course

Have you always wanted to learn how to trace your family tree or solve a difficult brick-wall genealogy problem? Perhaps everyday commitments or the cost of attending an institute or conference get in the way of your dream of knowing your ancestors. Or maybe you prefer to work at your own pace, mostly in the comfort of your own home.

If so, there’s another option—the renowned NGS Home Study Course (HSC) on CD. It provides a solid foundation for someone just starting out and new possibilities for experienced researchers’ more difficult problems.

The NGS Home Study Course includes

  • instruction about a variety of genealogical resources;
  • strategies for conducting family history research on the Internet and in libraries, courthouses, and archives;
  • analyzing documents to get the most out of sources;
  • the principles of evidence analysis;
  • explanations of source citation, including examples;
  • tips for writing narratives;
  • assignments with examples of how they should be completed;
  • self-correcting exams;
  • bibliographies and reference lists;
  • specific written feedback on written reports, suggestions for improvement, and encouragement from expert genealogists; and
  • an online mail list for advice and research help.

To learn more about the Home Study Course, see the course syllabus or watch the video.


The HSC is available only on PC- or MAC-compatible CDs, so you will need a computer with a CD drive.

An Internet connection is also recommended so students can participate in the online mail list for research help and advice. Some students choose to submit their lessons by e-mail rather than postal service.


The Home Study Course consists of three CDs, each containing five or six lessons, which can be purchased individually or in a three-CD bundle at a discount.

Not a member? Members pay $90 less than non-members for the graded bundle. Join now.

NGS Home Study Course Option



CD 1



CD 2



CD 3 



Total 3 CDs bought separately:



Bundle (CD 1,2, & 3)



Register online for the NGS Home Study Course now.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

If you are not satisfied with the NGS Home Study Course, return all materials and CDs within 30 days for a full refund excluding a $50 processing fee.

Certificate of Completion

A certificate is awarded to each person who successfully completes the NGS Home Study Course. The National Genealogical Society is not a licensing body, so no formal genealogical credential or accreditation is implied. Please refer to the websites of The Board for Certification of Genealogists® (BCG) or International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) for their policies or standards for certification or accreditation.


Contact the NGS Course Administrator at


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Partnership Discounts

10% Tuition Discount on the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research Program

Boston University’s Center for Professional Education is offering a 10% tuition discount to NGS members who enroll in the new Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research program. To learn more about the program click here.

For information about the new online program, click here.

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