Frequently Asked Questions

The International Institute of Genealogical Studies is a year-round trade school allowing you to take courses on your schedule. We do not adhere to quarters or semesters. We are a credit-based system.

How Do Courses Work?

Currently, our courses start the first Monday of the month. Some courses are less frequent than monthly but usually start the first Monday of the month they’re scheduled in for students. Only activate the next course (or courses) you intend to take. Do NOT activate every course in your student briefcase. Once activated, the timer starts ticking to completion. 

What certificates are available?

Please see our certification page under the Courses tab on the navigation bar where all certificate programs are detailed. They include Methodology, American Records, Australian Records, Canadian Records, DNA and Genetic Genealogy, Eastern European Records, English Records, German Records, Irish Records, Italian Records (Advanced in development), Librarianship, Scottish Records (Basic only), Professional Development.

How many credits and what does it take to graduate?
Each certificate has a set amount of credits. Most require at least 40 credits to graduate. Each course is worth 1 credit. 
Graduating students with a PLCGS post nominal will have taken a full certification in Methodology, a specific country certificate (such as Canadian or American), and the remaining credits are electives.

What does PLCGS mean?
PLCGS is the professional post nominal awarded to students that earn a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies. When earned, a letter bestowing your post nominal will be sent to you along with the officially embossed and sealed graduation certificate.

What about older students?
The International Institute of Genealogical Studies is perfect for students of all ages. Whether you're taking courses for personal fulfillment or to start a professional genealogy career, we're here to support your goals.

Official Transcriptions
Please request your official transcript through the office by emailing all details to Include the name of the institute requesting the transcript, the name and title of the addressee, and the address. If there's a deadline you must meet, please let us know. 

Free Orientation Course 

Join the free Orientation Course to see how the various parts of your online courses work.

When Do Courses Begin? 

Currently our courses begin the first Monday of each month, though some courses are offered every 2 months or quarterly. We occasionally skip to a Tuesday to avoid a major holiday.

What About Homework Assignments?

Most courses have assignments included in the course material. Generally, assignments count for 30% of the final course grade and the exam counts as 70% of the course grade. We also include video when helpful to assignments.
Public assignments
are presented inside a “Forum” widget of the course module which other students in that course can read.

Private assignments are inside a “Quiz” widget. They’re not readable by other students.
All courses and course elements are online at
But you may purchase print versions of the course material if you’re a paper person who prefers to take notes physically. If you are not registered in the course prior to ordering course materials, the order will be canceled. ONLY students in the course have access to the course materials online or in print. Order print materials online and they will be shipped to you. Please allow additional time for international orders. US orders are sent media mail rate unless you intentionally choose differently or have spoken with the office. All orders are shipped from Montana.

What is the Big Blue Button?

The Big Blue Button opens up conference meetings inside a course. These may be recorded for you or other students. But they cannot be downloaded and will only remain on the course for up to 1 week. Learn more inside the free Orientation course.

How Do I Get My Grades?

Grades are displayed after a course closes.

How Do I Remit the Fees? 
Payment may be made by your choice of credit or debit cards. Other options like PayPal, direct banking transfer, and payment plans are also available. If you need assistance, please call our office at 1-800-580-0165 x1 or send an email to Credit card payments are highly secured transactions through Shopify. Course fees are indicated in US dollars, but you may be able to pay in your own currency. 

Are fees refundable?

Course fees are refundable in the first week after purchase, less a 15% administrative fee. However, the IIGS difference is that we have grace and mercy for adults who are adulting. You may transfer to the same course in future course date at no charge before, during, or up to 14 days after a course closes. Only the incomplete course is affected. If you experience a family need, work conflict, or life complication that will interfere with your course session, please contact us so we can help you before the 50% fee applies.

You may also put your courses on hiatus by contacting the office at 800.580.0165 or by email Please be sure you receive a response that verifies your hiatus is approved.

How Do I Drop a Course?

Request to move to a future date through the office if your course has already started. Email or call: 800.580.0165.

What if I need help with assignments or projects?

The International Institute of Genealogical studies offers free course virtual meetings regularly, tutoring sessions, mentoring for personal projects for a small fee. You may also attend a short office hour inside your course to ask a specific question, but these short meetings are not intended as personal mentoring or tutoring session. 

**Frequently Asked Questions and Policies are subject to change without notice.