Advanced Research Methods Certificate

Education and Social Sciences Advanced Research Methods (ARM) – Certificate

The Advanced Research Methods (ARM) Certificate is a stand-alone graduate-level certificate in Education & Social Sciences Advanced Research Methods (ARM), offered by the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. The program allows graduate and non-degree seeking students the opportunity to gain additional training in research methodology, and to obtain academic validation for their efforts. The Certificate testifies to a student’s successful mastery of advanced competencies in education and social sciences research methods, with emphasis on quantitative or qualitative approaches. The ARM certificate facilitates students' initiation into the academic publication process, and allows them to become more 'marketable' in today's competitive hiring practices, especially in the context of Research Universities with Very High Research Activity.

While the certificate does not show up on your diploma it will be added to your transcript.

Who can obtain the ARM Certificate?

  • Graduate students in all departments within CEHD
  • Graduate students in all departments outside of CEHD, at Texas A&M University who wish to add to their social science research training, or
  • Non-degree seeking students (e.g. professionals in the Bryan/College Station community) who wish to improve their research skills.

Non-degree seeking student application requirements

  • You must have an undergraduate or graduate degree in any field of study from an accredited college or university.
  • Complete an Apply Texas Graduate Application and submit application fee. More information can be found here
  • Submit official college transcripts from each institution attended, which must be received by application deadline date.
  • Submit a professional resume or curricula vitae along with your application.

Prospective students who wish to acquire advanced social sciences and education research skills (due to requirements stemming from their current jobs) would be able to obtain the certificate with an investment of 12 credit hours, as opposed to 32-36 hours required for a Master's degree. The certificate might represent an attractive option for already-graduated Master's students (from CEHD or other schools/colleges), who wish to enhance or refresh their potentially dated research methods training.


  1. In consultation with your committee chair (where applicable) and graduate advisor, discuss and select additional research methods courses (four (4) courses for 12-credit hours total) to be included in your degree plan.
  2. Students should complete the ARM Intent Form and submit a copy of the form to the Dean’s Office. It is the student’s responsibility to verify course availability the semester prior to enrollment.
  3. In alignment with your program guidelines, an intent to complete the ARM certificate coursework should be included in the official degree plan submitted on file to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.
  4. For students who have already taken all twelve credit hours of coursework, please contact Patrice French at pfrench [at] regarding instructions on how to receive the certificate.
  5. Under rare circumstances, students may petition the CEHD Graduate Instruction Council to take a course not included on the ARM course listings. Prior to planned course enrollment, students must receive approval from the CEHD Graduate Instruction Committee, which deems whether a request is considered an advanced research methods course. The committee will not consider course requests while a student is currently enrolled in the course or after the student has completed the course. This policy applies to courses at TAMU that are outside of CEHD (e.g. such as in Statistics, Sociology, Psychology, and the School of Public Health) and courses external of the university. Directed Studies courses (e.g. EDAD 685) will not be accepted as a course substitution.
  6. After submitting an intent form, students who wish to revise which courses they take to complete the certificate must receive committee chair and ARM Certificate Committee approval prior to enrolling in the new course.
  7. Enrollment in the advanced courses will require the completion of established prerequisites where applicable (designated in the Texas A&M University Graduate and Professional Catalog) and/or the approval of the course instructor and the student’s dissertation committee chair/faculty advisor.
  8. Perform at a satisfactory level in all research methods courses; grades lower than a B and (U grades) will not be accepted for certificate courses.
  9. Engage in research, either one’s own study, or as part of a research team. Provide evidence of submission that a manuscript is submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal, in which the student is listed as an author.
  10. Students will submit a Certificate portfolio and submit it along with their ARM Application Graduate Certificate in Education & Social Sciences Advanced Research Methods Application once they have satisfied coursework and manuscript requirements. See Portfolio Section for more details.

Student Certificate Portfolio

  • A culminating artifact (e.g. course assignment, paper, presentation, or project) from each certificate course. The ARM Certificate Course Verification form Advanced Research Methods Certificate Course Verification Form, in which the faculty of record verifies satisfactory student performance, must accompany each artifact.
  • Manuscript of original research in which the student is listed as an author. The manuscript must use elements of methodological processes gained from one or more of the courses taken for the ARM certificate. While what constitutes as research-based reporting may vary across fields, journal articles formatted as commentaries, letters-to-the-editor, teaching tips, or non-systematic reviews of the literature are not eligible to fulfill the ARM journal article submission requirement. Additionally, book chapters will not be accepted. Systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses do count, however. The submitted article can come from the student's thesis or dissertation, or a paper written for class.
  • Evidence that the manuscript was submitted for review to a peer-reviewed journal. Acceptance for publication is not a requirement.
  • Submit a two (2) page, double-spaced integrative reflection essay. See specific criteria below.
  • Portfolio format includes:

    • Title page that includes name, college, department, program, and committee chair
    • Table of Contents
    • Course Artifacts with Faculty Verification Forms
    • Manuscript submitted for publication
    • Evidence of journal submission
    • Two page reflective essay
  • Submit in one PDF or DOC. file to Patrice French, pfrench [at] 
  • The portfolio will be scored using the Advanced Research Methods Certificate Rubric. (See Appendix D).
  • Students will submit their portfolio along with an ARM application.

Integrative Reflection Paper

Reflect on the research manuscript you submitted for publication. Briefly describe your research in lay terms. What knowledge, skills, and competencies from the certificate courses did you apply to the research manuscript? Refer to a specific page number in your manuscript that outlines the use of said skills. How will those knowledge, skills, and competencies be helpful beyond your current academic program?

Format: The reflection should be a maximum of two-pages, 12-point font, double-spaced.