Online Genealogy Courses from Family Tree University

Family Tree University online courses are genealogy classes that take place in a virtual classroom. You get the same benefits as traditional, “in person” classes—detailed guidance, expert instructors, opportunities to connect with fellow researchers—but you experience it all from the comfort of your computer. Best of all, there’s no schedule but your own. During your course session, you determine the best time to “go to class,” participate in class discussions, or drop by the site just to chat. We offer three types of courses:

4-Week, Instructor-Led Courses

These courses are often the most instructor-engaged. Depending on the course topic, lessons may be heavily driven by readings and quizzes, while others are more engaging, with interactive exercises and detailed discussions on the discussion board. Because these classes are the longest of our course selection, they are often the most extensive, extensively covering every angle of the topic.

2-Week, Genealogy Fundamentals Courses

Our 2-Week courses are designed to help beginning genealogists develop a solid foundation of research skills. While expert instructors are on hand to answer any questions, they play a far less active role than in our 4-week offerings.

2-Week courses can range in topic from how to begin your genealogy research, where to look for information and what to do with what you find, to basics on how to find, analyze and cite birth, death or census records. Self-grading quizzes are on hand to test your knowledge of the topic.

We recommend you follow this track when taking 2-Week courses:
1.    Discover Your Family Tree
2.    Online Family Trees
3.    Using Census Records
4.    Using Death Records
5.    Doing Cemetery Research
6.    Using Birth Records
7.    Using Marriage and Divorce Records

1-Week Courses

Our 1-week courses are designed to give you an intense dose of learning on one topic. Courses launch immediately  upon sign up, giving you one week to go through about two hours worth of course materials. These classes are almost exclusively self-led, meaning that you do not have to complete any quizzes or exercises. However, expert instructors remain on hand to answer any questions you may post to the discussion board.


No special software, plug-in or specific e-mail program is required. As long as you have internet access, you can participate in a Family Tree University online course!

Watch our Crash Course video to see for yourself how our online courses work:

Family Tree University Crash Course from Family Tree Magazine on Vimeo.

Most courses are offered every two to three months, but there’s always a session to fit your schedule. Check out our complete course list to view the classes we offer—just click on a specific class for more details and upcoming start dates.

Why Choose an Online Course

  • You want the benefit of an expert instructor to answer questions and provide feedback on your assignments.
  • You like to interact with other students.
  • You prefer a structured environment, with suggested deadlines and a specific time frame for completing a class.
  • You get to keep all course materials for future reference (PDF downloads), so your learning isn’t limited to the four weeks of your course session.

Demo a Class

Take a self-guided tour of Family Tree University by clicking here.

Username: FTU-Demo
Password: FTU-Demo

Once logged in you can view a demo of one of our courses, U.S. Military Research: Trace Your Ancestor’s Service.