Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration

The Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration (GCAA) at Wayne State University, one of the oldest archival programs in the country, was established both for individuals entering the archival profession and for those with experience in the field.

The certificate program provides a professional education to individuals wishing to identify, preserve, and make historical records accessible for use.

The GCAA prepares today's archivists in three distinct areas of solid archival professionalism: theory, professional service and cultural heritage. Today's archivist needs to be well-schooled in traditional theories as well as skilled in digital problem-solving while understanding cultural context and professional demeanor.

Located within an urban university surrounded by numerous cultural institutions and a modern Digital Media Projects Lab, the certificate program is uniquely situated to train archival professionals that are capable of working in any archival environment.

The GCAA includes courses that teach students basic archival theory, methods and practice of appraisal, arrangement, description, preservation, reference, and the legal and ethical concerns regarding traditional, visual and electronic records. In addition, there are courses in records management, administration of historical institutions and a required archival practicum. Students are immersed in 100 years of theory as well as given ample hands-on work to employ preservation techniques, descriptive analysis and community outreach.

The 15-credit certificate includes nine credit hours of required course work and six credit hours of elective course work. Students working concurrently on the MLIS degree and the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration are required to complete an additional six credits beyond the 36 required for the MLIS degree. For additional information, students are referred to the Degree and Certificate Requirements regulations as stated in the Wayne State University Graduate Bulletin.

Students interested in pursuing only the GCAA should review our certificate policy. Before enrolling in the certificate program, students must meet the program's technology requirements.


Students must complete the following courses and the certificate Graduation Assessment requirement:

To obtain the Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration, students must complete the following required courses:

  • INF 7710 Archival Administration
  • INF 7780 Description and Access for Archives
  • INF 7970 Practicum: Archives
  • Prerequisite INF 7710 plus six credits of AAC electives (final three AAC elective credits may be taken concurrently with INF 7970)

To fulfill the requirements of the Archival Administration Graduate Certificate, students must choose two (minimum) of the elective courses listed below. Students have the flexibility to combine one- and two-credit courses to fulfill the equivalent of a three-credit elective. However, this option is available only once as a substitution for a standard three-credit course.

  • INF 6780 Introduction to Records and Information Management
  • INF 6850 Grant Writing for Information Professionals and Archivists 
  • INF 7712 Intellectual Property for Information Professionals and Archivists
  • INF 7715 Archival Reference 
  • INF 7730 Administration of Audio Visual Collections
  • INF 7740 Archives and Libraries in the Digital World
  • INF 7750 Introduction to Archival and Library Conservation
  • INF 7770 Oral History: A Methodology for Research
  • INF 7775 Primary Historic Records for Information Professionals and Archivists
  • INF 7830 Community Engagement 
  • INF 7835 Community Archives
  • INF 7885 Cultural Heritage Institutions: Management and Leadership
  • INF 8850 Web Archiving

To fulfill the requirements of the Archival Administration Graduate Certificate, students must complete the certificate graduation assessment requirement.