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Digital Humanities Undergraduate Certificate

The Digital Humanities represent the area of study where humanities disciplines and studies in information engage digital tools, archives, artifacts, and information technologies. This certificate is designed to introduce students to the ideas, materials, and computational tools that underlie this field. It is open to students of all majors. Those who plan to pursue the certificate should apply to the certificate director for admission no later than the end of their sophomore year.

Students take 18 credit hours from a selection of courses taught in different departments and colleges at The University of Texas at Austin and must earn a letter grade of C- or better in all courses required for certification. Some courses required by the certificate may also fulfill degree requirements established by a student's major department.

Scholarship in Digital Humanities interprets the cultural and social impact of information technologies as well as creates and applies these technologies to answer cultural, social, historical, and philological questions. Digital Humanities scholarship is necessarily collaborative and interdisciplinary. It emphasizes design, multimediality, and experiential learning and research by creatively expanding the networks of participation, the modes of access, and the tools for the creation and dissemination of scholarship. Digital Humanities practices are not limited to conventional humanities departments, but are emerging in every humanistic field at UT Austin, within the College of Liberal Arts and beyond, in arts and architecture, information studies, film and media studies, archaeology, geography, ethnic studies, and the social sciences. At the same time, Digital Humanities is a natural outgrowth and expansion of the traditional scope of the Humanities and Information Studies, not a replacement or rejection of traditional humanistic inquiry. In fact, the role of the humanist is critical at this historic moment, as our cultural legacy is migrated to digital formats and our relation to knowledge, cultural material, technology, and society is radically re-conceptualized.

Because Digital Humanities demands interdisciplinary education, it offers a compelling model for transformative scholarship and pedagogy at the undergraduate level. Digital Humanities facilitates the necessary critical thinking, analytic skills, and creativity that have long been at the heart of the undergraduate educational experience and thus impacts all fields that use new technologies to undertake research. As more and more courses utilize digital technologies for instruction, new information platforms are emerging, which encourage collaboration, creativity, and interdisciplinarity. Yet, the existing, funded projects at UT Austin do not offer enough opportunities for project-based work for a wide range of students. At the same time, the collections at the heart of humanities research and UT Austin’s world-class libraries and archives are often inaccessible for digital analysis by scholars even when they have been digitized. Pairing students with project-based work in these collections offers a unique opportunity to train students in much-needed information skills and to showcase these and community collections in research that engages staff, undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. The DH Certificate will harness students’ engagement with and excitement about digital technologies and media and put that energy to use in a flexible curriculum that requires both skills acquisition and critical inquiry.

Academic performance (Grade Point Average) is the primary criterion for admission; a personal statement about interest in the program and degree progress (i.e. where the student is in their degree) are additional factors. The application is typically open from early March through mid-July for those aiming to begin DH Certificate courses the following fall.

Please complete the online application before September 1, 2022.

To earn the Certificate, students must take:

(1) An introduction to the Digital Studies

The first requirement is a course taught through the English Department. It will potentially be cross-listed in American Studies, English, and History.  

(2) Twelve hours of coursework including at least one methods-based course

The second requirement can be fulfilled by taking a range of courses within and beyond the student’s fields of specialization. Courses might emphasize the acquisition of methods in digitization techniques (XML, OCR, image scanning and processing, GIS), archive building, computer programming, visualization for various applications such as textual data set mining and statistical analysis, data organization, working with new media, or the creation of software applications.

Given the particularly emergent nature of the Digital Humanities, new courses are offered each year that can satisfy the second requirement. At the same time, only a few of the skills and electives courses listed below as example fulfillments of the second requirement are regularly reoccurring. Given the broad selection of qualifying courses that has been available at UT Austin for years, this academic vibrancy is ultimately a strength of this Certificate. As digital methods begin to become more common in basic research training in the humanities, more courses will be offered each year that will satisfy the requirements of the certificate.

(3) A capstone course involving project-based Digital Humanities work. 

The capstone course must feature project-based work, and will be approved by the DH Certificate Program Director for each student completing the Certificate. Independent studies or honors theses or research apprenticeships grounded in Digital Humanities work that constitute a DH project may satisfy
this requirement. 

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Important notes:

  • At least twelve hours of course credit towards the certificate must be completed before the capstone course can be counted towards the certificate.
  • A capstone proposal must be submitted to the Certificate Director in the semester previous to the semester of the student's planned capstone course. 
    The capstone proposal form is available in both Word and PDF format. 

Select example Undergraduate DH Capstones



1. Introduction to Digital Studies, or other approved course

E 310D

Introduction to Digital Studies

GSD 360  Identities / Patterns / Code: Digital Approaches to Culture  
RHE 314 Computer Programming Humanities  
2a. Minimum of three hours of coursework in a methods-based course, such as 3
AET 305 Foundations of Music Technology  
AET 306 Foundations of Digital Imaging and Visualization  
AET 310 Foundations of Creative Coding  
AET 323C Screen Scoring  
AET 325C Introduction to 2D Animation  
AET 326 Digital Production Art 3-D  
AET 327 Advanced 3-D Modeling  
ART 316V Transmedia: Expanded Media I  
ART 318C Transmedia: Digital Time-Art I  
ART 336V Transmedia: Expanded Media II  
ART 338C Transmedia: Digital Time-Art II  
ART 356V Transmedia: Expanded Media III  
ART 358C Transmedia: Digital Time-Art III  
CS 303E     Intro to Computer Science  
GRG 410C Spatial Data and Analysis  
HIS 366N History and Data Tools  
I 304 Programming for Informatics  
I 310D Introduction to Human-Centered Data Science  
I 320C Topics in Cultural Heritage Informatics (any topic)  
J 339T Topics in Specialized Journalistic Skills (Topic 1: Mapping in Storytelling)  
MUS 319D Foundations of Digital Sound and Music  
MUS 329J Introduction to Computer Music  
RHE 330C Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 7: Digital Storytelling)  
*Or other courses from an approved list. Contact certificate director.  
2b. Minimum of three hours of coursework in digital humanities and informatics topics, such as 3
CMS 341 Digital Communications  
CMS 348K Visual Media and Interaction  
I 301 Introduction to Informatics  
I 303 Ethical Foundations for Informatics  
I 310 Topics in Introductory Informatics (Topic: User Experience and Design Thinking)  
I 310 Topics in Introductory Informatics (Topic: Fake News and Facts in the Misinformation Age)  
I 310 Topics in Introductory Informatics (Topic: Research Methods for Informatics)  
I 310C Introduction to Cultural Heritage Informatics  
I 310U Introduction to User Experience Design  
I 320 Topics in Informatics (Topic: Blockchain and the Decentralized Economy)  
I 320.01 Topics in Informatics (Topic: Information in Cyberspace)  
I 320.03 Topics in Informatics (Topic: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga)  
I 320C Topics in Cultural Heritage Informatics  
J 308N Computer Concepts/Internet Technologies  
J 336F Social Media Journalism  
J 355F Living in the Information Age  
MUS 329E Introduction to Electronic Media  
RHE 330C Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 6: Networked Writing)  
RHE 330C Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 9: Digital Self and Rhetoric)  
RTF 326C Tech Culture  
RTF 331P Topics in New Communication Technologies (Topic 3: Internet Cultures)  
*Or other courses from an approved list. Contact certificate director.  
2c. Six hours of coursework in methods or digital humanities and informatics topics as listed above 6
3. A three-hour capstone course involving project-based Digital Humanities work 3
UGS 320K Undergraduate Research Experience  
UGS 320L Undergraduate Research Experience  
Or other courses from an approved list. 1  
1. Such as an approved Departmental Honors Program Honors Tutorial Course as listed on the College of Liberal Arts undergraduate Academic Policies and Procedures website at