digital studies certificate wordmark

Digital Humanities Certificate

Digital Humanities Undergraduate Certificate

Background | Admission |  Requirements


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 program advisor 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.

The application is closed at this time.


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. 

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. 


Requirements Hours

1. Introduction to Digital Studies, or other approved course

Introduction to Digital Studies
2a. Three hours of coursework in a methods-based course, such as 3
Foundations of Music Technology
Foundations of Digital Imaging and Visualization
Screen Scoring
Introduction to 2D Animation
Digital Production Art 3-D
Advanced 3-D Modeling
Transmedia: Digital Time-Art I
Transmedia: Digital Time-Art II
Transmedia: Digital Time-Art III
Topics in Cultural Heritage Informatics (any topic)
Topics in Specialized Journalistic Skills (Topic 1: Mapping in Storytelling)
Foundations of Digital Sound and Music
Introduction to Computer Music
Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 7: Digital Storytelling)
Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 8: Writing with Sound)
Or other courses from an approved list.
2b. Nine hours of coursework in digital humanities and informatics topics, such as 9
Digital Communications
Visual Media and Interaction
Introduction to Informatics
Ethical Foundations for Informatics
Introduction to Cultural Heritage Informatics
Introduction to User Experience Design
Topics in Informatics (Topic 1: Information in Cyberspace)
Topics in Informatics (Topic 3: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga)
Topics in Cultural Heritage Informatics
Social Media Journalism
Living in the Information Age
Introduction to Electronic Media
Topics in Writing (approved topics)
Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 6: Networked Writing)
Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (Topic 9: Digital Self and Rhetoric)
Tech Culture
Topics in New Communication Technologies (Topic 3: Internet Cultures)
Or other courses from an approved list.
3. A three-hour capstone course involving project-based Digital Humanities work 3
Undergraduate Research Experience
Undergraduate Research Experience
Or other courses from an approved list. 1
Please Note:
At least twelve hours of course credit towards the certificate must be completed before the capstone course can be counted towards the certificate. Each semester, the list of approved courses that meet the requirements above is available in the Department of English’s undergraduate advising office and online at the College of Liberal Arts Digital Humanities website.
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