The Digital Studies Certificate is open to all undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
To earn a Digital Studies Certificate, students must complete all requirements for a Bachelor’s degree, requirements of the declared major(s), and graduate from UW-Madison. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for courses counting toward the Certificate and 9 credits counting toward the Certificate must be taken in-residence.
To complete the certificate, students will need at least 16 credits distributed in the following areas:
Take ONE of the following courses:
- Communication Arts 200: Introduction to Digital Communication – This course is an introduction to digital communication and how it shapes our everyday lives. Students will develop digital communication skills, explore digital media tools and trends, and examine expressions of power online. (Offered fall, spring, and summer terms)
- Library & Information Studies 201: The Information Society – This course examines important social, legal, and historical contexts of information and information technologies, and explores significant social, legal, and moral questions that surround those technologies. (Offered fall and spring terms)
- Journalism 175: Digital Media Fluency – The media landscape has changed vastly over the last 20 years, and it has major ramifications for how we see the practice and professions of journalism and strategic communication. Through discussions in class and a group media fluency blog, students will examine and engage with this contemporary media landscape. (Offered during the summer term only)
- English 178: Digital Media, Literature, and Culture – This course is an introduction to the intersection of ever-evolving digital technologies with the production and reception of literature. Lectures will examine the role of digital media in structuring the knowledge and experience of literary works; discussions will provide opportunity for critical and potentially creative practice. (Offered as a FIG only in the fall term; occasionally offered during the spring term)
Take one course from each of the following four areas:
- Digital Practice – these courses provide hands-on training using digital tools such as digital video and audio equipment as well as software for video and audio editing, web-design, database and information architecture design, app design, computer simulation, and digital gaming to create expressive and strategic communication content
- Digital Forms – these courses examine the aesthetic, ethical and design issues related to digital technologies, including visual, audio, interactivity and other design features
- Digital Media – these courses focus on the relationship between digital technology and communication, answering the question, “how did we get here?” with particular focus on the social, political, and cultural contexts
- Digital Information Structures – these courses explore how we use and create digital archives, databases, and other digital information architectures
Courses that are found in two areas may only be counted once within a students’ requirements for the certificate. For example, a course that counts toward both the Digital Forms and the Digital Practice requirement may only be used to satisfy ONE of those requirements.
Communication Arts 605: Digital Studies Capstone
In the capstone course, students integrate the material learned and created through the Digital Studies Certificate program into an online portfolio and explore opportunities for professional and personal growth.
To enroll in the capstone course, students must be a senior AND meet one of the following:
- Be completed with all of the other coursework for the certificate
- Be concurrently enrolled in their remaining coursework for the certificate in the same semester that they plan to enroll in the capstone
Permission to enroll in the capstone course is provided by the digital studies advisor and information on how to receive permission to enroll is emailed to all declared students prior to the term’s registration period.
Please note: In the capstone course, you may want to use projects completed in other digital studies courses in your digital portfolio, so be sure to save the content you’re creating as you take courses.
You’ll find courses for the Digital Studies Certificate in many different departments across campus! Here are a few tips as you plan out which courses you want to take to satisfy the certificate requirements:
- Start with a CORE course, if possible
- Pay close attention to course pre-requisites
- Each area course may only satisfy ONE requirement
- Not every course is offered every semester. Refer to our semester course lists for the most up-to-date list of what’s being offered.
- Check the course listing in Guide for information on when each course was last taught
After taking a core course, you could complete your Digital Studies Certificate by focusing on…
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- Digital Practice: Journalism 463: Digital Media Strategies
- Digital Forms: Communication Arts 155: Introduction to Digital Media Production
- Digital Media: Life Sciences Communication 440: Digital Media & Science Communication
- Digital Information Structures: Communication Arts 345: Online Communication & Personal Relationships
- Digital Practice: Journalism 465: Social Media Marketing Communications
- Digital Forms: Life Sciences Communication 332: Print & Electronic Media Design
- Digital Media: Marketing 355: Marketing in a Digital Age
- Digital Information Structures: Life Sciences Communication 460: Social Media Analytics
Digital Health Information
- Digital Practice: Library & Information Studies 351: Introduction to Digital Information
- Digital Forms: Life Sciences Communication 350: Visualizing Science & Technology
- Digital Media: Library & Information Studies 517: Digital Health
- Digital Information Structures: Journalism 617: Health Communication in the Information Age
- Digital Practice: Computer Sciences 200: Programming I
- Digital Forms: Life Sciences Communication 532: Web Design for the Sciences
- Digital Media: Library & Information Studies 510: Human Factors in Information Security
- Digital Information Structures: Library & Information Studies 351: Introduction to Digital Information
- Digital Practice: Life Sciences Communication 314: Introduction to Digital Media & Video Production
- Digital Forms: Communication Arts 355: Introduction to Media Production
- Digital Media: Communication Arts 449: Sound Cultures: Podcasting & Music
- Digital Information Structures: Curriculum 209: Digital Media & Literacy
- Digital Practice: Computer Sciences 220: Data Programming I
- Digital Forms: Geography 370: Introduction to Cartography
- Digital Media: Journalism 677: Concepts & Tools for Data Analysis and Visualization
- Digital Information Structures: Library & Information Studies 440: Navigating the Data Revolution: Concepts of Data & Information Science
For faculty at UW-Madison: If you are teaching a course that seems appropriate for the Digital Studies Certificate and would like your course reviewed for inclusion in the curriculum, view the course proposal instructions here (pdf).