Requirements & Courses

Requirements

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.

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 Communication

Marketing/Social Media

Digital Health Information

Web Design

Video/Audio Production

Digital Data

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).