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. In addition, students must take all required courses for a letter grade, except for the capstone course which is credit/no credit.

To complete the certificate, students will need at least 16 credits:

If possible, students are encouraged to start the Digital Studies curriculum by taking a Core course. However, courses may be taken in any order, at any time during the students’ academic career.

Core Courses

All students are required to take ONE of the four core courses listed below. Core courses are open to all undergraduate students.

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.

This course is typically taught both fall and spring semesters.

View syllabus

Journalism 175: Media Fluency for the Digital Age

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.

This course is offered online in the summer only.

View syllabus

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. This course satisfies the Comm B requirement.

This course is typically taught in the fall.

View syllabus

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. This course counts toward the Literature requirement.

This course is typically taught as a FIG in the fall and is not available to continuing students.

Capstone Requirement

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.

Quality of Work

To earn the 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.