Public Digital Humanities Certificate

The Public Digital Humanities certificate is a dynamic and creative hands-on, 12-semester-hour program that helps graduate students develop digital scholarly skills for use within and beyond academia. The certificate is available to graduate degree students across the University—regardless of their familiarity with digital humanities—and provides a foundation in theories, methods, and major debates in DH. The program provides small classroom, lab, and individually-guided training as students explore the expansive nature of digital humanities.

The flexibility of the certificate curriculum helps students, their advisors, and department heads work together to identify an effective plan of study for students en route to their degree objective. Students may pursue basic training in an array of digital methods or choose to focus their efforts in a particular area of digital practice: GIS, data visualization, textual analysis, podcasting, digital archiving, and digital exhibits.  We encourage those pursuing the certificate to take DH courses in their home departments or in cognate fields in order to deepen and diversify their research, pedagogical, and public humanities approaches.

If you have questions about the certificate you can contact Leah Gehlsen Morlan, the Studio’s Program Manager; Professor Deborah Whaley, Senior Scholar for Digital Arts & Humanities Research; or Tom Keegan, Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio.

Ongoing news and updates about the certificate and its students can be found on the Studio blog. And certificate students are invited to join the Studio’s mailing list to stay up-to-date on the latest workshops, fellowships, grant opportunities, and more.




While there is no formal application for the Public Digital Humanities certificate, students must be in good standing in their degree programs in order to pursue and complete the certificate. Certificate students are required to complete a Student Advisor Agreement form. This form documents the student’s intent to pursue the graduate certificate and has a faculty advisor who is in support of that effort.

Students should also make use of the Certificate Tracking form, which will help them track their progress through the 12 semester hours of credit needed to complete the certificate.

Both forms should be submitted to the Studio’s Program Manager, Leah Gehlsen Morlan as soon a decision to pursue the certificate is made.

Certificate Curriculum

The certificate requires that all students take one introductory course (CLAS:7290 Digital Humanities Theory and Practice) and complete a capstone experience (GRAD:6590 Digital Humanities Capstone). Between those two courses, students fill the certificate requirements by selecting from an array of electives. In this way students may customize the curriculum to their disciplinary or technical needs.

Required Courses

CLAS:7290: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice. Learn more about the course in this video!
GRAD:6590: Digital Humanities Capstone (cross-listed with SLIS:6590)


Approved electives can be found here.

Faculty members and students may also petition for new electives via this form.

Sample Curricula (by discipline)

School of Library & Information Science
GRAD:7290: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice
SLIS:6330: Archives and Media
SLIS:6140: Digital Environments
GRAD:6590 Digital Humanities Capstone (cross-listed with SLIS:6590)

GRAD:7290: Digital Humanities Theory and Practice
ENGL:6080: New Media Poetics
ENGL 3182: Digital Cultures and Literacies
GRAD:6590 Digital Humanities Capstone

Fall 2020 Electives

The following are electives approved for the upcoming semester:

AMST:5000 Interdisciplinary Research in American Studies, 2:00-4:30P T, 704 JB

GEOG:4150 Health and Environment: GIS Applications, 12:30P-1:45P T, 248 JH/Th 243 JH

JMC:3122 Digital and Gaming Culture, 11:00A-12:15P TTh, E205 AJB

SLIS:5335 Metadata Theory and Applications, 1:30P- 4:00P W, 3092 LIB

SLIS:6350 Archives and Media, 12:30P-3:15P M, 3083 LIB

These 1 SH Seminar Courses were designed and are instructed by Studio Staff:

GRAD:6530 Map Making for Beginners, 2:00P-4:30P T, 1015A LIB

GRAD:6510 Introduction to Programming, 10:00A-12:30P T, 1015A LIB

GRAD:6520 Data Visualization Basics, 10:00A-12:30P T, 1015A LIB


Advisory Board

The certificate advisory board consists of faculty and staff with DH backgrounds who help advise students and guide the ongoing development of the certificate.

Björn Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Art & Art History
Sarah Bond, Associate Professor, Department of Classics
Robert Cargill, Assistant Professor, Departments of Classics and Religious Studies
Paul Dilley, Associate Professor, Departments of Classics and Religious Studies
Tom Keegan, Head, Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio
Lindsay Mattock, Assistant Professor, School of Library & Information Science
Stephen Voyce, Associate Professor, Department of English
Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, Professor, Department of American Studies and African American Studies


How much about digital technology do I need to know to pursue this certificate?

None! Everyone has to start somewhere and there’s an array of faculty and staff on campus who can help you find your footing. Come talk to us in the Studio!

Do I have to apply to the certificate program?

Not in the traditional sense. You need to be in good standing within your degree program. And if you decide to pursue the certificate you’ll have to fill out a Student Advisor Agreement form and have a look at the Certificate Tracking form. You’ll also want to chat with the Senior Scholar for Digital Arts & Humanities Research (who directs the certificate), or the Studio Head or Studio Program Manager.

All students are invited to take CLAS:7290 Digital Humanities Theory and Practice as they desire. Come find out if DH appeals to you!

Can courses be retroactively added to the certificate?

Yes! The curriculum (typically four courses) recommends you start with CLAS:7290, but you are more than welcome to identify courses previously taken that may serve as electives.

Is the certificate stand-alone or does it have to be part of an advanced degree?

At this point the certificate can only be taken by students who are working towards an advanced degree (MA, MFA, PhD, etc.) at The University of Iowa.

How long will it take to complete the certificate?

The certificate requires 12 semester hours of work. So time to completion will vary for each student and will depend on many factors, including your progression in your other degree program. That said, be sure to talk with your advisor early and often about your options.

Can the capstone be completed in conjunction with other courses?

Possibly. While all other coursework in the certificate should be completed before pursuing the capstone experience (which is offered every semester), the capstone can dovetail with ongoing research or look ahead to future projects. The idea of the capstone is to draw on the growing wealth of experience you have developed in your previous coursework and point it towards your professional objectives. If you’re worried about overdoing it in a given semester talk with your advisor, the Senior Scholar, and Studio Program Manager about your options.

Spring 2020 Electives

The following are electives approved for the upcoming semester:

AMST:3600/AAS:4710 Digitizing Blackness, 5:00P-7:30P W, 1015A LIB

CINE:4620 Topics In Film Form, Style, and Theory, 8:00A-9:15A MW, E232 AJB

CLSL:6014 Later Empire, 12:30P-1:20P MWF, 220 JB

GEOG:3540 Introduction To Geographic Visualization, 9:00A-10:15A MW, 243 JH

IGPI:4580 Data Visualization and Data Technologies, 9:30A-10:20A MWF, 14 SH

JMC:3425 Applied Digital and Social Media, 6:00P-7:15P MW, W336 AJB

JMC:6333 Seminar in Media Communication, 1:30P-4:15P M, E254 AJB

RHET:7500 Science Communication in the Digital Age, 2:30P-4:20P T, 106 EPB

SLIS:6100 Database Management, 1:00P-3:45P M, 3092 LIB

SLIS:6145 Digital Preservation and Stewardship, 9:30A-12:15P M, 3092 LIB

SLIS:6155 Information Visualization, 1:00P-3:30P W, 3092 LIB