Graduate Certificate

The Digital Humanities Graduate Certificate at Michigan State University is open to matriculated graduate students at MSU. It is not available as a stand alone graduate program.


Talking about the digital and the humanities in the same breath is no longer strange or alien. Indeed, much of the humanities are now digital. From the camera to the screen, digital tools and technologies shape how we tell stories, make art, shape experiences, and create interactions. Research has been similarly transformed by the availability of vast quantities of digital media (text, images, audio, and video). Learning how to work effectively in these digital environments is realm of digital humanists. The MSU Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities, administered through the College of Arts and Letters, is a 9-credit sequence and experience that will help graduate students to negotiate digital spaces of creativity, research, and teaching.


In the certificate experience, students will learn both how the digital humanities can help them to do the traditional work in their fields more effectively and efficiently, and how it can open up new transformative avenues of research and pedagogy that may help them to re-envision what it means to do research and teaching in the humanities. Students will examine both theory and practice, engaging in critical discussion as well as production. Through active engagement, research, and building, students will learn how to conceptualize digital tools and techniques. While general familiarity with modern web technologies is suggested, no prior programming or web development knowledge is required. Important to the program is flexibility for students to follow interests related to their specific fields, while also giving them a broad knowledge of the possibilities involved in digital humanities work.


The certificate has three required components (for a total of 9 credits).

DH865 / HST812 (3cr.) – Digital Humanities Seminar

This seminar course provides an overview for digital humanities conversations, theory, history, and practices. Students will chart conversations in DH in tandem with experimenting with a range of DH methodologies, theories, and tools.

Digital Humanities Pedagogy

Students may fulfill the pedagogical component of the certificate with a teaching-related course to which the student will bring a Digital Humanities emphasis. AL881: Teaching with Technology, AL861: Digital Humanities Pedagogy, or AL891: Topic: Practicum in Blended and Online Learning may fulfill this requirement. A specific, focused, supervised pedagogy project may also fulfill this requirement, with approval from the Associate Dean of Graduate Education for CAL.

Digital Humanities Research Experience

To complete the certificate, students must engage in a DH-related project. This may also be fulfilled by participating in a Digital Humanities project with MATRIX, WIDE, DHLC, or by completion of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Fieldschool or Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellows Program. Other options include the completion of a DH portfolio, work as a HASTAC scholar, etc.

Paths to the Certificate

There are a range of paths that a graduate student can take to earn the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities. Here are three examples:

Required Course

Research Component

Pedagogy Component

1 DH865/HST812 Digital Humanities Seminar Wrote a digital humanities paper (or create a digital humanities project) as the final project/paper in a graduate research course in the student’s subject discipline. AL891: Special Topics in Arts and Humanities (Practicum in Blended and Online Learning)
2 DH865/HST812 Digital Humanities Seminar Digital humanities added component to MA thesis in the student’s subject discipline. TA-d with a subject faculty member to incorporate a digital humanities project into the discipline, accompanied by a teaching statement about the role of digital humanities in pedagogy as a result of the experience
3 DH865/HST812 Digital Humanities Seminar Worked as the graduate research assistant in the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab Taught a digital humanities undergraduate course



For more information about the certificate, course offerings, and/or sequencing the courses into an MA or PhD program, please contact: Kristen Mapes, Digital Humanities Coordinator, , Kathleen Fitzpatrick, CAL Director of Digital Humanities,, or Brandon Locke, Director of LEADR,