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.


Graduate Certificate Handbook


Digital Humanities is a broad term that encompasses both the use of computational methodologies in studying the traditional materials of the humanities — language, literature, history, archaeology, art, and so on — as well as the use of more traditional humanistic methods in studying the materials, the processes, and the results of digital technologies. DH is also deeply concerned with the use of digital forms to craft and publish humanities scholarship. DH is both critical and hands-on, invested in both the innovative use of and the careful study of the technologies that increasingly mediate human cultures.

In the certificate experience, students will learn both how the digital humanities can open up transformative avenues of research and pedagogy that may help to re-envision what it means to do research and teaching in the humanities, as well as help them to do the traditional work in their fields more effectively and efficiently. 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.


This certificate aims to help students develop comfort with all aspects of Digital Humanities work. In alignment with this goal, students who complete this certificate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate hands-on experience using digital humanities methods
  2. Demonstrate a capacity for adapting to technological changes through digital humanities project work. 
  3. Articulate how digital humanities methods, theories, or practices can contribute to original research in their own fields, in ways that account for the ethical implications of using digital methods for this research.
  4. Articulate an awareness of the methods, questions and issues in research areas beyond their own.
  5. Manage or significantly contribute to a digital humanities project that may involve collaboration.
  6. Apply digital humanities methods and practices to enhance pedagogy.


The certificate has three required components (for a total of 9 credits), culminating in a portfolio. This portfolio is submitted to the DH@MSU Curriculum Committee for review upon completion of the Certificate.

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

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

  2. Digital Humanities Pedagogy

    Pedagogy takes places in many formats and spaces, including but not limited to, a credit-bearing college course, a K-12 environment, in museums, and through non-profit work. To complete the certificate, students must engage with the critical work of planning and delivering DH instruction. Students may fulfill this requirement from among several ways (see Section 3.2 of the Handbook for details), including the DH861 Digital Humanities Pedagogy course, GAships that involve DH pedagogy, or teaching a DH course. If this component is completed outside of a course taken for credit, the student must gather portfolio materials relating to the pedagogy work (see Section 3.2 of the Handbook for details).

  3. Digital Humanities Research

    To complete the certificate, students must engage in a DH-related research project. This requirement may be fulfilled in a variety of ways, such as through coursework, a GAship, or through Fellowship work. If this component is completed outside of a course taken for credit, the student must gather portfolio materials relating to the research project (see Section 3.3 of the Handbook for details).


To qualify for the certificate, each graduate student must submit a portfolio of their work, indicating and reflecting on the experiences through which the pedagogy and research requirements have been met. Portfolios are reviewed by the DH@MSU Curriculum Committee and Associate Dean for Graduate Education.

The portfolio includes:

  • Information detailing how the student has fulfilled the requirements (Required)
  • A reflective narrative (see Section 3.4.1 of the Handbook) (Required)
  • A teaching statement (see Section 3.4.2 of the Handbook) (Required if Pedagogy requirement is fulfilled outside of direct coursework)
  • Supporting documentation for the pedagogy and research components (Required if Pedagogy and/or Research components are fulfilled outside of direct coursework)
  • Any documents, links, or other materials relevant to the completion of these requirements that the student wishes to include (Optional)  

When complete, the student submits their portfolio through the portfolio form. Students may submit their portfolio at any point in their graduate career or the academic year. Students planning to graduate in the summer should submit their portfolio before or during the spring semester prior to graduation. For further information, see Section 5.1 of the Handbook.

Apply to Join the Certificate

Graduate students matriculated into any graduate program at MSU (masters or PhD level) are welcome to join the certificate, regardless of the College in which their degree is located. To join the certificate, fill out the short Application Form. You will then receive a welcome email from the DH Advisor to set up an onboarding meeting in order to help map out your pathway through the Certificate and to connect you to resources in the DH@MSU community.

Screenshot of Certificate Application  homepage

Submit Your Portfolio

Screenshot of Certificate Portfolio  homepage

Example Pathways through the Certificate 

(see Section 5.2 of the Handbook for further Example Pathways)

Example 1

  • Seminar – DH865/HST812 – Digital Humanities Seminar
  • Pedagogy – DH861 – Digital Humanities Pedagogy
  • Research – DH891 – Special Topics: Digital Public Humanities
  • Compile and Submit Portfolio:
    • Reflective Narrative
    • Submission of materials to the Curriculum Committee

Example 2

  • Seminar –  DH865/HST812 –  Digital Humanities Seminar
  • Pedagogy – Research Assistant position in LEADR
  • Research – Cultural Heritage Informatics Fellowship 
  • Compile and Submit Portfolio:
    • Pedagogy component:
      • Teaching Statement
      • Letter from LEADR Director
      • Relevant pedagogical artifacts (assignment descriptions, lesson plans, examples of student work)
      • Course code, instructor, and semester of instructor for credit-bearing course associated with the Pedagogy component
    • Research component:
      • Letter from CHI Director
      • Relevant research materials (white paper, blog posts reflecting on research work, link(s) to project)
      • Course code, instructor, and semester of instructor for credit-bearing course associated with the Research component
    • Reflective Narrative
    • Submission of materials to the Curriculum Committee


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