From social media and mobile phones to the algorithms in self-driving cars, digital and information technologies are part of our everyday lives. The Digital Studies Certificate provides you with the opportunity to explore the relationships between new communication technologies and society as well as to develop skills creating digital media messages and products.

The Digital Studies Certificate serves graduate students in any CU Denver school or college, and also others not in a degree program but who are prepared for graduate-level courses and who have BA or BS degrees in any discipline.

Who is this for?

Regardless of your academic or professional focus, completing this certificate can broaden your skill set and awareness. Social sciences and humanities majors can develop their technical skills, while science and engineering students can build expertise in understanding the social and cultural aspects of new technologies. Students will be able to demonstrate both their technical skills and their abilities to critically analyze new media to advance their careers and help them engage with the digital world.

Students who complete the Digital Studies Certificate will be able to:

  • Describe and analyze the relationships between digital media and their cultural, social, political, and ethical contexts
  • Use digital media to communicate messages to a variety of audiences
  • Use digital media to solve problems in a range of disciplines and situations
  • Use digital media and related analytical skills as career-building tools

How to apply

  • Eligibility: CU Denver graduate students in any discipline can apply to the program at any point in their graduate studies. Non-degree-seeking students who have a bachelor's degree in any discipline are also welcome to apply.
  • The Certificate may be earned as a stand-alone University certificate, or it can be applied to a current or future degree program.
  • Any student wishing to declare the Digital Studies Certificate should schedule a certificate advising appointment with the CLAS Director of Digital Initiatives in order to apply for it and to develop a curriculum plan.
  • Application Procedures:
    • Students enrolled in any CU Denver graduate program are encouraged to apply for the Digital Studies Certificate at any point in their studies. Students can download the application form here.
    • To apply, students currently in degree programs should complete a Digital Studies Certificate Application, which they can obtain from the CLAS Director of Digital Initiatives.
    • Non-degree-seeking students should also submit an official transcript from their undergraduate programs.
    • Students who are not already enrolled at CU Denver must complete an online Application for Non-Degree Admission prior to registering for courses.

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 12 hours of approved credits. At least 9 credits must be in graduate-level courses.
  2. Students must achieve a 3.0 GPA average in all approved Digital Studies courses.
  3. Credits applied to the certificate must be earned at CU Denver.

Digital Studies Certificate Course Clusters

Students select a 3-credit course from each cluster, plus one more course from any cluster. At least 9 credits must be at the graduate level.

  • Theory and Analysis: Courses focus on theorizing, explaining, and describing the relationships between digital, communication, and media technologies and society. They enable students to critically assess and analyze digital media and information, such as understanding the biases in seemingly neutral Google search results or examining how people use Twitter to build social movements
  • Digital Media Production: Courses focus on developing hands-on skills in the use of digital, communication, and media technologies. They provide opportunities for students to develop their skills with a variety of digital tools, such as photography, mapping, and social media management.
  • Integration: Courses combine both understanding and practice in digital, communication, and media technologies.

Other courses may apply to the certificate with the approval of the Director of Digital Initiatives. This is a hybrid program, with courses on-campus and online.

The following is a representative listing of Digital Studies-related courses that may be taken toward the certificate; it is not comprehensive. Please note that some of these courses may be taught sporadically.

Students should meet with the Director of Digital Studies to plan their course of study.

Theory and Analysis Cluster

  • BUSN 6610 & ISMG 6180 (Business) “Information Systems Management and Strategy”
  • COMM 4760/5760 (CLAS) “New Media and Society”
  • ENGL 5165 (CLAS) “Literacy and Technology"
  • ENTP 6022 (Business) “Digital Strategy for Entrepreneurs”
  • PHIL 4920/5920 (CLAS) “Philosophy of Media and Technology”
  • INTE 5320 (SEHD) “Games and Learning”

Digital Media Production Cluster

  • GEOG 5080 (CLAS) “Introduction to GIS”
  • GEOG 5081 (CLAS) “Introduction to Cartography and Computer Mapping”
  • INTE 5680 (SEHD) “Producing Media for Learning”
  • INTE 5340 (SEHD) “Learning with Digital Stories”
  • IWKS 5350 (Inworks) “Computational Foundations of Innovation”
  • IWKS 5170 (Inworks) “3D Design & Prototyping”

Integration Cluster

  • ANTH 4800/5800 (CLAS) "Digital Medical Anthropology"
  • COMM 4558/5558 (CLAS) “Digital Health Narratives”
  • ENGL 4190/5190 (CLAS) “Advanced Topics in Writing and Digital Studies" 
  • HIST 5260 (CLAS) “Digital Studies and Strategies”
  • INTE 5665 (SEHD) “Social Media and Digital Cultures”
  • INTE 5711 (SEHD) “Creative Designs for Instructional Materials”
  • IWKS 5180 (Inworks) “Choose Your Own Adventure” 
  • IWKS 5200  (Inworks) “Data Sci for Innovators”
  • IWKS 5700  (Inworks) “Innovation and Society” 
  • PUAD 4003 (SPA) “Effective Communication for Public Service”

For more information about this certificate program contact Dr. John Tinnell, Director of Digital Studies at CU Denver, 303-315-7339; e-mail: