A Digital Studies Certificate from CU Denver provides you with the opportunity to explore the relationships between technology and society while developing marketable skills in communication, data analysis, and media production that will help showcase your talents to employers.

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.
  • To apply: fill out this survey form to express your interest in the certificate. The Director of Digital Initiatives will contact you after receiving your response with next steps.
  • Once you have completed the required courses download and complete the application form here and send it to the Director of Digital Initiatives, Dr. Cameron Blevins (cameron.blevins@ucdenver.edu).
  • 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.
  • The Certificate may be earned as a stand-alone University certificate, or it can be applied to a current or future degree program.

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.
  4. Optional: HIST 5260 / COMM 5081: Introduction to Digital Studies is recommended but not required for the certificate. The course offers an overview of different skills and topics in digital studies and is taught every spring semester. 

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.

Note: Other courses may apply to the certificate with the approval of the Director of Digital Initiatives.

The following is a listing of approved courses that may be taken toward the certificate. 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 - other courses not listed here may be approved by the Director to apply for the certificaate.

**Courses offered in the Fall 2023 semester are in bold below.**

Theory and Analysis Cluster

  • BUSN 6610 & ISMG 6180 (Business) “Information Systems Management and Strategy”
    • Digital strategy is the application of digital technologies to business models to form new differentiating business capabilities. The course starts with the highlights of genesis and importance of IT in organizations, including the relationship between digital technology and competitiveness. Then, the development and management of an effective digital infrastructure are discussed. Realizing that the effective use of digital technology requires the alignment of competitive strategies, business processes, and applications, the course takes a top management perspective on the development of policies and plans that maximize the contribution of digital technologies to organizational goals. A broad overview of how systems support the operational, administrative, and strategic needs of organizations is covered.
  • COMM 4660/5660 (CLAS) “Queer Media Studies" Fall 2021 Course Syllabus
    • Queer Media Studies is a discussion-based, writing-intensive seminar that examines the history and development of U.S. LGBTQI media by focusing on media texts and production, sociocultural context, and media reception. 
  • COMM 4760/5760 (CLAS) “New Media and Society”
    • This course examines the relationship between new media (such as the internet and mobile phones) and society. Students will investigate the social and cultural aspects of communication technologies. 
  • COMM 6710 (CLAS) "Topics in Communication: Intro to Critical Media Studies" Fall 2021 Course Syllabus
  • ENGL 5165 (CLAS) “Literacy and Technology"
  • ENTP 6022 (Business) “Digital Strategy for Entrepreneurs”
  • INTE 5360 (SEHD) "Critical Digital Pedagogy" (Fall 2021 Course Syllabus) (Summer and Fall 2023)
    • Critical Digital Pedagogy is an overview of the intersections between digital technology and critical pedagogy. The course focuses on theory, practice, design and leadership in digital learning, open education, and collaboration with the larger community of educators concerned with critical digital pedagogy.
  • INTE 6750 (SEHD) "Trends and Issues in Learning Design and Technology"
    • This course examines definitions, history, core concepts, and current trends and issues related to the practice of instructional technology.  Topics include instructional systems design, theories of learning and instruction, change management, performance improvement, emerging technologies, equity and access, and mobile learning.
  • PHIL 4920/5920 (CLAS) “Philosophy of Media and Technology”
    • A philosophical examination of interrelationships between contemporary media, technology, and their impacts upon character of contemporary life and values. Topics may include ethics, epistemology, democracy, advertising, media literacy and criticism. Cross-listed with PHIL 5920, HUMN 5920, SSCI 5920.  
  • INTE 4320 (SEHD) “Games and Learning” (Summer 2023)
    • This course examines the use of games for learning and education across formal and informal environments. Students will survey contemporary learning theory, media, trends, and challenges related to designing and playing games in informal, community-based, online, and school settings. 

Digital Media Production Cluster

  • ENGL 4190/5190 (CLAS) “Advanced Topics in Writing and Digital Studies: Podcasting
  • GEOG 4080/5080 (CLAS) “Introduction to GIS”
    • Introduces Geographic Information Systems (GIS), including justification, hardware/software, database design, and data conversion. GIS is a computer-based mapping system providing a graphical interface to locational and relational attribute data. Includes hands-on use of a GIS workstation.  Prereq: GEOG 2080 or LDAR 4432/5532 with a C or higher.
  • INTE 5200 (SEHD) Designing Online Learning Experiences (Summer and Fall 2023)
    • This course helps educators transition to teaching online. Create online learning activities, assessments, and resources. Learn how to establish a strong online teaching presence. Explore blended learning environments, use of set curriculum, open educational resources (OER), family support, communication strategies, digital citizenship, and accessibility concerns.
  • INTE 5340 (SEHD) “Learning with Digital Stories” (Summer 2023)
  • INTE 5660 (SEHD) "Developing Self-Paced Online Modules"
    • Students use a variety of tools and strategies to develop self-paced eLearning courseware, such as tutorials. The course covers critical aspects of the instructional development process that support the creation of effective self-paced online learning experiences, materials and resources. 
  • INTE 5680 (SEHD) “Producing Media for Learning” (Summer 2023)
    • Students develop and integrate media resources into eLearning environments, applying principles of media selection and multimedia learning. Students explore a variety of tools for producing audio, video, and multimedia content and examine ways to enhance eLearning courses through multimedia presentation and engagement resources.
  • IWKS 5170 (Inworks) “3D Design & Prototyping”

Integration Cluster

  • ANTH 4800/5800 (CLAS) "Digital Medical Anthropology"
  • COMM 3081/5081 // HIST 3260/5260 (CLAS) “Introduction to Digital Studies,” Prof. Cameron Blevins -  Spring 2023 Course Syllabus
    • Develop marketable skills such as building websites, editing videos, making interactive maps, recording podcasts, and analyzing data while also studying the cultural and ethical dimensions of these technologies. 
  • COMM 4558/5558 (CLAS) “Digital Health Narratives”
    • This course blends readings, discussions and activities about health narratives with digital media production skills to teach students how to create compelling digital stories about health-related topics. Note: this course fulfills the communication department's exit class requirement. Cross-listed with COMM 5558. Restriction: Restricted to students with junior standing or higher or permission from the instructor.
  • ENGL 4190/5190 (CLAS) “Advanced Topics in Writing and Digital Studies: Usability and User Experience"
  • HIST 3260/5260 // COMM 3081/5081 (CLAS) “Introduction to Digital Studies,” Prof. Cameron Blevins -  Spring 2023 Course Syllabus
    • Develop marketable skills such as building websites, editing videos, making interactive maps, recording podcasts, and analyzing data while also studying the cultural and ethical dimensions of these technologies. 
  • HIST 4261/5261 (CLAS) "Working With Data" (Fall 2021 Course Syllabus) - Next offered Spring 2024
  • INTE 5665 (SEHD) “Social Media and Digital Cultures”
  • IWKS 5200  (Inworks) “Data Science for Innovators”
    • Introduces techniques for capturing, processing, visualizing, and making meaning out of large health-focused datasets. With the exponential growth and decreasing cost of data collection tools such as genome sequencing, mobile phone health trackers, remote sensors, and electronic and personal medical records to name a few, the demand for data scientists to help find meaning in a sea of data has never been greater. This course will provide the fundamentals of working with large data sets, introduce widely-used data analysis and visualization tools, and culminate in a data project using a data set of the student’s choice.
  • IWKS 5700  (Inworks) “Innovation and Society” 

For more information about this certificate program contact: Dr. Cameron Blevins, Interim Director of Digital Initiatives at CU Denver (cameron.blevins@ucdenver.edu)