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.

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 from any CU Denver school or college may build a portfolio to demonstrate their technical skills and abilities to critically analyze new media to potential employers or graduate schools.

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
  • Effectively explore career paths and strategies

How to apply

  • Eligibility: CU Denver students in any discipline can enroll in the program at any point in their undergraduate studies.
  • For information and to apply, please contact the Director of Digital Initiatives. Students may download the application form here.

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 12 hours of approved credits with at least 6 upper-division credits. Note: Students are encouraged to take courses from at least two departments -- all 12 credits should not be earned in just one department.
  2. Career-focus requirement: Students must attend at least 3 Career Center activities, which can include events, workshops, or 1-on-1 appointments. See the CLAS Director of Digital Initiatives for the signature sheet. The Career Center Activity form is available for download. Please contact the Director of Digital Initiatives with any questions or concerns.
  3. Students must achieve a 3.0 GPA average in all approved Digital Studies courses.
  4. 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 6 credits must be upper-division.

  • 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 their advisor and the Director of Digital Studies to plan their course of study.

Theory and Analysis Cluster

  • ANTH 2400 (CLAS) “Exploring Culture through Social Media”
  • BUSN 6610 & ISMG 6180 (Business) “Information Systems Management and Strategy”
  • COMM 2030 (CLAS) “Digital Democracy”
  • COMM 3650 (CLAS) “Media and Society”
  • COMM 4760/5760 (CLAS) “New Media and Society”
  • ENGL 2060 (CLAS) "Introduction to Writing and Digital Studies"
  • ENTP 6022 (Business) “Digital Strategy for Entrepreneurs”
  • GEOG 2080 (CLAS) “Mapping and Map Analysis”
  • ISMG 2050 (Business) “Introduction to Business Problem Solving”
  • ISMG 3000 (Business) “Technology in Business”
  • MUSC 3700 (CAM) “Music and Entertainment Business in the Digital Age”
  • PHIL 4920/5920 (CLAS) “Philosophy of Media and Technology”
  • INTE 5320 (SEHD) “Games and Learning”

Digital Media Production Cluster

  • COMM 2071 (CLAS) “Media Writing Skills”
  • COMM 2081 (CLAS) “New Media Production and Management”
  • ENGL 3084 (CLAS) “Multimedia Composition"
  • ENGL 4701 (CLAS) "Multimedia in the Community"
  • FINE 1810 (CAM) “PREDAC: 3D Foundations”
  • FINE 1820 (CAM) “PREDAC: Animation Foundations”
  • FINE 2155 (CAM) “Introduction to Digital Photography”
  • FINE 2405 (CAM) “Introduction to Digital Design”
  • GEOG 4080/5080 (CLAS) “Introduction to GIS”
  • GEOG 4081/5081 (CLAS) “Introduction to Cartography and Computer Mapping”
  • INTE 5680 (SEHD) “Producing Media for Learning”
  • INTE 5340 (SEHD) “Learning with Digital Stories”
  • IWKS 2300/5350 (Inworks) “Computational Foundations of Innovation”
  • IWKS 3100 / 5170 (Inworks) “3D Design & Prototyping”

Integration Cluster

  • ANTH 4800/5800 (CLAS) "Digital Medical Anthropology"
  • COMM 2051 (CLAS) “Introduction to Strategic Communication”
  • COMM 3660 (CLAS) “Social Media for Social Change”
  • COMM 4558/5558 (CLAS) “Digital Health Narratives”
  • ENGL 4190 (CLAS) “Advanced Topics in Writing and Digital Studies"
  • HIST 3260/5260 (CLAS) “Digital Studies and Strategies”
  • INTE 5665 (SEHD) “Social Media and Digital Cultures”
  • INTE 5711 (SEHD) “Creative Designs for Instructional Materials”
  • IWKS 2100 (Inworks) “Human-Centered Design, Innovation, and Prototyping”
  • IWKS 3180/5180 (Inworks) “Choose Your Own Adventure” 
  • IWKS 3200/5200  (Inworks) “Data Sci for Innovators”
  • IWKS 3700/5700  (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: