program intro

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities provides resources and opportunities for individuals working in any field to advance their understanding of how new methods, tools, models, applications, and theoretical frameworks are being put to use in expanding the scope and scale of inquiry in the humanities disciplines. It is designed to allow students to gain familiarity with the range of work being done through reading, reflection and discussion and to learn to work effectively in digital environments through hands-on experiences with real-world applications. You will also be encouraged through consultation with faculty advisors to explore how your own interests intersect with specific pathways within the general field of digital humanities.

No prior technical knowledge is required, and the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities is open to students from all backgrounds. Currently-enrolled graduate students are eligible to apply to the program as well as non-degree students (including faculty and staff from OU and other academic and educational sites, professionals working in the non-profit sector, and independent scholars among others).

Work in digital humanities joins new ways of exploring how humans have sought to understand and change the worlds we live in to skills of long-standing value in the humanities: the ability to absorb and compare large amounts of complex material across media and disciplines; a deep knowledge of theoretical approaches for analyzing sources and artifacts; expertise at identifying and analyzing relevant contexts; discovering patterns and details through close reading and comparative assessment; and in utilizing the cumulative experience of multiple generations in evaluating sense and significance in challenging materials.

The digital humanities draw from many points of origin for diverse purposes, offering creative possibilities that are just beginning to be put into practice.

Questions about the program? Please contact Associate Professor Katherine Pandora.


The Digital Humanities Certificate Program consists of 4 courses [12 credit hours]. The program is bookended by the two required courses listed below: an interdisciplinary introductory seminar, and a culminating internship or practicum designed by the student in consultation with advisory faculty.

  • HSCI 5613 Issues and Methods in the Digital Humanities
  • Either the HSCI 5623 Practicum/Internship in the Digital Humanities or the LIS 5823 Internship

According to their interests, students choose two additional courses from the following guided electives list [see the Course Descriptions page for further info] :

  • A HI 5913: Visual Culture in Theory and Practice
  • C S 5093: Visual Analytics
  • ENGL 5463: Rhetoric & Technology
  • GEOG 5623: Seminar in GIS Design
  • JMC 5970: Digital and Transmedia Theories
  • LIS 5343: Archival Concepts and Traditions
  • LIS 5453: Digital Collections
  • LIS 5613: Dynamic Web Development
  • LIS 5623: Introduction to Data Mining for Information Professionals
  • LIS 5673: Introduction to Information Visualization
  • LIS 5970: Digital Curation

The DHGC program offers coursework under the guidance of experts in the field, but is also more than coursework — students are invited to participate in activities sponsored by the Digital Scholarship Lab and to learn from and contribute to informal learning communities here at OU, and as a member of online interest groups.

For more specific details, see the Course Descriptions Page.


what is digital humanities?

Digital Humanities is a rapidly developing multidisciplinary field, most notable for how scholars are making use of computational power and digitization to explore source materials and to share knowledge in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. The field encompasses academic researchers, those working in museums, libraries, archives, and cultural and arts centers, K-12 educators, media-makers and consumers, journalists, and information professionals among others.

Examples of how digital tools are being used include analyzing large-scale collections of texts and scrutinizing minute details of images, studying movements and interactions of individuals and networks across time and space through geo-spatial mapping and data visualization, generating data-sets through crowdsourcing, and archiving diverse forms of media that make far more of the human record accessible for study.

Working with these new methods is also giving rise to new ways of organizing scholarly inquiry through interdisciplinary collaborations, both amongst the humanities and together with fields within the social sciences, sciences, and engineering. In addition, collaborative approaches are changing how universities can interact as partners with public humanities projects throughout society.

Embedded within most work in digital humanities are commitments to developing open source software tools and the open sharing of data, adopting open access principles in the design and implementation of projects, and supporting the enlargement and the enrichment of the public domain. These efforts place digital humanists at the forefront of experimenting with new formats for communicating ideas — through hybrid and stand-alone digital publishing, by constructing novel platforms, by engaging with social media, and by participating in interactive digital environments and online communities.

For digital humanities in action, see our Resources page.