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Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities

The graduate certificate in digital humanities allows degree or non-degree seeking graduate students to design a curriculum of interdisciplinary study at the forefront of digital methods in the humanities. Digital humanities (or “DH”) comprises a big tent of diverse disciplinary and technical pursuits, and our certificate program is premised on curricular flexibility to allow students to pursue, with the support of certificate staff and faculty, the innovative opportunities they see for creative, critically-informed, media-inflected research and teaching pursuits in their fields, from the humanities to colleges across the university. Including digitization of cultural heritage materials, studies in media history and technologies, analysis and critique of digital culture, applied programming for analysis and visualization, project management, interface design and user experience, and/or digital pedagogies, the certificate features abundant contexts and skills-training in which to define next-generation teaching and research. Ultimately, this certificate augments the directed research students are already undertaking, allowing them further to expand and credential their pursuits for a variety of academic, alternate academic (#altac), and professional goals.

The graduate certificate at NC State parallels an existing certificate program at UNC-Chapel Hill, and joins the offerings of the broader Triangle Digital Humanities Network, also including Duke University and the National Humanities Center.  In addition to graduate certificates, the TDHN facilitates an array of training and support opportunities for students and instructors.


Participants in the graduate certificate program are required to complete 12 hours. From the listing of approved course options -- including courses offered at NC State, UNC-CH, and Duke -- students suggest their curriculum of four 3-credit courses, proposing an intellectual cluster to suit their background and ambitions. (We offer some sample clusters on the courses page.) These clusters must include courses which satisfy the program's three thematic requirements:

  1. Context: A survey of past, present, and/or possible futures of digital humanities research, teaching, and alt-academic careers.
  2. Training: Hands-on, experiential learning in media platforms and/or computational praxis, such as learning a programming or markup language, design software, interface protocols, project management, or other media-specific practices.
  3. Applied project: A research project developed under the guidance of a participating faculty mentor in a course.

A course may satisfy an above requirement even if it is not specifically described in these terms. We suggest ways on the courses page of matching specific courses to requirements, and the certificate coordinator can be consulted for additional recommendations. No single course can be approved for more than two of these three requirements. Because of fluctuations in scheduling, these proposals do not guarantee that included courses are available for enrollment. Credit for the certificate can be earned with a different roster of approved courses than the application initially proposed. Students will work with the certificate coordinator to insure the appropriate development and approval of their curriculum.

To qualify for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities, students must be enrolled in, or have completed, a Master's or PhD program at an accredited university. Applicants can be either non-degree or degree students. Degree students must have at the time of application a 3.00 grade point average in their graduate degree program. Non-degree students must have a final grade point average that is at least 3.00. Current degree students in English or CRDM may include no more than six (6) credits from the Certificate program in their degree program. Current degree students in History can apply up to nine (9) towards a doctorate. Students seeking the certificate from other programs must consult with those graduate coordinators to confirm allowed credits toward degree. The certificate will accept up to three hours for applicable coursework students may have already completed prior to enrolling in the certificate program. All certificate requirements must be completed within three (3) calendar years beginning on the date the student commences applicable courses.

Certificate requirements and policies follow the standards outlined in NC State's Graduate School Handbook for Graduate Certificate Programs.


Courses from which applicants can develop a proposal for admission to the program, as well as examples of curricula, are available here.


Applications for the certificate will be vetted by a cross-disciplinary group of faculty affiliated with the program. The certificate accepts applications on a rolling deadline. Applicants can submit until the first day of classes for the semester they hope to begin.

For current NC State degree-seeking students:

If you are already enrolled in or have applied to a degree program at NC State, please submit the following to be considered for admission to the DH grad certificate:

  1. A completed DH certificate application form, including the student's proposed curriculum;
  2. A statement of purpose (500 words max) in which, based on their proposed curriculum and professional goals, students identify the approach to digital humanities research they plan to pursue, particularly as linked to trends in digital humanities scholarship and teaching; and
  3. Two letters of support from faculty or administrators in the program/s in which they were or are enrolled, or from supervisors or staff qualified to evaluate the applicant's capacities and plans.

Submit these materials directly to the certificate coordinator, Dr. Paul Fyfe, at

For non degree-seeking students:

Non degree-seeking students must also submit the application materials listed above to the coordinator. In addition, anyone who is not a current graduate degree seeking student (including recent graduates) that wishes to complete a graduate certificate must submit an application to the NC State graduate school. Thus:

  1. all certificate application materials listed above, send to the coordinator
  2. a formal application to the NC State graduate school
  3. a complete unofficial bachelors transcript with statement of bachelors degree and date conferred
  4. an NC Residency form if you are claiming NC Residency for Tuition Purposes

Please note that the admissions requirements for certificates are nearly identical to the admissions requirements for graduate degree seeking applicants. Applicants must have a cumulative bachelors GPA of at least 3.0 (and/or a graduate GPA of at least 3.), internationals must meet the English Proficiency Requirement, and the bachelors degree must be conferred before the program can recommend for admission. If the Graduate School minimum requirements for admission are not met, a justification for admission is required.


Students in the certificate program have access to a number of facilities and resources to support their evolving work. These include media labs around campus, advanced visualization spaces in the libraries, workshops and discussion groups around the Triangle, and more. Specific recommendations for our certificate program students include:

NC State University:

  • Digital Scholarship in Practice series: a monthly discussion series introducing researchers at NC State and how digital research topics are shaping their scholarly practice
  • Makerspace in DH Hill Library (opening spring 2015) and Hunt Library, featuring production facilities for physical computing, 3D printing, etc.
  • Visualization Studio: DH Hill Library's four-wall wraparound display
  • Teaching and Visualization Lab: Hunt Library's 270˚ wrap-around HD display and presentation space
  • Creativity Studio: Hunt Library: customizable immersive projection space
  • Game Lab (Hunt Library): array of historical and contemporary gaming consoles on 22 feet of 4HD microtile display
  • Technology Lending: advanced equipment checkout from NC State libraries
  • Circuit Research Studio: a wing of the CRDM PhD program, Circuit offers flexible space, physical computing hardware, projection, and high-end workstations
  • Advanced Media Lab in the College of Design

UNC-Chapel Hill:

Duke University


What is digital humanities?

As the most recent iteration of "humanities computing”, DH describes an array of digitally-inflected academic practices in humanities disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary collaborations with STEM and design fields. The question "what is DH” has spawned many and evolving answers; rather than fix a definition, we see "DH” as an opportunity for existing fields to experiment with new methods, collaborations, and scholarly communications practices.

Can I apply directly to the graduate certificate in DH?

Yes. Please see details in the "Apply" section about non-degree-seeking students.

Is the certificate program offered online?

Not at this time, though should approved courses for the certificate be offered online, they can count toward the requirements.

Can I transfer in course credit to the certificate? Or count certificate courses toward requirements for another degree program?

Transfer credit from other institutions is not allowed for graduate certificate programs. All course work must be registered for through NC State University. Students can count up to three credits of existing NC State coursework towards the certificate with the coordinator's approval. Students can apply certificate courses towards their degree program to the amounts specified by participating departments. Please see the Requirements section above.

Can I take courses at other Triangle schools for the certificate?

Yes. Students can register for approved courses through the Inter-Institutional Registration Program. There is no limit to the number of consortium courses students may apply to the certificate.

What does the certificate qualify me for?

Academic success in a graduate certificate program may have a strong bearing on future applications or admissions, but completion of the certificate is not a recognized license nor does it guarantee entry to a graduate degree program which is done through a separate application process.