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Digital Studies

The Digital Studies Certificate is open to all undergraduate students at UW–Madison. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of five departments that pioneered the certificate, allowing students to build their own custom digital curriculum and tailor it to their career path.

Students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, whether they are on the reporting track or the strategic communication track, can complete most of the requirements for the Digital Studies Certificate with SJMC courses.

Course offerings in digital studies provide opportunities for students to both produce digital content in a variety of formats and critically assess and analyze the digital content they encounter. Digital studies courses not only challenge students to learn the fundamental skills of research, writing and presentation for a digital media environment, but also to be critical consumers who can think more broadly about the ways digital media alters a wide range of human experiences.

SJMC Courses That Count Toward the Digital Studies Certificate

Course Core Course Digital Information Structures (I) Digital Media (M) Digital Forms (F) Digital Practices (P)
J175 Digital Media Fluency X
J411 Multimedia Design X X
J417 Magazine Publishing X X
J425 Video Journalism X
J445 Creative Campaign Messages X
J449 Account Planning and Strategy X
J463 Digital Media Strategies X X
J464 Public Relations Strategies X X
J465 Social Media Marketing Communication X X
J670 Community Service Learning X
J677 Concepts and Tools for Data Analysis and Visualization X X

Knowledge & Skills Learning Goals

  • To understand key theories and concepts related to digital studies and the historical context surrounding the creation of digital technologies
  • To gain familiarity with methods, concepts and tools needed to research and evaluate information related to digital studies
  • To think critically about how digital technologies work and their impact on society
  • To be able to create strategic communication content and self-expression using digital tools
  • To understand the professional and ethical principles related to the field of digital studies


To earn the Digital Studies Certificate, students take six courses totaling at least 16 credits.

Students must complete:

  • One Digital Studies core course
  • One course from each of following four areas: Digital Information Structures (I), Digital Media (M), Digital Forms (F), and Digital Practices (P)
  • Capstone course

Learn More

See course requirements, browse student work and get career information.

Visit the Digital Studies Website