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Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

DH Certificate FAQ

Why study DH at Virginia? 

Graduate students have been important members of the digital humanities community at the University of Virginia since the field’s inception. In positions as fellows, research assistants, and collaborators in the Scholars’ Lab, IATH, and SHANTI, students have made significant intellectual contributions and gone on to notable permanent positions related to the digital humanities. This history of involvement is the foundation for a certificate program that provides students with advising, curricular structure, and committee oversight. A graduate certificate enables its recipient to demonstrate DH experience that prepares them for a broad range of futures, including further graduate study, postdocs, tenure-track faculty positions, and “alt-ac” and library positions, as well as work in the tech sector, in publishing, and in media more generally.  

In the US and around the world, institutions are offering graduate programs and (more commonly) certificates in the Digital Humanities. UVa's certificate program positions students as highly competitive candidates for employment in a broad array of sophisticated, rewarding fields.  Perhaps as importantly, it enables graduate students in humanities and related departments to unite humanistic approaches with insight into the practical workings of the digital age. 

Who may apply? 

Graduate students (MA and PhD) in Arts and Sciences may apply to this certificate program with the permission of their director of graduate studies, and may enroll if their application is accepted by the DH certificate committee. Graduate students from other UVa schools may enroll with permission from their academic dean or dean’s designee and acceptance by the certificate committee.  At the time of application to the DH certificate program, doctoral students are expected to articulate a plan approved by their DGS for completing the certificate requirements within the standard candidacy deadline and graded credit requirements for their program.

When do I apply?

Students in master’s programs will apply to the certificate program by the conclusion of their first semester of enrollment, and doctoral students will apply by the conclusion of their first year of enrollment. In the case of more advanced students who have DH experience such as Praxis fellowships, DH project research assistantships, or DH coursework, the faculty DH committee may make exceptions to this rule for the first few years of the certificate program (see below).  

How do I apply? 

Send an email to stating that you'd like to be on the list to receive application materials.  She will update you when the application form becomes available.

I have already completed my departmental coursework requirements.  Can I still apply? 

Yes!  Many DH-interested doctoral students, even those who only have one year left in their program, find that they have completed most of the requirements for the DH Certificate.  MA students who have two semesters left may also be able to enroll in the program.  It's important to speak to Rennie Mapp, Administrative Director, as soon as possible to find out whether you're already on your way to gaining a DH Certificate. UVa's DH certificate is designed to recognize work that students are already doing as well as to encourage students to take on new DH work.

Here's the official policy statement on this issue:  "Waivers for late application may be granted in some circumstances (such as for those students who have achieved high levels of DH proficiency and experience before the official start of the certificate program), as long as they can incorporate the DH requirements into their master’s degree or PhD candidacy requirements."

Whom should I contact for more information?

Please contact Rennie Mapp, DH certificate project manager, at if you have questions or comments.


September 2018