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DH Certificate Requirements

UVA's graduate DH certificate requires completion of 12 credit hours of work.  Any or all of these hours may also count toward a student's departmental requirements.  

One core course (three credits)

History and theory of digital humanities. A new DH mnemonic will be created for this course.  It will be offered by John Unsworth in Spring 2019 for the first time. 

One practicum course (three credits) 

The DH practicum will focus more specifically on the hands-on work—often but not necessarily technical—that is usually involved in DH projects. Each practicum will have a faculty supervisor of record and a new DH mnemonic will be created for this course. The practicum course includes attendance at the DH colloquium, 60 hours of hands-on work in DH, and a portfolio. Alison Booth, professor of English and academic director of the Scholars’ Lab, is the instructor of record.

The practicum course may include (but is not limited to) a research assistantship on a faculty DH project, participation in fellowships from Scholars' Lab, an independent study with an instructor of record, or participation in a DH summer institution such as the Digital Humanities Summer Institute or the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching workshop.

The 60 hours of practical work for the practicum course must be approved by the student's departmental advisor and the DH certificate administrator, who will consult regularly with the DH committee. While the core course and electives are expected to involve a significant intellectual contribution from the student, practicum work will focus more specifically on the hands-on work—often but not necessarily technical—that is usually involved in DH projects. Each practicum will have a faculty supervisor of record. The portfolio will document students' DH work done throughout their time at the university and will require a reflective portion and a presentation.

Two electives (three credits each)

Electives will have a significant DH component, either intrinsic to the course or as an instructor-approved project by the student. Departments may develop specific standards regarding these electives in collaboration with the DH committee. Certificate-qualifying elective courses will retain the mnemonic and instructors of their home departments.

Here are the options for qualifying electives:

  1. ​A course in the student’s home department or an outside department designated in advance by the DH committee as qualifying for the DH certificate.
  2. A course within the student's home department or another department that does not have the DH certificate designation but for which the student completes a DH assignment. Approval of the instructor and the DH administrative director is required and an MoU should be filled out and signed.  
  3. An independent study with an instructor of record who agrees to oversee a DH project either in the student's home department or outside, with the permission of the student’s director of graduate studies and the DH administrative director.  This independent study can be structured around a DH-focused dissertation chapter.

Two important notes for doctoral students


For students in Arts and Sciences, it is possible to enroll in coursework to satisfy the DH certificate requirements after you have completed departmental coursework and comprehensive exams.  For example, students will usually need to enroll in the Practicum during their final semester of graduate work.  Post-comprehensive coursework does not impose any financial burden to a student or that student's department.  

For students in other schools such as Architecture, Curry, and Nursing, it will be important to clear all post-comprehensive coursework with individual advisors and directors of graduate study well in advance.  For more information, please contact Rennie Mapp at


Most PhD students with significant DH interest will often find that the certificate fits their course of study, even if they are in the later years of their doctoral program.  In many cases their coursework, workshops, RA-ships, and dissertation work have already situated them as good candidates for the certificate.  Contact Rennie Mapp to learn more about how upper-level graduate students can qualify for the certificate.


For More Information

  • Students and instructors with questions about electives should contact Rennie Mapp, Administrative Director of the certificate program, at
  • Students with questions about the practicum requirement should contact Alison Booth, instructor of record, directly at