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Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

Faculty Senate Approves Graduate Digital Humanities Certificate Proposal

Invited speakers Tanya Clement, Lauren Klein, and Chris Johanson advise John Unsworth about a DH curriculum at the DH@UVa 2016 conference.

At the DH@UVa conference in 2016, invited speakers Tanya Clement (UT-Austin), Lauren Klein (Georgia Tech), and Chris Johanson (UCLA) advised John Unsworth and others on the prospect of a DH curriculum. From left to right: Andy Stauffer, John Unsworth, Tanya Clement, Lauren Klein, Brandon Walsh.  

Faculty Senate Approves Graduate Digital Humanities Certificate Proposal

After year of planning, DH certificate program to begin in fall 2018

Graduate students at UVa will be able to enroll in a new digital humanities certificate program this fall.*  The certificate will require 12 hours of course credit, including a DH core course, a DH Practicum course, and two DH electives. The certificate is open to application by students in any school at the University.  It is hosted by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and administered through the Library. Courses taken to satisfy certificate requirements may also satisfy departmental requirements. 

Planning for the certificate began at the end of 2016, after conversations at the DH_at_UVa conference revealed widespread interest in formalizing a DH curriculum for graduate students.  At that time the DH Executive Board, who had sponsored the conference, agreed that John Unsworth, Dean of the Library, would spearhead a DH curriculum initiative. Rennie Mapp was appointed manager of the certificate initiative in June 2017.

The DH Steering Committee, which meets monthly to coordinate digital humanities efforts at UVa, played a large role in shaping the certificate requirements. Two new DH courses will be added under the aegis of GSAS; other graduate courses may qualify as certificate electives if they have a "significant DH component," either as part of the instructor's syllabus or as a DH assignment proposed by the student.  This structure developed in part based on conversations with departmental Directors of Graduate Studies and should not slow students' time to completion of master's degrees or doctorates. In addition it meets the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia's stipulation that certificates require 12 credit hours.  

Alison Booth, Academic Director of Scholars' Lab and Professor of English, chairs the DH Faculty Certificate Committee and is instructor of the DH Practicum course. In spring 2019 John Unsworth will teach the core course as a history and theory of the digital humanities.  Rennie Mapp is administrative director of the certificate.

For further information, see the DH Certificate Hub or write to Rennie Mapp at, or to Alison Booth at

*The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) will need to accept UVa's notification of the new certificate's existence before students may officially enroll.  This acceptance is pending.