Search DH@UVA

Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia


Media Studies professor lecturing undergraduates

Credit requirements for the DH Certificate

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) requires 12 CREDITS TOTAL for graduate certificates.  In compliance, the DH Certificate program requires completion of four courses; two are required and two are electives, as follows:

  • One core course, History and theory of digital humanities (three credits). Listed as DH 8991, this core course is required for all DH Certificate students. It is offered by Dean John Unsworth each spring semester. 

  • One practicum course (three credits) The DH practicum (DH 8000), offered by Professor Alison Booth, focuses 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. For more information about the practicum course and portfolio, visit the DH Practicum & Portfolio page. 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.

  • Two electives (three credits each).  Because UVA's DH Certificate encourages students to enhance their scholarship using digital approaches, two departmental electives with a significant DH component are required. These courses may be in any department in any school at the University, as long as they conform with the student's home-department requirements.  A combination of the following options may be used:

    • ​Option A: Designated DH Elective   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 (see our list of approved DH courses here).

    • Option B: DH Project within a Non-DH Course   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.  A signed DH Elective Agreement between instructor and student is required (see our sample DH Elective Agreement here), and should be uploaded to the student's personal folder on the Graduate DH Certicate Collab site

    • Option C: Independent Study   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.

A checklist and suggested timeline are available here.

Regarding DH Certificate work in combination with doctoral candidacy 

Most PhD students with significant DH interest will find that the certificate fits their course of study.  Students are sometimes surprised to learn that they are already involved in coursework, workshops, RA-ships, and dissertation work that situate them as good candidates for the certificate.  Students and advisors with any questions should contact Rennie Mapp at 

DH grad students and staff taking notes during a Python for DH workshopPost-comprehensive coursework for the DH Certificate

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