Major & Minor

Digital Studies is an interdisciplinary program that offers both a joint B.A. and a minor. The Digital Studies program aims to link disciplines from across Arts and Sciences to digital tools and methods, and the program provides students with an opportunity to understand how the digital is changing how we read, write, think, work, and play. Each semester, DiSC posts a list of Digital Studies courses offered by departments across the College of Arts and Sciences.

Digital Studies Major

The DS major is a 30-credit, interdisciplinary joint B.A. program. Students complete the degree requirements of the B.A. in Digital Studies and the requirements of another Arts and Sciences major course of study.

Required Core Courses

50:209:200 Digital Research Methods

This course will provide an opportunity to develop research skills and experiment with different ways of doing digital research. Digital research can refer to using tools of scholarly investigation and analysis to explore digital worlds, such as the digital worlds that make up popular online games. It can also refer to using digital tools, such as audiovisual equipment and smart phones, to do research in offline settings, such as hospitals and classrooms. Students read and discuss examples of both kinds of digital research in anthropology, sociology, childhood studies, and related fields. Students also develop their own digital research projects through a series of in-class workshops.

50:209:210 Multimedia Thinking

Multimedia thinking is a way of making arguments and telling stories using digital media production tools. Multimedia thinking cultivates a transmedia perspective and involves the convergence of text, graphics, audio, and video, and the distribution of these assets over various media. Media may include video and sound, text, animation, still images, audio, or any form of non-physical media. Ideas are presented in a variety of formats including videos, comics, electronic literature, sound installations, remixes, mash-ups or video games. The course will begin with a theoretical and critical examination of media to prepare for their own digital media creations.

50:209:230 Creative Coding

This course serves as a hands-on introduction to programming using a variety of coding languages including: Unity3D, C#, Processing, and JavaScript while also exploring “computer logic.” Students will come away understanding the affordances and constraints of computation as a tool and as a medium for expression. Readings, along with other supplemental video lectures, will serve as the basis for the theoretical side of the class. Here, we will step away from the lines of code and consider the broader concepts of programmatic thought: operating in discreet values, thinking in variables and functions, and some philosophical and artist implications for symbology, abstraction, and narrative.

50:209:401 Digital Studies Capstone

Required of all major students in the Digital Studies major, the capstone course involves working with Digital Studies faculty advisors on a digital project designed and executed by the student.

Required Elective Courses

The major elective requirement can be fulfilled by completing 18 credits of 209 and/or Digital Studies approved elective courses. Up to 12 credits in the DS major may also double count toward either general education requirements or the student’s other major course of study. Approved courses are listed on the Digital Studies Courses page each semester.

 

Digital Studies Minor

The DS minor is an 18-credit, interdisciplinary minor that allows students to link their major course of study to the theories and practices of Digital Studies.

Introduction to Digital Studies

Introduction to Digital Studies provides students with a space to tinker with digital tools and also to develop critical vocabularies for analyzing digital objects. The class begins by examining some of the historical roots of digital technologies and then moves on to some key terms in digital studies: networks, interfaces, code, digital narratives, and physical computing. The class examines the history and cultural significance of digital technology while also experimenting with how to write, design, and make with those same tools. Students in the class use Twine to create interactive stories, Audacity to create audio compositions, and Arduino circuit boards to build physical computing projects. No technological expertise is required.

Required Elective Courses

The minor elective requirement can be fulfilled by completing 15 credits of 209 and/or Digital Studies approved elective courses. Up to 6 credits in the DS minor may also double count toward either general education requirements or the student’s major course of study. Approved courses are listed on the Digital Studies Courses page each semester.