Digital Humanities MA Graduate Handbook
(Last Update: November 2018)
These pages contain information to serve as a guide for students in the graduate program in Digital Humanities. While this is a guide to the administrative details of the program, note that all students are expected to be in regular communication with the graduate advisor both in selecting courses and in their progress through the program. Do not hesitate to get in touch with questions.
Prospective students should check out admissions materials and the overview of the program.
Digital Humanities MA major
Digital humanities is the current term for a wide variety of activities at the intersection of humanities and computing. It is a field which responds critically to the radical increase and saturation of digital media and methods current today and uses that same explosion in digital technology as catalyst for understanding better a wide range of questions and issues in the study of humanities. Scholars and students in digital humanities weld together the legacy of humanistic inquiry with the techniques and technology of current computing and data science.
The MA degree in Humanities with a major in Digital Humanities is designed to provide students with a flexible basis and solid grounding for a wide range of career options. The MA major in digital humanities allows students to create, curate, and analyze humanistic resources, answering those questions that humanists have long asked—questions about what artifacts and texts mean, and questions about how those artifacts and texts function (or have functioned) for the communities that use(d) them. Finding compelling answers to these questions requires students to work both with the methods and skills that have traditionally been at the center of humanistic inquiry and with a new skill set, for example in digitization and text encoding, advanced imaging technologies, mapping/GIS applications, and database management, as well as theoretical knowledge of the presentation and processing of information.
This major formalizes the process of acquiring these skills and provides students with competencies that can be grouped in three broad clusters: (1) competencies having to do with using tools to create and manipulate digital representations of texts, (2) competencies having to do with using tools for digital preservation and data curation, and (3) competencies in digital media necessary for interpreting contemporary culture (and contemporary culture’s interest in digitizing the past).
The program is open to students approaching digital humanities from any related field, whether a humanities discipline, computing, communication, library science, media, or many others. While some graduates of this program will want to use the MA as a stepping stone to PhD programs and scholarly research in traditional humanities fields, many graduates of this program will find employment working in positions in digital curation or in technical fields that require expertise in digital media, housed in institutional settings such as libraries, nonprofits, law firms, museums, or governmental agencies.