The Digital Arts and Culture (DAC) undergraduate certificate is an interdisciplinary degree program, combining courses in the areas of arts, humanities, social sciences, and information studies.

The program aims to empower learning communities by leading students to a variety of opportunities: to develop skills and understanding of new knowledge production and research methods; to operate with confidence as media practitioners and global communicators with a diverse range of media literacies; and to collaborate and contribute as creative problem solvers using digital media in a networked culture.

Students in the Digital Arts & Culture program will be able to:

  • Analyze digital and electronic media systems, explaining what these platforms do and how they do it.
  • Engage with complex digital issues: online, offline, via ubiquitous computing hardware and software.
  • Organize information, both architecturally and visually, structuring software, websites, advertisements, social media, and more.
  • Demonstrate hands-on, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary, media production with artists and designers.

Coursework is drawn from three colleges at UWM: College of the Arts & Architecture (specifically the Peck School of the Arts within the College), College of Letters and Science, and the College of Community Engagement & Professions (specifically the School of Information Studies within that college), with an overarching interest in the study and practice of Arts, Information, and Media.

Five categories of courses define the themes of the program:

  • Core Culture, introducing students to essential cultural and historical dimensions of Digital Art and network practices.
  • Media Systems, providing an overview of media industries.
  • Digital Composition, building on the foundations of the 100-level core culture courses, encompassing courses that set out competencies in composing with concepts and tools of digital media for students to achieve.
  • Understanding Digital Culture, engaging at the upper levels to analyze more complex systems and issues.
  • Practicing the Digital Arts, also engaging at the upper levels, as a means of gaining practical experience organizing and collaborating in media production processes.


The certificate program is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to students who previously received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. To be admitted to the university as non-degree students, individuals must meet regular university admission requirements. Students who complete the certificate as part of their undergraduate work are awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Students already possessing a bachelor's degree and non-degree students receive the certificate upon completion of the program requirements.


To obtain the certificate, students must complete a minimum of 24 credits with a GPA of 2.0 or above; at least 9 of these credits must be at the 300 level or above. At least 12 credits must be in courses from the College of Letters and Science, and at least 6 of the L&S credits must be at the 300 level or above. No more than 15 credits from a single curricular area may apply toward satisfaction of the certificate requirements. The following requirements must be met. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Core Culture Courses
Select one of the folllowing:3
Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, Practice
Internet Culture
Media Systems Courses
Select one of the following:3
Entertainment Arts: Film, Television, and the Internet
Introduction to Information Science and Technology
Introduction to Mass Media
Understanding Digital Culture Courses
Select one of the following:3
Issues in Contemporary Art:
Human Communication and Technology
Media and Society:
Human Factors in Information Seeking and Use
Media Ethics
Practicing the Digital Arts Courses
Select one of the following:3
Web Design
Writing, Speaking, and Technoscience in the 21st Century
Introduction to Application Development
Nonprofit Information Technology (application required before open enrollment)
Media Graphics
Total Credits12


Select 12 additional credits from the lists below, including at least 6 credits from Understanding Digital Culture and 6 credits from Practicing the Digital Arts. At least one of these courses should be numbered 300 or above.

Understanding Digital Culture Electives

Enroll in and complete 6 credits:
Games and Society
Anthropology and Popular Culture (if not selected above)
Cultures of Online Games and Virtual Worlds
Multicultural America
Issues in Contemporary Art: (if not selected above)
History and Theory of New Media Art
Communication in Organizations
Human Communication and Technology (if not selected above)
Intercultural Communication
Entertainment and Politics
Quantitative Research in Communication
Organizational Communication Technology
Rhetoric and the Internet
Contemporary Problems in Freedom of Speech
Contemporary Imagination in Literature and the Arts
Experiencing Literature in the 21st Century:
Literature and Film:
Independent Study
Advanced Independent Study
Entertainment Arts: Film, Television, and the Internet (if not selected above)
Science Fiction:
Introduction to Film Studies
Introduction to Television Studies
Game Culture
Topics in Film, Television and Digital Studies:
Film and Literature
Media and Society: (if specific title not selected above)
Cinema, Television, and Genre:
Entertainment Industries:
Theories of Digital Culture:
Intermediate Topics in Film and Television Studies:
Introduction to Global Studies III: Globalization and Technology
Language, Media, and Social Practice in Global Communications
Introduction to Information Science and Technology (if not selected above)
Information Technology Ethics
Human Factors in Information Seeking and Use (if not selected above)
Introduction to Systems Analysis
Legal Aspects of Information Products and Services
Advanced Topics in Information Science & Technology:
The Search Engine Society
Information Technology and Organizations
Introduction to Mass Media (if not selected above)
Gender and the Media
Internet Culture (if not selected above)
Principles of Media Studies
News Literacy
Race and Ethnicity in the Media
History of Mass Media
Media Ethics
Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age
Media Studies and Culture

Practicing the Digital Arts 

Enroll in and complete 6 credits:
2D Studio: Concept, Color and Composition
Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, Practice (if not selected above)
Creative Technologies
Moving Images and Sound in Art & Design
Introduction to Design
Introduction to Photography
Creative Coding
Digital Painting
Creative Interfaces
3D Environments and XR
Creative Electronics
Web Design (if not selected above)
Web Design II
Digital Media Workshop:
Topics in Web, Interaction and Screen Design:
Motion Graphics
Internship in Digital Arts and Culture, Lower Division
Internship in Digital Arts and Culture, Upper Division
Digital Engagement Seminar (only offered in Spring semesters)
Technical Writing
Writing in the Professions: (Writing and Social Media for Careers)
Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture:
Writing, Speaking, and Technoscience in the 21st Century (if not selected above)
Topics in Advanced Communications:
Rhetoric and Professional Writing
Technical Documentation
Project Management for Professional Writers
Information Design
Grant Writing
Digital Filmmaking for Non-Majors
Foundation Production: Fiction
Foundation Production: Nonfiction
Introduction to Digital Arts
Film Art for Non-Majors
Experimental Documentary
Appropriated Media
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
Geographic Information Science
Web Design I
Web Design II
Introduction to Application Development
Data Analysis and Visualization for the Information Professional
Multimedia Web Design
Nonprofit Information Technology (if not selected above)
Electronic Publishing and Web Design
Internet Culture (if not selected above)
Media Writing (if not selected above)
Introduction to Advertising and Public Relations
Publication Design
Introduction To Video Storytelling
Audio Storytelling
Introduction to Digital Documentary
Media Graphics (if not selected above)
Introduction to Social Media and Search Engine Optimization
On-Campus Internship (DAC placement)
Topics in Social Media:
Studio Techniques
Interactive Electronic Music
Special Studies in Music: (Interactivity and Improvisation)
Computer Modeling and Graphics for Live Performance
Sound Production and Digital Editing for Stage and Studio
Sound Design and Digital Editing

Credits earned at other institutions equivalent to courses in the certificate program may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the program requirements, subject to review by the Certificate Program Committee.