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Graduate Certificate in the Digital Humanities

The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities (GCDH) meets a growing need among the humanities for training in digital methods by leveraging existing resources at Stanford University. The GCDH program draws upon CESTA's community of expertise. Over the past several years, many dozens of graduate students have taken classes taught by CESTA affiliated faculty and postdoctoral fellows, and participated in workshops and seminars sponsored by CESTA. The Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities offers a formal structure for this activity, and allows graduate students to acquire and deepen their technical and conceptual skills, as well as to strengthen their position in the competitive job market within and beyond the academy.

The GCDH seeks to strike a balance between the cultivation of technical skills and their practical application within project-based Digital Humanities research. The program is meant to be relatively lightweight in terms of specific requirements and flexible as to content and timing in order to best support the work students are doing in their home departments. Core classes and exposure to the CESTA research community will ensure that students leave the program with solid skills and the experience of learning in a cohort environment. Completion of the program will result in a certificate signed by CESTA's director and the director of the GCDH program.


There are three elements to the GCDH: two courses and one independent research project. The elements may be completed in any order, but it is recommended that you complete the core course first.

1. Students will be expected to complete one GCDH-approved graduate core course for a letter grade. Examples of previously approved core courses include:

  • HISTORY 401A: Spatial History: Concepts, Methods, Problems
  • ENGLISH 384E: Quantitative Models and Literary Form: Advanced Methods in Digital Humanities
  • ENGLISH 384B: Literary Modeling
  • CLASSICS 365: Digital Humanities Methods for Classics

Students who have completed any of the core courses, or equivalent courses taught by CESTA affiliates, in past years are eligible to move forward to the next step in the GCDH program.

2. Additional coursework (1 or more classes, may be taken pass/fail, must be approved by the GCDH director) in computer science, information design, statistics, network analysis, linguistics, or associated fields. The course should have a technical element.

3.a. An independent research project which will be evaluated and approved by a faculty advisor (see below) and accepted as an affiliated project in one of CESTA’s labs. The duration of such projects must be a minimum of 1 academic quarter. Students may take up to 5 units of credit as directed reading for the purpose of completing the independent research project.


3.b. Supervised collaborative research in a CESTA lab with the expectation that the student’s participation culminates in a DH product substantially authored by the student—2 quarters minimum duration.

Regardless of whether students select option 3.a. or 3.b., they will be expected to give a talk on their research as part of CESTA's weekly Seminar Series. If the work was collaborative, the presentation may be given jointly.


You may choose any Stanford faculty member as your GCDH advisor, but we recommend that you choose a CESTA-affiliated faculty member if there is one in your home department. The list of affiliated faculty can be found here.

To Apply:

Admission to the program is on a rolling basis, and students may apply at any time. Please submit a letter of interest and any supporting information to either the director of the certificate program, or to

For more information, see our FAQs.