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Department of English Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificate Overview

The WSU English Graduate program offers two certificates, the Digital Humanities and Culture Certificate in partnership with the Digital Technology and Culture Program, as well as the TESL Certificate (Teaching English as a Second Language).

Digital Humanities and Culture Graduate Certificate

The Digital Humanities and Culture Graduate Certificate emphasizes the critical analysis and creative production of digital media in a global context. The certificate brings together the social, cultural, historical and technical affordances of digital culture through humanistic inquiry and computational frameworks. Fulfilling the requirements of the certificate prepares students for problem solving, outreach and engagement locally and globally. More than learning a specific technology or computing platform, a graduate certificate in Digital Humanities and Culture challenges students to learn how, when, and most importantly why to use technology to solve a range of social, educational, technical, and/or political problems for information technology companies, political advocacy groups, social justice projects, institutions of higher education and beyond. Merging theory and practice, the Digital Humanities and Culture certificate provides a foundation for critical digital literacy and computation.

Designed to enhance already existing graduate programs in the humanities and the social sciences, the graduate certificate in Digital Humanities and Culture offers graduate-level coursework in critical methods, textual analysis, composing practices, and hands-on production for engaging with humanistic studies in, as well as about, digital environments. Sharing the vision of the College of Arts and Sciences to, “Connect faculty and students across disciplines and campuses to enable them to address problems that transcend disciplinary boundaries,” the graduate certificate in Digital Humanities and Culture brings together courses, students, and faculty with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary strengths of the English department and the Digital Technology and Culture program.

The core courses of the Digital Humanities and Culture certificate offered by the English department and the Digital Technology and Culture program pulling from the strengths of our diverse interdisciplinary faculty highlighting both the critical and practical aspects of the proposed certificate: critical inquiry and theory connected to digital production and processes. The faculty’s range of specialties and areas of expertise include: Information Ethics and Data Sovereignty, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Digital Media Studies, Print Culture, Cultural Criticism, and Ethnography to serve graduate students across the College of Arts and Sciences.

Curriculum Description:
Students seeking to earn this certificate must be simultaneously enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program at Washington State University. A total of nine-credit hours are required for the DHC graduate certificate: DTC/ENGL 560 (three-credit hours) and DTC/ENGL 561 (three-credit hours) are mandatory and the final three-credit hours are chosen by the students from a list of electives depending on their focus. The required two core courses, both offered on the Pullman campus, bring together theory, practice, methods, and ethics.

Core Courses:
DTC/ENGL 560: Critical Theories, Methods, and Practice in Digital Humanities
DTC/ENGL 561: Studies in Technology and Culture

Students must choose at least one elective course from the following list to complete the requirements for the certificate. Other courses may be accepted upon request and approval by both the Director of Graduate Studies in English and the Director of the Digital Technology and Culture program.

AMST 522 Digital Cultures, Digital Divides
DTC 477 Advanced Multimedia Authoring
DTC Usability and Interface Design
ENGL 548 Seminar in Critical and Cultural Theory
ENGL 573 Editing in a Digital Age
ENGL 591 Topics in Pedagogy
HIST 527 [M] Public History: Theory and Methodology
HIST 529 Interpreting History through Material Culture
PHIL 450 Data Analytics Ethics

For more information about this certificate please contact:

Dr. Kimberly Christen 
Professor and Director of Digital Technology and Culture Program


Dr. Roger Whitson
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English

Graduate TESL Certificate (Teaching English as a Second Language)

Across the country, the need for composition and literature instructors with training in teaching students who use English as an additional language is growing. Graduate students in the English department can with certainty anticipate encountering multilingual students in their courses and thus need to familiarize themselves with second language acquisition theory and pedagogical practices. In addition to providing graduate students with background and training in this area, the graduate TESL certificate will also make them more marketable in the highly competitive English job market.

This certificate provides students with a strong understanding of the forms and functions of English, of current theories of second language acquisition, and experience developing and implementing appropriate pedagogical practices for adult learners of English. Students who have completed the certificate will be prepared to teach ESL composition and literature courses, and to improve learning opportunities for second language users in classes of predominantly native-English speaking students. The certificate will also prepare students who wish to teach English overseas secure jobs and provide them with credible documentation of their training.

Curriculum Description:
The curriculum totals 15 credits. Three core courses provide a grounding in language form, second language acquisition, and teaching methodologies. An additional three credit elective allows students to focus on one of these areas in greater depth. Students seeking to earn this certificate must be simultaneously enrolled in a graduate degree granting program at Washington State University.

Core courses (12 credits):
ENGL 543 Phonology (3)
ENGL 544 Syntax (3)
ENGL 546 Topics in TESL (3)
ENGL 456 Language Acquisition (3)

Elective (one of the following 3 credit courses):
FOR L 540 Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages (3)
FOR L 541 Research and Methods of Technology Enhanced Foreign Language Learning (3)
COMM 521 Foundational Perspectives in Intercultural Communication Change (3)
T&L 549 Communicating in a Multilingual Society (3)
T&L 588 Action Research: Teachers as Researchers (3)
Any other graduate course in English.

As the core courses on which this certificate is built do not have prerequisites, the certificate will be open to students in any WSU graduate program. Students not in degree programs may also earn the certificate by enrolling as non-degree students. Students are required to maintain the minimum GPA requirement of at least 3.0 while enrolled in the certificate program. To qualify for the graduate certificate a prospective student must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited post-secondary institution.

For more information about this certificate, contact
Nancy Bell