Elective Courses

Politics of Media course (Winter 2020)

The MA and BA/MA programs in Digital Studies include three elective courses of the students own choosing in addition to the six core courses required for the degree. The minor in Digital Studies allows one elective course. 

Students who have previously passed college-level courses in computer programming and/or statistics with a grade of B or higher may petition the Director of Digital Studies for an exemption from taking the core courses DIGS 20001/30001, Introduction to Computer Programming with Python,” and/or DIGS 20002/30002, Data Analysis I: Introduction to Statistics.” If the petition is granted, each core course from which a student is exempted will be replaced by an additional elective course.

Elective courses may be chosen from among the course offerings of any department or program in the University of Chicago, subject to the enrollment restrictions and prerequisites that may pertain to the course. At least one of the three MA electives must deal with digital computing in some fashion, whether or not it entails actual coding; and the one elective for the minor in Digital Studies must do so.

Students must obtain approval from the Director of Digital Studies to take elective courses that do not appear on the list of preapproved electives below.

Preapproved Electives

The following digitally oriented courses are preapproved for use as electives for the MA, joint BA/MA, and undergraduate minor in Digital Studies. These courses are subject to change and may not be offered in a given year. Some of them have prerequisites or enrollment restrictions that may prevent a student from taking them.

This list is provided as a convenient starting point for choosing electives that have a digital orientation. Students are free to inspect departmental course offerings and choose electives that do not appear on this list, subject to the approval of the Director of Digital Studies.

Students who are interested in textual studies are strongly encouraged to take DIGS 30031, Digital Texts I: Corpus Building and Corpus Statistics, in the Winter Quarter and/or DIGS 30032, Digital Texts II: Advanced Topics in Textual and Linguistic Analysis,” in the Spring Quarter.

Students who are interested in AI methods for data analysis are strongly encouraged to take DIGS 30006, Data Analysis III: Deep Learning, in the Spring Quarter, which builds on the required core course DIGS 30004, Data Analysis II: Data Visualization and Machine Learning.

  • ARTV 32502  Data and Algorithm in Art
  • CLAS 35415  Text Into Data: Digital Philology
  • CLAS 35922  Digital Humanities for the Ancient World
  • CMST 25204  Media Ecology: Embodiment and Software
  • CMST 27110  Digital Cinema
  • CMST 27815  Introduction to Art, Technology, and Media
  • CMST 27916  Critical Videogame Studies
  • CMST 35954  Alternate Reality Games: Theory and Production
  • CMST 37020  New Media at a Distance
  • CMST 37803  Digital Media Theory
  • CMST 37911  Augmented Reality Production
  • CMST 37920  Virtual Reality Production
  • CMST 67827  Politics of Media: From the Culture Industry to Google Brain
  • CMST 67922  Data Driven Dystopias
  • DIGS 10000   Approaches to Digital Humanities Using Python (Summer only)
  • DIGS 30006   Data Analysis III: Deep Learning
  • DIGS 30021   Digital Archaeology
  • DIGS 30031   Digital Texts I: Corpus Building and Corpus Statistics
  • DIGS 30032   Digital Texts II: Advanced Topics in Textual and Linguistic Analysis
  • ENGL 19570  Text as Data: Interpretation in the Digital Humanities
  • ENGL 25980  Technorelations: Intimacy, Bodies, Machines
  • ENGL 25990  Always Already New: Printed Books and Electronic Texts 
  • ENGL 32250  The Printed Book in the West
  • GEOG 30500  Introduction to Spatial Data Science
  • GEOG 38202  Geographic Information Science I
  • GEOG 38402  Geographic Information Science II
  • GEOG 38602  Geographic Information Science III
  • GEOG 38702  Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • HIPS 25205  Computers, Minds, Intelligence and Data
  • HIST 25415  History of Information
  • HIST 29523  Data History: Information Overload from the Enlightenment to Google
  • HIST 35425  Censorship, Information Control, and Revolutions in Information Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet
  • HIST 39530  Introduction to Digital History I
  • HIST 39521  Introduction to Digital History II
  • KNOW 32011  Data: History and Literature
  • KNOW 32208  Posthuman Becoming
  • KNOW 36065 Classification as World-Making
  • LING 32880  Computational Models in Phonology
  • LING 38610  Computational Linguistics I
  • LING 38620  Computational Linguistics II
  • MAAD 21111 Creative Coding
  • MAAD 21500  Metamedia Design Studio
  • MAAD 23631  Introduction to Internet Art
  • MAAD 23632  Intermediate Internet Art
  • MAAD 23640  Embodied Data and Gamified Interfaces
  • MACS 30123  Large-Scale Computing for the Social Sciences
  • MACS 31300  AI Applications in Social Sciences
  • MACS 40400  Computation and the Identification of Cultural Patterns
  • MUSI 26618  Electronic Music I
  • MUSI 36630  Musical Robotics
  • NEAA 30061  Ancient Landscapes I
  • NEAA 30062  Ancient Landscapes II
  • PHIL 29904  Ethics in the Digital Age
  • PHIL 32962  The Epistemology of Deep Learning


Digital Studies faculty board member Patrick Jagoda