The Major in Communication and Digital Studies is a unique program that combines an innovative core of communication courses with the Minor in Digital Studies to build on the digital teaching and learning that have made UMW a national leader in digital initiatives in the liberal arts. Many of the courses available as requirements or electives in this minor build upon UMW’s distinctive approach to innovating with digital platforms, including projects such as UMW Domains, UMW Blogs, the Digital Knowledge Centerand the ThinkLab, and graduates of the CDS major and Digital Studies are well prepared for the philosophical, rhetorical, and ethical challenges in a variety of digitally intensive careers.

For more information about either program, consult our FAQ, visit the UMW catalog page, use our contact form, or contact Professor Anand Rao ( or Zach Whalen (

COMM 370T: Health Communication

This Fall, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson-Young will be offering a new special topics class for the CDS major focusing on health communication! Here's an idea of that the course will include: This course will be a survey-style course, serving to introduce major concepts and areas within health communication, including: interpersonal communication, such as provider-patient, caregiver-patient, and even provider-provider; cultural and social components of how we understand and communicate about health; media and health, including, but not limited to entertainment programming, advertising, digital communication, and media effects; and public health, including policy reform and health promotion. Students in the course will be given the opportunity to research areas of interest further and, depending on student goals, will be able to design a final communication/digital project or final research paper. … [Read more...]

Fall 2019 Courses

The fountains may not be flowing, but the bees are buzzing, the birds are singing, and the cherry blossoms are telling us that it must be that time of year again: Fall 2019 REGISTRATION ADVISING IS UNDERWAY. You may have already met with your advisor to map out some courses for the Fall, but if you haven't yet or if you're still considering things, you will probably find it useful to consult the page I've prepared with all of this Fall's courses that meet requirements for the CDS major or the Digital Studies minor. As always, there are a lot of great options, including some new classes, so check it out! … [Read more...]

DGST 301C: Digital Media Studio

Hey! Here's another exciting new Digital Studies class coming Spring 2019! It's called "Digital Media Studio" and studies will get extensive training and experience in working with the video production studio (a.k.a. the green screen room) in the Convergence Center. It's going to be a great experience led by the excellent Cartland Berge, who you may know as the building manager of the HCC. Here's some more information from the course website: In this course we will plan, write, produce, and stream live programming each week. We’ll pitch project ideas, select the ones we are most excited about, and then take on the roles of showrunners, producers, cinematographers, and performers to bring these projects to life on our weekly show. When we aren’t actively working on projects, we will discuss the technology, methods, and culture of live media production and web streaming, with regular guest lectures from experts in the field. This Special Topics course (DGST 301C) will be … [Read more...]

ENGL 306R: Writing and Literacy in the Digital Age

In Spring 2019, Brenta Blevins will be offering two sections of a new class, "Writing and Literacy in the Digital Age." This Writing Intensive class can count as an upper-level elective for either the Major in Communication and Digital Studies or the Minor in Digital Studies. Here's Dr. Blevins' description of the course: Literacy, at its most basic, is the ability to read and to write. This class will explore how our understanding of literacy has changed in consideration of the new digital technologies and tools that have rapidly developed in recent history. Our central focus will be defining digital literacy and considering the implications of and issues raised by different definitions of digital literacy. To address this central question of what digital literacy is, we'll read about literacy and then explore different definitions of digital literacy and expressions of that literacy in the genre of the digital literacy narrative. We'll look at historical literacy, current … [Read more...]

DGST 301D: Digital Design Workshop

Hey CDS majors and Digital Studies Minors! Here's some information about another new class that I'm excited about: DGST 301D: Digital Design Workshop, which will be taught by DKC  director Martha Burtis. It will be essentially a digital design agency creating projects like websites, videos, and social media campaigns for clients in the community. It's a an exciting opportunity to develop your skills and apply what you've learned to help people in the real world. This class is generally for students who already have some experience or are willing to work hard, so if you're interested in signing up, you'll first need to apply to the class. For more information including the application, please check the class website, or contact Martha Burtis with questions.   … [Read more...]

ENGL 350: Electronic Literature

What is "electronic literature"? What does "literature" have to do with "digital studies"? How is literature changing because of digital platforms? Why? More specifically, if you're a CDS major, Digital Studies Minor, or English Major, you may be wondering, "Should I sign up for a class on Electronic Literature in Spring 2019"? If so, please visit and many of your questions will be answered. … [Read more...]

HIST 427: History of the Information Age

In Spring 2019, Dr. Jeff McClurken will offer the class HIST 427: History of the Information age. It's a History class, obviously, but because of its emphasis on technology, it can serve as an elective for CDS majors or Digital Studies minors. There are some prerequisites, but Dr. McClurken routinely waives these for non-History majors. Please contact Dr. McClurken with any questions. Course description follows: This seminar will explore the history of communication, media, new media, and the digital age. We will begin with an investigation of the various definitions of the Information Age, then move into a discussion of the historical & technological foundations of information production, computing devices, and communication and networking tools. We will explore the social and cultural history of information creation and consumption from cave paintings to the Internet, from analog computational machines to wearable devices. The course will generally be based in the history of the … [Read more...]

Spring 2019 Courses and an Update about This Website

The purpose of this website is to provide information about the Major in Communication and Digital Studies and the Minor in Digital Studies. Mainly, we use this webpage for general information, and we use a Facebook group for more day-to-day updates, announcements, and opportunities. We'll keep using the Facebook group, but starting with this post, we're also going to try and post the same announcements and opportunities here, because not everyone is on Facebook, and it's definitely OK to avoid Facebook. The main thing that is new here right now is a list of Spring 2019 courses meeting credit in the Major or Minor! Check that list as you make your plans, but make sure to verify the details with the official schedule of classes. That list includes some new and exciting classes, so we'll post information about those in the next week or two. Look for those posts in the Facebook group, or subscribe to our blog feed for quicker updates when they're published. Happy Fall!   … [Read more...]

Fall 2015 courses meeting major requirements

The following courses meet various requirements for the new major in communication and digital studies. Course sections listed in bold are offered as online or in the evenings. *Please note that course schedule changes can occur. Be sure to consult the official list of course offerings on Banner before finalizing your schedule plans. Click here for course descriptions through the course catalog website. Communication Requirements COMM 205: Public Speaking             81942 9-9:50 MWF, COMBS 003 Staff             82055 10-10:50 MWF, COMBS 003 Staff             82056 11-12:15 TR, COMBS 111 Withers             85714 6-7:15 TR, COMBS 112 Palomino A COMM 340: Introduction to Rhetoric & Communication (previously listed as COMM 350)             85715 2-3:15 TR COMBS 111 Ohl J             85716 3:30-4:45 TR COMBS 111 Ohl J COMM 491: Individual Study             Only available with instructor permission Digital Studies Requirements and … [Read more...]

Fall 2015 Courses

The list of courses meeting Digital Studies credit for Fall 2015 are now listed here on the website. As students prepare for their Fall registration, refer to this list to find appropriate courses, and please note as you do that some courses listed here will not be reflected in the course catalog until this Fall. They will, count, however. As a Digital Studies minor (or just someone interested in the program), you may be interested to know that there will be a new major offered this Fall, "Communication and Digital Studies." This new program will allow us to develop some new classes and other curricular structures, so it's an exciting opportunity to develop UMW's digital curriculum. The "Digital Studies" component of the new major will work closely with the curriculum from the minor, so if you've been taking classes toward the minor, you may also find that you're pretty well on your way to finishing this major. It may even make sense to switch to the major. If that's something … [Read more...]