This 18-credit Post-Baccalaureate certificate is composed of 5 Required Core Courses and 1 Elective Course.

Core Courses - Required

Complete all 5 courses.

This course introduces students to the current state of digital preservation, preservation challenges, and basic concepts for designing effective digital preservation plans and programs. Topics include the relevance of digital preservation for museums; archival principles that inform preservation practices; standards and policies; considerations in preservation strategies; issues relating to formats, repositories, and processes; and emerging preservation solutions and services. Note: Students are advised to take 460.666 Collection Management before enrolling in this course; consult with the Digital Curation Program Coordinator for approval of exceptions.

This course lays a foundation for managing digital information throughout its life cycle by introducing students to the emerging field of digital curation and by examining the practical issues and tools involved in managing digital collections and repositories over time. Topics include metadata schemas for describing digital assets in different disciplines; sharing digital content beyond the institution to reach wider audiences; requirements for trustworthy repository services; management of research data; policy issues; and user services. Note: Students are advised to take 460.666 Collection Management before enrolling in this course; consult with the Digital Curation Program Coordinator for approval of exceptions.

This course addresses technical and practical issues involved in the long-term management and preservation of digital assets, with an emphasis on the unique problems facing museums and archives tasked with preserving digital material of historical or aesthetic value. Subjects will include the fundamental models of digital curation and preservation, practical planning and design of digital curation strategy and associated workflows, a survey of the technologies commonly involved at the institutional level (software, metadata schemas), and a review of best practices for format identification, migration, and potential emulation of digital assets. Practical exercises are included that involve the use of Open Source, and free applications, such as the BitCurator digital forensics suite, and applications for packaging digital objects for submission to repositories. These topics will be presented within the context of analyzing the digital asset management practices (in the broadest sense) of individual institutions investigated by students. Prerequisite: Students must have completed Digital Preservation (460.670) and/or Foundations of Digital Curation (460.671) —preferably both—before enrolling in this course.

The internship, including at least 120 hours of field experience, affords students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with experts who are leading digital curation activities in museums and related cultural heritage organizations in the U.S. and abroad. The internship is a partnership between the university and the host institution and is customized to meet each student’s needs and career goals. The program will assist students in arranging appropriate internships. Student interns will produce evidence of their accomplishments through work products, project reports, or other documentation in an online course component and will participate in online discussion forums with other students enrolled in digital curation internships during the same semester. The internship is usually taken after completing at least two of the following core courses: Digital Preservation (460.670), Foundations of Digital Curation (460.671), or Managing Digital Information in Museums and Archives (460.672). Note: Students should discuss internship plans with the Digital Curation Program Coordinator at least one semester before enrolling in this course.

The supervised research course enables students to investigate a significant problem or issue in digital curation and to develop and demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills. Ideally, the research paper will build on the student’s internship experience. The research paper is expected to result in a publishable or presentable paper that makes a contribution to the literature and field of digital curation. As there is currently a significant need for research in digital curation, and relatively little published literature—especially relating to museums—student research in this program can make a major contribution, and graduates will be prepared for careers as leaders in the field. Course work, assignments, and meetings with a faculty member will take place in an online course environment. The research paper is normally completed as the final requirement in the Digital Curation Certificate program.

Elective Course

Select 1 elective.

Collection Management is the recommended elective from the MA in Museum Studies courses, but another course may be substituted with approval.

Museums exist to preserve and share their collections with the world. Collection managers, or registrars, are essential to any collecting institution, whether collections are art, history, science, or live specimens. This course focuses on management principles that can be applied broadly to any type of collection. The course covers all aspects of collections care from the acquisition of objects, evaluation, care and storage, through loans and exhibitions. Safe collections care and handling, using the most current methods, are emphasized so objects may be preserved for future generations. Any student who intends to work at a collecting institution will benefit from mastering the practical knowledge and skills underpinning many phases of museum work, which will be taught in this class.


Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

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