Public digital arts are digital technologies that transform how people create, perform, and experience art. 

The goal of the Public Digital Arts Certificate program is to provide students with the skills they need to apply emerging technologies and multiple media platforms to new forms of artistic expression. Artists, engineers, computer scientists, and students from a variety of fields collaborate on projects they design together. 

The Department of Theatre Arts administers this certificate in partnership with the College of Engineering, the Schools of Music and Art and Art History, and the Departments of Computer Science and Cinematic Arts. 

Why Study at Iowa

Program faculty, drawn from seven departments and schools, are experts in public digital arts. Their mission is to promote interdisciplinary teaching, research, and creative work using art to strengthen the human component in science and technology and using science and technology to enrich works of art. The program offers several courses specifically designed to link technology and the arts. 

Course Work

Digital technologies keep transforming how people create, perform, and experience art. Upon completion of the certificate program, students will be able to develop and realize artistic visions using digital technology and work collaboratively with other artists, engineers, or computer scientists. Most courses include a public dimension, where projects are shown to a public audience. 

The certificate requires a minimum of 24 semester hours. Two required courses, five electives, and a capstone project are needed to complete this certificate program. Students will choose one of the following tracks for their five electives:

  • New modes of storytelling: Learn how we as storytellers, artists, and engineers can use digital media and new technologies to engage 21st-century audiences.
  • Sound design: Explore ways to create and produce sound design for live performance, art exhibitions, virtual reality, games, and more.
  • Visual design: Explore ways to create and produce visual design for live performance, interactive sounds, art exhibitions, music, virtual reality, games, and more.
  • Interactive design and intelligent spaces: Examine how the human body interacts with and can control computers, digital technologies, visual and aural media, and physical surroundings to create embodied user experiences.
  • A specialized plan of study: Work with an adviser to create a personalized plan of study.

For the capstone project, students will create a work that is both artistic and digital and is shared with the public in a meaningful way. Students will work with the certificate director to plan their projects. 

Review Public Digital Arts in the UI General Catalog for details on specific courses required for this certificate.

Admission Requirements

The Certificate in Public Digital Arts may be earned by any University of Iowa student who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program. 

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Student Opportunities

In addition to having nearly 600 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Study Abroad Programs and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.


Iowa graduates have job placement rates ranging from 86-100 percent, depending on their area of study, and our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.


The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

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