College of General Studies

Digital Media

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Digital Media Overview (PDF)

Visual literacy is becoming increasingly essential in this digital era. The 18-credit Certificate in Digital Media will help you understand the power of visual images to communicate with audiences. In addition, it will provide inspiration to conceive of these images and how to manipulate technology to bring these images to life, all within the context of traditional and emerging media careers. Students have the opportunity to take courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and participate in a unique internship with Pitt Panther TV.

Admission requirements

Students must meet requirements for admission to the College of General Studies. A certificate application form must be completed and returned to the College of General Studies. To avoid a late fee, you should complete this process when registering for courses.

Who should participate:

  • Professionals operating in multimedia environments
  • Individuals responsible for e-commerce efforts
  • People interested in producing content for online publications and sites, films, documentaries, etc.
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Educators

Upon completion of this certificate, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how concepts, design, and technology work together to communicate with mass audiences
  • Design, create, and manipulate digital communication vehicles
  • Understand the importance of visual and textual communication in maintaining organizational success
  • Produce engaging interactive programs, such as for training or sales purposes

This certificate is applicable to such fields as interactive online training; 3-D animation; electronic catalogs; DVDs for sales, marketing, or training purposes; multimedia businesses; and general e-commerce.

Obtaining the certificate

To receive the certificate, you must fill out an application with your academic advisor prior to completing your last term in the program. Check with your academic advisor for the application filing form and deadline, and be sure all requirements for the certificate have been met. To avoid a late fee, you should complete this process when registering for the term.

Curriculum: 18 credits

Many courses are offered in the evenings and at off-campus locations. Not all courses are offered every term. All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted. Please check course descriptions for prerequisites.

For the course schedule and descriptions of most undergraduate classes offered by the College of General Studies, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Business Administration, visit For Pittsburgh Filmmakers courses, visit

Required courses: 9 credits

COMMRC 0320 Mass Communication Process

COMMRC 1122 Media Criticism

ENGFLM 0355 Visual Literacy or ENGFLM 0401 Introduction to Visual Culture

Electives: 9 credits

Choose three of the courses listed below. A maximum of six credits may be taken from Pittsburgh Filmmakers. 

COMMRC 1105 Television and Society

ENGCMP 0520 Integrating Writing and Design

ENGCMP 0610 Composing Digital Media

ENGCMP 1112 Professional Uses of Social Media

ENGFLM 0400 Introduction to Film

ENGFLM 1390 Contemporary Film

ENGFLM 1485 Film and Politics

ENGFLM 1683 Documentary Film

ENGLIT 0354 Words and Images

ENGLIT 0550 Introduction to Popular Culture

ENGWRT 0650 Readings in Journalism: Reading and Writing the Digital Landscape

ENGWRT 1377 Media Literacy: Reading and Writing in the Digital World

HAA 0010 Introduction to World Art

HAA 0470 Photography and Art

PSY 1050 Topics in Psychology: Psychology of the Media

PS 1836 Politics Through Film

SA 0110 Visual Thinking

SA 0130 Foundation Drawing

SA 1270 Digital Imaging

Pittsburgh Filmmakers

Completion of two of the three required courses is necessary before registration for Pittsburgh Filmmakers courses will be permitted. Pittsburgh Filmmakers courses are designated by a (PF) below. A maximum of two courses may be taken from Pittsburgh Filmmakers. FILMST 0001 Motion Picture Fundamentals is a prerequisite to all other Pittsburgh Filmmakers courses.

FILMST 0001 Filmmaking 1: Fundamentals (Motion Picture Fundamentals)

FILMST 0120 Photography 1 (Basic Digital Photography)

FILMST 0151 Web Design 1 (Introduction to Web Design)

FILMST 0245 Photo Editing 1 (Photoshop Foundations)

FILMST 0400 Post-Production 1 (Introduction to Digital Editing)            

FILMST 0410 Photography 3 (Advanced Digital Photography)          

FILMST 0420 Post-Production 2 (Advanced Digital Editing Techniques)              

FILMST 0601 Filmmaking 2: Sight and Sound (Video Production I)  

FILMST 0610 Digital Effects 1 (Digital Effects and Compositing)         

FILMST 1600 Filmmaking 3: Story to Screen (Video Production II) 

Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.