Digital & Data Studies Minor

Digital & Data Studies (DiDa)

We live in a highly digitized, datafied, networked, and programmed world. Harpur College's new Digital and Data Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary and hands-on immersion into digital literacy and data-inflected thinking, paired with critical and scholarly study.

headshot of Gregory Hallenbeck

Gregory Hallenbeck

Lecturer and Coordinator, Digital and Data Studies

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Declare a Minor

If you would like to declare the DiDa minor, please fill out the form below:


What students can expect

The curriculum integrates practice- and skills-based learning in programming, data analysis, computational processes, and web development with critical study, drawing on the college’s long-standing strengths and commitments to data science, GIS, digital storytelling, and media studies. The program teaches its students to be both knowledgable consumers and engaged producers of content on the internet, as a complex information landscape that provides valuable opportunities for learning and public-facing scholarship, even while it can be wielded to disseminate dangerous misinformation. The program is committed to promoting socially and culturally responsible approaches to technology.

Students will have the opportunity to study computational analysis and data-inflected approaches, drawing cases and applications from the range of disciplines in Harpur College. In addition, students will gain contemporary skills for employment and produce innovative digital work at all levels. 

All liberal arts students can benefit from a heightened understanding of computational methods and data-driven processes, along with enhanced information literacy. These proficiencies are useful in professional, academic, and/or creative contexts. This minor degree complements all of the majors in Harpur College.

Minor Requirements

Required Courses: 12 credits

  • HARP 150: Intro to Coding (Python) or HARP 151: Programming in Action, which provides programming skills and lays the basis for computational thinking to liberal arts students. There are no prerequisites for HARP 150. It should be taken in the first or second year. HARP 151 requires HARP 150 as a prerequisite, except for students who have programming experience or have already taken relevant coursework.
  • HARP 325: Data & Society, which provides students with experience in obtaining, analyzing, and visualizing real-world datasets from many different domains and then connects these practices to the realm of critical data studies.
  • HARP 425: Digital Inquiry and Practice, a small, hands-on, capstone course, which focuses on project-based learning. It should be taken in the junior or senior year, after completing other DiDa coursework.

Electives: 12 credits

  • 12 credits can be chosen from any field
  • Up to 8 credits may include courses that are counted for the student's chosen major as well.

Digital and Data Studies minors may choose from two categories of electives, "Program Electives" and "Departmental Electives." Program Electives are interdisciplinary courses designed for DiDa students that do not require outside prerequisites. The departmental electives are discipline-specific and may require pre-requisites or be limited to majors.

Courses that are not listed as electives can be approved on an individual basis by the program coordinators.

  • Spring 2023

    Program Electives:

    • GEOG 380R: Spatial Fundamentals in R
    • HARP 151: Programming in Action*

    Departmental Electives without Prerequisites:

    • ANTH 200: Statistics in Anthropology
    • ARTS 265: Digital Photography
    • GEOG 203: Race, Ethnicity, and GIS
    • WRIT 344 - Reading & Writing Blogs
    • WRIT 345 - Writing & Producing Podcasts

    Other Departmental Electives

    • *ARTS 360: Intermediate Photography
    • *ARTS 410: Graphic Design III
    • *CINE 252: Video & Filmmaking I
    • *CINE 253: Intro to Creative Sound Proc.
    • *ECON 416: Economic Analysis with Python
    • *ECON 466: Introduction to Econometrics
    • *ECON 467: Economic Forecasting
    • *MATH 329: Intro to Scientific Computing
    • *MATH 448: Mathematical Statistics
    • *MATH 455: Intro to Regresion Models
    • *PSYC 344: Research Methods in Psychology

    *course has prerequisites

  • Winter 2023
    • PLSC 380H: Visualizing Violence with R
  • Fall 2022

    Program Electives:

    • HARP 130: Intro to Statistical Thinking (also satisfies the Statistics requirement)
    • *HARP 151: Programming in Action
    • HARP 210: Digital Text Analysis
    • GEOG 380A: Spatial Fundamentals in R

    Departmental Electives:

    • *ECON 416: Economic Analysis with Python
    • *ECON 466: Introduction to Econometrics
    • *ECON 467: Economic Forecasting
    • *MATH 329: Intro to Scientific Computing
    • PHIL 150: Ethics, Technlogy, and Policy
    • *PSYC 344: Research Methods in Psychology

    *course has prerequisites

  • Summer 2022

    Program Electives:

    HARP 181T: Digital Storytelling on Tiktok

    Departmental Electives:

    • HIST 380D: Podcasting US History
    • MATH 488P: Principles of Data Science
    • PLSC  380J: Analyzing Politics Using R
    • PLSC 380T: Computational Text Analysis with Python
    • PSYC 344: Research Methods in Psychology


  • This requirement may be satisfied through evidence of successful coursework at Binghamton University or another institution
  • Or through a certificate of completion of an 8-week online course
  • Accepted Courses for the Statistics Requirement

    Introductory Statistics Course Roster

    • ANTH 200: Statistics in Anthropology
    • HARP 130: Intro to Statistical Thinking
    • MATH 147: Elementary Statistics
    • MATH 148: Elem Stats for Biologist
    • *PSYC 243: Statistical Analysis and Design

    Other Statistics Courses

    • *MATH 147A: Elementary Statistics (advanced placement required)
    • MATH 327: Probability with Stat Methods
    • *MATH 448: Mathematical Statistics (math majors only)
    • *ECON 366: Statistical Methods (Econ majors only)
    • *BME 340 Bioinformatics and Biostatistics (BME students only)
    • *BIOL 437 Biostatistics

    *course has prerequisites

Sample Capstone Projects (by major)

Explore examples of possible paths that students can follow depending on their major

  • Graphic Design

    A Graphic Design major in the Digital and Data Studies program combines creative expertise with computational skills, resulting in dynamic web-based projects. An example is the below experimental web project produced by Allie Wong, '16, Graphic Design Major. Allie is now the Senior Designer at Pearlfisher. Hover over the graphics and click on the highlighted sections to watch and read the whole sequence. Please note this video is best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer. Sample Capstone Project

  • English

    An English Major takes advantage of new methods in text analysis and natural language processing to explore key themes and patterns in American literature. An example is the below text analysis using the Harpur College course catalog. Toggle the settings in the upper right corner (using the four-paned window icon) to view Harpur College's undergraduate programs in a new way! For instance, try Loom, a Visualization Tool. Or select a specific program, by clicking on Scale, and then Document, in the lower left. Sample Capstone Project

  • History

    A History major in the Digital and Data Studies program uses data-driven approaches and computational methods to analyze vast quantities of historical information for the study of local history. Jason Tercha, a graduate student in the department of history, has taught data analysis to Harpur undergraduate students through Harpur Edge's "Crash Courses." He also offers a lecture course in digital history. Take a look at the map below, produced by Jason, which shows the locations of nineteenth-century businesses in Arlington VA. Click on the dots or select specific categories for more information. Sample Capstone Project

  • Geography

    A Geography Major with a minor in Digital and Data Studies gains skills in geospatial analysis and becomes an expert in ArcGIS, the industry standard platform for mapping. An example is the below Story Map by Alexa Sikoryak, a Geography Major, who continued to pursue her MA in Geography at Binghamton University through their 3+2 program. Carried out in 2018-19, this project explored the settlement and movement patterns of the deer population in the Binghamton University Nature Preserve, based on their thermal signatures, gathered using drones. Sample Capstone Project

Our commitment

The program is committed to promoting socially and culturally responsible approaches to technology and an awareness of the impact of data-driven decisions and algorithmic processes, particularly on communities that are already marginalized.
The varied disciplines of a liberal arts program provide paths to discover, explain, understand, interpret, predict, and improve the world around us. Likewise, emerging forms and modes of computing like model-building, coding, and simulation; digital experiences and interactive media; and connectivity, visualization and digital communication offer ways to support and extend such types of learning and inquiry.

Faculty Advisory Committee

Gregory Hallenbeck

Lecturer and Coordinator, Digital and Data Studies

Department of Mathematics and Statistics