Digital and Data Studies Minor

Digital and 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.

What students can expect

This minor will launch in Fall 2022.

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.

Students will have the opportunity to study computing-based products of creative, investigative, exploratory, and critical thought from across the disciplines of Harpur College. In addition, students will gain contemporary skills 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: Coding in Action I, 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 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. It should be taken after completing HARP 150.
  • 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.


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.

  • 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

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

The program is currently seeking to appoint a lecturer in Digital and Data Studies (3-year appointment). Apply through the Binghamton University jobs portal.

Questions may be directed to Associate Dean Nancy Um.