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Newly Admitted Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the online certificate program in Digital Media Skills! This page has been created to help students transition smoothly into the program. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact Stephanie Clark, Assistant Director for Graduate Services, at

Confirming Acceptance to the Program

To finalize enrollment, students must follow the instructions sent along with the admissions packet to create an American University account and obtain a university email address. It is critical that you consistently check this e-mail account. If you'd prefer to forward it to another e-mail address, follow these instructions. Additionally, incoming students must pay their seat deposit online and return the Notification of Plans and Conditions forms included in the admissions packet.  

Orientation and Student ID

Orientation for the Digital Media Skills Certificate program is held online through Blackboard, the online learning tool that is utilized for this program. The orientation is composed of several learning modules that introduce students to online learning and gauge the skills they have at the beginning of the program. In the event that a student does not pass a learning module, students may re-take it.

Student ID cards are created at the Office of Housing and Dining Programs. Incoming students may stop by the Office of Housing and Dining Program or submit a photo electronically using the New Student Checklist on the portal. Please refer to this information regarding student ID photo submission guidelines. Once an ID has been created, Stephanie Clark, Assistant Director for Graduate Services, will mail it to the student’s home address.

Cohort Structure

Students proceed through the program as a cohort and each cohort progresses through classes in the same order. Once a cohort has been formed and the program has begun, students may network with each other via a cohort specific Facebook page.

Course and Program Information

Registration for all courses throughout the duration of the program are conducted through the School of Communication. Students do not need to register for any courses themselves. For informational purposes, a schedule of classes may be accessed here.

Students are expected to spend approximately 12-16 hours per week on coursework. Each class meets synchronously up to 4 times per course. This means that an entire class will be online at the same time, enabling live course meetings. Students may communicate with each other via the discussion board and other Blackboard tools in between synchronous sessions and with faculty and teaching assistants through online office hours.

At the end of the program, the capstone class will give students the opportunity to develop a digital media project that can be used as a calling card of their work. Certificate students have the option to come onto campus to present their project to faculty members and classmates.


Stephanie Clark, Assistant Director for Graduate Services, is the primary advisor for digital media skills students. She may be reached at

Due to the accelerated nature of the program and courses, it is especially important that you contact her or a faculty member immediately should you encounter professional or personal challenges that may significantly impact your academic success or ability to continue on in your classes. Failure to process a timely withdrawal request (if necessary) may result in a grade of "F". While no refunds are granted for courses dropped after the first week, administrators will work with you to determine the best possible resolution.

Academic Integrity Code

Students are responsible for following the Academic Integrity Code. Please ensure that all work adheres to these guidelines.

Transferring Courses

Up to 6 credits from this certificate program may be transferred from the certificate program to a master’s degree program. Because academic units may have different transfer policies, it is advisable to contact the unit directly for more information. Please note that students who wish to pursue further studies at American University must apply to the program for admission.

Equipment List

Equipment required for the Digital Media Skills Certificate program is listed here. To inquire if your current equipment is appropriate for the program please contact Professor Brigid Maher, Program Director.

Access to On-Campus Facilities

Certificate students are welcome to use the University libraries and labs. Please note that a student ID is required for access. Many of the library resources can be accessed off campus once a student account is created.

Billing and Scholarships

The Office of Student Accounts handles student billing at the university. This document explains the basic information regarding the billing cycle.

Please note that the university does not accept credit card payments for tuition costs. However, online payments using checking or savings account information is possible.

Starting spring 2014 the Digital Media Program will be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. If you would like to apply, please visit to start your FAFSA application. Non-degree students are not eligible for this offer the tuition assistance award. You must be a degree student to be eligible for Federal Financial Aid. If you are applying to the program as a non degree student, please contact your employer about tuition remission and explore private loan options.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at,