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Digital Media Skills Certificate FAQ

The Digital Media Skills Certificate covers what communication professionals need to know to advance in today's tech-focused environment.The program is designed for anyone interested in building their digital media skill set. Taught entirely online, this graduate certificate program is well suited to the needs of working professionals.

How do I apply?

The certificate in Digital Media is not accepting applications at this time.

How long will it take to complete the program?

The program is designed to be completed in 10.5 months.

What are the program requirements?

Requirements and course descriptions.

Who will be teaching the courses?

Faculty include Program Director Brigid Maher, Lisa Bream, Kyle Brannon, Richard Harrington, Nick James Ray, Edwin Mah and Clint Bush.

What software is taught in the program?

Adobe Creative Cloud. You will need Adobe Photoshop CC for the first class. Students can pay a low monthly rate for access through the Creative Cloud.

What is the cost?

The cost of the entire program for students entering in the Spring and Fall 2014 cohorts is $13,500. The per credit rate of $900 is locked in for the duration of study.

Current American University and non degree students (not enrolled in the certificate program) will be charged the standard SOC graduate tuition. For current rates, please visit the Office of Student Accounts page. 

Can I drop a course?

Students may drop a course at any time. If the course is dropped within the first week of classes, the student will receive a full refund. No refund will be given for courses dropped after the first week. Students who reside in the state of Maryland who withdraw from classes will receive tuition refunds in accordance with the Maryland Higher Education Commission's requirements as specified in Title 13B.05.01.10 of the Code of Maryland Regulations.

Are credits earned in the certificate program transferable?

Yes. Up to 6 credit hours from the certificate program may be applied to a graduate degree program at American University's School of Communication. 

Are students eligible for financial aid?

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. Note you must be a degree seeking student to apply for Federal Financial Aid. Students may qualify for military tuition assistance and/or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and non-federal loans (lender list)

Are veterans eligible for tuition benefits?

Yes. Veterans can contact Valerie Verra, Veterans Services Administrator

May American University employees apply tuition benefits to courses in the Digital Media Skills Program?

No. For information about qualifying courses employees are encouraged to contact the AU Human Resources office.

Can consortium students take courses in this program?

Yes, consortium students are eligible to enroll in digital media skills courses. However, space is restricted so please contact Stephanie Clark, Assistant Director for Graduate Services, as soon as possible with interest.

Is American University accredited and licensed?

For information about American University's accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the University's licenses, please click here.

Is there a residency requirement?

No. There is an optional on-campus session at the conclusion of the program for students who wish to get one-on-one critiques from program faculty. 

Will we have synchronous meetings online?

Synchronous will be held 2 to 4 times per class depending on the availability and scheduling of the cohort. All sessions will be recorded and instructors will provide make up assignments if the session is missed.

Upon completion of the program, will I be eligible for alumni benefits?

Yes, graduates of the certificate program can receive the majority of alumni benefits with the exception of the alumni audit program. For further information, click here.

Is nondegree study possible?

Yes. Students may take up to three classes (9 credits of coursework) as a nondegree student. Please note that some courses have prerequisite requirements. Nondegree students may not enroll in the capstone course. For consideration for nondegree study, please see application instructions

Students who earn a grade of "B" or better in at least two classes (6 credits) of nondegree coursework have the option to transfer into the certificate program. For more information on nondegree study please contact Stephanie Clark at

Whom do I speak to?

Questions regarding admission dates and requirements

Contact: Brigid Maher, Associate Professor and Program Director
Phone: (202) 885-2664

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,