The Centre for Digital Governance offers a Certificate in Digital Governance for Hertie School students enrolled in the Master of International Affairs, Master of Data Science and Master of Public Policy programmes. The Certificate is awarded to students who devote a meaningful portion of their studies to digital governance-related coursework. To be eligible, students must complete two courses plus a Master's Thesis on digital governance over the course of their studies. Your transcripts must show that you have finished and received a passing grade for all relevant courses and Master's Thesis. The Master's Thesis does not have to be supervised by Centre-affiliated faculty, any faculty at Hertie may supervise the thesis. The Master’s Thesis can cover other research areas as those mentioned below, but must be related to digital governance. In exceptional and well-justified cases, 3 digital governance related courses might be accepted (see below for more details).
What is our understanding of digital governance-related course work? We understand digital governance as policies and efforts of digital transformation to achieve public good.
To receive a Certificate in Digital Governance, students must show that they have completed 2 courses and a Master's Thesis on a digital governance-related topic. Your transcripts must show that you have finished and received a passing grade for all relevant courses and Master's Thesis. In exceptional well-justified cases, 3 courses related to digital governance may be accepted in lieue of 2 courses + Master's Thesis. Decisions about exceptions will be made by the Centre and the Dean of Graduate Programmes. The Master's Thesis does not have to be supervised by Centre-affiliated faculty, but it must pertain to 'digital governance' as defined above.
Regular attendance at the Centre’s Digital Governance Colloquium is also expected.
The Certificate in Digital Governance is open to all students currently enrolled in the MDS, MIA and MPP programmes at the Hertie School. See exceptions for exchange and dual degree students below.
For coursework to be relevant for the Certificate in Digital Governance, it should relate to the Centre’s primary topic areas, include digital government, platform governance and ethics and human development. However, coursework can also touch upon other areas of digital governance as specified above. Core courses (including project courses) and elective courses count. Courses do not have to be taught by the Centre faculty. See our understanding of digital governance above for further reference.
To apply for the certificate, please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org, by 1 September in the year of your graduation.
- A list of relevant courses, including course number, title, and instructor. Please keep the course syllabi on file in case of any questions.
- For courses taken during exchange or dual degree semesters at partner institutions, please include syllabi.
- Final (or up-to-date) transcripts showing final grades for the relevant courses and thesis.
- Title and abstract/executive summary of the Master's Thesis.
Dual degree and exchange students can also apply to receive a Certificate in Digital Governance.
- Hertie School students who do an exchange semester but otherwise do their coursework and master's thesis at the Hertie School: Courses taken during the exchange semester may count toward the certificate.
- Dual degree students who do either their first or second year at the Hertie School. Courses and master's theses completed at the partner institution may count toward the certificate.
Students who spend an exchange semester at the Hertie School are generally not eligible for the certificate; coursework completed during previous degrees does not count toward the Certificate.
Eligible students must provide course title, course description and a syllabus for certificate-relevant courses taken at the partner institution, plus transcripts that prove completion of the courses, in their application.
Certificates will be issued by the Centre over the summer, at the latest.
No, Certificates are offered by the Centre on an extracurricular basis. In other words, they are not formal, accredited concentrations and do not appear on formal graduation documents.
No, attempting a Certificate does not qualify students for priority course registration or Master's Thesis supervisor allocation. It is also not guaranteed that certain digital governance courses will be available in all semesters. The Centre offers the Certificate as a way to acknowledge students who focus on digital governance topics in their studies, but it is not a formal degree track.
Sample Digital Governance Courses
Below are some examples of courses offered that are relevant for the Certificate. These courses won't always be available, but this list can give students an idea of what courses may be offered. Please keep in mind that courses do not have to be taught by core faculty of the Centre to be relevant for the certificate.
Managing digitalisation and AI in government: This course looks beyond the hype and focuses on the real challenges and opportunities of practical applications of AI for government organisations.
Social media, democracy and stability: This course examines the consequences of changes in the media landscape within different political systems. It will attempt going beyond highlighting the utopian and dystopian effects and instead identify which arguments have yielded the strongest evidence.
Governance and politics of artificial intelligence: This course explores social transformations and corresponding policy challenges relating to artificial intelligence and digital technologies, highlighting active areas of political debate and policy research.
Digital state capacities: This course delves into a number of topics related to the concept of state capacity and explores how state capacities evolve in the digital age.