Master of Letters in Shakespeare and Performance

The MLitt Thesis Project

All candidates for the MLitt degree must complete REN 700, the Thesis Project for the MLitt degree. MLitt students may enroll for the project after they have completed 18 s.h. of coursework. The project must be approved by the program director and regularly supervised by a member of the program faculty. For more information, see the S&P Student Handbook and MLitt Thesis Proposals and Enrollment.

The MLitt Thesis Project Consists of:

  • A thesis;
  • A 20-minute staged presentation in support of the thesis; and
  • An oral defense before an examining panel of at least two faculty members.

Note: MLitt students are required to be on campus to defend the thesis in person unless the S&P Director waives the requirement upon request of the student or recommendation of the thesis supervisor.

Progress towards the MLitt degree normally requires an enrollment of at least nine hours per semester. However, students receiving financial aid should ensure that they maintain the minimum enrollment for aid, usually five hours per semester. Typically, students complete the MLitt degree in two years. For more information, see Continuing Enrollment, Time Limit for Completion, and Tuition and Fees.

MLitt Thesis Proposals and Enrollment

Students may enroll for their final projects after they have completed 18 s.h. of coursework towards the MLitt degree, and when their proposals have been approved by the following process: Students submit formal proposals for their thesis projects, and are then assigned a supervising committee consisting of one full-time faculty member who will serve as first reader, and at least one other reader who will usually be drawn from the S&P teaching team. Occasionally, qualified outside examiners may form part of the examining committee. Once these steps have been taken, the program director must approve the project. Where resources, including actors, are drawn from the American Shakespeare Center, the consent of the American Shakespeare Center is also required. Details of and forms for this process are available from the program office. Only after obtaining the necessary approvals may a student enroll for the final project (REN 700). A grade is awarded for the course leading to completion of the project; the project itself is not graded but is the basis for the decision to award or withhold the degree. It is in the student’s best interests to consult regularly with the project supervisor and any other faculty who may provide helpful advice during development of the thesis and planning for performances. It is also advisable to prepare for work on the thesis by taking REN 695 in May Term or an exploratory REN 590 Directed Inquiry. It is extremely unwise to leave preparation of the thesis until the student’s final semester.

After the oral defense, a thesis may be accepted without revision; accepted conditionally, in which case the examiners will specify the revisions or additions needed; or rejected. In the case of rejection, a student may be required to resubmit the thesis, or an alternative thesis, for a second and final attempt. Acceptance, and the award of the degree, requires the unanimous consent of the examining committee. Students should consult the most recent S&P Thesis Manual and S&P Student Handbook for details of the process, format for preparation of the thesis, the steps required for enrollment, etc.

Students staying for the MFA degree are required to complete at least 40 s.h. before matriculating into the MFA degree program, a 30-s.h. program, which, when added together, total the required 70 s.h. for both degrees.

Note: A Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to remain in “good standing” as an MLitt student; and a minimum GPA of 3.3 is required for admission to the MFA program.

Requirements for the Master of Letters Degree (MLitt)

40 total semester hours including the required 28 s.h of core courses:

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