Graduating with Departmental Honors emphasizes independent study and research and is therefore intended as the capstone to the student’s undergraduate educational experience. An original thesis developed in consultation with a thesis committee is a requirement for Departmental Honors in Theatre & Dance. The most important features of the Honors Thesis are evidence of scholarship, originality, and thoroughness.
Students should select a research topic no later than three semesters before graduation. Students must apply to the Honors Program by the announced deadline and meet all deadlines provided by the Honors Council for submission of written work and scheduling of the oral defense.
Students pursuing Departmental Honors must have a 3.5 overall GPA and a minimum 3.6 GPA in theatre and dance classes to qualify.
Students will create a committee of two instructors from the student’s respective division and one from an outside the division. Your thesis advisor must come from your own discipline and one of the three must be a representative from the Honors Council. The Honors Council representative may also be the outside representative.
Dance students: if your Honors project is related to your BFA concert, your First Reader will also be on your Honors committee.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to see that the committee is constituted correctly.
Whether the student chooses to embark on a research or creative project, the student will discuss the topic and gain approval from his or her thesis advisor prior to preparing the prospectus.
Possible research topics can include theatre or dance history, dramatic literature, theory, criticism, or pedagogy.
Possible creative projects can include choreographing a piece for yourself and/or setting it on other performers, performing a major role in a play, writing or directing a play, or designing all, or part of a production. The creative project may be wholly theoretical or it may culminate in a physical production of the work. The focus of the creative project will become the basis for the analysis of the written work.
The prospectus will include:
Guideline for Writing a Departmental Honors Thesis
There are two options for Departmental Honors in Theatre & Dance:
- Research Project
- Creative Project
Both options result in a written analysis of the work but the creative project will be further documented using materials appropriate to the project such as regibuch, modellbuch, renderings, photographs, videos, ground plans, front elevations, light plots, reviews, etc.
The average length of the finished thesis is about 30-50 pages of typed, double-spaced text plus a bibliography. Additional information and documentation may be included if the investigation was based on a creative project.
Sources should reflect current research in the field. References in the text to sources used should be clearly and accurately indicated. This is particularly important when using the interpretation of another scholar’s work. A style manual (MLA, APA, etc.) must be adhered to and consistently followed throughout the document.
The student must submit drafts of the paper to their thesis advisor during the writing process. To ensure sufficient guidance, it is essential that the student keep the committee members informed of the progress of the thesis.
The thesis is not a mere ordering or description of facts or events. When there is descriptive material, chronologies, or lists of characters or events, it may be included in one or more appendices at the end of the thesis, before end notes and the bibliography.
Clarity, coherence, fluency, and grammatical accuracy are writing requirements for all honors theses. Please proofread your paper carefully.
The student will present an Oral Defense of the thesis/project paper. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule the time and place with committee members. Last minute requests are difficult for faculty so planning far in advance is requested.
The Honors Council, made up of a body of faculty within the College of Arts & Sciences, decides the level of Honors awarded on the basis of the recommendation from the student’s Honors Committee, the quality of the thesis/project paper, quality of performance in the oral examination, and the candidates academic record. Honors designations are later distributed to students via email. Any honors designations earned appear on a student's transcript and diploma. Please note that Latin honors are separate from Distinction.
Honors Dates & Deadlines, forms and final submission requirements can be found on the Honor’s website.
For More Information
Contact Theatre & Dance Honors representatives Ted Stark or Bud Coleman. For answers to commonly asked questions, read the Latin honors Frequently Asked Questions page.