Written Thesis Guidelines

Students who pursue honors with a creative project must also submit a significant written component. This component takes the form of a substantive and concise reflection of the creative process.  The quality and comprehensiveness of the writing will be evaluated.  Majors should work closely with their thesis advisor to develop an approach to the written component.

The following general requirements apply to the written component of a creative honors project.

  • The reflection should focus on your creative process as an artist. What methods and research did you employ?  What were your challenges and successes during the process?  What did you learn, and how did you grow as an artist?  In what ways did you explore  and discover novel, original, or otherwise relevant ideas?
  • The final product may include appendices that can include:
    • The final draft of a play
    • Photographs, sketches, and drawings
    • Relevant notes
    • A research bibliography
    • Separately submitted electronic files of audio and video
  • The prose component (not including appendices) must be double-spaced, 12 pt. font, with 1-inch margins.  Generally, the prose component should not be fewer than 20 pages, but may not exceed 40 pages in length.  Writing that is significantly longer will likely receive a lower grade, especially if it is not both concisely written and well-organized.
  • The prose component of your thesis should be logically organized into chapters with helpful sub-headings as necessary.
  • A brief introduction should describe the nature of the project, and your motivations for it.
  • The relevance of research related to your creative work should be addressed.

Students who pursue honors with a scholarly/research/critical project will not have a set page-limit and will determine the scope of their writing with their thesis advisor.

Meetings, Readers Group, and Deadlines


You should work with your thesis advisor to have regular meetings about your work.  This includes meetings during the period in which you are focused on the creative project, and during the period in which you are writing your reflection.  The department recommends meeting with your thesis advisor once a week, but not less than once every two weeks.


In addition to your thesis advisor, one or two other members of the faculty will evaluate your creative work and evaluate your written thesis.  A final meeting with your readers group for feedback and discussion will take place relatively soon after your final thesis deadline.


We recommend that you work with your thesis advisor to determine a draft deadline, as well as additional moments of sharing writing and discussing progress along the way.  The department will set and communicate a final deadline for your written thesis.  Generally, these deadlines are at least two weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester in which your thesis is due, but no more than six weeks following the final performance or presentation related to your creative work.

Majors should familiarize themselves with the college's thesis guidelines.

The Latin Honors Recommendation

Latin honors are awarded to students who successfully complete honors work, by including one of three epithets (in Latin) to a student's diploma and printed in the Commence program.  The three levels of Latin honors are summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude.  Students who graduate without Latin Honors are deemed to have graduated rite.  Students may also receive a "with distinction" attribution that is related to overall grades, not work specifically for a particular major.

The department may recommend that a major be awarded Latin Honors, which are conferred along with the Bachelor of Arts degree at Commencement. A recommendation for Latin Honors is not needed to fulfill the requirements of the major.  Latin Honors are voted on by the Faculty of the College, based on the department's recommendation, and other college grade average and course distribution requirements.

Successful completion of the senior departmental honors course(s) does not automatically result in a recommendation for Latin Honors.  Also, students who do not successfully complete the written thesis component will have the Senior Honors course(s) converted to special topics, and will, therefore, not be eligible for a Latin Honors recommendation. This outcome may be preferable to some students whose priorities change, or who may be navigating the latter stages of their senior year in ways other than originally intended.

The department bases a recommendation for Latin Honors on an evaluation of the quality of the senior project and written thesis, in the context of the student's achievement of learning goals in all theater and dance courses and production activities. Therefore, the letter grade assigned to the Senior Honors course(s) is not necessarily directly correlated with a particular level of  Latin Honors recommended by the department.

While the department may recommend a student for Latin Honors, final determination and approval rests with the Faculty of the College. Certain overall college grade-point average and course distribution requirements apply. A student may be awarded a lower level of honors than recommended by the department. 

Majors pursuing honors should familiarize themselves with the college's requirements for Latin Honors.