Doctor of Humanities/Doctor of Letters

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by marilynd, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    I have posted this here, since strictly speaking it is not a question about DL. I thought perhaps I could tap the broad range of experiences on this board.

    I have a friend who is interested in a non-Ph.D. doctorate in literature, something like the Doctor of Humanities, Doctor of Literature, or Doctor of Letters. She already has an earned Ph.D. and, I think, wants a different designation for her new venture.

    During our discussion, I thought I remembered a Hum.D. at Texas-Dallas. It turns out that they have converted that degree to the Ph.D. in Humanities some time ago. I also remember coming across a UK school with an earned D.Litt., or perhaps D.Lit. (that is, first doctorate). I thought it was a Scottish school, but I can't find it now.

    Has anyone come across an earned Doctor of Humanities (Hum.D., D.Hum.--not the always honorary L.H.D.) in the US or UK systems? An earned Doctor of Letters (Litt.D., D.Litt.) or Doctor of Literature (Lit.D, D.Lit.) as a first doctorate?

    I have struck out in Google and on this board, but I think there may be programs such as these out there somewhere and I'm just missing them.

    DL or not.

    Any help? It will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, :cool:


    P.S. I am already aware of the UNISA D.Lit. and Phil.
  2. NNAD

    NNAD New Member


    Not DL, but Drew University in madison, NJ offers earned M Litt and D Litt degrees. The prospectus is really interesting, I wish it was cheaper and at least partially DL!

    Aside from Union U and I, there are no good DL alternatives if you want a Liberal Arts doctorate or any breadth-focused doctorate instead of a concentration.
  3. marilynd

    marilynd New Member


    Thanks so much for your reply. Drew might very well fit the bill. My friend is not just down the street from Drew, but it is within reasonable driving distance.


  4. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    In the U.S., I have always seen the doctors of humanities, literature and letters given by universities as honorary, rather than taught, degrees. Your friend will likely have to look at a non-U.S. institution.

    Tony Piña
    Northeastern Illinois University
  5. ternahan

    ternahan New Member

    Salve Regina University had an on campus Doctor of Humanities. This is just posted as a response to Tony's comment. Ternahan
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oddly, the LL.D., Doctor of Laws, is almost always (always?) an honorary degree in the U.S. and an earned degree elsewhere.
  7. NNAD

    NNAD New Member

    The Drew program is an earned D Litt degree, 39 hours past the Masters degree. I was sent a prospectus last year. The program is separate from Drew's PHD programs - you won't share the same courses. It seems orientated to lifelong learners instead of career researchers and future professors.

    Again - many would love an RA DL option for this sort of degree - Are you listening Excelsior? They have enough DL Liberal Arts courses now to offer a DA/D Litt (etc) to those who already have a masters degree, versus thier cool looking MA in Lib Arts for those who dont.
  8. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Marilyn, I wish you well in your search and join in the chorus for a DL DA or another PhD-alternative doctorate (so long as it includes a worthwhile summary assignment--a diss or something similar and exacting).
    Janko the ol' nomenclature kook
  9. marilynd

    marilynd New Member


    You're right. These degrees have never been common in the U.S. as earned degrees, but they have existed. UT-Dallas (some time ago, I now think) switched their earned "Doctor of Humanities" degree to a "Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities."

    Their Arts & Humanities Web site, which describes the Ph.D.:

    However, they have neglected to change from the old degree name on the A&H statistics page:

    Salve Regina, alas, has gone in the same direction, it seems. Their humanities doctorate is a Ph.D.

    'Tis a pity.


  10. marilynd

    marilynd New Member


    Wasn't the LL.D. replaced in the U.S. by the J.S.D./S.J.D., or some such, to the effect that the U.S. LL.D. is always honorary? Are there any earned LL.D. programs left in the U.S.? Conversely, are there any J.S.D. degrees in the UK system?


  11. marilynd

    marilynd New Member


    Thanks for the encouragement. I like the Drew program, particularly the concentration on Irish studies, which I would love to do. Unfortunately, I live in the south, and I haven't logged enough frequent flyer miles to attend weekly classes in N.J.

    I will, I think, write the program director at Drew about adding DL. It will at least put a bug in the administration's ear. Perhaps if enough people write in and demonstrate a potential market, they might be willing to try it.

    I have always liked the idea of the "Doctor of Arts" degree, but the acronym is a bit of a hindrance to me. I come from a generation for which "D.A." refers more to hair style than to academic prowess. :D

    Fight the good fight!

  12. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Hi Marilyn. I went through a lousy experience in a PhD program at a major RA university. Coursework completed with almost a 4.0, diss trashed for ideological reasons, family illness prevented completion. So it goes. Big deal.

    But one very good thing was that grad students with any aptitude for teaching whatever were assigned to do just that--not serve as test graders or assistants to profs, but assigned elementary and intermediate classes in the field to teach solo under mostly extracameral supervision. I also took extra courses in the education department. I didn't finish my diss but I learned how to be a good classroom teacher.

    The Doctor of Arts degree, in its normal format, includes substantial pedagogical training along with training in the research field; the dissertation is somewhat scaled down in size but not in rigor. (But then, size isn't important, supposedly.*) All praise to the super-researchers who make genuine furtherances to knowledge--but I think it's vital that garden-variety doc students somehow get trained and nurtured to be good classroom teachers, since that what most of 'em wind up doing or wanting to do. Where PhD programs see to that, terrific. The DA is designed to do just that.

    Again, best wishes to you. BTW, do any universities in the Republic or in N.I. offer DL stuff in Irish studies? Anybody know?

    * You have no idea what I go through keeping stuff like that out of my sermons.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2004
  13. cdhale

    cdhale Member

  14. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

  15. Asymptote

    Asymptote New Member

    I suppose Drew might have finally made the D.Litt. program DL now due to COVID? At least for the time being?
  16. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    Hmm, Um, the date of this last posting was... 15 years ago... It's an online fad now!
    And yeah, many programs including Harvard is going all digital and online! Woo wee!
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Alas! Uncle Janko is dead and buried these many years yet I still miss him.
  18. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Wow. A blast from the past. Uncle Janko. His wit was amazing. Miss him.
    RoscoeB, newsongs and SteveFoerster like this.

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