Doctor of Letters

Doctor of Letters
Mark Twain, wearing the full-dress gown of an Oxford DLitt.

Doctor of Letters (Latin: Litterarum doctor; D.Litt.; or Litt. D.) is a university academic degree.

In the United Kingdom, Australia, India and certain other countries, the degree is a higher doctorate, above the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and is issued on the basis of a long record of research and publication. The degree D.Litt. is awarded to candidates whose record of published work and research shows conspicuous ability and originality and constitutes a distinguished and sustained achievement. University committee and board approval is required, and candidates must provide documented mastery of a particular area or field. The degree may also be awarded honoris causa to such people the university in question deems worthy.

In the United States, the degree is often an honorary degree conferred on those who have contributed to the humanities and/or society. There are, however, a number of earned "D.Litt." programs, the best known being Drew University on the basis of 30 graduate credit hours post-Master's and a dissertation.[1]

In France the Doctor of Letters degree (doctorat ès lettres also called doctorat d'État) was an higher doctorate in the humanities superseded in 1984 by the habilitation.


Notable recipients of a Doctor of Letters as an honorary degree, include the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Michael Ignatieff,[2] former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown,[3]musicians K. J. Yesudas,[4] Enya,[5] Sami Yusuf,[6] former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,[7] writers Mark Twain, Ezra Pound [8], Malcolm Gladwell, O. N. V. Kurup,[9] Rik Mayall,[10] J. K. Rowling,[11] J.R.R. Tolkien,[12] Clive Cussler, Elmo Scott Watson from Illinois Wesleyan University, James May,[13] Robert Frost,[14] John Updike, actor Mohanlal,[15] J. Jayalalithaa,Chief-minister of Tamilnadu, India, sound recordist Resul Pookutty[16] V.T.Chellam, Tamil History Researcher, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu, India, Canadian comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer, etc.


  1. ^ "Arts & Letters Academic Program", Drew University
  2. ^ "Michael Ignatieff conferred honorary degree by McGill". 2002. 
  3. ^ "Gordon Brown conferred honorary degree by DU". 2008. 
  4. ^ "D. Litt for Yesudas by Kerala University". 2003. 
  5. ^ "UU Honours Musician Enya". University of Ulster press release. 2007. 
  6. ^ "Sami Yusuf - Doctor of Letters Graduation Ceremony". 
  7. ^ "Secretary of state receives honorary Air University degree". Air Force Link. 2008. 
  8. ^ by Hamilton College in 1939
  9. ^ "ONV Kurup is now Dr. ONV Kurup". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Sally Pook (2000-07-15). "J K Rowling given honorary degree at her alma mater". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  12. ^ Shropshire County Council (2002). "J.R.R. Tolkien". Literary Heritage, West Midlands. 
  13. ^ BBC News (2010-07-15). "Top Gear presenter James May awarded honorary doctorate". BBC News (UK). Retrieved 2010-07-17. 
  14. ^ "Robert Frost Award Chronology". 
  15. ^ "D. Litt conferred on Mohanlal". 2010. 
  16. ^ "D. Litt for Resul Pookutty". 2010. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Doctor of Letters — Doctorat  Cet article concerne le grade universitaire. Pour le titre universitaire, voir Docteur. Carrière du chercheur Doctorant Chercheur non titulaire Chercheur titulaire Enseignant chercheur Concept de tenure …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doctor of Philosophy — Ph.D. redirects here. For other uses, see Ph.D. (disambiguation). Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as PhD, Ph.D., DPhil or D.Phil. (for the Latin philosophiae doctor or doctor philosophiae), in English speaking countries, is a postgraduate… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor of Humane Letters — The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Latin: Litterarum humanarum doctor; D.H.L.; or L.H.D.) is always conferred as an honorary degree, usually to those who have distinguished themselves in areas other than science, government, literature or… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor Who Magazine — Doctor Who Weekly issue 1, cover dated 17 October 1979 Editor Tom Spilsbury Categories Science fiction television Frequency Every four weeks …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor Gachet's Garden in Auvers — Artist Vincent van Gogh Year 1890 Type Oil on canvas Location Musée d Orsay, Paris (F755) …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor of Science — (Latin: Scientiæ Doctor), usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D. or Dr.Sc., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries Doctor of Science is the name used for the standard doctorate in… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor Who: 30 Years at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop — Compilation album by BBC Radiophonic Workshop Released 1993 Record …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor of Fine Arts — (D.F.A.) is doctoral degree in fine arts, typically given as an honorary degree (a degree honoris causa). The degree is typically conferred to honor the recipient who has made a contribution to society in the arts. Notable individuals who have… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering — (D.Env.) degree listed third from the top in 2011 UCLA Conferral of Degrees Doctor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (D.Env.) a professional doctorate degree awarded by UCLA’s Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) Program, founded… …   Wikipedia

  • Doctor Akakia — (full title: Histoire du Docteur Akakia et du Natif de St Malo) is a satirical essay of a very biting nature by Voltaire, directed against pretentious pedants of science in the person of Maupertuis, the President of the Royal Academy of Sciences… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.