About the Program

The Arts and Letters program’s interdisciplinary structure recognizes that in the contemporary world, a thorough grounding in the humanities offers the necessary intellectual and personal development for individuals to stay informed.

We stress a broad liberal arts education at the graduate level and takes as a guiding principle Henry Adams’ belief that a valid education prepares a citizen to meet any emergency with economy and force.

This program acknowledges the timely issues-and timeless speculations- emerging throughout the world.

Degree Requirements

Master of Letters

Students enrolled in the Master of Letters (M.Litt.) degree program have two options:

  • completion of nine courses (27 credit hours) and a master’s thesis of 50-75 pages.
  • in lieu of writing the thesis, students may elect to take two additional courses for a total of eleven (33 credit hours).

In either case, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or better in order to graduate.

Doctor of Letters

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree program must complete ten courses (30 credit hours) plus two required seminars: The Joy of Scholarly Writing: Beginning the Dissertation Process, and Liberal Studies: What They Are, What They Do, for a total of 36 credit hours with a cumulative average of 3.1 (on a 4.0 scale) or better. All D.Litt. students must prepare and successfully defend a nine-credit (for a total degree requirement of 45 hours) doctoral dissertation of 150-220 pages.

There are two required courses for the Doctor of Letters program:

  1. ARLET 801 Liberal Studies: What They Are, What They Do
    This ungraded (S/U) seminar should be taken in the first year of coursework. This course is offered each semester only on Tuesday evenings, 7:00-9:30 pm.
  2.  ARLET  905 The Joy of Scholarly Writing: Beginning the Dissertation Process

Students derive most value from the course if they enroll in their last or penultimate semester and are ready to begin the dissertation process. In order to enroll in The Joy of Scholarly Writing students must have earned 24 or more credits.

Doctor of Letters Concentrations:

D.Litt. candidates also do a concentration of 4 courses, which should be selected to achieve congruence and connectedness.  D.Litt. students must declare a concentration prior to registering for their 6th course.  Some A&L courses may serve different concentrations, depending on content and subject to consultation with one’s advisor. The revised available concentrations are:

  • Historical Studies
  • Literary Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Studies in Spirituality
  • Writing (required for proposing a creative writing dissertation)
  • Fine Arts and Media Studies
  • Irish/Irish American Studies
  • Teaching in the Two Year College: this concentration has a required foundation course, ARLET 701, Introduction to the Two-Year College, offered fall semester only; a minimal grade of B is required in this course in order to continue in the concentration.  The second and third courses are chosen from A & L courses in one’s potential discipline of teaching.  The fourth course is a supervised internship for a semester in a class at the County College of Morris (daytime classes only). Potential interns must be approved by both Drew and CCM.

Concentration in Writing

M.Litt. and D.Litt. students may choose from a wide variety of writing-focused courses as part of their studies in the Arts and Letters program. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students can explore writing through several different genres: essay, poetry, short story, prose, academic writing, and more.

Irish/Irish-American Studies Concentration

M.Litt. and D.Litt. students may enroll in the Irish/Irish-American Studies concentration, study in this interdisciplinary concentration focuses on the literature, history, politics, and culture of Ireland and Irish America. Courses offered include such topics as Contemporary Ireland: 1922-Present, Irish and Irish-American Literature for Children and Young Adults, The Great Hunger: The Great Irish Famine, Constructions of Irish-American Identity, Celtic Archeology, Northern Ireland, Commemoration and Memory in Irish History, Irish History Through Film; Researching Irish History: Archives and Archival Research; Modernism and Irish Literary Revival, James Joyce, Irish History to the Normans, Normans to the Irish Civil War (1922), and The Irish in America. Four courses are required for the concentration.


About Admissions

The Arts and Letters program offers graduate-level interdisciplinary studies that explore the foundation and development of civilization in relationship to contemporary societies. Degrees offered: Master of Letters (M.Litt.) & Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.).

Requirements for Application

A complete application for either the M.Litt. or the D.Litt. requires:

  • An essay response as outlined in the application packet;
  • A personal statement;
  • The completed application form;
  • A non-refundable application fee of $35.00, check payable to “Drew University;”
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

The Graduate Record examination (GRE) is not required. However, international applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores that are not more than two years old.  Additionally, applicants who have received their Bachelor’s degree from a foreign university, even if English was the language of instruction, must submit TOEFL scores that are not more than two years old.  Students from the following countries are exempt from this requirement: Canada, UK, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, and Australia.

Please note that an M.Litt. or other recognized master’s degree in the humanities is a prerequisite for applying to the Drew D.Litt. program.

Application Timeline

Please keep in mind this timeline for application:

  • Completed applications are accepted for all three terms (fall, spring and summer).
  • Notification of acceptance is usually sent 2-3 weeks after the complete application is received.
  • All applications must be received at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the student is applying. Contact the Graduate Admissions Office for term start dates.

Non-degree seeking students

Those who hold a bachelor’s degree and would like to take a course before matriculating into the Arts & Letters or Medical Humanities programs may apply for admission as a non-matriculated, or “Graduate Special” student.  This is an excellent opportunity for prospective students to familiarize themselves with graduate study at Drew before committing to a degree program.

Graduate Special students may enroll in up to two courses for a total of up to 6 credits, pay fees and tuition, earn course credit, and have their work recorded on their transcript. Admission as a Graduate Special student does not guarantee an offer of admission to a degree program, however credits completed as a Graduate Special student may be used to fulfill requirements for a degree program if he/she applies and is accepted as a matriculated student in the future.  Graduate Special students are not eligible for financial aid or scholarships.

The Graduate Special application is available for downloading below. A complete Graduate Special application requires:

  • Official transcripts showing completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four year college or university
  • Brief explanation of your motivation for applying for Graduate Special student status
  • $25.00 processing fee

Download the Arts & Letters Application

Get the Arts & Letters Application

Get the Graduate Special Application (Non-degree)

The Adobe Acrobat version of the file is as close to the real application as you can get without requesting a print copy. Once you download the application, and open it using Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will be able to print the application.

In order to view this file, you will need Adobe’s Acrobat Reader installed on your computer or its corresponding plug-in installed in your browser. Many computers and browsers come with this software already installed. Acrobat Reader is a free program, and if you don’t have it, you can get it from Adobe’s Website. Get the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Costs and Aid

Cost of Attendance

For a more information on tuition and fees, please review the Business Office’s site.

Financial Aid

There are three forms of financial aid for Arts and Letters students:

  • There is a limited number of merit scholarships available for full-time Arts & Letters students. These awards range from 25% to 75% of tuition and are awarded based on the academic record presented through the application. Please contact the Graduate Admissions office for more information.
  • Full-time teachers of accredited institutions (secondary and higher education) qualify for half-tuition scholarship. Qualified applicants should submit an affidavit of employment with their applications. This affidavit must be resubmitted each year. No student may receive more than one-half tuition scholarship. Note that this scholarship does not apply to the optional summer term.
  • Senior citizens age 62 or older are entitled to a half-tuition reduction. Qualified applicants should make an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid where they need to present legal proof of age and complete a Senior Citizen Certification form. Note that this discount does not apply to the optional summer term.
  • Students may apply for federal financial aid by completing a Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Forms are available in the Graduate Admissions Office or online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Learn more about financial aid in the graduate school.


Course Descriptions

PDF of Arts and Letters 2014-2015 Course Catalog.
The courses listed in the catalog are subject to change. For the most up to date course listing please go to Treehouse or the Course List and select the appropriate start term.

For course descriptions, please view the graduate studies course catalog.

Our Students

Meet Our Students

Christopher McMillan

Program | Master of Arts and Letters

"My professors are fantastic, knowledgeable, passionate and curious souls. They helped shaped the scholar I want to be, through passionate encouragement, first-hand experience, encyclopedic knowledge and love of language and literature" - Read more
Eleanor Whalen Carducci

Program | Doctor of Letters

"The D.Litt. program provides for intellectual challenge, enlightened faculty and intelligent discourse. I love the interdisciplinary approach, the fact that the professors really care about their students and the sheer joy of learning" - Read more
Eugene Nasser

Program | Doctor of Arts and Letters

"The first thing that struck me was the breadth and depth of the curriculum. I don’t know of any other program like this—it’s truly unique and perfect for people who consider themselves to be life-long" - Read more
Jeff Gutierrez

Program | Master of Letters

"Whatever I end up doing, the arts and letters program has shown me how everything is interconnected. Through these courses, I’ve realized that each academic subject needs the others in order to be understood." - Read more