Accepted students seek permission from their home departments to use the creative thesis to satisfy departmental thesis requirements. For students in the Department of English Creative Writing Track and the Comparative Literature Department’s Program D, approval is routine, and several other departments have welcomed creative theses. Still, some students undertake the creative thesis as a “second thesis.”
Students are expected to begin their theses over the summer before the senior year, and those who have not made satisfactory progress by mid October are returned to their major department to write a regular thesis.
English majors accepted for a creative thesis may count a maximum of two creative writing courses at the 300 or 400 level toward their eight English departmentals, and their theses are supervised and graded by Program faculty. (English majors not accepted for a creative thesis may still count one 300 or 400 level creative writing course as their Program I cognate.) Otherwise, their requirements–distribution, senior comprehensives, etc.–are identical to those of regular English majors. Thesis students may not take other creative writing courses during their senior year.
Majors in departments other than English should, after successful application to the Program, secure the written permission of the Departmental Representative of their major department to undertake the creative thesis. Such students will usually be assigned advisors in both the Program and the major department. These advisors will negotiate the grading procedure. The department may have special requirements—for example, a critical preface or an extensive bibliography. The thesis will receive a “review” and a letter grade from a faculty reader, in consultation with the thesis advisor.
There is no set length for the thesis. Fiction theses have ranged from 80 to 400+ pages, 100-200 pages being typical. A poetry thesis normally contains 20-40 poems, depending on their length. In general no more than 20% of the thesis should be revised work from previous years. The thesis deadline is established by the Program in Creative Writing, typically sometime in the first week of April.