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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Theatre

Honors & Distinction


Honors & Distinction

We recognize outstanding student work in the Department of Theatre with "Distinction in Theatre" designations.

Examples of Distinction in Theatre

  • Students who receive distinction demonstrate significant qualities of professional work in their respective field(s).
  • A designer completes several projects that show significant contribution to a theater production
  • An actor performs a series of major roles in department productions.

In both cases the student shows significant commitment to improving the life of the department. For more information, consult the chair about these expectations.

Graduating with distinction

If you want to graduate with distinction, you must turn in a distinction checklist (see guidelines below) and a letter of intent to the departmental chair.

Both are due by the end of the second week of classes in the quarter the student plans to graduate.

Distinction may be awarded in additional areas not listed below (e.g., movement, production management, vocal technique) at the discretion of and in consultation with the faculty. When in doubt, please ask!

We encourage students who are eager to pursue distinction to get started early (by sophomore year) to realistically have enough time to pursue and accomplish all criteria.

Note: Fulfilling the requirements listed below does not automatically grant distinction in the Department of Theatre. The faculty has the final say as to whether the work is of sufficient quality to earn this designation.


Note: departmental production = fully-produced show, part of the department's mainstage season, directed by faculty or professional guest artist. For the purposes of Distinction, "departmental" productions do not include class projects, independent projects, senior capstones, or staged readings.

Distinction in design

  • Design one departmental production and five other productions that aren't part of a class requirement
  • Complete a Directed Study with faculty mentors as an Assistant Designer
  • Compile a portfolio in consultation with your Design advisor; make a formal presentation for faculty review
  • *3.7 GPA in at least five design and technology classes at the 2000 or 3000 level

Distinction in acting

  • Act in six productions, at least four of which must be departmental
  • *3.7 GPA in Acting I, Acting II, Acting III, and two other acting courses

Distinction in directing

  • Assistant-direct one departmental production (faculty or guest professional director)
  • Direct two productions (that are not part of a class or practicum assignment; can be on campus or off; staged readings are not considered productions)
  • Complete two Independent Studies with faculty mentors in Directing or Directing-related areas
  • *3.7 GPA in both Directing 1 and Independent Studies

Distinction in playwriting

  • Have a play produced as a departmental or off-campus production, or have three works developed at DU through staged readings, talkbacks and rewrites
  • *3.7 GPA in playwriting and two dramatic literature classes

Distinction in theatre history

  • Complete a written thesis (research or production related)
  • *3.7 GPA in both theatre history classes, aesthetics in performance, and two others in history, art history or cultural studies

Distinction in stage management

  • Stage manage or assistant stage manage five productions: three departmental and two others
  • Complete a professional production internship
  • Compile a portfolio in consultation with your Stage Management advisor; make a formal presentation for faculty review
  • *3.7 GPA in Stage Management, Directing, Acting I and one design class at the 2000 or 3000 level

Distinction in dramaturgy

  • Dramaturg three departmental productions
  • *3.7 GPA in five classes chosen from theater history and dramatic literature, including seminars, Shakespeare, etc.

Distinction in theatre (general)

  • Complete a written thesis your senior year under the supervision of a theatre faculty mentor (may be completed with independent study hours and/or PINS)
  • *3.7 GPA in all theatre classes


  • We may award distinction in more than one area, but the same production or project cannot be listed for multiple awards.
  • For instance, if a student wants distinction in both directing and stage management, he or she must participate in four departmental productions in addition to the other respective requirements listed.
  • "Departmental" refers to the major production(s) each quarter, directed by a faculty member or guest artist. This excludes senior projects and independent student productions.

* See a theatre advisor for details.