Doctor of Letters
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Doctor of Letters or Doctor of Literature (Latin: Litterarum doctor; D.Litt.; Litt.D.; D. Lit.; or Lit. D.) is an academic degree, a higher doctorate which, in some countries, may be considered to be beyond the Ph.D. and equal to the Doctor of Science (Sc.D. or D.Sc.). It is awarded in many countries by universities and learned bodies in recognition of outstanding achievement in the humanities, original contribution to the creative arts or scholarship and other merits. When awarded without an application by the conferee, it is awarded as an honorary 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 high achievement in the respective field or a long record of research and publication. The Litt.D. degree 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 individuals as the university or the learned body in question deems worthy of this highest academic award.
United States 
In the United States, the degree is often an honorary degree conferred on those who have contributed to the humanities or society. There are, however, a number of earned "D.Litt." programs, the best known being Drew University on the basis of 36 graduate credit hours post-Master's and a successfully prepared and defended nine-credit (for a total degree requirement of 45 hours) doctoral dissertation.
Notable examples of a Doctor of Letters as an honorary degree include British comedian Ken Dodd, the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada Michael Ignatieff, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, Film makers like B. N. Reddy, musicians K. J. Yesudas, Enya, Sami Yusuf, former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, writers Mark Twain, Ezra Pound, Malcolm Gladwell, O. N. V. Kurup, Rik Mayall, J. K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Clive Cussler, Elmo Scott Watson from Illinois Wesleyan University, John Green, James May, Sundeep Waslekar, Robert Frost, John Updike, actors Maggie Smith, Ian McKellen and Mohanlal, J. Jayalalithaa, chief-minister of Tamil Nadu, India, sound recordist Resul Pookutty V.T.Chellam, Tamil History Researcher, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India, Canadian comedian and TV personality Rick Mercer
- "Arts & Letters Academic Program", Drew University
- "Michael Ignatieff conferred honorary degree by McGill". 2002.
- "Gordon Brown conferred honorary degree by DU". indiainfo.com. 2008.
- "D. Litt for Yesudas by Kerala University". 2003.
- "UU Honours Musician Enya". University of Ulster press release. 2007.
- "Sami Yusuf - Doctor of Letters Graduation Ceremony".
- "Secretary of state receives honorary Air University degree". Air Force Link. 2008.
- by Hamilton College in 1939
- "ONV Kurup is now Dr. ONV Kurup".
- Sally Pook (2000-07-15). "J K Rowling given honorary degree at her alma mater". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-05-01.
- Shropshire County Council (2002). "J.R.R. Tolkien". Literary Heritage, West Midlands.
- BBC News (2010-07-15). "Top Gear presenter James May awarded honorary doctorate". BBC News (UK). Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- People-centric innovations need varsities' backing: President  The Times of India, December 2011
- "Robert Frost Award Chronology".
- "D. Litt conferred on Mohanlal". 2010.
- "D. Litt for Resul Pookutty". 2010.