Essay Competition

Quick Facts

WHAT: Essays submitted in Discovery Courses from April 16, 2021 through April 15, 2022
WHO: Current first- and second-year students
MAXIMUM LENGTH: 3,000 words
DEADLINE: April 18, 2022
OTHER: Essay must be endorsed in a brief written statement by the instructor of the course.
SUBMIT entries via email attachment to R. Scott Smith, Department of Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies (

Phi Beta Kappa is pleased to announce its 33rd Annual Essay Competition for first- and second-year students. The Phi Beta Kappa competition was initiated by Professor Barbara Cooper to encourage students in general education (now Discovery) courses to strive for excellence in written work.

Students do not have to be Phi Beta Kappa members to submit essays. All are encouraged to submit their superior work.

The competition will award prizes at the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony in May 2022 for superior essays of no more than 3,000 words, written as regular assignments in Discovery (including Inquiry) courses offered in spring 2021, fall 2021 or spring 2022.

Essays submitted in courses offered during spring semester 2021 are eligible, but only if their due date was after April 15, 2021.