Essay Competition

Phi Beta Kappa is pleased to announce its 36th 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 2024 for superior essays of no more than 3,000 words, written as regular assignments in Discovery (including Inquiry) courses offered in spring 2023, fall 2023 or spring 2024.

Essays submitted in courses offered during spring semester 2023 are eligible, but only if their due date was after April 15, 2023.

WHAT: Essays submitted in Discovery Courses from April 16, 2023 through April 15, 2024

WHO: Current first- and second-year students

MAXIMUM LENGTH: 3,000 words


DEADLINE: April 21, 2024

OTHER: Essay must be endorsed in a brief written statement by the instructor of the course.

SUBMIT entries via email attachment to Dante Scala, Department of Political Science (