Core Humanities Essay Contest

Win $500 toward tuition for Spring 2025!

Students may submit Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 Core Humanities essays by December 1, 2024. We are offering prizes for the best essays in each CH 201, 202, and 203 course. Winners will be announced in early 2025.

Email your submission
Colosseum in Rome

The CH Essay Prize

The Core Humanities Department is pleased to offer the CH Essay Prize. This prize recognizes exemplary essays produced over the calendar for the collective CH201, CH202, and CH203 classes. The three prizes (1st $500, 2nd $250, and 3rd $100) will be awarded to the best essay of the year during the winter break after each fall semester. Awarded funds will be applied to the spring semester’s tuition. Therefore, students in their junior year or below are invited to apply.


Students who receive an A grade on an essay submitted to CH 201, CH202, or CH203 are eligible and are invited to submit their essays to: Submissions should include the instructor’s essay prompt.

Selection Process

Essays will be judged based on the ability of the essay to respond to the instructor's prompt as well as the core objectives of the class. Strong candidates will have a thesis statement that clearly presents the point to be proven in the essay. Other factors include artistic use of rhetorical style, effective use of textual evidence, and mastery of technical conventions. The selection committee is composed of the Core Humanities Executive Committee and the Distinguished Teaching Assistants.


Q: Does my instructor need to nominate me?

A: No, students submit their essays directly to the department. Although, your instructor knows about the prize and may recommend that you submit your excellent essay.

Q: Can I turn in the version of the essay that I turned in to my class assignment or do I need to revise it?

A: Students are advised to revise based on their instructor's feedback before submitting their essays for consideration. The CH Department might have other resources available to help polish the submissions.

Please contact Sean O’Neil at for further information.

Past CH Essay Prize Winners and Essays

2023 winners

  • Marseille Van Duyn (202) - 1st
  • Isabella Hart Nibbrig (202) - 2nd
  • Zach Shaffer (202) - 3rd

2022 winners

  1. Michael Karo (203) - 1st
  2. Eddy Zhelayev (201) - 2nd
  3. Sage Tippie (202) - 3rd