About Prizes in the FAS
The awarding of prizes at Harvard dates back to the early days of the College. The Detur Book Prize, for example, was established from the bequest of Edward Hopkins, who came to America in 1637, and the Bowdoin Prizes have been esteemed rewards for essays in English, Latin, and Greek since 1791.
Prizes in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) are given for academic excellence, outstanding individual qualities, or other achievements. They are also awarded for excellence in subjects as demonstrated by essays submitted directly for prize consideration, special examinations, or theses submitted to the departments. Although some awards listed under Prize Descriptions have the word “scholarship” in their titles, they are not need based and are awarded as prizes.
Need-based awards, scholarships, and certain fellowships may be awarded through the Office of Financial Aid, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, non-FAS Faculties, or individual academic departments. The Department of Athletics also recognizes the participation and achievement of individuals by the awarding of letters and prizes in a variety of sports. Information on all athletic prizes can be obtained from the Department of Athletics. Some additional prizes are administered locally by departments and are not listed here.