Frequently Asked Questions

. . . about the Bowdoin Prizes for Undergraduates

1. How do I apply for the Bowdoin Prizes for Undergraduate Essays in the English Language or for Undergraduate Essay in the Natural Sciences?
Submissions for the Bowdoin Prizes for Undergraduate Essays in the English Language or for Undergraduate Essay in the Natural Sciences are accepted online via the Prize Office's website.  Please click on the "Apply Here" link on the relevant prize description page to submit your essay. 

2. Competitors for the Bowdoin Prizes for undergraduates must be resident in Harvard College.  How is “resident” defined?
For the purposes of the Bowdoin Prizes for Undergraduates, "resident" means that a competitor is registered as an undergraduate in Harvard College and has not yet completed the requirements for an undergraduate degree.

3. Where can one find examples of past winning Bowdoin essays?
Past winning Bowdoin essays are available at the Harvard University Archives.  Questions about access to these essays should be addressed directly to the Archives at (617) 495-2461.

4. Should the essay submitted for the prize be double-spaced or single-spaced?
Double-spaced is the preferred format for all works submitted to the Prize Office.

5. Are figures (conceptual/schematic rather than technical data) allowed?
Figures that help the reader understand the essay are allowed.  Any captions count toward the 7,500 word limit.

6. Does the 7,500 word limit include all footnotes, bibliographical content, and captions?
Yes.  The 7,500 word limit includes all footnotes, bibliographic content, and captions.

7. May a student submit more than one essay for consideration?
A student may submit one essay per Bowdoin prize category, though the same essay cannot be submitted more than once.

8. May a student submit an essay previously submitted for a Bowdoin Prize?
No.  A student may not submit an essay for a Bowdoin Prize more than once.

 9. I have been collaborating on an essay with a fellow student. May we submit a co-authored essay for consideration?
The Bowdoin Prizes are designed to recognize the efforts of individual authors; therefore, essays written in collaboration with others are not eligible for submission.

10. If a student encounters difficulty applying for the prize, may he or she request an extension?
No. Competitors are responsible for ensuring that their application materials are complete and submitted to the Prize Office by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline. No extensions are granted.

11. When will the prize winners be notified?
Undergraduate competitors will be notified of the selection committee’s decisions before Commencement.