Frequently Asked Questions

. . . about the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Students

1. How do I apply for the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Essays in the English Language or for Graduate Essay in the Natural Sciences?
Submissions for the Bowdoin Prizes for Graduate Essays in the English Language or for Graduate 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 graduate students must be in residence.  How is “in residence” defined?
For the purposes of the Bowdoin Prizes for graduate students, “in residence” means that a competitor has been registered as a graduate student in a degree program at Harvard since the beginning of the academic year.  Traveling scholars, November degree candidates, and special students are not included within these parameters.

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 information, and captions?
Yes.  The 7,500 word limit includes all footnotes, captions, and bibliographical information.

7. May a student submit more than one essay for consideration?
A student may submit only one essay per Bowdoin prize category.

8. May a student resubmit 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 another person 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?
Graduate student competitors will be notified of the selection committee’s decisions before Commencement.