General Information


All competitors must be registered as degree candidates at Harvard University unless otherwise noted in individual prize descriptions.

The term “undergraduates” refers to students in Harvard College. For all prizes that are limited by class standing, advanced standing students may compete as members of only one class. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students must be registered to compete. Graduate students registered in Faculties other than the FAS may not compete for GSAS prizes; they may compete for prizes open to students of other graduate schools in the University.

Extension School students who are admitted Bachelor or Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies degree candidates are eligible for prizes designated for them. They may also compete for prizes open to students of other graduate schools in the University.

No student may compete for prizes while on leave. Non-resident traveling scholars are eligible to compete for the prizes listed except for the Bowdoin Prizes.

Prize Winner


Every dissertation or other composition offered for a prize must be the original work of the competitor. For more information, see the student handbook entry on “Plagiarism and Collaboration.”

Entries must be neat, legible, and typed, except for Classical Greek essays and translations and musical compositions, which may be handwritten in permanent ink.

Certain prizes will not be awarded to essays that have been submitted for other prizes. Please see the individual prize descriptions for more details.

Rights to Winning Manuscripts

“When . . . a manuscript is successful in a prize competition, it shall become the physical property of the University, and it may be lent, or its use restricted, in any way the Director of the University Library sees fit.”

“The literary rights, including those of publication, copying extracts, or closely paraphrasing from the manuscript, shall remain the property of the author, except that the University shall have the right to make available to the public and copyright any unpublished . . . prize paper at any time after the expiration of five years from the time it was accepted. Every reader using one of these manuscripts shall be required to sign a printed acknowledgement of the fact that all literary rights are so reserved.”

Prize winner


All Prize Office deadlines are stated in eastern time and are strictly observed.


Most prize winners are notified of awards before Commencement.

Taxes on Prize Winnings

Prize winnings are considered taxable income and Harvard reports these payments to the IRS.

For U.S. tax residents, Harvard does not withhold taxes on prizes. However, for U.S. tax residents receiving $600 or more in prize money from Harvard during a calendar year, the additional income will be reported on a 1099 form.

For nonresident aliens, Harvard reports prize payments on a 1042-S form as “other income” and withholds a 30 percent tax up front.

For regular Harvard employees, Harvard includes prize winnings on their W-2 form.

Prize-Winning Manuscripts

In accordance with the vote of the President and Fellows of Harvard College on January 22, 1951, an acceptable copy of every prize-winning manuscript must be deposited with the Curator of the Harvard University Archives, Pusey Library.

All Ph.D., Th.D., and Ed.D. theses are automatically submitted to the Archives, and a second copy is not required if the thesis wins a prize. Manuscripts that win more than one prize need only be submitted once to the Archives.

Prize-winning manuscripts are retained by the Archives in perpetuity.

Access to Winning Submissions

A copy of every manuscript that wins a prize is deposited in the Harvard University Archives, where the manuscripts are retained in perpetuity. For more information about access to these manuscripts, see the website of the Harvard University Archives.