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Prizes and Honors


The Prizes Program at UC Berkeley (prizes@berkeley.edu) is an important forum for rewarding creative expression and scholarly achievement by Berkeley's finest students. Winners receive both recognition and a cash prize, which is coordinated with the winner's financial aid package. Prize competitions are open to students of any major. Successful, even prominent, artists and poets in our society found that winning an award at Berkeley was a pivotal experience in their artistic careers. Prizes are administered under the direction of the Academic Senate Committee on Prizes. Copies of the essays and poetry submissions chosen to receive prizes are archived at the Bancroft Library at the end of each year.

Honors at Berkeley are conferred upon qualified students for academic achievement or outstanding service. The Kraft Award for Freshmen, the University Medal, and Departmental Citations carry this distinction.

Please note that prize contest entries need to be submitted in person to 210 Sproul Hall before 4 p.m. on the contest deadline (listed on the chart below). See the General Rules for Competitive Prizes for complete submission information. Please click on the contest names below for specific details about each prize.

Category Estimated Amount Requirements Deadline Date
Film / Video
Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Film and Video $2,000 minimum Create a film or video

Academic Year    19-20: 8/14/2020

Jeanne P. Steager Memorial Prize in Folklore $50 - $100 Demonstrate originality, excellence, and importance to the field of folklore TBD
Greek / Latin Translation
George Morey Richardson Latin Translation Prize $500 - $1,500 Translate a classical English passage into Ciceronian Latin TBD
Thomas G. Rosenmeyer Greek Translation Prize $500 Translate an English passage into classical Greek style TBD
Jewish Studies
Anne and Benjamin Goor Prize in Jewish Studies $1,000 - $2,000 Write a research paper on any area of Jewish Studies. Student may win contest a maximum of two times TBD
Nicola De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition $1,000 Create a musical composition TBD
Leslie Lipson Program   The Leslie Lipson Program at UC Berkeley is intended to encourage undergraduate students to study humanistic values and their practical application for individuals, societies, and states; the program consists of the Lipson Essay Prize, the Lipson Scholarship, and the Lipson Research Grant  
Lipson Essay Prize $2,000 Write an essay on one of five topics selected by the Lipson Committee; applicants must be Freshmen or Sophomores with a minimum Berkeley 3.5 GPA TBD
Lipson Scholarship $10,000 maximum for two years Must have won the Lipson Essay Prize  
Lipson Research Grant up to $3,500 Must be a Lipson Scholar  
Ferdinand Canning Scott Schiller Essay Prize in Philosophy $200 Write an essay on a specified topic relating to the work of F.C.S. Schiller (Awarded Biennially) TBD
Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Photo-Imaging $2,000 minimum Submit 1-3 photographs TBD
Academy of American Poets Prize $100 Write a poem or group of poems TBD
Emily Chamberlain Cook Prizes in Poetry $100 - $800 Write a poem TBD
Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize $100 - $500 Write a poem or group of poems; this is a multicampus contest open to undergraduates only TBD
Elizabeth Mills Crothers Prize in Literary Composition $500 - $700 Write a story or play TBD
Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Poetry $2,000 minimum Create a collection of poetry TBD
Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor $600 Write an anecdote, story, poem, drawing, or play illustrative of American wit and humor TBD
Dorothy Rosenberg Memorial Prize in Lyric Poetry $500 - $2,000 Create a lyric poem TBD
Joan Lee Yang Memorial Poetry Prizes $250 - $500 Write a poem TBD
Political Science
Philo Sherman Bennett Prize in Political Science $500-$3,000 Write an essay encompassing some aspect of politics other than international relations TBD
Florence Mason Palmer Memorial Prize $1,000 - $3,000 Write an essay dealing with some aspect of international relations; open to women undergraduates only TBD
Owen D. Young Prize in International Relations $1,400 Write an essay dealing with some aspect of international relations; open to undergraduates only TBD
Elizabeth Mills Crothers Prize in Literary Composition $500 - $1000 Write a story or play TBD
Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prizes in Prose $2,000 Create a prose submission consisting of a substantial volume of work TBD
Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Essay Prize $200-$1000 Write an essay (500 words or less) on a topic determined by the Committee on Prizes TBD
Samuel C. Irving Prize for American Wit and Humor $650 Write an anecdote, story, poem, drawing, or play illustrative of American wit and humor TBD
Julia Keith Shrout Short Story Prize $150 Write a short story TBD
Additional Campus Prizes
Matthew M. Lyon Prize in Photography $1,000 Take five photographs on a single theme of your choice and write a short description. TBD
Jengyee Prize - Leadership for a Better World $2,000 Write an essay on a topic chosen by the Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) Department in the College of Engineering. TBD
Library Research

Charlene Conrad Liebau Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

$750 - $1,000 Submit a paper that draws on the library's collection completed for an undergraduate level course (upper or lower division) along with a short essay about your research process. Submissions accepted until 5 PM on April 18th, 2019


The Carmel and Howard Friesen Prize in Oral History Research

$500 Write a paper for a UC Berkeley class that draws upon Oral History Center interviews. Papers can be in any discipline. We have thousands of interviews, mostly focusing on the U.S., on almost any topic imaginable. (See the website for exact due date in April each year)


Stephen K. Tollefson Prize for Creative Nonfiction TBD Submit a work of nonfiction after completing a qualifying writing course within the College of Letters and Sciences.


Community Involvement
Kids First-David L. Kirp Prize
$2,500 Submit an application, a resume and an essay of up to 500 words describing their innovation and/or ongoing engagement. Submissions involving apps, models and pilot projects are welcome. All registered undergraduate students at UC Berkeley are eligible to apply.


Rita Ross Undergraduate Prize in Canadian Studies $250 The prize is awarded annually to the student who has written the best undergraduate research paper or produced the best original project that engages with topics, people or events related to Canada TBD