Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest

$5,000-prize essay competition that challenges college students to analyze ethical issues

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest challenges college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today’s complex world. Students are encouraged to write thought-provoking personal essays that raise questions, single out issues and are rational arguments for ethical action.

Students will submit a 3,000- to 4,000-word essay.  The general topic asks students to "articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself," although any topic that explores the theme of ethics is acceptable.

The essay should be developed from the personal point of view of the student and may take the form of an analysis that is biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological, or theological.



  • First Prize – $ 5,000
  • Second Prize – $ 2,500
  • Third Prize – $ 1,500
  • Two Honorable Mentions – $ 500 Each

Deadline Information

5:00pm PST: Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Eligibility Requirements

Registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2020 semester are eligible to enter the 2021 contest.

Students must apply and submit essays online, and receive online verification from their Faculty Sponsor. Any professor may act as a Faculty Sponsor and endorse the quality and authenticity of the student’s essay. Also, students must upload a letter from the Registrar or National Student Clearinghouse verifying enrollment.

Any interested professor at the University of Chicago may act as the Faculty Sponsor.

Application Process

Apply online at the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest 2021 Submission Site.

For any technical support issues with your application please email: ewfprizehelp@uoregon.edu