The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest is an annual competition that 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.




First Prize, $5,000; Second Prize, $2,500; Third Prize, $1,500; Two Honorable Mentions, $500 each.

  • Applicants must be registered full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall semester of their application.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual voice should be represented within the essay. In 3,000 to 4,000 words, students are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues, and identify dilemmas.
  • The essay may be developed from any point of view and may take the form of an analysis that is biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological, or theological. Essays must be the original unpublished work of one student.
  • Only one essay per student per year may be submitted. The essay should be in English, typed in 12-point font, double-spaced with 1" margins, with the pages numbered. Submissions will be judged anonymously.

Early December.