The Ringstad Prize

The Department of Philosophy invites students with promising papers on philosophical topics to submit their papers for this year’s Ringstad Prize. Submissions must be received by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 to be eligible.

The Ringstad Prize was established in memory of Professor E.O. Ringstad, who taught at St. Olaf from 1917 to 1938. It is offered each year for the best papers on a philosophical topic by St. Olaf students.

The competition is divided into two categories: (1) papers by first year and sophomore students, and (2) papers by junior and senior students. In each category there is a $250 first prize and a $125 second prize. Seniors who are applying for Departmental Distinction may submit the same paper for both Distinction and the Ringstad Prize, but they must do so separately.

Students may enter each year that they are regularly enrolled undergraduates but can win the first prize only once in each category. Papers will be reviewed and judged by at least two faculty members of the Philosophy Department.

The Philosophy Department reserves the right to make no awards if, in its judgment, the submitted papers do not warrant the prize.

Guidelines for Submission of Papers:

(1) You may enter only one paper.
(2) The paper should be on a recognizable philosophical topic, though it need not have been a paper written for a philosophy class.
(3) You may submit a new paper or a paper already submitted to a class. If the paper was already submitted in a class, it should be revised in light of comments made by the professor of that class.
(4) Prepare the paper for blind review: your name should appear on the title page only, and nowhere else in the paper. Also, make sure that the title of the paper appears both on the title page and on the first page of the actual paper (so as to be identified when the title page is removed).
(5) The title page should contain:

Title of the paper

Your name

Category the paper is being submitted in (freshmen/sophomore or junior/senior division)

(6) Save the paper as a Microsoft Word document.

(7) Email the paper by NOON on Wednesday, April 14 to Emma Fradgley (, the Philosophy Department administrative assistant, located in Holland Hall 426.

To view the list of winners by year, please click here.

Please contact Emma Fradgley if you have any questions or concerns about the application process.