Student Prize

Student Prize recipients


Since 2008, the American Cultures Student Prize has recognized and celebrated undergraduate achievements within American Cultures courses. The prize is awarded annually to undergraduates for projects they develop in an American Cultures course that promotes understanding of U.S. race, ethnicity, and culture and exemplifies a standard of excellence in scholarship.  Prior award-winning submissions have included essays, poetry, films, reflection statements on live performances, among other work produced for American Cultures courses. For examples of past recipients of this prize, please visit our eScholarship student prize website or the examples included towards the bottom of this page.

Recipients of the American Cultures Student Prize will receive a $1,000 award and have their submission published on the American Cultures eScholarship site(link is external), and permanently indicated as a recipient of the American Cultures website.  This year, recipients will also be honored in a virtual ceremony. 

How to Apply

Eligibility Guidelines

  1. Student Requirements: To be eligible for the AC Student Prize, applicants must be enrolled as a UC Berkeley undergraduate student.
  2. Applying as an Individual or a Group: Applicants may apply individually or as a member of an undergraduate student group, only if the group collectively developed the course project in an AC course.  A student group may not consist of more than six undergraduate students. Students may only submit one application per academic year (whether the submission is presented individually or collectively, as a group). 
  3. Submissions Requirements: Acceptable submissions include any course assignments they have developed in an AC course, from all course levels, that promotes an understanding of race, ethnicity, and cultures in the U.S. (this includes, but is not limited to, course papers, short stories, digital projects such as film, photography or graphic design, or other written assignment prepared in an American Cultures course).  Please note, students do not need to submit a final version of their American Cultures assignment. If the student is currently taking a course, a student may submit a draft of their assignment. If the course has ended, a student may edit and update the final version of their American Cultures assignment that they already submitted to the instructor for a grade.
  4. Reapplying to the AC Student Prize: If an applicant's submission is not successful, they may reapply as many times as they choose until they are selected. However, an applicant may only be awarded the AC Student Prize once as an individual or as part of a group.

Submission Instructions for Students

Students may submit their application materials using this Google Form or email them to The American Cultures Center ( Applications must be received by Friday, March 31st.

Only complete submissions will be considered for the AC Student Prize, which must include the following:

  1. A copy of the course syllabus
  2. Instructions on how to complete the assignment from your instructor
  3. A statement of 750-1000 words that describes your assignment and why you feel it supports the goal of the American Cultures curriculum--to strengthen understanding of race, culture, ethnicity, and the diversity of the American experience
  4. A draft or final version of the course assignment from an AC Course. Please see "Acceptable Submissions" for examples in the Eligibility Requirements section.
  5. A letter of support from the course instructor is also required and must be submitted directly by the instructor to the American Cultures Center. A letter from a graduate student instructor is acceptable. For more information about the letter and how to submit it, please see the 'Instructions for the Instructors' section below. 

For Instructors: How to Submit a Letter of Support 

Letters of support should be submitted by a course instructor or graduate student instructor. Letters may be emailed to Letters must be received by March 31st. 

Letters of support that discusses a student's project and how and why you feel it supports the goal of the American Cultures curriculum--to strengthen understanding of race, culture, ethnicity, and the diversity of the American experience.  There is no page or word limit for the letter. For any questions about the AC Student Prize, please contact us at