Essay Prize in Ethics

Established to honor Richard T. Schellhase, a former professor at Ursinus College, the Schellhase Ethics Essay contest inspires students to critically and creatively examine the ethical implications of actions and decisions.

  • A matter of right and wrong.
  • Competing ideas about the best course of action.
  • A personal dilemma.
  • A well-meaning act that might have unintended consequences.
  • An important policy decision.
  • Our obligations to help other people or the environment

All these topics, and many more, can form the basis of an ethics essay. An ethics essay is, quite simply, any essay that explores an ethical situation or idea. An ethics essay can come from a course from any subject or discipline, or from your own personal writing.

In fact, any essay written by a current Ursinus College student is eligible.

Submit your essay to Ursinus’s Schellhase Ethics Essay Contest!

To submit:

Email your submission in MS Word format to the Center for Writing and Speaking,, by December 14, 2019. Any topic or essay length is permitted. Only one entry per student is permitted.


1st Prize - $2,000

2nd Prize - $1,000

3rd Prize - $500


The winning essays will be selected by a panel of Ursinus alumni. The essays will be judged on their insight, originality, purpose, authority, clarity, and eloquence. A draft of the full rubric is available here

Past winners

Note - past contests had different topics or themes.