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The Hoefer Prize for Writing in the Major

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Hoefer award ceremony

About the Hoefer Prize

The Hoefer Prize recognizes outstanding Stanford undergraduate writing in Writing in the Major (WIM) courses. Prizes may be awarded in all areas of the undergraduate curriculum: humanities, social sciences, natural and mathematical sciences, and engineering. Only student writing produced in an approved Writing in the Major course can be nominated for the Hoefer Prize. See here for details regarding the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement.

Each student prize winner is presented with a certificate, an inscribed book, and a monetary award at an awards ceremony in the Spring.

A faculty selection committee (composed of members from all the cluster areas) judges submissions according to criteria appropriate for the discipline. In addition, such general criteria as clarity, focus, organization, argumentation and style are included. Spring quarter nominations will be considered for the following academic year.


A WIM course instructor may nominate a student for the award by submitting the following materials:

  • Cover sheet with student and instructor names,  email addresses, WIM course name and number
  • The student's essay, report, research paper or other assignment written for the course
  • A brief nominating letter from the instructor describing the process that produced the paper (including the role of the instructor, TAs, any peer collaboration). The nominating letter should include qualities of the paper that exemplify excellence of undergraduate writing in the discipline.

Note: One nomination per course. Co-authored papers may be nominated.

Send nomination materials either hard copy to Marvin Diogenes, MC 3069 (Sweet Hall, Third Floor), or as email attachments to

Prize Winners

The Writing in the Major program maintains an archive of Hoefer Prize-winning writing at the link below.  We are pleased to share these materials with Stanford students, faculty, and the larger Stanford community.

See Hoefer Prize Winners