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APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs
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The Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs has been jointly sponsored by the APA and the PDC since 1999. It recognizes philosophy departments, research centers, institutes, societies, publishers, and other organizations for creating programs that risk undertaking new initiatives in philosophy and do so with excellence and success, and to publicize the success of these programs so they may inspire and influence others to follow their lead.


To support both the award winner and its host institution, the PDC will provide campus-wide electronic access to a bundle of philosophy resources for an entire year. This brings a tangible benefit to all students and faculty at the host institution, with the intention of strengthening interest in, and support for, the award winning program. The total value will be over $3,000 and the publications best suited to support the winner will be selected in cooperation with the PDC. The winner is also presented with a plaque from the PDC.

Frequency: Annual

Next Deadline: June 30, 2020

Eligibility and Criteria

Departments of philosophy in colleges and universities, as well as institutes, societies, publishers, or other organizations that develop philosophy programs or projects aimed at promoting or developing research, teaching, or the public understanding of philosophy, are eligible to make a nomination. Philosophy programs must be based primarily in the United States, though they may have an international dimension.

Excellence is to be assessed by a record of achievement, the accomplishment of clearly defined goals, and the appropriateness of the program for emulation by others in the field. Innovation is to be assessed by the development of new research areas, new interdisciplinary connections, new international connections, new modes of teaching or dissemination, new audiences for philosophical work, or extensions of existing boundaries of the discipline.

Previous winners may be nominated again after a period of at least five years from the original award date. Nominations will remain in effect for three years, and nominees from previous years will be notified of the opportunity to update supporting material.

Nominations, with supporting material, are due by June 30, 2020.

For questions, contact


Any APA member familiar with a program, including those involved in its creation or direction, may nominate it. Nominations must be supported by at least three statements speaking to the criteria outlined above. Other appropriate supportive material may accompany nominations. The award selection committee may, at its discretion, solicit additional information.

All material must be submitted as a single PDF file.

Only members may submit nominations; please sign in to access the nomination form.

To submit a nomination, fill out the nomination form. 

Selection Process

The selection committee consists of five people appointed by the APA committee on lectures, publications, and research and will include two representatives of the Philosophy Documentation Center.



Corrupt the Youth, University of Texas at Austin


Toolbox Dialogue Initiative, Michigan State University


Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA), University of Kentucky


Philosophy in Prison, University of Missouri–Kansas City


Rethink: A Philosophy Community Outreach Program, Columbia University


Outreach Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Philosophy in the Public Interest, Northern Arizona University


Winning Words, University of Chicago


Teaching Children Philosophy, Mount Holyoke College


Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, Ball State University


No award given


University of North Carolina Parr Center for Ethics


The Philosophy Program at Davidson College


The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, Illinois Institute of Technology


Carroll-Cleveland Philosophers' Program, John Carroll University


Summer Institute in Philosophy for Minority Students, sponsored by Rutgers University Department of Philosophy.


Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics, Georgia State University


Community Working Classics Program, Grand Valley State University


The Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC)


Institute for Ethics & Policy Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Integration of Science & Math Labs, Trinity College of Hartford, CT

The American Philosophical Association
University of Delaware
31 Amstel Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690