APA/PDC Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs

In cooperation with the American Philosophical Association

Since 1999 the American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC) have jointly sponsored the annual Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The aim of the prize is to recognize programs that risk undertaking new initiatives and do so with excellence and success. The prize is also intended to publicize these programs so that they may inspire and influence others to follow their lead.

2014 Winner!

The APA and the PDC are pleased to announce that the 2014 winner of the Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs is the Outreach Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Congratulations to all involved with this great program!


The winning program receives a plaque confirming the award and the host institution receives campus-wide online access to a bundle of philosophy resources for the following year. The value to the host institution is well over $2,900. 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 prize is given at an APA reception at the Eastern Division meeting.

Eligibility and Criteria

Eligible programs include 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. Eligible programs must be based primarily in the United States, though they may have an international dimension. Previous winners may be nominated again after a period of at least five years from the original award date.

Excellence is 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 assessed by the development of new research areas, new interdisciplinary or international connections, new modes of teaching or dissemination, new audiences for philosophical work, or extensions of existing boundaries of the discipline.

The selection committee consists of five people appointed by the APA’s Committee on Lectures, Publications, and Research, and includes two representatives of the Philosophy Documentation Center.

Past Winners

Nomination Procedure

DEADLINE: Nominations for 2015, with supporting material, are due by June 30, 2015.

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. To submit a nomination, login to the APA website and fill out the APA/PDC prize nomination form. The Award Selection Committee may, at its discretion, solicit additional information.

Questions may be directed to prizes@apaonline.edu. Nominations will remain in effect for three years. Nominees from previous years will be notified of the opportunity to update supporting material.