In the spring semester of each academic year, the Department of Comparative Literature awards one graduating senior each the following prizes.

Laurence C. Welch Essay Prize

This cash prize is awarded to the best essay written for an upper-division COLT course (300-level or higher) as judged by a committee of faculty from those submitted. The deadline for submissions is typically announced in April. For more information, email

Past Welch Prize Awardees

Kathleen Loftus

Bindhu Swaminathan
Honorable mentions  Reese Armstrong and Sydney Rivera-Prince
Comparative Literature Prize
This annual cash prize is awarded to an outstanding graduating major as determined by GPA and judgment of a faculty committee. No application is necessary. The award is made at the department’s commencement reception where we honor all our graduating students.

Past Comparative Literature Prize Awardees

Sharon Zhang

Elisa McAtee
Alexander Polt-Gifford