Student Essay Contest 2012

Foreign Affairs publishes articles by today’s leaders and thinkers that tackle the most pressing issues in international relations. We want to give tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to demonstrate innovative thinking on the issues that shape their world. In the third annual Foreign Affairs Essay Contest, one undergraduate’s essay will be chosen by the readers to be published on the Foreign Affairs Web site. The winner will also receive a prize of $500, and five honorable mentions will receive a free year-long subscription to Foreign Affairs.

Entries must be submitted by August 15, 2012.

How much did U.S. foreign policy change after the last election and how much will it change after this one?

Submissions should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words. All quotations or uncommon facts should be appropriately cited. Entries must be original, unpublished work written by contestants themselves.

Open to all undergraduate students of accredited colleges and universities graduating no earlier than May 2012.


  • Only one essay is allowed per participant. Please send entries to For your essay to be considered, it must be both pasted in the body of the e-mail and attached as a Word document. Your entry should include your name, phone number, e-mail address, institution of enrollment, and a scanned copy of your student identification or other proof of enrollment.
  • Students enrolled in institutions outside the United States should also include in their submission the full address and phone number of the academic department in which they are currently enrolled.
  • Every person who submits an essay to will be entered in the contest. All entries must be received by 11:59 PM on August 15, 2012, and entries must be completed in full to be eligible. Submissions shorter than 1,200 words or longer than 1,500 words will be automatically disqualified.
  • Submissions sent by mail will not be accepted.
  • No purchase necessary to enter.