The Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts is a $1,500 prize awarded annually to a graduating senior or fourth-year medical student who has demonstrated excellence in an art form that is outside of their major area of study.

The award has been honoring undergraduate students with artistic talent since 1983. It was made possible through the generosity of Louis Sudler, a Chicago businessman and philanthropist who died in 1992. Besides Johns Hopkins, the award is given out at universities, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Purdue, Duke, Rice, Stanford, Emory, Michigan State, Dartmouth College, Oberlin College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The following students are eligible to apply:

  • Graduating undergraduate seniors in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
  • Graduating undergraduate seniors in the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering
  • Graduating undergraduate seniors in the Peabody Institute, Conservatory of Music (Peabody students may not compete in music.)
  • Fourth-year students in the School of Medicine

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in good standing and on track to receive a graduating degree at the commencement of this year.
  • Only individual students may apply; group applications are not accepted.
  • Mr. Louis Sudler intended that the Sudler Prize be an avocational award, reserved for highly talented amateurs rather than for pre-professional students in the arts. Students whose major field of study relates to one of the arts may not submit to that category.
  • Students who wish to be considered for both the Sudler Arts Prize and the President’s Commendation for Achievement in the Arts must submit two separate applications.

Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of excellence, artistry, and high standards of technical proficiency in one of the arts
  • Pursuit of one of the arts as an avocation rather than as a career goal


11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday, March 24, 2024

All applications need to be submitted online using the link by 11:59 pm EST, Sunday, March 24, 2024. No late applications can be accepted, and all requested materials (including recommendations) should be turned in by this time.

2024 Submission Guidelines

Each art category has different requirements, so be sure you are sending in a complete application for your area of interest.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online application form
  2. Recommendation from a faculty member or other teacher knowledgeable about your artistic achievement while at Johns Hopkins.
  3. Examples of work that support your application, were done during the period of your matriculation at Johns Hopkins. Please note the different media requirements for each area of interest:

Music: Submit at least 2 audio recordings (20 minutes total) of your vocal, instrumental, or electronic performances or original compositions. Note: One recording must be a solo performance. If you are part of an ensemble or the composer, make clear who you are in the sample work. 

Theater & Performance Art: Submit a video, not to exceed 20 minutes, showing at least two scenes or excerpts of your best performances or examples of your directing work. Note: If you are part of an ensemble, make clear who you are in the work sample. For design, technical, or stage management work, submit a PDF file that includes photos of productions specifying your responsibilities, as well as sketches and drafting of design/technical work or materials appropriate to your project management, if applicable. 

Dance: Submit a video, not to exceed 20 minutes, showing at least two of your best performances in any dance style, or examples of your original choreography. Note: One work sample must be a solo performance. If you are part of an ensemble, make clear who you are in the work sample. 

Creative Writing: Submit at least two short works or excerpts (not to exceed 50 pages). Any genre is accepted: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama. 

Film & New Media: Submit a video, not to exceed 20 minutes, showing examples of your film, video production, computer animation, or other new media. 

Visual Art: Submit a digital portfolio of images (8-10 images total) representing 6-10 pieces of your best work. Any medium is accepted: painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, printmaking, mixed media, digital media.  Images must be sharp, clear, and of sufficient size to be able to examine the work in detail. 

Allowed Media Types:
Images (up to 10MB each)
Video (up to 500MB each)
Audio (up to 60MB each)
PDFs (up to 20MB each)
3D Models
External media from YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud
Number of Items: 1 – 10
Media Types: Images, Video, Audio, PDF, 3D Models

Optional Materials

  1. Professional critiques or reviews of your works or performances.
  2. Artistic résumé listing performances, exhibits, publications, etc.


  • Focus on one of the arts rather than submitting in several categories.
  • Submit works or performances that represent your most significant achievements.
  • The samples of your work are the most important items in the selection process, so be sure what you submit is of the highest quality. If you are part of an ensemble, make clear who you are in the work sample so you can be identified.
  • For audio/video files hosted on external sites (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), be sure to provide the password for password-protected clips and test your links to make sure they are active.

Selection Procedure

Members of the Sudler Arts Prize Committee, composed of faculty and administrators from the Homewood campus, the Peabody Institute, and the School of Medicine, review all materials submitted and recommend a candidate to the president.

Under the terms of the Sudler Prize, the president makes the final selection and notifies the winner, who receives a $1,500 check and has their name printed in the commencement program.

The Sudler Arts Prize Committee simultaneously considers candidates for the President’s Commendation for Achievement in the Arts, which is a service award to honor a graduating undergraduate senior in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, or the Peabody Institute who has contributed extensively to the arts in the Homewood and/or Baltimore communities. The winner of the President’s Commendation receives a certificate and their name also appears in the commencement program.

Students who wish to be considered for both the Sudler Arts Prize and the President’s Commendation must submit two separate applications.


Direct all questions to sudlerprize@jhu.edu.