National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is an annual academic competition for students in grades 6-12 in the United States. It started in 1974 and has since grown to become a nationwide program that engages more than half a million students annually.

Competition Details

Introduction: National History Day (NHD) is an annual academic competition for students in grades 6-12 in the United States. Every year, there are more than 600,000 students participate in the contest. 

Competition Date: June 9-13, 2024 is the National Contest 

Division: There are two divisions based on your grade level: Junior Division (grade 6 to 8) and Senior Division (grade 9 to 12). 

Categories: Students can work individually or in groups of up to five, and they can choose from a variety of project categories, including:

  • Documentary (Individual and Group): A short film that uses historical footage, photographs, and interviews. Documentaries must not exceed 10 minutes in length. 
  • Exhibit ( Individual and Group): A display board with text, images, and artifacts that tell a story or present an argument. The size of the exhibit when displayed  must be no larger than 40 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 72 inches high. 
  • Paper (Individual): An essay that uses primary and secondary sources to analyze a historical event, person, or topic. Papers must be between 1500 to 2500 words, and all references and citations must be included. 
  • Performance (Individual and Group): A live presentation that uses drama, music, or other art forms to tell a story or make an argument. Performance must not exceed 10 minutes in length. 
  • Website (Individual and Group): A multimedia website that presents a historical event, person, or topic using text, images, and other media. The website must be constructed using the NHD website editor:

Please note that the Paper category allows individual participation only. The competition starts locally, with students competing at their school or regional level. Winners at the regional level move on to the state level, and winners at the state level move on to the national competition held annually in June at the University of Maryland, College Park.

At the national level, students present their projects to a panel of judges, who evaluate them based on historical quality, presentation clarity, and theme relevance. Winners in each category receive scholarships, prizes, and recognition.

Evaluation: 80% Historical Quality and 20% Clarity of Presentation. Historical Quality refers to strengths of your historical argument, research, and relationship to the theme. Clarity of Presentation refers to how well your project communicates your argument using the tools of your category.The decision of the judges is final. 

2024 Contest Theme:  Turning Points in History

Contest Date: Local contests have different deadlines depending on the state. Please go to Find Local Contest for more information. 

national history day contest process

All participants currently attending grade 6-12

Contest Date

For NHD China 2024, Websites, Papers, Documentaries, and All Written Work Due at Friday, Feb. 16th, 2024. For other local contest date, please go to

Our Teaching Methods

1:1 personalized curriculum

After registration, your assigned teacher and course consultant will go over course expectations, personal goals, and course plans.

Expert teachers

Aralia's instructors are teachers from top-ranking high schools and colleges across the United States. They will help you cultivate the skills and knowledge needed for college and future career

Your success

With the combination of personalized curriculum and years of teaching experience, you are set to achieve your personal and professional success

Students who previously took the class:

Throughout the years, our students have successfully gained admission or are currently attending top-ranking secondary and high schools around the world: America, Australia, Canada, China, and more:

  • Cardigan Mountain School
  • Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Concord Academy
  • Groton School
Improving your application competitiveness, today.
Scroll to Top