The 2020 National Contest will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For up-to-date information about the National contest, please visit the History Day National Office’s website, located below.
About the Contest: The National History Day Contest is the final stage of a series of contests at local and state/affiliate levels. Students begin their journey by presenting their projects in classrooms, schools, and districts around the world. Top entries are invited to the state/affiliate level contests. The top two entries in each category at the state/affiliate level are then invited to the National History Day Contest in Maryland.
Each year nearly 3,000 students with their families and teachers gather at the University of Maryland, College Park for this week-long event. These enthusiastic groups come from all over the United States, Guam, American Samoa, and international schools in China, Korea, South Asia, and Central America. The excitement can be felt across the campus! After spending months on project research and preparation, and competing at local and state contests, students eagerly show their dedicated work at the national level.
The annual theme for 2020 is Breaking Barriers in History. Please click here to explore this theme.
Each year the National History Day office selects a broad theme for the contest. Students may choose any topic related to local, regional, national, or world history, as long as his or her research and conclusions clearly relate to the annual theme. Judges look for evidence that the theme has been adequately addressed in all History Day projects.
The National History Day Contest Rulebook was updated for the 2014-2015 contest year. This rule book replaces all older versions.
Please read it over carefully as multiple categories have been updated.