Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Competition Event Cycle Overview for NHD

National History Day in Wisconsin

Competitions Event Cycle Overview | NHD in Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargeGroup portrait of 50 state contest winners.

National History Day State Competition 

The National History Day program includes a progressive contest cycle open to students in grades 6-12 and runs from February through June. Information about contest rules can be found in the contest rulebook.

  • Regional History Day events are normally held starting in February. Winners advance to the State Event.
  • The State Event is held in May at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Winners advance to the national contest.
  • The National Contest is held in June at the University of Maryland in College Park.

School/Local Events: January and February

Many teachers organize a school or local History Day event prior to the regional event. These events function as history fairs and offer a great opportunity to bring families, school administrators, and other community members into the classroom.

Schools with a large number of History Day participants generally use school events to select the entries that will go on to the regional events.

Educators: learn more about how to plan a school event for National History Day.

Interested in Buying NHD Exhibit Boards?

Exhibit Boards are available from Box Man, Inc. and are designed to fit the dimensions of NHD exhibits and can include title panels. Purchase packs of boards online.

Regional Events: February and March

Each category is divided into segments by age division, group type, and project type. For example, "Senior Group Documentary" is one category. The three top-ranking entries per category go on to the state event.

Each region has its own coordinator and includes a multi-county area. Regional coordinators set limits on entries per school and entry fees.

To learn more about which regional event your school will attend and to how to contact your regional coordinator, check our directory of regional contact information.

State Event: May

The Wisconsin State History Day Event takes place in either late April or early May at the Wisconsin Historical Society and nearby on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The two highest-ranking entries at the State Event are eligible to participate in the National Contest in June.

The State Event is sponsored and coordinated by Wisconsin Historical Society. Contact your state coordinator with any questions or learn more about the state event.

National Contest: June

The National Contest is held during the second or third week of June at the University of Maryland – College Park, which is located just a short Metro ride from downtown Washington D.C.

Wisconsin students travel on a bus together to the national contest or independently and usually stay with the state's delegation in the campus dormitories.

At the national contest, judging is just one part of an exciting week filled with opportunities to explore the nation’s capital and meet students from across the country.

Have Questions?

Get helpful information and advice for National History Day in Wisconsin.

Get answers to commonly asked questions.

Find information on NHD for your region.