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State Historical Society of Iowa
Large group of National History Day student participants with banners


Contest Participation

National History Day Ⓡ contest participation is open to students in grades 4 through 12. Competition is divided according to the grade levels listed in the table below:


*The youth division is non-competitive. All youth entries automatically advance to the state contest, where students will showcase their work and receive evaluations from volunteer judges. Youth entries are not eligible to compete at the national contest.

District Contests

The NHD in Iowa contests cycle begins with the nine district contests held across the state. District contests are typically held in February and March. View the calendar for a list of dates and locations.

State Contest

Winners from district contests advance to the state contest In Des Moines and compete for the chance to advance to the national contestThe state contest is held the last Monday in April.

National Contest

The national contest is the final stage of competition. Every year more than 3,000 students from around the world advance to the national contest. The national contest is held the second week in June in College Park, Maryland.