Michigan History Day®


Michigan History Day®, an educational program of the Historical Society of Michigan, is a yearlong educational program that encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history.


Winners of the state level Michigan History Day competition in the Junior and Senior categories move on to compete in National History Day in College Park, MD.

Read What the
Michigan History Day
Program Means to Me

A Student’s Perspective

A Judge’s Perspective

A Parent’s Perspective

A Teacher’s Perspective


After selecting a historical topic that relates to the annual theme, students conduct extensive research by using libraries, archives, museums, and oral history interviews. They analyze and interpret their findings, draw conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, and create final projects in one of five categories: paper, exhibit, documentary, website, or performance.

These projects can be entered into a series of competitions, from the local to the national level. Local competitions start at the school-level in February. Regional competitions take place within eleven districts in March. The state finals for Michigan History Day take place the last Saturday of April in a location that changes throughout the state each year.

Please notify the Historical Society of Michigan through michiganhistoryday@hsmichigan.org if you or your student plans to participate in Michigan History Day. Our staff can help!

IMPORTANT Annual Theme Information!!!

The 2020/21 annual theme is Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.
Click here to learn more about the 2021 theme.

 The contest rules and evaluation forms have changed for the 2021 season! Click  here to access the new Contest Rulebook.

Continued Policy Use!!

For the 2020/21 school year, the Historical Society of Michigan will be uniformly implementing an existing rule regarding the number of students who can be sent from individual schools to the eleven district competitions. Each school will be limited to sending the top three entries in each of the nine categories. (In schools where grade levels include two or more age divisions, then the top three entries for each grade division will be accepted).

We encourage schools with high participation to facilitate school-level competitions based on the National History Day model. State and district coordinators are available to help teachers and administrators organize these events, which should take place 1-3 weeks in advance of the district registration deadlines. Teachers may implement their own system for selecting the top three entries in each category should a school-level event not be possible.

The policy is being more strictly enforced so that Michigan History Day can continue to expand into new schools and so that participating students have the benefit of additional review before attending the district and state competitions.



Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email hsm@hsmichigan.org | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

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