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National History Day in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Contest Info

In order to guarantee a reliable and safe contest schedule during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 National History Day in Massachusetts competition season again will be structured as a state-wide virtual competition. The contest will take place in two rounds, with time for students to revise projects between each round. Please read further for details, or download our NHD 2020-2021 Calendar for important dates and contest deadlines. We will update this page as the contest approaches.

Registration for State-Wide Virtual Contest

NHD MA Contest Registration opens on January 15, 2021! Learn more and register at

For the 2020-2021 season, we hope to increase the number of projects allowed per school in order to provide as much opportunity for participation as possible, given that this year's state contest will be entirely virtual. (Normally, every school may send up to 21 projects—and 6 per category—to compete at the in-person contest.)

Please fill out our NHD MA Teacher Survey and indicate how many of your students will participate this year. With consideration of your needs and our staff/volunteer capacity, we will try to increase the maximum number of projects allowed. We will announce this decision by early November 2020.

Once the contest registration opens on January 15, 2021, students and teachers can sign up at, where you will find further instructions for how to register.

How the Virtual Competition will Work

Visit our Virtual Project Guidelines page for templates and instructions on how to create your virtual projects.

The Statewide Virtual contest will involve all NHD MA students from across the state, so it will be structured a little differently from our usual programs. The 2021 virtual state-wide competition will take place over two rounds of judging. Student projects will be judged in "rooms" or groups of 8-12 projects at a time. These groups will be assigned at random in each category. Students will use the virtual templates produced by National History Day to create their projects and upload them to the registration portal.

After the Round One lockout date, judges will review the virtual projects and students will be invited to a virtual interview during the week of March 15-19. On Monday, March 29, we will announce the top two projects in each judging room which will move on to Round Two of the competition. All students will receive their judging feedback forms, and student finalists will have the opportunity to attend feedback sessions (dates TBA) and revise their projects before Round Two.

The lockout date for Round Two is Wednesday, April 7. Students must upload and save any project revisions to their student registration profile by this date.  Round Two judging will run from April 12-16.  At our Virtual Winners Ceremony on Monday, April 26, we will announce the winning projects that are advancing to Nationals.  We will also announce Special Prize winners.  Even if your project did not move on to Round Two, you are still eligible for a special prize.

Registration Fees

The registration fee for the 2021 Student Virtual Contest is $12 per student and is due on Wednesday, March 10th at 11:59 PM.  Please check with your school before paying, as some schools cover registration fees.

If paying by check: please make check payable to the Massachusetts Historical Society

Please mail checks to:
Massachusetts Historical Society
c/o Kate Melchior
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215

Students can pay online through the registration portal or by mailing a check.

Fee Waivers: If this fee is a hardship for you and your family, you can sign up for fee waiver and we will send you a coupon code to use during registration.  Please email us at with any questions.

School Payments: Schools paying for their students can either pay via PO or check, or pay online with a credit card using the registration portal.  See instructions for online payment on the Teacher Page.

National Contest Info

The NHD Nationals will take place from June 13-17, 2021, and the lockout date for submitting project materials is Tuesday, May 18.  Nationals will be making the decision as to whether their contest will be virtual or in-person later this year, and we will update this page when more information is available.