Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should undergraduates attend the annual meeting?

As the largest gathering of historians, the annual meeting presents an unparalleled opportunity for you to connect with other history students, professors, and historians in a range of fields and professions. Have you read a great history book by an esteemed professor recently? You may just see her at the meeting. You will be able to attend sessions and learn about current scholarship in a vast array of historical fields. You can submit a poster to the AHA’s undergraduate poster session or an abstract to the undergraduate lightning round, for the chance to share your research with the historical community.

Q: How much does it cost?

With a faculty member sponsor, registration will only cost you $10! Other costs include cost of travel, food, and lodging. Keep reading for more information about paying for travel expenses.

Q: How do I get a faculty member to sponsor me?

Just ask! We recommend you go to a professor with whom you have a strong rapport and mention that you are interested in attending the Annual Meeting. You can ask them if they, or another faculty member in your department, will be attending and would be willing to sponsor you. Chances are, they’ll know someone who plans to attend and can point you in the right direction. Note: you wouldn’t have to spend the entire meeting with the faculty sponsor, so don’t worry about causing them any inconvenience.

Q: I’m a student and can’t afford to pay out of pocket. How do I pay for travel and lodging?

The trick here is to plan ahead of time. If you plan accordingly, you should have time to seek funding a number of different ways:

  • Apply for a micro-grant. Many institutions administer small grants ($200-300) to cover the cost of travel for students who are participating in academic extracurricular events and activities. They’re quite common for internships, so ask your Office of Academic Affairs if there is a similar option for conferences. Similarly, if you are in a club (e.g. History Club, etc.), you can request funding from your Office of Student Affairs/Activities.
  • Talk to your department chair. Some departments have undesignated funds that fluctuate in amount from year to year. It’s worth bringing up with your department chair to see if any of those funds could be put towards a plane ticket or hotel room.
  • Fundraise! If you are part of a student organization, you can launch a fundraiser which could become an event that your club can organize each year. You can also launch a fundraiser as an individual; social media can be an excellent tool for these kinds of crowdfunding efforts.
  • Find an essay contest. Consider submitting a paper to an essay contest that offers a cash prize. You could use those funds to pay for travel expenses to the annual meeting.

If all else fails, consider cost sharing! If several undergrads from your institution are interested in attending, try coordinating your travel arrangements to cut costs. The meeting hotels offer “quadruple” rooms, which reduces the individual cost. There is a complementary shuttle between the meeting hotel for registrants, which helps cut down on transportation cost. Check out this link for more information about lodging and travel at the annual meeting.

Q: What is there to do at the Annual Meeting as an undergraduate?

A ton! As a registered attendee of the Annual Meeting, you are welcome to attend all sessions, regardless of education level. There are sessions tailored toward undergraduate attendees like the undergraduate orientation and reception and the undergraduate poster session and lightning round, which are worth budgeting time for. The Annual Meeting is an excellent opportunity to explore different interests and take advantage of the variety of sessions offered!

Q: What deadlines should I know about?

Registration for the Annual Meeting and housing reservations is now open. The last day to make housing reservations through the housing service is December 11, 2018.

Submissions for the undergraduate poster session are due by October 22 and should be submitted through the online proposal system. Submissions for the undergraduate lightning round are due by November 15 through the lightning round submission form.

Q: Who do I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions about attending the annual meeting as an undergrad, please contact Victor Medina Del Toro at vmedina@historians.org.