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. Undergraduates are welcome at all sessions, where you can learn about current scholarship in a vast array of historical fields, as well as opportunities and challenges facing historians today. Have you read a great history book by an esteemed professor recently? You may just see them at the meeting.

There is also programming designed just for undergrads. An Undergraduate Orientation and Reception are held the first day of the conference to welcome undergrads and help them make the most of the annual meeting. The AHA hosts an Undergraduate Poster Session and an Undergraduate Lightning Round, which provide students with a chance to present their research at the conference. Both sessions require proposals and begin accepting submissions in the summer preceding the annual meeting. Undergraduates are encouraged to apply to both, provided the proposals are unique to each session.

We are dedicated to helping you in all aspects of attending the annual meeting, from travel and logistics to sessions, programs, and networking opportunities.

If you have any questions about attending the annual meeting as an undergrad, please contact annualmeeting@historians.org. Or sign up for emails!

 

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 scholar recently? You may see them 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 be deeply discounted ($15 at the 2024 meeting)! Other costs include travel, food, and lodging, which vary depending on the meeting’s location.

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

Just ask! We recommend you go to a professor with whom you have an existing relationship and explain that you are interested in attending the AHA annual meeting. Ask if they or another faculty member in the 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?

There are a number of ways to seek funding as an undergraduate student:

  • 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 might be administered through one of several offices at your college or university. Such grants are 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. If your college or university has an Office of Undergraduate Research, they may also be able to help you secure internal funding.
  • 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, organize a fundraiser—this could become an event that your club organizes each year. You can also launch a fundraiser as an individual; social media can be an excellent tool for these kinds of crowdfunding efforts.

If all else fails, consider cost sharing. If several undergrads from your institution or area are interested in attending, try coordinating your travel arrangements to cut costs. The meeting hotels offer “quadruple” rooms, which reduces the individual 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?

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! Visit the undergraduate session guide for more information.

Q: What deadlines should I know about?

Registration for the annual meeting and housing reservations open in September. Register early for the best rate. Submissions for the undergraduate poster session are due by October 15 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 annualmeeting@historians.org.