Student Opportunities

The Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to offer several programs for students throughout the year, encouraging the study of American history and supporting students in their career and research goals.

Learning Opportunities

AP US History Study Guide

The Institute’s AP US History Study Guide provides videos, timelines, primary sources, and essays for students to use in preparation for the Advanced Placement United States History exam each year.

Hamilton Education Program Online

The goal of the Hamilton Education Program Online is to help students in grades 6–12 see the relevance of the founding era by using primary sources to create a performance piece (e.g., a song, rap, poem, or scene) following the model used by Lin-Manuel Miranda to create the musical Hamilton. The program consists of classroom activities and digital resources that can be incorporated into a regular curriculum on the founding era. Students participating in the program will have the chance to submit their performance piece and be selected to see a performance of Hamilton in New York City. 

Hamilton Cast Read Alongs

Hamilton Cast Read Alongs feature Hamilton cast members reading award-winning children’s books followed by a discussion of the history behind the story led by Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher Keisha Rembert. A full catalog of Hamilton Cast Read Alongs can be found here.

Gilder Lehrman History School

Since the Gilder Lehrman Institute launched History School in April 2020, more than 5,500 students have participated in twenty-eight courses with our award-winning teachers. In History School, master teachers present lessons anchored in primary source documents, many from the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s collection of more than 80,000 American history artifacts. Our goal is to engage students and excite them about history so that they leave each lesson more knowledgeable about a new idea, theme, document, or pivotal moment in history.

History School classes will be offered in summer 2022 and announced in spring 2022. Recordings of fall 2020 and spring 2021 classes are available here

History U: Self-Paced Courses for Students

The Gilder Lehrman Insitute’s History U offers free, graduate-level courses in American history to high school students. These courses, led by the nation’s top historians, are drawn from our MA in American History Program and allow you to study history at your own pace. 

Taking a History U course can enhance college applications, supplement classroom learning, and allow you to explore your own love of history.

Each History U course includes:

  • Video lectures by a leading history professor
  • Primary sources and in-depth readings
  • Short quizzes to review your knowledge
  • A certificate of completion for the course

Three courses — American Immigration History: People, Patterns, and Policy with Professor Madeline Y. Hsu (University of Texas at Austin); Black Women’s History with Professor Kellie Carter Jackson (Wellesley College); and Foundations of American Government with Professor Denver Brunsman (The George Washington University) — are now available. Please visit gilderlehrman.org/HistoryU to sign up. 

Transcribe!

The Institute’s Digital Volunteer Transcription Project, Transcribe!, allows students to transcribe documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. These typed transcripts will help make primary sources more accessible for students, teachers, and researchers. This volunteer opportunity is available to students who are at least thirteen years old.

Prizes and Honors

Richard Gilder History Prize

The Richard Gilder History Prize serves as an opportunity for Affiliate School teachers to honor a promising and passionate history student in their school. 

We provide an important book on American history with a commemorative bookplate allowing schools to personalize the prize, which makes a great award to include in an end-of-year classroom ceremony. In addition, students honored with the Richard Gilder History Prize at the high school level have the opportunity to take advantage of membership in the National Academy of American History and Civics.

National Academy of American History and Civics

The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s National Academy of American History and Civics is open exclusively to high school sophomores and juniors nominated by their school for the Richard Gilder History Prize. Once accepted to the program, students have access to:

Student Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council is a group of high-achieving students with an interest in history who are nominated by their teachers to join this elite community of like-minded individuals. The students have the opportunity to work with Gilder Lehrman Institute staff members to provide feedback on existing programs and help the institute refine its outreach with the needs of young people in mind. Students in grades 8–12 are eligible to participate in the council and act as the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s student voice. For more information on how to join, email studentadvisorycouncil@gilderlehrman.org and click here for the application form. 

In Their Own Words: A Primary Source Essay Contest for High School Students

In Their Own Words is a new essay contest open to all high school students at Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools. The contest offers students the opportunity to examine primary sources in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and to demonstrate their skills in historical interpretation and textual analysis. As part of the contest, the Gilder Lehrman Institute is offering ten $500 essay prizes for high school students in grades 10–12, and ten $250 prizes for each winner’s teacher for history programming or classroom resources. The submission portal will open on December 1, 2021, and essays are due on March 1, 2022.

Ham4Progress Award for Educational Advancement

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to partner with Hamilton on the Ham4Progress Award for Educational Advancement. The award supports college-bound high school juniors from communities that directly experience the consequences of social injustice and/or discrimination.

This award will provide up to ten students $3,500 each for educational purposes in 2022. The $3,500 award must be used toward educational purposes, which may include

  • Test preparation courses
  • Tutoring
  • College visits
  • Technology, including laptops, tablets, or other electronic devices used for learning
     

Internships

The Institute hosts remote internships for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students (along with recent college graduates) year round. Interns are paid starting at $15 per hour. During the academic year, interns work an average of 10–15 hours per week, and during the summer session they work an average of 15–24 hours per week. 

Scholarships and Fellowships

Affiliate School Program Scholarships to Partner Colleges and Universities

The Gilder Lehrman Institute has partnered with several colleges and universities across the country to offer scholarships of $5,000 or more each year for up to four years exclusively for students from Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools. Learn more about the Affiliate School Program here.

Nine colleges and universities in seven states have committed to providing scholarships in fall 2022: 

Click the name of the school for more information about the scholarship, eligibility, and how to apply. 

Email affiliate@gilderlehrman.org if you have additional questions.

College Fellowships in American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute offers awards of $3,000 each for undergraduates to come to New York to do research at the Gilder Lehrman Collection and other archives. Each applicant is required to submit a brief project proposal as well as an annotated list of five documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection to be used in the project. Details about the College Fellowships in American History can be found here. To apply, please visit this page.