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Students are an essential part of the Western History Association. The association makes a point to value the input of students and the WHA conference has always been known as a "friendly" and inclusive platform to present your research. Senior scholars and professionals in the western history field make efforts to connect with students through panels, mentoring, and receptions, and these networks encourage graduate students to make the WHA their "home" as a professional organization. 

The WHA Executive Office Staff also includes one Graduate Student from the WHA's host institution. For more information or to inquire about applying for this position, please contact WHA Executive Director Dr. Elaine Nelson.

Below you can navigate through several programs and initiatives directed to benefit graduate students. Please remember that the WHA has a number of Standing Committees open to graduate student membership. We can't wait to meet you and hear more about how you want to be involved in the WHA!


The WHA benefits from the energy of graduate students who created the Graduate Student Caucus. The "GSC" is a vital part of the organization and works to spotlight the hard work of student research, teaching methods, professionalization, and other issues facing them in the future of the historical profession. Learn more about the GSC here! And don't forget to follow us on X, Instagram, and Facebook.


Each year the Western History Association seeks students to work as the WHA Graduate Staff for its Annual Conference. The WHA Grad Staff should be motivated, hard working, graduate students. Check the WHA conference website or the WHA Grad Staff page for more information about this opportunity and to submit your application (due on August 31). 


The WHA supports its graduate student members attending the annual conference through the Graduate Student Meal Fund. When registering for the conference, graduate students can request to be considered for complimentary entry to ticketed meals. WHA members can support the meal fund by making a donation today or when completing their conference registration.


The WHA offers numerous awards, scholarships, and prizes that benefit graduate students. The Trennert-Iverson Scholarship, Sara Jackson Award, Walter Rundell Award, Indian Student Scholarship, WHA-Huntington Martin Ridge Fellowship, WHA Dissertation Prize, and the Graduate Student Prize celebrate students studying western history. Visit the WHA Awards page to learn more!

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!