Alaskacephale was named by Robert Sullivan in 2006. The genus name refers toAlaska, where the fossil was found in the Prince Creek Formation. The species name, gangloffi, honors paleontologist Roland Gangloff. The only known specimen ofA. gangloffi is the holotype, a nearly complete left squamosal with a characteristic array of polygonal nodes. The dimensions of this bone suggest that A. gangloffi was about half the size of Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis or three quarters the size of Prenocephale prenes, and about the same size as Prenocephale edmontonensisand Prenocephale brevis (Gangloff et al. 2005).
The specimen was previously described by Gangloff et al. (2005) as an unnamed pachycephalosaurid, possibly a Pachycephalosaurus. Gangloff et al. described the squamosal as having a suture with the quadrate, a feature previously described only in Pachycephalosaurus. Sullivan (2006) opined that this "suture" is instead a breakage point in both Alaskacephale and Pachycephalosaurus, so it could not be used to unite the two taxa.