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Three Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) was founded by the University of Queensland. 3MT is a graduate student competition that challenges the student to concisely share their research and its impact to a general audience. Student participants have three minutes and one PowerPoint slide to capture the attention of the judges and audience in a way that informs, intrigues, and impresses. Review the competition details below.

Preliminary round (closed to the public)
3:00 p.m.
Friday, February 9, 2024
Park Library Strosacker Room

Final round (open to the public) Logo for Three Minute Thesis (3MT)
3:00 p.m.
Friday, February 16, 2024
Park Library Opperman Auditorium

$200 First Place*
$100 Second Place
$100 People’s Choice Award
*The first place winner will also compete as the CMU winner in the 3MT Competition at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Conference in St. Louis, MO on Friday, April 5, 2024 (travel expenses covered by CMU).

Frequently asked questions

    In order to participate, a graduate student must be:

    1) enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral program that requires an original research project (the degree program need not formally require a thesis or dissertation; however, the presentation topic must cover the original research project).
    2) enrolled at some point during Summer 2023, Fall 2023, or Spring 2024 semester.

    Online or Off-campus graduate students that would like to participate will be able to do so virtually for the preliminary round but will be required to compete on-campus for the final round.

    1) One single PowerPoint slide is permitted, but not required. Slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any kind is not allowed.
    2) No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
    3) No additional props (e.g. scripts, pointers, costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted. Palm/notes cards are acceptable but not recommended as they may detract from the presentation.
    4) Presentations are limited to 3:00 minutes maximum (with 30 seconds to go, the timekeeper holds up a sign and at 3 minutes, the timekeeper chimes a bell) and competitors exceeding 3:00 minutes are disqualified.
    5) Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
    6) Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter begins through movement or speech.
    7) The decision of the judging panel is final and is guided by the judging rubric.

    Yes, view examples from previous 3MT winners.

    No, your thesis or dissertation does not have to be complete in order to compete.  You can even participate if you are in the beginning stages of your research.

    The preliminary round is not open to the public, however, if you make it to the final round, that is open to the public.