The 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition for PhD and Research Masters candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences. With just three minutes to give a compelling presentation on their thesis topic and its significance, the 3MT competition forces research candidates to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries.  This competition supports the development of research candidates’ capacity to communicate their ideas effectively to a wide-range of non-specialist audiences as well as to the community.  


  • Candidates who are active in a graduate degree research program such as the PhD, or a Masters degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences that requires a thesis or dissertation.
  • Candidates must be on track for timely completion.
  • Graduates are not eligible.
  • Previous first place award winner may not compete again.


  • You can use 1 Power Point slide
  • You can only use one prop that you can carry onto the stage yourself (there will be no time for set up).
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum – competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be disqualified.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


A judging panel of 3-5 judges will determine the winners on the basis of three judging criteria: quality of content, clarity of presentation and charisma.

  • Content: The content of the presentations MUST be accurate. If the topic chosen has controversy or uncertainty around it, then the presentation must acknowledge the opposing views. The topic presented should be well chosen to suit the audience.
  • Clarity: Clarity is critical for effective communication. The structure of the talk is important; as well as making sure the audience and judges can follow the talk and are left with an understanding of the concept chosen. The talk should be aimed at an adult, lay audience.
  • Charisma: The audience and judges should be left inspired and enthused about your thesis. The presenter must have that hard-to-describe but unmistakable quality of charisma. The winner will be the one who makes the science easy to listen to, entertaining and exciting. Who is not only able to communicate their thesis but who can share their passion for it.


  • First Place – $1,000
  • Second Place – $500
  • Third Place – $250

When and Where:

  • Corbett Center Auditorium
  • Saturday, April 28, 2018
  • 9:30 am to 11:00 am (depending on number of entries)

How to enter: Provide the following as a word attachment to by April 26, 2018

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Name of Thesis Advisor
  • One paragraph thesis Abstract