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Three Minute Thesis

Share your research. Win a prize.

The Graduate School hosts the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. This competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to communicate the significance and impact of their research project to a non-specialized audience in just three minutes. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is an academic research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia.


  1. You must be actively enrolled in a Master’s (Thesis option A) or Ph.D. program and in good academic standing.
    1. Graduate students who have started their research or creative scholarship project and have gathered preliminary data, and findings are also eligible to participate. It is not necessary for a project to have been fully completed to participate in this competition.
  2. You must be available to present in person at the 3MT® preliminary round and the final competitions.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the USD 3MT® Application Form and obtain your research advisor’s signature.
  2. After the application deadline passes, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to submit your presentation slide.

Competition Details

Information Session: February 3, 2021
Venue: Zoom (
Time: 3-5 p.m.

Application Deadline: February 9, 2021 

Preliminary Round: February 11, 2021 
Venue: Muenster Union Center (MUC) Ballroom B/C
Time: 3-5 p.m.
Selected top students will advance to the finals.

Finals: February 17, 2021
Venue: Muenster Union Center (MUC) Ballroom B/C
Time: 3-5 p.m.

Competition Rules

  1. A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description, the slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration).
  2. No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  3. No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment, laser pointer ) are permitted.
  4. Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  5. Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps, or songs).
  6. Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  7. Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through movement or speech.
  8. The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.


  1. The first-place winner will be awarded $350 and will participate in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Virtual 3MT® competition scheduled for March 24-26, 2021.
  2. The second-placed student will be awarded $250.
  3. The third-placed student will be awarded $150. 


For more information, contact the Graduate School at 605-658-6173 or by email at

3 Minute Thesis