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Graduate School to Host Annual 3-Minute Thesis Competition

Tayler Hoekstra presenting at last year Tayler Hoekstra presented his research, which focused on utilizing motion capture to measure potential changes in range of motion for full body movements, at last year's 3MT Competition.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Graduate School is set to host the third annual 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition. The 3MT is a communication competition where students present a compelling oration on their research thesis and its significance in under three minutes.

The competition challenges students to consolidate and present their ideas and research discoveries to a non-specialist audience. They are given a platform to expand their communication speaking and overall presentation skills.

"The 3MT competition was an enriching experience," said Tayler Hoekstra, Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering and the winner of last year's 3MT. "Being able to convey your work in a way that everyone will understand is incredibly helpful in many situations and allows for conversation to happen more freely around your work."

The competition consists of a preliminary round from 3-5 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Muenster University Center (MUC 216/216A), followed by finals from 3-5 p.m. on March 4 in Farber Hall inside USD's Old Main.

"The 3MT allows you to understand your own research on a more fundamental level. We all have a lot of jargon to learn when developing our projects, yet being forced to go back and simplify our purposes and goals helps us to realign our thoughts with the end goal of our project in mind," Hoekstra said. "We can get caught up in the day-to-day grind that forces us to think on a higher level; but standing in front of a crowd of people eager to hear about your work and conveying that importance so that all can understand is a powerful thing for those who speak just as much as those who listen.

"The 3MT gives a great platform to see others present their work as well and allows us as researchers who share the same passions and are also eager to share their work with others."

Learn more about the 3MT Competition and Eligibility


USD is the largest provider of graduate education in the state of South Dakota, with 78 graduate and professional programs. The mission of the Graduate School is to provide high-quality graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business, fine arts, law and medicine; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; and to support research and creative scholarship. In partnership with individual degree programs, we accomplish this mission by providing students with excellent academic preparation and extraordinary opportunities for research, creative scholarship, clinical experiences and internships.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News