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What is 3MT®?

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) in which graduate students have three minutes to present a compelling oration on their thesis / dissertation research and its significance.  3MT® is not an exercise in trivializing or ‘dumbing-down’ research, but instead challenges students to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries so they can be presented concisely to a non-specialist audience.

The first 3MT® was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 students competing.  Enthusiasm for the 3MT® concept grew and it has now been adopted by numerous universities in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong and the United States.  The Graduate College is excited about providing our students the opportunity to participate in the Texas State University 3MT® Competition.

Why compete?
  • Promote your research
  • Enhance communication skills
  • Learn how to explain your research to a non-specialized audience
  • Develop your  “elevator pitch” discussions of your research (especially useful for  job interviews!).
  • Awards at both the preliminary and final rounds

Accept the challenge to distill your research into a three minute presentation that is understandable to individuals outside of your field and participate in the Texas State University 3MT® Competition.

Click here for details on the presentation rules and judging criteria.

The 2017 Texas State University 3MT® Competition Eligibility

Graduate students currently enrolled in a Texas State University research Ph.D. or Ed.D. program and masters students on a thesis track are eligible to compete. The presentation must include findings/outcomes of research (that is, it can’t be a proposal that is presented, there must be at least preliminary findings).

How to Sign Up

Registration. Students who are interested in competing in the 3MT® should sign up for the competition by clicking here. Registration for the competition is limited so be sure to sign up if you are interested! 

  • Registration to compete ends March 1st, 2017. Students who registered to compete will receive the time and date of their assigned preliminary round the first week of March.

Shop Talk. Interested students should sign up for Introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talk to learn more about the 3MT® competition rules, how to prepare for the competition, and the next steps to take as a participant. There is another Introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talk scheduled to be held in February 2017 for students who cannot attend the one held in the fall. (Of course, students who are  not able to attend either of the Introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talks can still participate in the 3MT®! Just make sure to register at the Registration link.)


How the 2017 Competition Works

University Preliminary Group Rounds - March 22nd & 23rd, 2017

After the Introduction to the 3MT® Shop Talk, registered students will be assigned a group number in one preliminary round group. Groups will consist of doctoral and master's students. Each group will send the top scoring doctoral student, top scoring masters student, overall runner up and the people's choice winner to the University Final

University Final Competition - April 4th, 2017
The finalists will all compete in one final competition for one of three winning spots.

Presentation Awards

Awards for Each University Preliminary Round Group

1st Place Doctoral $150
1st Place Master's $150
Overall Runner-up $100
People's Choice - $50

Awards for University Final

1st Place $500
Overall Runner-up $350
People's Choice $250

Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ 3MT® competition
The First Place Winner of the Texas State University Final Competition will have the opportunity to compete in the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ 3MT® competition at their conference in February the following year, with travel/lodging to the conference funded by The Graduate College.

Sample Videos
Videos from previous Texas State 3MT® competitions are available:




Videos of 3MT® winners from competitions at other universities are available at

Ready to compete in the 2017 3MT®?

Click below to register! Registration to compete ends March 1st, 2017

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I competed in the 3MT® Competition last year. Can I compete again?

Students who previously competed in the 3MT® are able to compete if they did not place. Students who received first place, runner up, or people's choice at the University Final are not eligible to compete in the 3MT® again. 

Who are the judges for the 3MT®?

Judges for the University Preliminary Rounds and University Final consist of panels of staff and faculty members from Texas State as well as representatives from San Marcos. As the 3MT® draws nearer, the makeup of each judging panel will be provided here.

How are the University Preliminary Groups divided?

To create the University Preliminary Rounds, the list of registered students will be entered in a randomizer which will divide the students in to three groups. If students have conflicts with their assigned groups, we will accommodate their schedule by moving them to a different group.

Will master's students compete against doctoral students?

Yes! The 3MT® is a research communication competition. The judges will be scoring participants based on their ability to communicate their research, not on their research topic or content.

When will I find out which University Preliminary Group I am in?

Students who registered by March 1 will be notified of their assigned University Preliminary Round group on March 2. Students will have one week to request a change in their assigned group. On March 10, all University Preliminary Groups will be finalized and posted online. 

I am not eligible to compete. Can I still attend?

Yes! All students are encouraged to attend the University Preliminary Rounds as well as the University Final Competition! Audience members will vote for the people's choice winner so come support your fellow graduate students! 

mariana 3mt quote

Mariana's 3MT Presentation

sydney saumby quote

Sydney's 3MT® Presentation

Bill Quote about 3MT

William's 3MT Presentation

rain 3mt quote

Rain's 3MT Presentation

Support graduate students by attending!

We encourage all members of the Texas State community to attend! (Plus, you can make your voice heard by voting for People's Choice!)

University Preliminary Group Participants will be announced March 10th.

Click the group number to register!

University Preliminary Group #1 - Wednesday March 22nd 9:30am-11:30am

University Preliminary Group #2 - Wednesday March 22nd 1:00pm-3:00pm

University Preliminary Group #3 - Thursday March 23rd 4:30pm-6:30pm

Questions about the 3MT®?

Send us an email at or give us a call at The Graduate College 512-245-2581

2016 3MT® Participants and Judges

2016 participants and judges