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Texas State 3MT®

the official 3MT Logo which reads "3MT three minute thesis, founded by The University of Queensland" in bright green and purple font

Register to compete in the 3MT® Competition by January 31! 

Check out changes to this year's competition (including video-recorded presentations and online voting for the preliminary round)!

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 around the world.  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


2020 Texas State University 3MT® Competition Eligibility

Graduate students currently enrolled in a Texas State University research Ph.D. or Ed.D. program and master's students on a thesis track are eligible to compete. The presentation must include findings/outcomes of research, i.e., you cannot present your proposal; you must have at least preliminary or pilot study findings. Read more about the presentation rules and judging criteria.


Changes to the 2020 3MT® Competition

While the University Final will be held live and in person as in previous years, there is a change to the preliminary round. Instead of holding the preliminary round in front of a live audience, the preliminary round will be recorded and posted online for the Texas State community to vote!

Here are the changes to the preliminary round:
Participants will register for a time slot and will come to a room where equipment will be set up for them to record their 3MT® presentation up to three times (participants will choose which recording will be posted online for voting). To maintain consistency across all recordings, all presentations must be recorded with us on the specified dates.

Here are the changes to the preliminary round People's Choice voting: 
Preliminary People’s Choice voting will be held online between February 14 at noon and February 21 at noon. All preliminary round winners advancing to the University Final will be announced on February 21.

How it works

Preliminary Round

Students registered to compete by the deadline will record their presentations on the following dates:

  • San Marcos: February 6, 7, 10, or 12
  • Round Rock: February 11

3MT® preliminary presentation recordings will be randomly sorted into three groups. The purpose of the preliminary round is to advance the four top-scoring presentations in each group to the University Final. In each group, three presenters will be advanced based on official judges' scores, and the fourth presenter will be chosen by the university community through online voting (People's Choice Winner). 

Preliminary People’s Choice voting will be held online between February 14 at noon and February 21 at noon. All preliminary round winners advancing to the University Final will be announced on February 21.

University Final Competition

The University Final is live and in person. Awards at the University Final Competition include first place and runner-up (awarded by judges) and people's choice (awarded by the audience). First place and runner-up can also win the people's choice because the latter is awarded separately by the audience in attendance at the 3MT®.

The University Final will be held on February 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Evans Auditorium on the San Marcos campus.


2020 University Final

Awarded by judges:

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $500

Awarded by audience:

  • People’s Choice: $500

2020 University Preliminary Group

Awarded by judges:

  • Top Scoring Presentation 1: $75
  • Top Scoring Presentation 2: $75
  • Top Scoring Presentation 3: $75

Awarded by audience:

  • People's Choice: $75


  • Register to compete in the 3MT® Competition by January 31.
    Competitors will sign up for one time slot to record their three minute thesis presentation. These sessions are not open to the public.
  • Register to attend the 3MT® University Final on February 28.

How to Prepare

Presentation Preparation

Interested in competing in and learning more about the 3MT® Competition? Attend our 3MT® Orientation and Tips Session on January 28 at 4:30 – 6 p.m. in Alkek Library Room 442.

The workshop includes an overview of the 3MT®, how the competition works, and how to prepare for it. This is an introductory workshop, with no preparation needed—if you think you might be interested in the 3MT®, or are just curious about how the competition works, you are encouraged to attend!

Register today!

3MT® Judges
Judges are selected from the Texas State and San Marcos communities. There are three judges for each group in the preliminary round, and five judges for the final. Learn more about judging criteria and presentation rules.

Previous Competitions

Need some inspiration? Watch students present their research in previous Texas State 3MT® Competitions:

You can also watch 3MT®  winners from competitions at other universities.

The 3MT® was such a rewarding experience because, after spending so much time by myself researching and writing my dissertation, I finally had the opportunity to talk about my work in a way that resonated and connected with others.  — Sydney Granger Saumby, 2015 First Place Winner


Send us an email at or give us a call at 512.245.2581.

  If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate, please contact 512.245.2281 at least 72 hours in advance of the event.

  Texas State is a tobacco-free campus.