About the Competition

Open to all members of the senior class, the Three Minute Thesis competition offers cash prizes for the students who can most effectively summarize their senior projects in three minutes or less. Seniors must tailor their explanations for a broad audience, beyond the college. Community members form the judging panel. Hamilton is one of only a few undergraduate institutions in the U.S. that sponsors the competition. 

According to its website, “Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by Ph.D. students. Developed by The University of Queensland, the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.” Funding for the 3MT at Hamilton comes from the Ferguson Endowment, which advances oral communication across campus.

3MT® Rules

  • Participants must be graduating in the current academic year. 
  • Double concentrators may choose to enter twice, once for each senior project. Double concentrators may also choose to focus on just one project as a single entrant.
  • In order to speak at the final round, students must attend either an individual or group appointment at the OCC under the "Three Minute Thesis" reason. Book an appointment through TracCloud.
  • Speakers may use a single static PowerPoint slide which will be projected throughout the speaker’s time. All slides must be submitted by Friday, April 28 at 12 p.m.
  • No props or other media may be used. 
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs). If your thesis is creative in nature, you may speak about what you created.
  • Competitors whose presentations exceed 3 minutes will be disqualified.  Your speech time will begin once you start speaking, and will end once you've stopped speaking.
  • Speakers are encouraged to present without notes, though the use of notes is permitted. 
  • Speakers should present in professional attire; no costumes are permitted. 
  • Winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd places) will be selected based on judges’ evaluations. 


Office / Department Name

Oral Communication Center

Contact Name

Amy Gaffney

Oral Communication Center Director

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