Three Minute Thesis

three minute thesis '18
Winners of the Three Minute Thesis competition,from left, Genevieve Darling-1st place, Leah Weaver-2nd place, Samantha Donohue-3rd place, and People's Choice co-winners Emily Granoff and Helena LaPorte-Burns.

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.

Timeline for the 2019 Competition

Apr 22

12:15 pm & 4:15 pm: Information Session, KJ 222A

Apr 29

Last Day to Register

May 03

10 am-12 pm: Open Rehearsal time, KJ Auditorium

May 03

8:00 am: Submit PowerPoint Slide

May 04

9:45 am: Deadline to Check in for Competition

May 04

10:00 am: Competition Begins!

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.
  • Speakers may use a single static PowerPoint slide which will be projected throughout the speaker’s time. Slides must be submitted in advance (exact deadline communicated to registrants).
  • No props or other media may be used. 
  • Competitors whose presentations exceed 3 minutes will be disqualified.  A countdown clock will be displayed for each speaker.
  • Speakers are encouraged to present without notes, though the use of notes is permitted. 
  • All presentations must be made in person at the time of the competition.  Speakers must check in on the day of the competition by the designated time.
  • Speakers should present in professional attire; no costumes are permitted. 
  • Speaking order will be randomly generated and is subject to change.
  • Winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd places) will be selected based on judges' evaluations. 
  • All competitors will be entered in the People’s Choice award, voted upon by the audience. Tied People's Choice awards will split the award money. 
Genevieve Darling '18 won the Hamilton College Three Minute Thesis competition with her thesis, "A Dose of Nature: Mood Benefits of Walking Outdoors in Fall and Winter."

Contact Information

Amy Gaffney

Oral Communication Center Director
Kirner-Johnson 222
315-859-4401 oralcomm@hamilton.edu


Jan 28 – May 13

S 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

M 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

W 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Drop-ins welcome; appointments recommended.

Schedule an Appointment
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