Three Minute Thesis®

3MT® is back for Fall 2024!


  1. Registration opens August 26, 2024

  2. Registration closes September 20, 2024

  3. Preliminary round: October 11, 2024

  4. Final round: November 8, 2024

In this research communication competition, PhD students present their doctoral research to a non-specialist audience using only one visual aid—in three minutes.

Communicating the importance of your work in a clear and concise manner to wide audiences is an important skill that can increase the success of job searches, funding proposals, and professional networking. The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is designed to give students a chance to polish these skills as part of an energizing, fun, and challenging academic competition.

What is 3MT®?

3MT® is a research communication competition where PhD students present their doctoral research to a non-specialist audience using only one single visual aid—all in three minutes. This exercise encourages graduate students to think about their research from an outsider’s perspective, hones their presentation skills, and provides a forum for a cross-disciplinary exchange of exciting ideas and information.

How Does 3MT® Work?

There is a preliminary elimination round, then the Top 10 finalists will advance to compete in the final round at the Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference.

Registration for 3MT®

The below are eligible to present in the 2024 3MT® competition.

- Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy by the deadline are eligible to participate.

- MFA students are eligible to participate.

Registration link coming soon. 

While it was challenging to distill 250 pages of my dissertation into just a three-minute oral presentation, I would do it all over again because that translation process was invaluable for me as a writer, researcher, and thinker venturing my way out of grad school and into the many professional contexts in which I’ve found myself. While the experience was labeled as a competition, it really felt more like a collegial moment for all of these incredible, brilliant scholars-in-the-making to share their work and findings with a broader community so that they could then be inspired in their own work.

- Sarah Johnson, PhD, Writing and Rhetoric (2021)

Congratulations to the 2023 Mason 3MT® Winners:

  • First Place Winner: Steven Zhou, Measuring Profiles and Patterns of Leadership Behavior
  • Second Place Winner: Amy T. Rose, Hyperspectral Signature Development for Aircraft-Induced Clouds from Aerial and Ground-Based Sensors
  • Third Place Winner: Doreen S. Peters, Using Dragonfly Exuviae as a No-Kill Approach to Monitor Mercury along the Freshwater Potomac River
  • People's Choice WinnerPatricia Sinclair, Energy & Aging: The Estrogen Connection

For more 3MT® information contact Michelle Yang, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Graduate Division. Visit Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) website to view winning presentations from around the globe.