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Three Minute Thesis

three minute thesis logo

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. Through the competition, graduate and professional students can hone their academic and research presentation skills and their ability to effectively explain their research to a general audience. Each competitor has three minutes to speak and can use only one presentation slide.

The Graduate School will be hosting the 2024 Three Minute Thesis competition in partnership with the Graduate and Professional Student Association and the Graduate School Alumni Society.

Watch the Final Round

3MT at Penn State in 2024 

Penn State’s first University-wide 3MT Competition will take place over two rounds. To compete, graduate students must upload a video presentation during the submission period (January 8–February 9) and be available for the final, in-person round on Saturday, March 23, on the University Park campus.

Competitor Information

Learn more about eligibility requirements, the upcoming timeline, prize money, and more.

Judge Information

Learn about remote judging for the opening round, who can be a judge, judging criteria, and more.

Essex Three Minute Thesis competition
Photo credit: University of Essex. License: Creative Commons


  • First Place: $1,000
  • Second Place: $500
  • People's Choice: $500

Competition Format

Open call to any Penn State graduate or professional student conducting research to submit three-minute videos. Submissions will be judged by alumni, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, staff, and others. The top 10 students get invited to the final round as well as a free lunch at Penn State’s annual Doctoral Alumni Recognition Luncheon hosted by the Dean of the Graduate School. 

Saturday, March 23 
10:00-11:15 a.m. 
Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center 

The final round will be live streamed from the University Park campus and will include a people’s choice prize selected by virtual and in-person audience ballots. Winners will be announced shortly after the competition.

The top-scoring Ph.D. student from Penn State’s final round will be invited to the regional 3MT competition hosted by the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools in April 2024 (exact date to be determined). Winners of the regional competition are invited to the national competition hosted by the Council of Graduate Schools. Students in master's and professional degree programs are eligible to participate in Penn State's competition but are not eligible for the regional or national competitions.

Why participate?

Megan Rossi, past 3MT winner at the University of Queensland, discusses how the 3MT competition helped her career.

Video credit: The University of Queensland


Direct all questions about Three Minute Thesis at Penn State to:  

Three Minute Thesis, Graduate Exhibition, or Both?

In spring 2024, Penn State graduate students can participate in two major research and scholarship communication events, the Three Minute Thesis and the Graduate Exhibition. Students are welcome to participate in both but should be aware that each event has its own application process and deadlines.

This page was generated on April 21, 2024 at 5:30 AM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.