New Category at Graduate Student Day

What to expect from the Graduate Student Day 3MT/D Competition

The 3MT/D is a new Graduate Student Day category that pushes students to effectively distill and explain their dissertation (or thesis) and its significance. Like the poster and research presentations, students will be expected to direct their speeches toward an intelligent, but non-specialized audience.

3MT/D Rules

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted (no slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description)
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum, and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified

Judging Criteria

  • Communication style: was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience?
  • Comprehension: did the presentation help the audience understand the research?
  • Engagement: did the presentation make the audience want to know more?


Showcase your research in the new 3MT/D competition 

The 3MT/D Graduate Student Day Competition will take place Friday, April 12. Students who submitted proposals by the March 8 deadline will be contacted by The Graduate School with details about acceptance, schedules, and the 3MT rules. 


Learn how to talk about your research 

Friday, March 22, from 4-6 p.m. in the ODK Room in Russell House, we’re sponsoring a workshop designed to help you talk about your research in a way that your peers, your family, your prospective employers, and your academic colleagues across all disciplines will be able to understand. 

All current graduate students are invited to attend, and food will be served.

Whether you are a first year master’s student or 6th year ABD, the practical benefits you might expect from this workshop are many:

  • Improve your changes of securing funding for your research by learning how to clearly explain its value and relevance
  • Perfect your cover letters and personal statements by learning how to condense your research project into a concise, powerful account
  • Get prospective employers’ attention by being able to display your expertise in a confident, jargon-free style
  • Have more fun and feel less isolated around your family and friends by being able to answer the question “What do you do?” in a straightforward, honest, and accessible way

Join Us!

The workshop, led by Dr. Jonathan Edwards from USC’s Speech Communication & Rhetoric Program, will be held in the Russell House ODK Room, Friday, March 22, from 4-6 PM. Food will be served.

Reserve your spot by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 21. Email Wright Culpepper at with the subject heading “3MT/D Training Session.” 

See a video of a 3MT/D winner here.