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Three Minute Thesis

2019 Three Minute Thesis Winners
Left to right: Michael Wang (3rd Place), Kaitlyn Thayer (2nd Place), Austin Ford (1st Place), Christina Plakas (People’s Choice)

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.

2021 Three Minute Thesis Competition

Students will submit a three minute video of themselves talking about their thesis/senior seminar project.

Students will create a slide that goes with their presentation; the slide must follow our template. The slide’s content and design is the student’s choice. The slide must be static (no animations, information appearing or disappearing) and should support the verbal message.

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 alongside the video.
  • 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. 
  • All presentations must be submitted by May 6 at noon.
  • Speakers should present in professional attire; no costumes are permitted. 
  • Winners (1st, 2nd, 3rd places) will be selected based on judges’ evaluations. 
Austin Ford '19 won the Hamilton College Three Minute Thesis competition with his thesis, "A Reference Collection of Devonian Mollusca from the Geer Road Quarry in Eaton, New York."

The 2019 Winners

First Place: Austin Ford, Geoscience, “A Reference Collection of Devonian Mollusca from the Geer Road Quarry in Eaton, New York”

Second Place: Kaitlyn Thayer, Environmental Studies, “Understanding Perceptions of Climate Change within Central New York’s Naturally Adaptive Apple Industry”

Third Place: Michael Wang, Government, “Inconsistent Incognito Mode: Exploring States’ Online Privacy Law Variance in the U.S.”

People’s Choice: Christina Plakas, Sociology,  “The Revolution Will Not Come with Flowers: What Motivates Some Greeks to Join the High-Risk, High-Cost Anarchist Movement”

Contact Information

Amy Gaffney

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


Aug 26 – Dec 13

S 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

M 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

W 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

T 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

F 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

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