graduate student giving a presentation

Three Minute Thesis logoThink about all the late nights you spent working on your thesis, dissertation, or original research project in your area of study. The months you spent conducting research. The tens of thousands of words you wrote.

Can you distill it down to a three-minute summary?

That’s the challenge behind our upcoming Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. As part of Ball State University’s Centennial and the Graduate School’s 50th anniversary, we’re hosting the event in February 2019. And we are giving away over $3,000 in total prizes for the winners, plus a chance to represent Ball State in a national 3MT competition!

The competition, originally developed by the University of Queensland, gives current and recent graduate students the chance to showcase their exciting and thought-provoking research. A panel of judges, including Ball State faculty and staff, will evaluate presentations based on two categories: “Comprehension and Content” and “Engagement and Communication.”


To participate, you must be (or have been) enrolled in the Ball State Graduate School sometime between August 20, 2018 and May 4, 2019.

Also, you must:

  • give an in-person presentation with a three-minute time limit (recent graduates may submit a video for the preliminary round)
  • base your presentation on a thesis, or dissertation, or research conducted in RES 697/CRPR 698 that has been approved by the department and the Graduate School
  • use only a single, static PowerPoint slide

Ball State University - Est. 1918

Our Centennial

We will have activities and events throughout the academic year to celebrate 100 years of Beneficence: Proud Past. Bright Future. Learn more.

Event Details

Preliminary Round

You will present during a preliminary round on one of the three following dates:

  • Jan. 23, 2019 – 5-7 p.m. (Eastern time)
  • Jan. 31, 2019 – 3:30-5:30 p.m. (Eastern time)
  • Feb. 5, 2019 – 7-9 p.m. (Eastern time)

You may submit a video for this round only if you:

  • are an online-only student
  • graduated by January 1, 2019

Final Event and Reception

Thursday, Feb. 21
7 p.m. (Eastern time)
Emens Auditorium (Ball Brothers Foundation Hospitality Suite)

All competitors must present in person at the final event.


The competitors with the three highest cumulative scores at the final competition will receive:

  • first place – $1,000 and expenses paid to compete at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools in March
  • second place – $700
  • third place – $500

Also, the audience will have an opportunity to vote for the presentation they like the best. That winner will receive $1,000 (any participant is eligible for audience choice, including the winner and runner-up).

The first place winner of the final competition will represent Ball State at the 3MT competition held at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools on March 20-22, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Graduate School will cover the winner’s travel expenses, and in the event that the winner cannot attend, the runner-up will.


To sign up for the competition, please complete our online registration form. You will receive a follow up email with additional details.


For more information, please contact Dr. Nathan Hitchens.

Email Us