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Three Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition challenges graduate students to present their thesis or dissertation topic in just three minutes + one slide.

An 80,000 word PhD thesis would take 9 hours to present. Their time limit... 3 minutes.

The Three Minute Thesis competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation and research communication skills, and celebrates exciting graduate research taking place at Boise State.

Winning participants earn opportunity to move on to the statewide Three Minute Thesis competition, where they compete with graduate students from University of Idaho and Idaho State University.

Participant Information

Participants of the 3MT competition will be judged based on the following:

Communication Style: Was the thesis topic and its significance communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?

Comprehension: Did the presentation help the audience to understand the research?

Engagement: Did the oration make the audience want to know more?


Participants contend for first, second, and third place awards as determined by a panel of judges from the Boise community. Students are also eligible to win an audience choice award based on audience votes.

First Place: $750
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250
Audience Choice: $250

About the 3MT

Learn more about the competition below!

Three Minute Thesis at Boise State

The 2023 Three Minute Thesis competition was held on Tuesday, January 31st. Past competitions are available to view on the Graduate College Youtube Channel.

The top four finalists moved on to the statewide competition, held on February 7th. 

3MT Finals Program

View the 2023 competitors!

Judging Panel and Criteria

Meet the 2023 judging panel!

Evolution of the Boise State 3MT

Learn more about the Boise State 3MT!

WAGS (Western Association of Graduate Schools) Annual Conference 3MT Competition

Adrian Rodriguez presenting on stage

The Three Minute Thesis Competition brings together some of the most significant research being conducted by graduate students today. Graduate students have three minutes and one slide to distill their thesis or dissertation into a compelling pitch for the audience. Boise State Graduate Student Adrian Rodriguez, a member of the Master of Public Health program, took home second place at the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS).

                                                                                                                                          The Competition

During the WAGS Annual Conference, held March 26-29 this year, 15 graduate student competitors from universities around the western U.S. and Canada competed in a 3MT competition. They competed in two preliminary rounds, with six students proceeding to the finals.

Rodriguez competed on behalf of Boise State as the winner of the Boise State Finals and the Idaho Statewide Finals.

Wayne Cochrane, Coordinator for the Graduate Student Success Center and director of the 3MT program at Boise State, coaches and prepares students for competition. 

“I am so proud of the work Adrian put in to bring his research to life for Three Minute Thesis. His passion and commitment to excellence is evident, and it reflects the importance of his work culturally and professionally. Adrian is an excellent representation of the graduate research being done here at Boise State, and we wish him sincere congratulations for all his accomplishments. Great job, Adrian!”

Adrian’s Pitch

Rodriguez’s pitch earned him a second-place finish at WAGS. The presentation is entitled “Improving Hispanic Family Caregiver Projects: Identifying How Unique Barriers and Cultural Values Influence Service Utilization and Caregiver Roles.” 

Adrian concludes the 3MT season with an impressive string of accomplishments. He earned first at the Boise State finals in January and followed it up with a win a week later at the Idaho Statewide Finals. With his second-place finish at WAGS, Adrian finishes as the third-straight top-three finisher from Boise State.

Congratulations Boise State competitors!

Statewide Three Minute Thesis

On February 7, graduate students from Boise State, Idaho State, and University of Idaho competed in the Idaho Three Minute Thesis competition to each present their research in three minutes or less. Boise State competitors brought home first and second place!

First Place: Adrian Rodriguez — Master of Public Health

Second Place: Bridget Bittmann — Hydrologic Sciences, M.S.

Boise State Competitors

View the Boise State finalists!

Origin of the 3MT

Learn more about the 3MT!

Previous 3MT Competitions

History of the 3MT

The Three Minute Thesis competition was developed by the University of Queensland and celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. The first 3MT® competition was held in 2008, and now the competition is held in over 600 universities across more than 65 countries worldwide.

The competition cultivates student’s academic, presentation, and research communication skills, and helps graduate students to effectively explain their research in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.

In spring of 2016, the Graduate College hosted the first Boise State University Three Minute Thesis competition.

2022 Award Winners

  • First Place: Dalton Miller – Chemistry, M.S.
  • Second Place: Jessica Bernardin – Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Ph.D.
  • Third Place: Jacob Manzi – Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ph.D.
  • Audience Choice: Rebecca Miller – Materials Science and Engineering, Ph.D.

2021 Award Winners

  • First Place: Luke Tellers — Hydrologic Sciences, MS
  • Second Place: Ember Sikorski — Materials Science and Engineering, PhD
  • Third Place: Sam Haskell — Communication, MA
  • Audience Choice: Bryan Rosenblatt — Geophysics, MS

2020 Award Winners

  • First Place: Rachel Phinney – Health Promotion, MHS
  • Second Place: Lisa Roggenbuck – Visual Arts, MFA
  • Third Place: Allison Borzoni – English, Rhetoric and Composition, MA
  • Third Place: Cristina Barber Alvarez-Buylla – Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, PhD
  • Audience Choice: Sherise Porchia – Counseling, MA

2019 Award Winners

  • First Place: Alexander Regner – Materials Science and Engineering, MS
  • Second Place: Roxanne Stone – Interdisciplinary Studies, MS
  • Third Place: Nick Pollock – Geosciences, PhD
  • Audience Choice: Vannessa Campfield – Chemistry, MS
  • Audience Choice: Rezvan Joshaghani – Computer Science, MS

2018 Award Winners

  • First Place: Sepideh Rastegar – Electrical and Computer Engineering, PhD
  • Second Place: AuraLea Fain – Kinesiology, MS
  • Audience Choice: Nikki Cannon – Communication, MA