Obermann Humanities 3MT (3-Minute Thesis) Competition

Obermann Humanities 3MT (3-Minute Thesis) Competition promotional image

The Obermann Center's 2023 Humanities Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) will take place from 3 to 5 p.m on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Iowa City Public Library. 

This 3MT is specially designed to feature the work of UI humanities graduate students. The 3MT event challenges graduate students to articulate their complex research clearly and concisely to non-specialist audiences in three minutes or fewer. The presented research can be a student’s thesis or PhD work, research related to an internship or other outside project, or research pertaining to a specific class. The only requirement is that it is the student’s research and that it has a humanities focus. 

The winner of the Obermann Humanities 3MT receives $250 and directly advances to the campus-wide 3MT final on Nov. 10, 2023. (Obermann Humanities 3MT participants may or may not choose to participate in the campus-wide preliminary 3MT contest on Oct. 5 and 6. The winner of the Obermann Humanities 3MT, however, will advance to and be required to participate in the UI finals.)

The Obermann Humanities 3MT uses the same rules and judging criteria as the campus-wide 3MT hosted by the UI Graduate College. View the full judging criteria on the Grad College website. Several pre-recorded workshops are available to help participants prepare for the 3MT. 


To compete in the Obermann Center's Humanities 3MT competition, participants must be currently enrolled in a Masters or PhD degree program that requires the student to conduct their own research in one of the following departments/units:

  • African American Studies
  • American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art & Art History
  • Asian & Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Cinematic Arts
  • Classics
  • Communication Studies
  • English as a Second Language
  • English
  • French & Italian
  • Gender, Women's, & and Sexuality Studies
  • German Department
  • History Department
  • Journalism & Mass Communication
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish & Portuguese
  • Theatre Arts
  • World Languages, Literatures, & Cultures

The standard rules for 3MT competitions are as follows:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No animations, transitions, or sound effects.
  • No additional media or props. No laser pointers.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word.
  • Time starts when a presenter begins speaking.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.
Thursday, September 28, 2023 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Iowa City Public Library
Room A
123 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
View on Event Calendar
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Erin Hackathorn in advance at 319-335-4034 or erin-hackathorn@uiowa.edu.