At the beginning of the Fall semester, the Office of Graduate Studies invites all new graduate students to participate in an orientation designed to introduce students to graduate life at MSU Denver. Topics covered include (but are not limited to): the purpose of graduate education, strategies for success in graduate school, campus services, academic resources, and public safety. The information provided is essential for incoming graduate students.
Individual schools or departments may offer a separate orientation program geared to the specific concerns of their field of study. International students are required to participate in all new graduate student orientations (including the International Orientation sponsored by the Student Academic Success Center).
Three-Minute Talk Competition
The Office of Graduate Studies is honored to bring the Three-Minute Talk competition, which is a subset of the 3MT developed by The University of Queensland to MSU Denver. During the Three-Minute Talk competition, graduate students across departments present their theses or research projects to a university audience in three minutes using a single PowerPoint slide. This unique opportunity helps students strengthen academic and presentation skills, while promoting cross-departmental connections and interdisciplinary work during the networking event held after the competition. The first-place winner, runner-up, and people’s choice winner receive a monetary prize.
Winner: $500 prize, and the opportunity to compete in the statewide competition.
Runner-Up: $300 prize
Third Place: $150 prize
People’s Choice: Audience members will vote for the “People’s Choice” winner at the Finals
Here are some of the benefits of participating in a Three-Minute Talk Competition:
• Strengthen presentation skills and public speaking
• Enhance ability to communicate your research
• Networking opportunity
• Build your CV/Resume
• Recognition and prizes
Students currently enrolled (full or part-time status) and actively engaged in research. The project must include specific objectives or investigative questions and how you will support your conclusion.
• A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
• 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 must be held within a three-minute time limit.
• Presentations are to commence from the stage.
• A timer will be displayed on a monitor at the front of the room.
• The presentation should be comprehensible to an audience with varied expertise.
Comprehension and content
• Did the presentation provide an understanding of the background and significance to the research question being addressed, while explaining terminology and avoiding jargon?
• Did the presentation clearly describe the impact and/or results of the research, including conclusions and outcomes?
• Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence?
• Was the thesis topic, research significance, results/impact and outcomes communicated in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience?
• Did the presenter spend adequate time on each element of their presentation - or did they elaborate for too long on one aspect or was the presentation rushed?
Engagement and communication
• Did the oration make the audience want to know more?
• Was the presenter careful not to trivialize or generalize their research?
• Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their research?
• Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
• Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a
• Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?
Please contact your program director for information on how to register.
Annual Awards Ceremony
Prior to Commencement graduates, faculty and mentors are eligible for honors and awards presented at a university-wide event. Awards acknowledge the superlative actions and achievements of individuals who consistently exceed programmatic expectations.