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Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research

Graduate Students

Graduate students may give poster or three-minute thesis presentations on their research, scholarly or creative work.


General Guidelines

No matter what type of presentation you give, it’s important to

  • dress and behave professionally.
  • plan to stay for your entire presentation session, taking only short breaks if needed.
  • come prepared to talk about your project with a wide variety of people, including both general and expert audiences.
  • know where to go. As the event date approaches, you will receive your location information via email, and will be able to look it up on this site, in the Find a Presenter section (2018 data will be added to this page in April).


Poster Presentations

Content of graduate student poster presentations is up to the presenter. For some competitive awards, graduate student poster presentations might have to satisfy certain requirements, so please be sure to check and conform to any applicable guidelines.

  • The recommended poster size is four feet high by 3.5 feet wide. These dimensions will allow two posters to fit side by side on the poster boards.
  • We understand that some presenters might need to re-use their posters at other conferences with different dimension requirements. To accommodate this, presenters may size their posters to fit within our minimum and maximum requirements.
    • Posters must be a minimum of two feet by three feet (oriented horizontally or vertically).
    • The maximum allowable size is four feet by four feet (the outer vertical edge will curl around the display board if the poster is four-feet wide).
    • We recommend having posters printed at USC Printing Services on vinyl, rather than paper.

On presentation day, Columbia Ballrooms A and B (Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center upper level) will open 30 minutes prior to the beginning of your session and displays must be up by the start time. All materials must be removed immediately after the session. If you will not be present, you must make arrangements for removal. Any items left will be thrown away.


Three-Minute Thesis Presentations

Three-minute thesis presentations are subject to several important rules:

  • Presentations are limited to three minutes maximum. Three-minute thesis competitors who exceed three minutes will be disqualified.
  • Presenters may use one static PowerPoint slide, with no transitions, animations or movement of any kind. (Presenters may opt not to use a slide.)
  • Presenters may not use electronic media, such as sound or video files, or props such as costumes, lab equipment or musical instruments.
  • Three-minute thesis presenters should submit their presentation slides ahead of time as instructed when they receive their presentation assignments, and bring them on a USB drive for back-up.

On presentation day: All three-minute thesis presentations will be given in Columbia Ballroom C (Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center upper level). There will be six heats of three-minute thesis presentations plus a final heat (six heat winners and one “people’s choice” selection). You will be assigned to one of the six preliminary heats. You will arrive prior to the heat and remain in the room for all presentations during the heat.

Three-minute thesis timeslots are five minutes long, to allow three minutes for the presentation and time for transitions between presentations. This schedule will be strictly enforced. It is important that you are prepared for your timeslot. Please arrive before the start of the heat to ensure you have time to get familiar with the space and ensure your slide is loaded on the presentation computer.

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