Communication Skills

Spring 2021 Online Writing Retreat
   April 23, 2021
   6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Spring 2021 Online Writing Retreat
   April 24, 2021
   9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Spring 2021 Online Writing Retreat
   April 25, 2021
   9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Whether networking, writing your thesis or dissertation, or in general seeking to strengthen your communication skills, the Center for Graduate Life has a variety or resources to help you succeed. Check the Calendar for upcoming events designed to help build your communication skills.

Three Minute Thesis Final Round: 2-4 PM, November 13, 2020

Congratulations to the Fall 2020 3MT winners! Watch the 10 finalists explain their research in only three minutes and with only one slide. Top prize is $500 and a chance to compete at the regional level. 



What is Three-Minute Thesis (3MT®)?
  • 3MT is a competition for graduate students held each fall semester at UNC Charlotte.

  • The event originated at the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008 and is now held at over 600 universities in 85 different countries.

  • Graduate students condense their research into a clear and engaging three-minute presentation supported by only one static slide.

  • Students deliver their presentations before a group of non-specialist judges and audience members who award overall winners and a People’s Choice selection.

Why should you participate?
  • 3MT is a great experience to list on your resume/CV and talk about in interviews.

  • It’s an opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking and communication skills.

  • There are cash prizes for the finalists (up to $500!)

  • The first-place winner progresses to the regional 3MT competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. 

STEM Communication Fellows Program

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the creation of this new program, which has been made possible by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. For details, visit the STEM Communication Fellows Program web page.  

CGL GRAD Courses

(Register for graduate courses at

GRAD 6212/8212 | Academic Writing for Graduate Students | 3.0 credits

This course refines academic writing skills, especially those related to writing about empirical research. This course is best suited for graduate students in education, social sciences and STEM disciplines, although students in the humanities may also benefit from it. The course focuses equally on product (i.e., the text) and process (i.e., the steps necessary to complete a text).   In terms of product, you will gain skills to help you effectively produce key parts of an empirical paper: introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, results, discussion and conclusion. Also, explore different academic genres relevant to your discipline, which may include conference proposals, book reviews, and research articles; then produce a relevant academic genre of your choice.  With respect to process, you will learn best practices for composing scholarly pieces of writing, from drafting through editing text. You will also learn strategies for planning a large writing project, developing a regular writing schedule, managing procrastination and perfectionism and responding to critical feedback.

Notes:  Students must be enrolled in a graduate program terminating in a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree.  Students who do not speak English as a first language must have already taken GRAD 6210/8210 or gained prior approval from the instructor to enroll in GRAD Special Topics Course.

GRAD 8610 | Making Dissertations Happen: Managing Writing & Life | 2.0 credits

This course will help you manage your dissertation work through such topics as prioritizing your dissertation, writing more effectively and efficiently, improving your productivity, strengthening your relationship with your dissertation advisor and handling stress in healthier ways.  Join a supportive community of dissertation writers and learn to create more balance in your life.

GRAD 6210/8210 | Graduate Level Writing for International Students | 3.0 credits

Students who speak English as a second language will learn concepts central to graduate-level writing in the United States such as academic integrity, audience awareness, discipline-specific variation in writing norms and culture and rhetorical purpose. Graded on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis. (Fall, Spring)