S3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is S3?

The SDSU Student Symposium, or S3, is a public forum where students at all levels have the opportunity to present their research, scholarship, and creative activities to the SDSU and San Diego communities. The symposium is a two-day event, occurring each spring semester that is a showcase of SDSU student discovery, innovation, and creativity.

Who is eligible to register?

All SDSU students (undergraduate, master's, doctoral) engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activities with SDSU mentors are eligible to present. If you are in a JDP program with UCSD, you are also eligible.

Why should I participate in S3? What are the benefits of participating?

S3 is an incredibly valuable venue for you to present your work. Some of the benefits of doing research or engaging in creative activities are that it provides hands-on experience in a field of study, helps to develop critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving, and can increase your professional network. Presenting your project at S3 allows you to build conscientiousness and confidence as you will be presenting in front of others and receive constructive feedback from judges. By participating you will also be exposed to other exciting research and creative activities happening at SDSU. Over 70 cash awards will be given to students in recognition of outstanding presentations or performances and you can be one of them!

How do I register for S3?

Information about registration can be found on our website.

When is S3?

The next S3 will be held on March 1 and 2, 2024.

When should I apply to S3?

The deadline to register for S3 is in January 24th, 2024. Please keep in mind that registration closes early in the spring semester, so we recommend you register as soon as possible.

Where will the event be held?

The 2024 S3 will be held at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union located at 6075 Aztec Cir Dr, San Diego, CA 92182.

Is S3 only for students involved in research?

No! S3 is open to all SDSU students involved in all forms of discovery and inquiry! 

If I am graduating in December, can I still participate in S3?

Yes! You can present at S3. In the online application be sure to include an additional email address. SDSU student emails are deactivated shortly after graduation; therefore, we must have an additional way to communicate with you regarding S3 event details. 

Can I participate if I am a graduate student?

Yes! Undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students are encouraged to participate. 

Can I participate in S3 if my project is not completed?

Yes! In progress and completed projects are accepted. 

Can I present my SDSU Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) project at S3? If so, do I still need to register?

Yes! We encourage SURP students to register and present their project at S3

Can I register without a faculty mentor?

No. Students must work with an SDSU faculty mentor before submitting an abstract to the S3.

Do I have to present my project in front of an audience?

It depends. You have the option to present a poster, an oral presentation, performance/film, or exhibit method. However, in all presentation formats, you will likely receive questions from audience members, attendees and judges.

Must I attend both days to participate in S3?

No. We do recommend and invite presenters to attend both days to learn about other student projects and to attend the awards ceremony on Saturday. However, you must attend your specific session date and time. 

How do I decide whether to do an oral or poster presentation?

It is the student’s preference. Work with your faculty mentor to decide which option will be best for you and your project.  

If I chose to do an oral presentation, how long should my presentation be?

You will be given ten minutes to present your project and five minutes after to answer questions from judges and audience members. 

How does the format of presenting a poster work? Do I need to be by my poster for several hours during the S3?

You will receive information about the times for putting up and taking down your poster on your presentation day. Poster presenters should be at their posters for the duration of their session. 

If I am doing a performance/film, how long should my presentation be? 

You will be given ten minutes for your performance or film and five minutes after to answer questions from judges and audience members. 

How do I write an abstract?

Students must work with an SDSU faculty mentor before submitting an abstract. All entries must have an abstract written by the student and reviewed/edited by their faculty mentor. Mentors should not write the abstract, but guide the student in developing the abstract. The SDSU Writing Center is a great resource for students and faculty to use when writing an abstract.

How can I confirm my registration was successful?

After submitting your registration, you will receive an email with the subject line “2024 S3 Application Received”. If you do not receive it, please contact us at [email protected]

Who will be judging my project?

Judges will include faculty, staff, and members of the SDSU community.

What does the method of inquiry mean?

Method of inquiry refers to how you collected the data or the information you are presenting in your poster or oral presentation. This also includes performance or a fine arts exhibition. If you are unsure of what your project’s method of inquiry is, work with your faculty mentor for guidance.

  • Quantitative analysis (e.g., survey or experiment)
  • Critical analysis (e.g., analysis of literature, art, etc.)
  • Qualitative (e.g., interview or autoethnography)
  • Review (e.g., Literature review)
  • Performance/fine arts (e.g., dance, film, photography, etc.)
  • Mixed methods (e.g., incorporates multiple methods of inquiry)
  • Case study (e.g., study of a specific person, institution, or place)

What does it mean to have my project be included as part of the SDSUnbound digital repository?

Contributing your poster or presentation to the SDSU Library’s SDSUnbound enables you to have your research preserved and made available to others in the future. Once your poster or presentation is added to SDSUnbound, your work will be discoverable at https://digitallibrary.sdsu.edu/ and will be assigned a persistent web address so you can cite your work without worrying about the link breaking. Your work will become part of the SDSU Student Symposium (S3) collection for researchers to discover, view, and cite your work.

What is the difference between a co-author and co-presenter?

Co-author refers to your student peers that were involved in the conducting the research, scholarship, or creative activity that you are presenting at S3. Your co-presenters are an individual or individuals who will be presenting with you at the S3. Co-presenters would also be co-authors; however, a co-author does not have to be a co-presenter. And, not all presentations have to have a co-presenter. Co-presenters should attend the S3 session in which you are presenting. 

Does my project need to be related to my major?

No! Your project can be anything that interests you. 

I am currently not working on a project, but I would like to participate in S3 next year. What do you recommend I do? How can I start?

Now is a great time to start thinking about engaging in research or creative activity. Check out the Division of Research and Innovation Student Research website for information on how to get involved. If you have further questions, email is at [email protected]. We are here to help!

I am a transfer student. Is it too late to start thinking about participating in S3?

No! S3 is for all students regardless of academic level. S3 occurs once every academic year, therefore we recommend you start engaging in a project now to ensure you can participate before you graduate. 

Will late registrations be accepted?

No. Please ensure you submit your registration by the deadline. 

How do I decide what my presentation title should be?

Your presentation title is ultimately decided by you. We recommend it clearly reflects the theme of your research, project, or creative activity. Work with your faculty mentor for assistance in coming up with a title. 

How can I best prepare for S3?

Work with your faculty mentor in executing your project and collecting all materials needed for registration, including your abstract. Once you have gathered your materials, ensure to get your registration in. Follow the S3 Registration Instructions. Look out for an email in February with your session date and time and additional details about the event.  

Must all of my co-authors and faculty mentors attend the event?

No. However, we do encourage all students involved in the project to attend. Faculty mentors should attend their students’ presentations. 

Do I need to pay to participate in S3? Do guests have to pay to attend?

No! S3 is a free event for everyone. 

Can I invite my friends and family to watch my presentation?

Yes! S3 is an event open to anyone. We encourage students to invite guests to come watch their presentations and support their projects. 

I am not presenting a project. Can I attend the event?

Yes! SDSU student presenters’ guests, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend. 

Where can I park?

You can park in parking structure 3, level 6 without a parking pass. 

Who can I contact for additional information?

For any questions regarding S3, please email us at [email protected].