Joining the UNLV Debate Team is easy. The team is open to all students who are willing to be a part of the team and who are interested in competitive policy debate. There are no tryouts or auditions for the team.

If you have experience in policy debate, you should fill out and submit the recruiting formDr. Jake Thompson will be in touch with you shortly.

If you do not have prior experience in competitive policy debate, we suggest, but do not require, you take COM 217 (Argumentation and Debate) before you decide to commit to joining the team. We do encourage "walk-ons" or "novices" to join the team, and this class is designed to give those students a primer on all of the basic rules, procedures, and strategies in policy debate.

Commitments Required to Join *

  • Take one 3-credit class per semester— “Intercollegiate Debate & Forensics”
  • Attend 3 weekly meetings— Tues./Thurs. 2:30-3:45, & Weds. 5:30-8:00
  • Competitive travel occurs primarily on weekends: Fri. through Mon.
  • Minimum commitment required: 1 full semester


  • Improve your public speaking, research, critical thinking, and advocacy skills!
  • Travel around the country to compete for UNLV!
  • Participating in debate can improve your academic performance and test scores!
  • Meet interesting new people and network with smart students from around the country!
  • Learn about public policies that affect our community, our nation, and our world!
  • Gain valuable skills to help you prepare for Graduate School or Law School!

Join Now

*students must also meet other criteria in order to be eligible to participate on the UNLV Debate Team, including but not limited to being enrolled at UNLV at least half-time, consistently demonstrating that they are making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a degree, and maintaining a minimum 2.5 grade point average.