Portfolio Programs

Graduate portfolio programs provide opportunities for enrolled graduate students to obtain transcriptable credentials in cross-disciplinary academic areas of inquiry while they are completing the requirements for a master’s or doctoral degree in a particular discipline. Portfolio programs are intended to promote cross-disciplinary scholarship and study by bringing together faculty and students from a variety of disciplines whose interests transcend boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

The requirements for participating in a Graduate portfolio program is as follows:

  • A minimum of 9 and a maximum of 15 credit hours of thematically related graduate coursework (typically 3-5 courses) selected from a variety of pre-determined disciplines/graduate programs.
  • To ensure the effective expansion of cross-disciplinary content expertise, each student’s portfolio must include content courses offered by at least two graduate programs outside of the student's primary degree major.
  • An independent paper or project related to the student’s work in a given area or a scholarly essay that is presented at a research colloquium attended by faculty and students from the academic disciplines included in the cross-disciplinary area of inquiry.
  • Some portfolio programs may require one Independent Study Course and/or one Internship course.

Master’s Reports, Master’s Theses and Doctoral Dissertations may be used to satisfy the independent paper/project requirement of a portfolio program; however, these courses may not be used to satisfy the 9-15 credit-hour coursework requirement.

Portfolio programs are not degree programs. 

To be eligible to participate in a portfolio program, students must be admitted into one of the university’s graduate degree programs. If a student’s graduate degree is conferred while their portfolio program is in progress, they may continue enrollment to complete the portfolio under the following circumstances:

  1. The student must enroll as a non-degree-seeking student in one of the graduate programs sponsoring the portfolio program.
  2. The student must have completed at least two of the courses required for the portfolio at the time that their degree is conferred (a student may not begin a portfolio program after their degree is conferred).
  3. The portfolio administrator must request permission from The Graduate School to allow the student to complete a post-graduation portfolio and provide confirmation that the student has completed at least two portfolio courses.
  4. The student may not have a break in enrollment period - a student will not be re admitted for the purpose of completing a portfolio program.

Portfolio Completion Reporting form

When the portfolio program requirements are complete, the portfolio program coordinator should submit the Portfolio Completion Reporting Form to the Graduate School at gradstudentsvcs@austin.utexas.edu.

Current portfolio programs