In order to graduate, each student in the MS in Communication Program is required to submit a portfolio of materials developed while enrolled in the program. The portfolio should not only represent your best efforts, but also reflect ideas and skills developed during the course of your graduate study. The presentation of materials must be of professional quality, suitable for review by faculty, professionals, and potential employers.

Please keep the following requirements in mind as you develop your portfolio.

  • Before beginning your portfolio, you must choose a portfolio advisor from the faculty in the department.
  • Your portfolio must include three to five (3–5) items.
  • The items can be written documents, graphical exercises, films, videotapes, web sites, scripts for the visual media, brochures, or other items that represent your achievement as a communicator and that are judged to be of professional quality.
  • You must develop three (3) items from course projects; you may develop up to two (2) additional items from professional, internship, or course work. While the portfolio is being reviewed, you can add items developed from courses or an internship completed during this review process.
  • You should also include a brief introduction to the portfolio, providing necessary background, explaining the rationale for selecting these particular items, and relating the items to their intellectual development and your career interests.
  • You should include a current resume in the portfolio.

The Portfolio Review Process

Review and revision of your portfolio items are essential to the development of an acceptable portfolio and thus require you to undertake writing or reworking activities at a level that probably was not possible during the ten-week quarter in which the material was created. You will choose a portfolio advisor from within the department, who will make decisions about the acceptability of the portfolio items and their professional level; the Graduate Director will resolve any conflicts.

You should first submit to your portfolio advisor potential submissions for initial review and discussion. Then, you will revise these documents and assemble three copies of the portfolio to be given to a Portfolio Review Committee; this Committee will consist of your advisor, one other member of the Communication faculty, and a representative of the professional communication community, nominated by you and your advisor and approved by the Graduate Director. Following this evaluation, you will complete necessary revisions of the portfolio as part of the requirements for graduation. Consequently, to facilitate a successful review, you and your portfolio advisor must remain in close contact.

Due Dates and Time Schedule

You should begin the review process with your advisor two terms before expecting to conclude the program, according to the timetable that follows. This timetable does ask you to start thinking about the portfolio early, but does not preclude you from including items developed from an internship or courses taken during this process. You should be aware that delays in the process may result in a postponement of the graduation date.

Portfolio Timetable

PHASE 1 (about 4-6 weeks) The candidate should meet with the advisor to discuss the portfolio and to submit draft 1 of the portfolio. Thereafter, the candidate meets with the advisor to receive suggestions, criticisms, etc. of draft 1.

PHASE 2 (about 5-7 weeks) The candidate then works on a revision of the portfolio and submits three copies of draft 2 to the advisor at an agreed time. The advisor mails one copy to the external reviewer and gives a second to the internal reviewer. Reviews/comments should be returned to the advisor within 4-5 weeks.

PHASE 3 (at least 2 weeks) The candidate meets with the advisor to discuss suggestions, needed corrections, criticisms, etc. of draft 2 offered by the reviewers. The candidate makes any necessary final revisions and submits to the advisor for approval. Once this final copy is approved by the advisor, the advisor notifies the Program Director and Department Head of candidate's completion of the Portfolio requirement. This copy stays on file with the Department.