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Preparing Your Personal Portfolio

The Personal Portfolio involves a narrative statement of previous experiences as well as personal, educational and professional goals related to the degree being pursued (see Sample Portfolio).

The purpose of the Personal Portfolio is to organize one’s life experience into a single document that the admissions office can use to evaluate the applicant and assign credit as appropriate.  (It can also be used for submission to prospective employers or for consulting work).
You may be requested to supply supportive transcripts, copies of training certificates, awards, letters, etc for each narrative experience described below.  Documentation is not required at this stage in the admission process, but it is appreciated.
For each experience you describe it is important to include:

  1. Appropriate dates

  2. Number of hours involved

  3. When appropriate, the qualification of the instructor or supervisor.

IMPORTANT:  In narrative discussions of previous experiences, (a) through (g) below, include only those references applicable to the degree subject matter.

a)  Under a heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – INSTRUCTION, note the institution(s) attended.  For each institution reference, list majors and minors, as well as subject’s studied by title, course number, description, and dates. Or attach transcripts, if available.  This heading also includes formal learning through correspondence extension courses, continuing education or any educational setting where units were assigned or for which transcripts were provided.  If credit was not awarded, list number of hours in attendance.  Eventually, official transcripts of  formal academic work will need to be sent.

b)  Under a heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – INDEPENDENT STUDY, provide brief summaries of those experiences that are not included in formal educational programs.  Specify the approximate number of hours involved in each experience.


c) Under a heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – WORK LEARNING EXPERIENCE, identify those learning experiences from your employment history that you believe deserve academic credit. Indicate the hours involved and subjects covered.

d) Under the heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – RESEARCH METHODS, identify any past activity and knowledge gained from conducting research.  Describe briefly the subject of the research, the design methodology, the data analysis process, the results and cite report references and disseminations of findings.


e) Under the heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – PRESENTATIONS, identify any books, manuals, articles you’ve written, as well as audio-visual productions etc., listing titles and one paragraph descriptions for each piece of work.

f) Under the heading of PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE – INTERNSHIP(S), describe any internships (paid or unpaid), hours worked, and summarize what was learned from each.


g)  Under the heading of b, describe the vision of the kind of future you hope to achieve; e.g., include a discussion of your personal, educational and professional goals or direction.  Describe both immediate and long-term projections.

For tips on how to effectively put together your portfolio, check out the very helpful:

7 Secrets To Putting Together An Effective Portfolio.

* These articles are available as Portable Document Format (PDF) files.  The free Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print PDF files and is available for download, with instructions from Adobe's web site.

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