Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Introduction

Graduate Portfolio Programs are opportunities for students to obtain credentials in a cross-disciplinary academic area of inquiry while they are completing the requirements for a master's or doctoral degree in a particular discipline. The concept of a portfolio program was developed to enrich the research experience, increase the breadth of training, and expand the scholarly credentials of graduate students. Visit the following web page for more information on the graduate portfolio programs offered at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies provides graduate students with a credential that recognizes their work as they research Mexican American and Latina/o cultural practices, historical development, and socio-economic conditions. The program brings together graduate students and faculty from all over campus and fosters cross-disciplinary dialogue, research, and study. While the portfolio program supplements the degree program a student is pursuing, it does so by providing a cohesive structure for graduate work in Mexican American and Latina/o studies. The credential field area should be fulfilled outside the student’s home department, with MALS graduate classes including MAS 390. MALS provides a list of courses approved by the Graduate Studies Committee that can be applied to the portfolio program requirements.

Students in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies come from such institutions as the University of New Mexico, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, The University of Texas at Austin, and Yale University. Since 2002, the portfolio program has produced over fifty PhDs within a rigorous and supportive intellectual environment. Graduates have been placed in tenure-track jobs at Brigham Young University; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; The University of San Francisco; Colorado College; the University of Notre Dame; and the University of California, Riverside, among other institutions.


Eligibility

The Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies is not a degree program; however, it allows graduate students to obtain a credential in a cross-disciplinary area of inquiry while completing the requirements for a master’s or doctoral degree in their home department.

To participate in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, prospective students must be newly admitted or currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at UT Austin with a minimum 3.00 grade-point average.


Requirements for Master’s Students

During their graduate studies, master’s students participating in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies must complete MAS 390 and a minimum of 6 hours of work in graduate courses from the GSC approved course list (i.e., 9 hours total). Courses on the list contain a minimum of 30% Mexican American and Latina/o Studies content. Course content is defined as a clear integration of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies methodologies and/or readings that are focused on Mexican American and Latina/o populations. No more than 3 unit hours of conference course credit (i.e., MAS 382) will count towards a portfolio. Master’s students must take no more than one course from their home department to fulfill portfolio requirements.

If the courses are not on the MALS GSC approved course list, students are required to submit the syllabi for their courses, which will then be evaluated by the Director of Graduate Studies for the required minimum of 30% MALS content. The Director of Graduate Studies reviews these courses individually for both relevant and substantial MALS content and will also audit for redundancy in content or assignments across the three required courses. Courses that do not contain the minimum 30% MALS course content or show redundancies will not count toward the portfolio.

Portfolio requirements are independent of the requirements for a master’s degree. However, with the approval of a student's supervising professor and graduate studies committee (in the student's home department), portfolio courses may be included in the program of work.

Master’s students are encouraged, but not required, to plan their thesis/report on topics in Mexican American and Latina/o studies, and to include at least one member of the Graduate Studies Committee in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies on their thesis/report committee.

To receive full consideration, master’s students must apply to the portfolio program by the May 15th deadline during the first year of coursework.


Requirements for Doctoral Students

Over the course of their graduate studies, doctoral students participating in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies must complete MAS 390 and a minimum of 9 hours of graduate course work from the GSC approved course list (i.e., 12 hours total). Courses contain a minimum of 30% Mexican American and Latina/o Studies content. No more than 3 unit hours of conference course credit (i.e., MAS 382) will count towards a portfolio. Doctoral students must take two courses from outside their home department to fulfill portfolio requirements.

If the courses are not on the MALS GSC approved course list, students are required to submit the syllabi for their courses, which will then be evaluated by the Director of Graduate Studies for the required minimum of 30% MALS content. The Director of Graduate Studies reviews these courses individually for both relevant and substantial MALS content and will also audit for redundancy in content or assignments across the three required courses. Course content is defined as a clear integration of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies methodologies and/or readings that are focused on Mexican American and Latina/o populations. Courses that do not contain the minimum 30% MALS course content or show redundancies will not count toward the portfolio.

Portfolio requirements are independent of the requirements for doctoral degrees. However, with the approval of a student's supervising professor and graduate studies committee (in the student's home department), portfolio courses may be included in the program of work.

Doctoral students are encouraged, but not required, to plan their dissertation on topics in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and to include at least one member of the Graduate Studies Committee in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies on their dissertation committee.

To receive full consideration, doctoral students must apply to the portfolio program by the May 15th deadline during the third year of enrollment.


Courses

Course work for the portfolio program must be on the list of MALS GSC approved courses. If the course is not on the list, it must have at least 30% content in Mexican American and Latina/o studies. Courses taken for the portfolio program may not be taken pass/fail or credit/no credit. No more than 3 hours of conference course credit (i.e., MAS 382) will count towards the portfolio. Students should contact the Academic Program Coordinator each semester to find out about the MALS graduate course offerings.

Current Portfolio Students can log course progress using this form.  


Pláticas

Graduate students are required to participate in a MALS-hosted plática, a semi-formal presentation of research by graduate students, before they complete their graduate degree requirements. The plática can be based on the work conducted for a master’s report or thesis or a doctoral dissertation. In the fall, the MALS Academic Program Coordinator will contact you directly to schedule your plática before you graduate.


Certification

Upon graduation, after the completion of degree and portfolio requirements, the Graduate School awards certification in the Graduate Portfolio in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies. This certification is noted on the student’s official transcript. Graduate students can earn the certification in this specific portfolio program only once in their graduate careers.

Graduating portfolio students are also recognized by MALS at our annual graduation ceremony.


Admissions

Students seeking admission to the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies may be newly admitted to the Graduate School or currently enrolled in a graduate program at UT Austin with a minimum 3.00 grade-point average. Applicants must submit the following items:

  • MALS Graduate Portfolio Application
  • One-Page Statement (outlining interests and goals in the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies)
  • Graduate Advisor Letter (from the home department advisor and on official letterhead approving the application to the graduate portfolio program)

The advisor letter can be sent via email to Luis Guevara, Academic Program Coordinator, at lvg@austin.utexas.edu.

This policy is effective immediately for students enrolling in the MALS Portfolio Program starting in Summer 2015 or later. For students who entered the CMAS Portfolio Program in Spring 2015 or earlier, please click here for the previous certification criteria.


Deadlines

Please note that there are three fixed annual deadlines for M.A. and Ph.D. Portfolio Program applications:

October 15th
February 15th
May 15th

If students miss an application deadline, they can petition for admission on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the MALS Graduate Studies Committee.


Questions?

All questions regarding the portfolio program, including the application process, should be directed to the Academic Program Coordinator, Luis Guevara, at lvg@austin.utexas.edu

 

 


Graduate Advisor

Dr. Julie Minich

Academic Program Coordinator

Luis Guevara
lvg@austin.utexas.edu