Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Portfolio Programs for MES Grads

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. Portfolio programs are not degree programs and usually consists of four thematically related graduate courses and a research presentation; for master’s portfolio programs, a practical experience related to the portfolio program may replace the presentation. Students pursuing a Dual Language Track are encouraged to use their additional year of study to complete a Graduate Portfolio.

Portfolio Programs

Language Teaching and Program Coordination 

The LTC portfolio provides the opportunity for graduate students interested in linguistics, literature, and/or culture of any language to receive advanced professional development in either the language teaching track or program coordination track, which builds upon the fundamental instruction provided by required departmental 398T courses. Students will further have the opportunity to expand their professional expertise through exposure to a variety of applied linguistics subfields and to allied disciplines that support the development and refinement of both theoretical and practical applications for language teaching and program direction. 


Security Studies

The Graduate Portfolio in Security Studies is a transcript-recognized credential for students who complete an interdisciplinary focus in security studies. It provides graduate students an opportunity to develop interdisciplinary expertise in security studies from a variety of interrelated fields, including diplomacy, defense, intelligence, national security policy, homeland security, international affairs, human rights, war, peace, and conflict. The goal is for students to recognize and deepen their understanding of the interrelatedness of history and policy in the fields of national and international security. Students will be equipped to tackle key security challenges in academia or public service.


Dispute Resolution

The mission of the Graduate Portfolio in Dispute Resolution is to change the way people think about and handle conflict in order to positively affect individuals, our communities, our nation, and our world. Communication is fundamental to our approach. Communication can be the source of conflict or the path through conflict. Graduate students will take courses on mediation, negotiation, and other dispute resolution skills, and partake in on-campus initiatives such as the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution Center, the Institute for Restorative Justice, or the UT Project on Conflict Resolution. 


Study of Religion

The Graduate Portfolio Program in the Study of Religion offers graduate students across the university the opportunity to draw on the rich expertise of the Religious Studies faculty. Portfolios allow students with a wide range of academic interests and professional goals to enhance their professional development by incorporating into their graduate program a focused set of Religious Studies courses. Students' specializations can be thematic, chronological, or methodological, but they will build on the students' departmental coursework in order to provide new perspectives on their fields of study. 


Nonprofit Studies

Nonprofit and philanthropic activity is vital to generating social impact and addressing the complex challenges of the world today. As boundaries between the nonprofit, private and public sectors blur, it is increasingly important to gain skills and ideas that can be applied in multiple roles and organizations.  Effective leadership requires a deep understanding of current trends and policy issues, and the willingness to take action. The Nonprofit Studies Portfolio is an opportunity to develop specialized skills in social finance, nonprofit management, philanthropy, cultural policy, social marketing, and community collaboration. 


Communication, Information and Cultural Policy

The Graduate Portfolios in Communication, Information, and Cultural Policy offers students a means to enter this vital field of study by focusing on the theory, history, and comparative aspects of policy. The program supports students’ preparation for careers in academic research or practical careers in policy-making arenas. Study in Communication, Information, and Cultural Policy is well-suited to a portfolio certificate program because it is a multi-disciplinary subject that can find students drawing on public policy, economics, communications, art, community planning, and information science. 


Women’s and Gender Studies

The Graduate Portfolio Certificate Program in Women's and Gender Studies builds upon the Center’s rich and broad-based expertise across disciplines and schools/colleges. The program brings together graduate students and faculty from all over campus and fosters cross-disciplinary dialogue, research and study. Portfolio students develop a specialization unique to their own program of work through WGS courses, scholarly papers, and presentations. Course topics include, but are not limited to gender and health, feminist literary and cultural studies, race/ethnicity and gender, LGBTQ/sexualities studies, gender, and representational issues, women and public policy, feminist theory and research methods, and gender and development.



The Graduate Portfolio Program in Sustainability provides Master and Doctoral students with a trans-disciplinary framework to study and research issues related to sustainability. Sustainability is an emerging discourse that simultaneously addresses issues of economic development, environmental protection, and social equity. The objectives of the portfolio program are to provide a cohesive plan of study in sustainability; prepare students for leadership roles in academic and professional practice; foster trans-disciplinary research and dialogue between graduate students and participating faculty members interested in sustainability; and, assist students in publishing research on sustainability topics.


Museum Studies

The Portfolio in Museum Studies allows students already enrolled in graduate programs across the university to develop an academic and professional concentration on contemporary issues and practices in the world of museums, galleries, curating, and conservation. Through a set of thematically related graduate courses, this portfolio program is meant to promote cross-disciplinary scholarship and study by bringing together faculty and students from a variety of disciplines whose interests and training transcend the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. 

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