Portfolio of Work Process

Portfolio Advising

Students need to follow the steps in the Portfolio Checklist and meet the prescribed deadlines, including completing regular check-ins with their advisors and providing all the required documents. Faculty advisors will fill out a feedback form after each meeting to assess the student's preparations and evaluate their progress. If any issues arise (i.e., the advisor does not feel the student is prepared), the M.S. director will schedule a meeting with the student.

Portfolio Committee

MSS Students will have a Portfolio committee, which is to include three (3) Statistics faculty members; the student's portfolio advisor will serve as the committee chair, while the remaining members will be selected by the Department. Students graduating in Fall or Summer must independently line up two other faculty members in addition to their advisor (who will serve as the committee chair), and send those names to the MS Director. The Department will submit a Committee Approval Form to the Graduate School. Note that the committee must be approved by the Graduate School 30 days prior to the Portfolio presentation date.


Each student will create a Poster that demonstrates mastery of statistical methods, application, and computation. Students can cover only one project in their portfolios, where the topic can come from an applied course project, capstone, research project (with an internal or external faculty member), or an internship.

Posters are required to be sized 48 x 36 inches. Students may order Posters from Ph.D. Posters or get them printed at UPS on Erwin Rd (across from Duke).   

Poster Session

A Poster session will be scheduled in early-mid March for Portfolio students graduating in May. The Department will advise students of the venue, date, and time early in the Spring semester. Students graduating in Fall or Summer must set a date and time (30 min) that all committee members agree upon, and send that information to the Department. The committee meeting and presentation must be scheduled while classes are in session.  

GitHub Repository

Students are responsible for including the following files in a GitHub repository and provide the link to the MS Director and the committee members at least one week prior to the Poster Presentation:

  • A copy of the student’s poster
  • MS Portfolio Report (2-3 pages in word or pdf)
  • Code and data (if available)
  • Other presentations, or any other material created by the student related to the project  
  • CV/resume


The committee will judge the Portfolio presentation as Pass/Fail. A Pass signifies that the student has satisfied the Portfolio requirements for the MSS degree and graduation by scoring either Satisfactory or Excellent in all three questions on the Annual Report Form.

In case a student does not pass the Portfolio presentation, the committee’s Fail judgment must be accompanied by designation of at least one unsatisfactory score on the Annual Report Form, with explicit and clear comments indicating deficiencies and areas for specific attention for a remedy. The student will have a retake opportunity. This will be an individual presentation with the original committee, to be arranged by the department at a date no sooner than one month from the original presentation, per Graduate School rules. The student will present an updated poster to the committee, addressing the specifics indicated on the Annual Report Form from the original presentation. A Pass on the retake signifies that the student has satisfied the Portfolio requirements for the MSS degree and graduation. Failure on the retake will indicate failure in the MSS program.

The Department provides the Committee Chair with the MSS Annual Report Form and Non-Thesis Master’s Exam Certificate. After completion of the presentation, the Committee Chair completes the MSS Annual Report Form and sends it to the Department. They will also complete the Non-Thesis Master’s Exam Certificate and send it to the DGS for signature. The DGS will then forward the form to the Graduate School. The MS Director will communicate the results of the Portfolio presentation to the students, with any comments.