Credit By Portfolio | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Credit By Portfolio

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IST 295B(p) / IST 495(p) is an alternative for IST internship students to receive full academic credit for the required IST 295B or IST 495 internship course by submitting a portfolio of technical work samples created from their full-time work experiences that are no more than two years old. The activities of their full-time position must be comparable to or exceed the duties of a normal internship.  The portfolio projects/reports must be of a depth and breadth to demonstrate application of skills and knowledge related to your coursework to fulfill the internship requirement.

Important, Please Note:

  • Do not register for credit at your local campus. The internship credit will be applied via the Assessment form once your portfolio has been approved and assessed.
  • Be sure to keep a copy of your portfolio for your own records.
  • Be sure to confirm if your employer/organization requires a Non-Disclosure Agreement to be allowed to submit a Credit by Portfolio. (See information here)
  • Students who submit an acceptable portfolio that demonstrates adequate mastery of technical expertise and writing skills will receive credit for IST 295B or IST 495, but no grade. The credits will be designated on the transcript as “Credit awarded by portfolio assessment” (similar to transfer credit notation).
  • The registration fee is non-refundable. If minor portfolio changes are needed, the portfolio will be returned and can be re-submitted. If major changes are needed or the portfolio is deemed unacceptable, no credit will be granted and the fee is forfeited.


Any student enrolled in the College of Information Sciences and Technology or the Division of Undergraduate Studies, who was employed full-time for six or more months in an IT/IS related field within the past two years, may participate in this option if they have projects to compile into a portfolio that demonstrate significant depth and breadth of knowledge and hands on practice.


The credit by portfolio process can be started at any time.  Once you have an approved portfolio proposal, we request a completed portfolio to be submitted within one year of that approval date.  You may send your portfolio prior to the deadlines you are given via the Office of Career Solutions. You are not obliged to turn in your portfolio early, but remember that the earlier you submit the portfolio, the earlier you will learn whether or not you passed and therefore whether or not you will need to pursue and register for the regular IST Internship. The portfolio submission deadlines will be given to you by the Office of Career Solutions upon review of the Intent to Register form and brief proposal.  These deadlines are set to meet graduation timelines.

In general - the College of IST requires portfolios be submitted a minimum of four weeks prior to the last day of classes in the semester in shich you wish to graduate to allow for review and credit submission to fulfill graduation requirements.  Note: this would NOT include time required for a Non-Disclosure Agreement.  Please plan accordingly.


Step 1:
Submit your Intent to Register Form  and Brief Proposal outlining the three projects you will include in your portfolio to the Office of Career Solutions at the beginning of the semester. Keep a copy of your proposal to include in your portfolio. These materials should be sent electronically to  The subject of the email should be "Credit by Portfolio Proposal for....then add your name".

You brief proposal should include an introduction of the expereince you are utilizing to fulfill your internship requirement and a brief discussion of your three (minimum) major topics.  With each of your topics, please relate your degree coursework that is related to the project you are discussing.  (See Sample Portfolio Proposal)  Submit this information with your Intent to Register Form. This brief proposal will be reviewed in a timely fashion to the students, either accepting the proposal or requesting modifications to the proposal.

The proposal and Intent to Register form can be submitted electronically to If you are not able to submit documents electronically, then mail them to:

Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement
The College of Information Sciences and Technology
The Pennsylvania State University
E114 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802-6822

*** Non Disclosure Agreements - please review the information linked in the resources box regarding NDA's or Non Disclosure Agreements. 

These can add considerable time to your portfolio process.***


Step 2:
Upon approval of your Brief Proposal, complete the project reports and compile the portfolio. (Portfolio Instructions) Make sure you include all written project reports as well as a copy of your original propsal, Approved (signed) Intent to Register form, Portfolio Cover Page/Verification Form, the Credit by Portfolio Assessment Application, and the check made payable to Penn State.  Please include your student ID number on the check.

Step 3:

Submitting your Portfolio - You have the following options for submitting your portfolio.

OPTION #1 for hard copy portfolio submission

You can mail or ship your portfolio submission to the address below.  Include the following items:



OPTION #2 for electronic portfolio submission

You can submit an electronic copy as follows.

Note that no assessment will take place until notification that the Assessment Application and fees have been received.


Step 4:
IST faculty will review your portfolio. If deemed acceptable, credit will be applied to your transcript. If unacceptable, either the faculty will seek further clarification from you and review the portfolio again or the portfolio will be deemed unacceptable.

Step 5:
You will be informed via email when the outcome of the portfolio assessment (approval or rejection of portfolio) within two weeks of your submission.


At any point in this process, you are welcome to email for more information.