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Instructional Systems Development


Graduation Information


Graduation Requirements and Deadlines

In order to graduate and receive your degree, you must complete the graduation application. Click on the appropriate link below to find out current information about graduation policies and important dates. Please be advised the paperwork found is used for all programs in the Graduate School. Information requested pertaining to "mentor" only applies to Doctoral students.

All paperwork must be forwarded to the Instructional Systems Development (ISD) program first for approval and signatures.  Send your paperwork to Renee Eisenhuth, Program Coordinator by e-mail, The program will collect signatures and submit the paperwork to the Graduate School. The ISD program deadline will be prior to the Graduate School deadline to allow time for evaluation and approval of all documents.

More Information about graduation: Commencement Newsletter

Comprehensive Exam-Required for Master's students admitted prior to fall 2012
The purpose of the comprehensive examination in the master’s program is to show a mastery of knowledge within the field of training and development. You will be asked to problem solve, analyze and evaluate a case in a training and development context, and synthesize for the reader your understanding through recommendations about the case. Part of the task is to select an appropriate (theoretical or research based) framework from which to write an analysis and evaluation of the case. An additional focus needs to be on support for your judgments and what you say in response to the case by citing the research or theoretical models found in the literature in the training and development field. The response needs to go beyond the foundations you have learned in your course work to demonstrate your knowledge of a broader, more comprehensive scope of reading and subsequent reflection by you in this field.

This is a take-home, open book exam that must be completed over a weekend period (8:30 AM Friday- 4:30 PM Monday). Your response to the question(s) is limited to ten (10) double-spaced typed (printed) pages, including your bibliography. APA style is required.

Exam Dates
Normally, the fall exam occurs on a weekend either late October/ early November; the spring exam occurs on a weekend either March/ early April; and the summer exam occurs on a weekend in late June.

Current dates for upcoming exams are:

  • March 6 - 9, 2015
  • June 19 - 22, 2015
  • October 23 - 26, 2015

Applying for the Exam: All students wishing to take the exam must complete and return the application form before the last day to register for classes in the particular semester. Click here to open the application.

Portfolio Requirement - Required for Master's students admitted fall 2012 and on
Students admitted to the Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems, beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, will be required to complete a professional portfolio. This requirement replaces the current comprehensive exam requirement.

The purpose of this requirement is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in their coursework and the program. It also provides students, employers, clients, colleagues, etc. with tangible evidence of our graduates’ knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.

UMBC ISD Portfolio Requirements

Final Portfolio Submission Deadlines: The semester that you apply for graduation is when your portfolio is due.

  • Fall Semester: November 1st
  • Spring Semester: April 1st
  • Summer session: July 1st

Portfolio Checklist

When you are ready to share your portfolio please contact Dr. Williams at