Application Materials

MLIS MyGrad Application

The online application opens annually on September 1. Applicants are encouraged to start their MyGrad application as early as possible so as to allow time to become familiar with the program and avoid technical difficulties. The application does not have to be submitted in one session; applicants can log back in multiple times before submitting the application.

Personal Statement
Resume or CV
Program Mode Preference
Supplemental Questions
Extenuating Circumstances (optional)
Scholarship Information (optional)
Law MLIS Applicants
English Language Proficiency for Non-Native English Speakers

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should be between 750 and 1,000 words and should communicate to the admissions committee your aspirations for your future in the library and information science profession. Among other things, it could discuss: what you hope to accomplish in the program, reasons for choosing the University of Washington Information School and this MLIS program, your interests or abilities, tentative goals for your professional career, your experience with information technology, your leadership experience and potential for leadership in the profession.

Rather than give a detailed history that summarizes your resume or academic history, your personal statement is an opportunity to share your aspirations and future goals with the admissions committee.

We welcome applicants who have varied cultural, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds

Recommendations (3 Required)

Enter the names and contact information for three recommenders into the MyGrad application. These individuals will be sent an e-mail prompt with instructions for submitting their recommendation online.

Request recommendations from three people who know you well and who are able to comment on your academic competence, ability to engage in graduate study, potential for future success in the library and information science professions, or who can comment on your employment experience. Unless academic- or work-related, do not submit recommendations from family members, clergy, or friends.

Instructions for recommenders

Thank you for agreeing to provide a recommendation for an applicant to the MLIS program. While there are no requirements or specific format that we ask you follow, we are happy to provide the following guidelines:

  • Don't write a standard letter that contains basic information.
  • Only write a letter if you can provide concrete examples and detailed feedback.
  • We are looking for evidence of potential success in the program and in the field, after graduation.
  • Share 1-2 stories that tell us something specific that the applicant has accomplished.
  • For academic recommenders, discuss how the applicant would do in a rigorous graduate program — specifically academics and/or research.
  • For professional references, discuss examples of the applicant's leadership, innovation and/or creativity
  • For those in the library and/or information world, it is OK to use industry-specific jargon and acronyms.

If you have any questions or have difficulty using the online application system, please contact our office at

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Upload an electronic copy of your curriculum vitae or résumé, in Microsoft Word, RTF, or PDF format. Your curriculum vitae or résumé should include the following information:

  • Work experience related to the library and information professions (include employer, position title, and dates of employment)
  • Other types of employment experience (include employer, position title, and dates of employment)
  • Involvement with volunteer, community, and/or diversity-related activities (include organization, position title , and dates of service)
  • Relevant honors, awards, publications and presentations

Program Delivery Mode Preference

Select your program mode preference from the drop down menu in Question 4 on the Program Information page in the MyGrad application. The five options are:

  • Residential program only
  • Prefer residential, but would accept online
  • Either program
  • Prefer online, but would accept residential
  • Online program only

Your preference indicates that you have considered the program modes thoroughly and will accept the results of your selection.

Supplemental Questions

These questions give you the opportunity to be creative, innovative, show your personality and distinguish yourself to the admissions committee. The first question is required and the response has a 200-word limit. Applicants will select either the second or third question and respond in 150 words or less.

1. In the field of library and information science, we serve a wide range of diverse populations, including different races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual and gender orientations and more. Using specific examples, please describe:

  • your experiences with diversity
  • how these experiences have impacted your thinking and world views, and
  • how you will bring these experiences, world views, values and skills to contribute to diversity at the Information School and in the field of library and information science.

(Required, 200-word limit)

2. The field of library and information science requires flexibility, adaptability and perseverance. Give an example of a situation when you overcame an unexpected challenge.

3. Imagine you are giving the 2040 iSchool commencement address. How will the Dean introduce you and describe your professional legacy and contributions in the information field? (Hint: Your response should relate to some aspect of your personal statement.)

(Select one of these two questions, 150-word limit)


Upload transcripts for all colleges, universities and institutions where you have earned collegiate level credit. Each transcript must include the name of the institution, dates of attendance, courses taken and grades/marks/credits earned. The Information School reserves the right to ask for an official transcript.

Please observe the following:

  • Foreign transcripts, if not in English, must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • You only need to provide a transcript for certificate coursework if you earned academic credit in the process of earning the certificate. If you earned continuing education units (CEUs), a transcript does not need to be submitted.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school outside the U.S.) — Please refer to instructions for foreign transcripts.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school inside the U.S.) — Transcripts that fall into this category should be submitted as any other domestic transcripts.

Please note: The MLIS admissions committee retains the right to require that official transcripts be submitted for review at any time; during the application process or after admissions decisions have been made.

Extenuating Circumstances (optional)

If there are extenuating circumstances, not addressed in other sections of your application, related to your academic transcript, resume, or other facets of your application that you would like the admissions committee to consider, please describe them. Please limit your response to 200 words.

Scholarship Information (optional)

All applicants are automatically considered for a limited number of iSchool merit-based scholarships. If there is additional information you would like to provide the committee that you feel is relevant to your being considered for a scholarship, please let us know. (Please limit this response to 500 words.)

In the past, we have had specific scholarship money for new students who are employed by the state of Washington, first-generation college students or who are active duty military or have veteran status. Please indicate if you fall into one or more of these categories. This information will not be used during the decision-making process. It will only be used for scholarship consideration, after admissions decisions have been made.

**Responding to this question does not guarantee that you will receive a scholarship.**

Law MLIS Applicants — LSAT Score

Law MLIS applicants will self-report their LSAT score and percentile in the MyGrad application. If the LSAT was taken more than once, each score and percentile must be reported.

English Language Proficiency Requirement for Non-Native English Speakers

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of citizenship) must demonstrate proficiency with the English language. The most common way to fulfill this requirement is to submit official TOEFL scores. The ETS report code is 4854.

Additional ways to fulfill the English language proficiency requirement are outlined in UW Graduate School Memo 8. The MLIS admissions committee will accept any form of documentation listed, except the IELTS. The MLIS admissions committee will not accept the IELTS to fulfill the UW English language proficiency requirement.