Frequently Asked Questions: Admissions

Learning About The Program
General Admissions Questions
Application Requirements & Eligibility
Application Materials
International Applicants


Learning About the Program

Q: Do you offer MLIS program information sessions?
A: Yes. We offer information sessions year-round, both on-campus and online. Most recruiting events occur during autumn quarter. View schedule of dates, times, and locations.

Q: Can I communicate with a current student in the MLIS program?
A: Yes. Prospective students can arrange a campus visit or be put in email contact with a current student through the iVisit program.

Q. How can I learn more about the program?
A: Visit the Academics section of the website.

Q: What can you tell me about the MLIS student body?
A: See MLIS class profile information

General Admissions Questions

Q: What is the best undergraduate major to have if I want to apply to the MLIS program?
A: The only requirement to apply to the MLIS graduate program is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. We do not require that applicants have a bachelor's degree in a specific area or that they take specific prerequisite courses.

Q: Do you accept transfer credits?
A: Students transferring from other institutions are expected to complete the application process as described. No more than 6 quarter credits will be transferred from another institution, and the credits must meet certain University requirements. No decision to accept transfer credits will be made until after enrollment.

Q: How many times do you admit applicants each year?
A: For the 2017 application cycle, we have 3 rounds of review that correspond with 3 deadlines. See the Application Timeline page for more information. All offers of admission are for Autumn term. (We do not admit students for Winter or Spring admission.)

Q: How competitive is the program?
A: The level of competitiveness for admission into the MLIS program fluctuates from year to year depending on the applicant pool and on the number of admission spaces available. For the last several years the admit rate has fluctuated between 60% and 70%. See MLIS class profile information.

Q: How many students are in each cohort and how many applications do you get?
A: We aim to have 70-80 in each cohort, online and residential. Therefore, about 150 new MLIS students will start in the autumn. We establish wait lists for both online and residential and admit people through the summer as space becomes available. For the last several years, we’ve received around 400 applications.

Q: Are applicants allowed to defer enrollment to a different quarter or year?
A: If you apply and are admitted to the MLIS program, you will not be able to defer your offer of enrollment to another quarter/year. If there is a strong chance you will not be able to start the program in autumn, then wait until the next cycle to submit an application.


Application Requirements & Eligibility

Q: What are the basic requirements to be eligible to apply to the MLIS program?
A: The only requirement to apply to the MLIS program is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. We do not require that applicants have a bachelor's degree in a specific area or that they take specific prerequisite courses. Applicants to the Law MLIS program must have a JD (law degree) from an accredited law school in the United States.

Q: I have a low GPA/GPA below a 3.0. Will I be automatically disqualified from consideration?
A: No. The admissions committee considers more than just the GPA. They will also take note your personal statement, resume, and answer to your supplemental question. The personal statement is a key piece of your application because it is the only opportunity you have to make it clear why this particular program is right for you, what you will bring to and get from the program, and what your goals are once you complete the program. If you would like to address your GPA or provide the committee with additional information, please use the Extenuating Circumstances part of the application.

Q: The application is asking for the GPA of my last 90-quarter or 60-semester credits. How do I do this type of calculation?
A: There is a help link included in the online application that can help you calculate your GPA.

Q: Do I need to submit GRE scores?
A: No. GRE scores are not required.

Q: I had previously reported GRE/GMAT/TOEFL scores with UW. They are showing up in my MLIS application even though they aren’t required. Can you delete these scores so the admissions committee doesn’t see them?
A:  Once official test scores have been reported to the UW it is not possible to have them removed by request. Application materials and student records are subject to UW records retention requirements and will be purged according to these guidelines.

Q: I don't have a bachelor's degree OR my bachelor's degree is from a school that is unaccredited. Can I still apply to the program?
A: The UW Graduate School requires that all graduate level applicants have a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an accredited institution. The MLIS admissions committee has no specific policy regarding admitting students who do not have a bachelor's degree. However, if you submit a complete application by the deadline, it will be reviewed. If the admissions committee decides to recommend you for admission to the program, we will have to enter a petition on your behalf with the UW Graduate School. We are not able to guarantee that this petition would be approved.

Q: I have a 3-year bachelor's degree from a school outside the United States. Am I still eligible to apply to the program?
A: Although the MLIS admissions committee has no specific policy regarding admitting students who do not have a bachelor’s degree, the UW Graduate School requires that all graduate students have a degree equivalent to a 4-year undergraduate degree from the United States. Most 3-year undergraduate degrees from schools outside the United States do not fulfill this requirement. However, if you have a 3-year bachelor's degree and would like us to review your transcript, please contact our office at Please note, 3-year degrees from India do not fulfill the requirement.

Q: How do I request an application fee waiver?
A: The application fee is $85 USD, payable online by debit or credit card. Qualified applicants can request a fee waiver through the Graduate School on the ‘Pay fee and submit application’ section of the MyGrad application. The iSchool is not able to waive the application fee. Your application must be submitted at least 7 days before the application deadline if you intend to waive your fee.

Application Materials

Q: What is the most important aspect of the application materials?
A: The MLIS admissions committee will review all materials submitted with the application. We often encourage applicants to dedicate the most time to their personal statement and responses to the supplemental questions.

Q: How strictly are the word counts for the personal statement and supplemental questions enforced?
A: We don’t have strict limits on exact word counts of the personal statement. However, if it is significantly longer than the given word limit, the committee members might choose to rank your application lower. Part of the purpose of the personal statement is to determine if you can communicate effectively within given parameters.

Q: After my application is submitted, can I edit my application materials?
A: No, after you submit your application, you are not able to edit your personal statement, resume, supplemental question responses or extenuating circumstances. Recommendations and test scores (if applicable) will still be accepted after your application has been submitted.

Q: Which transcripts do I need to submit with my application?
A: Please provide transcripts from all colleges, universities and institutions where you have earned collegiate level credit.

Q: I took classes as a non-matriculated student OR I started a different graduate program, but didn't graduate. Do I need to list the school and provide a transcript?
A: In order to get a complete picture of your academic history, the admissions committee requires that you list and provide transcripts from all colleges, universities and institutions where you have earned collegiate level credit.

Q: Do I need to upload official or unofficial transcripts into the online application?
A: Scans of either official or unofficial transcripts can be submitted online. Applicants can request an official transcript from their school, open and scan it. Once it is opened, it is no longer official. Another option is to copy/paste a transcript from an online system into a word document. All transcripts are reviewed, if we have questions, we’ll contact the applicant directly.

Q: I am not able to obtain copies of some of my transcripts. What do I do?
A: Applicants are required to list all schools they have attended or where they earned academic credit. If you aren’t able to obtain a transcript, you still need to list the school in the application. In place of the transcript, upload a document that summarizes why you aren’t able to obtain a transcript and/or the steps you took to try and obtain it.

Q: I have a really long transcript and can't meet the size requirement to upload it into the application. What do I do?
A: Scan your transcript in black and white, on the lowest resolution. You may also try to shrink it through the website

Q: How do I know whether or not my recommendations have been submitted?
A: Once the recommendation requests have been sent, the status will update automatically if/when a recommendation is submitted for you.

Q: My recommender lost the email that included the link to complete the online recommendation. What do I do?
A: Log back into your MyGrad application, the recommender section includes a “Resend Email” link that can be used to send another recommendation email request.

Q: Can I submit four recommendations?
A: The application requires three recommendations. The system is set to allow four recommenders to be entered. The reason for this additional spot is to account for a recommender who may fail to submit one. It is much better to have 4 recommendations and a complete application than 2 recommendations and an incomplete application.

Q: My recommender wants to send a paper letter. Is this ok?
A: The admissions committee strongly prefers that applicants use the online recommendation system in MyGrad. However, if your recommender needs to send a paper recommendation, please contact our office at for instructions.

Q: My recommender is having a hard time with the online recommendation system. What should they do?
A:  Recommenders can contact our office at or 206.543.1794 for assistance.

Q: What should my recommender write about in my reference letter?
A:  Basic guidelines for recommenders are provided on our website. If your recommender has additional questions or needs assistance, please instruct them to contact our office at

Q: My letters of recommendation are on file with a recommendation service. Can I submit these with my application?
A: We strongly recommend that all applicants use the online recommendation system in MyGrad for several reasons. Often times, the letters stored in a letter service system are generic and not specific to the UW Information School or MLIS program. Therefore, these letters are not as strong as those that are more detailed and written specifically for this application process. Also, these types of letter services often require that paper copies be mailed to our office rather than allowing for online submission. We can accept paper letters, however, the process takes much longer. If you decide you want to use letters on file with a recommendation service, please contact our office, for specific instructions.

Q: How can I retain the right to view my recommendations?
A: You may view your recommendations only after you have been admitted to and are enrolled in the program. At no time can an applicant have access to a recommendation that has been submitted on their behalf. Current students can review their recommendations with an adviser. We are unable to give you copies of your recommendations but we can forward them to another institution or department.

International Applicants

Q: Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A: All applicants who are non-native English speakers (regardless of citizenship) must fulfill the UW English language proficiency requirements. The MLIS admissions committee will accept any form of documentation listed in UW Grad School Memo 8, except the the IELTS. The MLIS admissions committee will not accept the IELTS to fulfill the UW English language proficiency requirement.

Q: What is the minimum TOEFL score required?
A: The MLIS program does not have minimum TOEFL requirements in order to be admitted to the program. However, if you are admitted with a score below those set by the UW Graduate School, you will be required to take additional coursework. Learn more about the UW English Language proficiency requirement


Q: What types of jobs do MLIS graduates do?
A: A broad range of career opportunities in the information field is open to graduates of the MLIS program. Read more about career opportunities

Q: What is the job placement rate for MLIS graduates?
A: Check out MLIS job data and salary information.

We provide career counseling and assistance, but because we don't do placement, we don't have a placement report.