Frequently Asked Questions: Admissions

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Learning About The Program
General Admissions Questions
Application Eligibility & Requirements
Application Materials
International & Non-native English Speakers


Learning About The Program

Q: Do you offer MSIM Information Sessions?
A: Yes. We offer information sessions year-round, both on-campus and online. View schedule of dates, times, and locations.

Q: Could I communicate with a current student in the MSIM 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 MSIM student body?
A: See MSIM class profile information

General Admissions Questions

Q: What is the best undergraduate major to have if I want to apply to the MSIM program?
A: The only requirement to apply to the MSIM 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: How competitive is the program?
A: The level of competitiveness for admission into the MSIM program fluctuates from year to year depending on the applicant pool and on the number of admission spaces available. For the past couple years, the admit rate for the Full-Time program has been below 25%. The admit rate for the Mid-Career program is generally above 80%. See MSIM class profile information

Q: Can I take classes in the MSIM program before being admitted?
A: If you would like to take iSchool courses without formerly being in a program, please read all the information for taking classes as a non-degree seeking student.

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 can be transferred from another institution, and the credits must meet certain University requirements. The final decision on accepting transfer credit is made by the faculty adviser only after enrollment.

Q: How many times do you admit applicants each year?
A: We admit students once per year for autumn quarter only. All applicants (domestic, international and transfer) will use the same deadline

Q: Are applicants allowed to defer enrollment to a different quarter or year?
A: No. If you admitted to the MSIM 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, please wait until the next cycle to submit an application.

Q: I am a Washington state resident. Am I eligible for tuition waiver or reduction?
A: Both of the MSIM programs are self-sustaining and are not supported by state funds. As a result, all applicants (in-state, out of state and international) pay the same tuition. Unfortunately, the tuition waiver/exemption cannot be used on self-sustaining programs.

Q: I am a Washington state employee. Am I eligible for tuition waiver or reduction?
A: UW tuition-exemption benefit applies only to state-supported programs, and not self-sustaining programs. Therefore, MSIM students who are Washington state employees do not qualify for the tuition exemption.

Q: How do I qualify for an iSchool scholarship?
A: The iSchool has a limited number of merit-based scholarships available each year. All applicants to the MSIM program who apply by the deadline are automatically considered for these awards. Recipients will be notified shortly after admissions decisions are conveyed.

Q: How does the MSIM admissions committee make admissions decisions?
A: Applicants are evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative factors, with emphasis on the fit of the applicant to the program. The evaluation is based on GRE/GMAT scores, GPA, resume, personal statement, and recommendations. Because we consider these items as a package, there are no minimums or target ranges. (The exception to this is the TOEFLiBT. If using this test to fulfill the English language proficiency requirement, a minimum of 100 is required.) Each student is rated individually on the strength of the combination of all of these factors.

Application Eligibility & Requirements

Q: What are the basic requirements to be eligible to apply to the MSIM program?
A: The only requirement to apply to the MSIM graduate program is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. (If your degree was earned outside the United States, it must be equivalent to a 4-year degree from the the U.S.) We do not require that applicants have a bachelor's degree in a specific area or that they take specific prerequisite courses.

Q: What is the minimum acceptable GPA?
A: There is no minimum GPA requirement. However, applicants with a lower GPA may want to address the issue in 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: I attended a school outside the US with a different grading scale. How do I calculate my GPA?
A: The help link in the application includes information about calculating GPAs from schools outside the US. (direct link) If you are unable to do a GPA calculation, you are welcome to leave that section of the application blank or estimate your GPA. Applicants should not spend a significant amount of time on the GPA calculation.

Q: I have a low GPA/GPA below a 3.0. Will I be automatically disqualified from consideration?
A: No. All complete applications (regardless of GPA) are reviewed and considered for admission. 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: I don't have a bachelor's degree OR my bachelor's degree is from a school that is unaccredited, but I have a lot of work experience. 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 MSIM 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: No. A 3-year undergraduate degree from a school outside the United States does not fulfill this requirement and the Graduate School will not approve petitions to admit these students.

Application Materials

Q: What is the most important aspect of the application materials?
A: The MSIM admissions committee uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications and consider all scores; particularly the verbal and writing sections of the GRE/GMAT. However, we also place considerable weight on the personal statement, recommendation letters, student’s background and resume in coming to a final decision.

Q: What makes a strong personal statement?
A: The personal statement is your opportunity to present your goals and experience as they relate to information management. We’re interested in how you see the field from your own personal perspective. What drew you to it in your past experience? What do you hope to do after you graduate? What is it that excites you about the field and makes you want to dive deeper into it? We’re assessing 1) your understanding of what information management is 2) your understanding of how it fits with what we teach and 3) your writing skills.

Q: How strictly are the word counts for the personal statement 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: Rather than answer the personal statement questions individually, I want to reply with one narrative response. Is this ok?
A: Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow the formatting outlined in the responses. If the formatting is not followed, committee members might choose to rank your application lower.

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, including those where you took classes as a non-matriculated student or started a different graduate program.

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: Do I need to mail official transcripts to the Information School?
A: No. Please do not send paper transcripts to the iSchool. All application materials, including transcripts, are submitted online.

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: 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 4 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: 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 MSIM 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, or 206 543 1794, 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.

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.


Q: What are the minimum GRE/GMAT score requirements?
A: The MSIM program does not have minimum GRE/GMAT score requirements. We admit students with a range of scores based on a holistic assessment of the application. The committee pays particular focus on the verbal and writing sections of those tests, as strong scores in those areas have been indicative of success in the program. However, we also place considerable weight on the personal statement, recommendation letters, and the student’s background and resume.

Q: Should I take the GRE or the GMAT?
A: For admissions considerations, no preference is given to one test over another. Students should take the test that best suits their background, strengths and interests.

Q: When should I take the GRE or GMAT?
A: As a general rule, we advise applicants to take the GRE (or GMAT) 4-6 weeks before the application deadline to ensure that their scores will be reported in time.

Q: Do you accept "old" GRE or GMAT scores?
A: Yes, we are happy to accept official test scores of any age. Please note, testing agencies often have specific retention schedules for official scores. (Scores are not kept idefinitely.) Please check with the testing service directly to ensure that your scores are still on file.

Q: I already have a master's degree and/or a lot of work experience. Do I still need to submit GRE/GMAT scores?
A: For the Full-Time MSIM program, the only exemption from the GRE/GMAT score requirement is to have a professional or doctoral degree, (JD, PhD, MD, PharmD, etc.). We do not grant exemptions for applicants who already have a master’s degree or for work experience. For the Mid-Career MSIM program, applicants who have substantial relevant work experience, beyond the minimum 5 years, or those who have a master’s degree, may petition to waive the GRE/GMAT requirement by providing additional information in the extenuating circumstances part of the application.

Q: How do I report GRE or GMAT scores to the UW?
A: The GRE report code is 4854 (no department code). The GMAT report code is 459-RN-51. Once your scores are reported to the UW they will match up with your application after your application has been submitted. If your application is in progress and has not been submitted, your scores will not show as received.

Q: I already submitted official test scores (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL) to the UW. I am not happy with my scores and would like to submit updated scores. Can I?
A:  Yes. You are welcome to submit multiple score reports to the UW. The admissions committee will consider all official scores that are reported to the UW by the final application deadline. Once official scores are reported to the UW, we are not able to delete them from the system.

Q: I just submitted my application and I know my test scores were reported to the UW several weeks ago. Why aren't my test scores showing up?
A: After your application is submitted, it normally takes a couple days for your test scores to show as received. You are able to check the status of your application by logging on to the MyGrad website.

International & Non-native English Speakers

Q: I am an international applicant, 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, please see UW Grad School Memo 8 for more information

Q: What is the minimum TOEFLi score required?
A: The minimum TOEFLi score is a 100.

Q: Can I submit TOEFL or TOEFLC to fulfill the English language proficiency requirements?
A: Yes, the minimum requirements are as follows:

  • TOEFL - 590
  • TOEFLC - 240

Q: Can I submit IELTS to fulfill the English language proficiency requirements?
A: No, the MSIM admissions committee will no longer accept the IELTS.

Q: I am a non-native English speaker. Can I submit TOEFL scores after I've been admitted to the program?
A: If you choose to submit TOEFL scores to fulfill the requirement, they must be submitted by the application deadline. The MSIM admissions committee may use them in the decision process.

Q: I am a non-native English speaker, but I have degree from an accredited school in the United States. Do I still need to submit TOEFL scores?
A: No. If you have earned a degree (bachelor's, master's or PhD) from an accredited institution within the United States, you do not need to submit TOEFL scores.

Q: I am a non-native English speaker, but I attended a school where all instruction was in English. Do I still need to submit TOEFL scores?
A: No. Attending an institution where the instruction for your undergraduate degree was entirely in English is one way to fulfill the language proficiency requirement. You’ll need to obtain documentation from your undergraduate institution that verifies this.

Q: I am a non-native English speaker. Can I request that the English language proficiency requirement be waived?
A: No. The English language proficiency requirement is established and enforced by the UW Graduate School. The Information School is not able to provide exemption from this requirement.

Q: My transcripts are not written in English. How is the process different for me?
A: Foreign transcripts should be submitted in the original language and an English translation.

Q: Do international applicants have to provide financial ability documentation when they apply to the program?
A: International applicants may be required to show financial ability. However, those materials are not submitted during the admissions process. Applicants who are admitted to the program will be given instructions regarding financial ability requirements and documentation. Learn more about this process


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

The iSchool provides career counseling and assistance, including individual advising, education, and events with employers, but we do not provide automatic placement services for students or graduates.

Q: What types of jobs do MSIM 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