The University of Washington Information School is taking steps to better meet student demand for its Master’s in Information Management (MSIM) degree. Beginning with the incoming class of autumn 2019, the iSchool will offer an accelerated option to complete either the Full-Time or Mid-Career MSIM in one year.
This expansion will increase capacity in the Full-Time MSIM program, which has been highly competitive in recent years, driving admission rates as low as 25 percent. The iSchool is also responding to popular demand from local professionals and employers. MSIM graduates seek jobs in rapidly growing fields, including business intelligence, data science, user experience, information consulting, information architecture, and information security.
As recent reports show, Seattle is one of the country’s strongest tech markets, with demand for highly trained talent well outpacing local graduation rates. The MSIM degree does not require any prerequisite course work, allowing students from all undergraduate backgrounds to obtain skills that make them highly competitive in Seattle’s rapidly growing market.
Starting with this fall’s applicants for the 2019 incoming class, prospective students will have the opportunity to complete their MSIM degree in either one or two years.
- Full-Time: Well-suited for recent graduates from all backgrounds, for people changing careers, and for those able to take more time away from work. Full-Time students are asked to think carefully about which option (1-year or 2-year) is the best fit, as their decision will be binding.
- 1-year: 40 credits over four quarters. Accelerated pace allows students to complete the degree quickly; course schedule accommodates one specialization plus core set of courses.
- 2-year: 65 credits over six quarters. More moderate pace allows for more breadth in learning experience and longer access to iSchool resources; students complete two specializations and have the opportunity to complete a summer internship.
- Mid-Career: Well-suited for working professionals with at least 5 years' experience, looking to advance their careers.
- 1-year: 36 credits over four quarters. Accelerated pace allows students to complete the degree quickly; course schedule accommodates one specialization plus core set of courses.
- 2-year: 36 credits over six or more quarters. More moderate pace allows for more breadth in learning experience and longer access to iSchool resources; students can complete a second specialization (requires additional credits) and have the opportunity to complete a summer internship.
The admissions committee will review the three applicant pools — 1-year Full-Time, 2-year Full-Time, and Mid-Career — independently, and admissions decisions will be based on a holistic review of quantitative and qualitative factors, with an emphasis on the fit of the applicant to the program. The iSchool cannot predict admission rates for the new 1-year Full-Time option at this time; however, we do not anticipate a significant impact on admission rates for the Full-Time 2-year program, given recent demand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the iSchool adding these new MSIM degree options? What problems does the expansion address?
The new options are being added in response to student and employer demand. In particular, we hope to increase capacity in our Full-Time program, which is extremely competitive, increase the number of graduates trained to work in growing fields such as Business Intelligence and Data Science, and meet the needs of students seeking an accelerated path to a master’s degree.
Who is affected by the changes?
Prospective students applying to enroll in fall of 2019 or later. While the changes do not alter the admission requirements, students will need to select the 1-year or 2-year timeline for their degree at the time of application. Full-Time students are asked to carefully consider which degree option is right for them prior to applying, as this choice will be binding. Mid-Career students are asked to indicate their degree plan on their application, but they may choose to extend their time at the school after they begin the program.
How does this change affect current iSchool grad students?
While the iSchool does not anticipate any impact on current graduate students, we recognize that the addition of a 1-year degree option may cause some incoming students to rethink their academic plans. If you are an incoming graduate student (MSIM or MLIS) and would like to talk to an academic advisor about this program and how it might impact your academic plans, please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will the 1-year tracks offer the same level of academic rigor and hands-on experience as the 2-year programs?
Yes. All 1-year MSIM students will be held to the same standards as their 2-year counterparts.
The 1-year degree options offer an accelerated timeline, catering to students who have focused academic and career goals. Two-year students have more freedom to explore and are afforded the opportunity to complete both an internship and second specialization. To learn more about the different options and which might be right for you, visit our program comparison chart.
Do the 1-year options have different admission requirements?
No. There is no difference in admission requirements if applying to either the 1-year or 2-year option.
How will these changes impact MSIM admission decisions and rates moving forward?
While we cannot predict the admit rates for the 1-year programs at this time, we do not expect the new offerings to significantly alter the acceptance rates into our 2-year Full-Time program.
Competitive applicants to either the Full-Time or Mid-Career program will demonstrate an understanding of MSIM in their application and elucidate how their chosen degree option supports their academic and professional goals.