MSIM Admissions FAQ
- Learning About The Program
- General Admissions Questions
- Application Eligibility & Requirements
- Application Materials
- International & Non-native English Speakers
Learning about the Program
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 do I decide which MSIM degree option is right for me?
A: This decision is dependent on your academic and professional background, goals and desired timeline. Compare the programs side-by-side to determine which option is the best fit for you and explore our FAQ about the online vs. residential degree options. Still unsure? Attend an information session to learn more from admissions staff and ask questions.
Q: What can you tell me about the MSIM student body?
A: See MSIM class profile information: Early-Career ("1 year Early-Career MSIM" refers to the Early-Career Accelerated track while "2 year Early-Career" is the traditional Early-Career track) and Mid-Career.
Q: Do MSIM students work on campus?
A: Yes! 63 percent of first-year Early-Career MSIM residential students had secured an on-campus job midway through their first quarter in the program. Among the Early-Career MSIM residential students with on-campus jobs, 27 percent are working at the iSchool as a TA, GA or reader/grader.
Q: Do most students participate in internships?
A: Within our graduating Class of 2020, out of 142 respondents, 25% completed two or more internships.
Q: Is the MSIM program considered a STEM discipline?
A: Yes, the MSIM program is a STEM discipline.
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 programs 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 Early-Career residential program has been below 25 percent. The admit rate for the Mid-Career program has generally been above 80 percent. The online mode is new for 2021, so data for those tracks is not yet available. See MSIM class profile information: Early-Career ("1 year Early-Career MSIM" refers to the Early-Career Accelerated track while "2 year Early-Career" is the traditional Early-Career track) and Mid-Career.
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: No, the MSIM program does not accept transfer credits.
Q: How many times do you admit applicants each year?
A: For the degree tracks in residential mode, we admit students for autumn quarter only. For the online mode, students can begin in any academic quarter.
Q: Are applicants allowed to defer enrollment to a different quarter or year?
A: For residential students, if there is a strong chance you will not be able to start the MSIM program in autumn, please wait until the next cycle to submit an application. Admitted students can request a deferral, however, these requests are only approved in the event of rare extenuating circumstances.
Q: I am a Washington state resident. Am I eligible for a tuition waiver or reduction?
A: All 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; residential or online) 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 a tuition waiver or reduction?
A: The 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 (if required), 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.
Q: What are the requirements for admitted students?
A: In order to accept the offer of admission, applicants are required to pay a $250 non-refundable deposit, which will go toward their first quarter tuition. Additionally, applicants will need to fulfill other requirements as outlined by the UW Graduate School, such as submitting official transcripts and measles immunization documentation (residential students only).
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 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: The MSIM admissions committee values applicants from a wide range of backgrounds with varied skillsets. As such, we encourage all students to apply, regardless of GPA. Applications are reviewed holistically, and both qualitative and quantitative factors are taken into account when admissions decisions are made. Applicants with a lower GPA may want to provide additional information in the Extenuating Circumstances part of the application.
Note: The UW Graduate School has a minimum GPA requirement. As detailed on their website, individual programs may consider qualified applicants with a GPA below a 3.0.
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 and the instructions are provided below:
To calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) for the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits:
- Working from the most recent quarter/semester, add the graded course credits (excluding thesis or dissertation courses) until you reach 90 quarter or 60 semester credits. Use these 90 quarter or 60 semester credits to calculate your GPA.
- To calculate your GPA, multiply each course grade by the credits to achieve grade points. Add all grade points and divide by the total number of credits.
Conversion between quarter and semester credits
If the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credits span two or more institutions on different academic calendars, use the following formulas to convert grades to a single system. Multiply by 1.5 when converting from semesters to quarters and divide by 1.5 when doing the reverse. For example, a 4-credit class under a semester system is equivalent to a 6-credit class under a quarter system (4 x 1.5 = 6) and vice versa (6 ÷ 1.5 = 4).
Q: I attended a school outside the U.S. 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 U.S. We understand that GPA calculations can be difficult and encourage applicants to do their best.
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: Although the MSIM 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 email@example.com. Please note, 3-year degrees from India do not fulfill the requirement.
Q: What is the most important aspect of the application materials?
A: The MSIM admissions committee uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications. We place considerable weight on the personal statement, recommendation letters, student’s background and resume in coming to a final decision.
Q: Is my selection of the Early-Career vs. Early-Career Accelerated degree option binding?
A: Yes. Students should carefully consider which degree option is right for them prior to applying. After starting the program, students may request a switch to the alternate option. However, these types of switches will be rarely granted, especially for those wanting to opt in to the Accelerated track due to its faster pace. Mid-Career applicants should indicate their intended degree plan, but their choice is not binding.
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: 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, state of purpose, 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: 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 following websites: adobe compress pdf or smallpdf.com.
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 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 two recommendations. The system is set to allow three 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 three recommendations and a complete application than two 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 the application. However, if your recommender needs to send a paper recommendation, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 for several reasons. Oftentimes, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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 advisor. 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 ‘Verify, pay, and submit application’ section of the application. Your application must be submitted at least 7 days before the application deadline if you intend to request a fee waiver through the Graduate School.
Q: What are the GRE/GMAT requirements?
A: Submitting official GRE (or GMAT) scores is required for MSIM applicants. Early-Career and Early-Career Accelerated candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution located in the United States are exempt from the requirement. All Mid-Career applicants are also exempt from the requirement.
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 submit additional scores?
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 application 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: For the Early-Career MSIM program, the minimum TOEFLi score is a 100. There is no minimum TOEFL for the Mid-Career MSIM program. However, applicants should be aware of the UW Graduate School requirements outlined in Memo 8.
Q: Can I use the TOEFL "MyBest" composite score to demonstrate the minimum required TOEFLi score?
A: We accept MyBest TOEFL composite scores as a means of meeting this requirement.
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: 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. This documentation should accompany your transcript in the program application.
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 an exemption from this requirement.
Q: Is the MSIM Program classified as a STEM discipline?
A: Yes, the MSIM program is classified as a STEM discipline. International students in the MSIM program may be eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension.
Q: I am a student from India with a 3-year bachelor’s degree, with some additional education after that. Does my education fulfill the UW Graduate School requirement for a “4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent”?
A: Since this a requirement of the central UW Graduate School, it’s a good idea to confirm directly with them whether your education meets the requirement at email@example.com. Traditionally, however, the Graduate School has issued the following guidelines for additional qualifications from India — to combine with a 3-year degree bachelor’s — which are deemed sufficient for graduate admission:
- A 3-year bachelor degree plus CONFERRAL of an Indian master's degree. These two qualifications are sufficient for graduate admission. (One year completion of a master's program without conferral of the degree is NOT sufficient.)
- A 3-year bachelor degree plus CONFERRAL of the Post Graduate Diploma (PGD 1-year minimum early-career), recognized by AIU (Association of Indian Universities) or AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). These two qualifications are sufficient for graduate admission.
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 along with 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 MSIM program. Read more about career opportunities.