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MSIS Admissions

Each June, the Michael G. Foster School of Business enrolls a new cohort of MSIS students. Our objective is to select students who demonstrate a strong aptitude for business, demonstrated leadership capacity, and a strong commitment to completing program requirements. Applicants are selected not only for their potential to benefit from the program, but also for the experience and knowledge they can contribute to the class. Our small class sizes allow the MSIS program to offer a rich and personalized learning experience.

The GMAT or GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have graduated with an IS option from the Foster School in the last three years. More information about the GMAT and GRE are located in the application components section.

MSIS is a STEM-designated program
Application deadline:

Program Type: Full-time, weeknights and some Saturdays
Class Type: Cohort-based, in-person
Course Sequence: Lock-step

*Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis

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Start date: June 20, 2022

Program duration: 12 months
Credits: 44
Total Enrollment: Up to 90
Class Size: Up to 50
Quarters: Summer, fall, winter, spring

*University of Washington is continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in conjunction with state and federal health regulations. At this time the MSIS Program anticipates operating in a hybrid model for Summer 2021.

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Admission requirements

We strive to create an environment representative of the organizations in which the students work. We believe that a diverse student body is reflected in the experience, cultural background, ethnic origin, professions, career goals, living experiences, and previous academic study of the students and helps to create such an environment. All applicants are evaluated using the following four criteria:

  1. Past academic performance
    We review each prospective student’s undergraduate history, taking note of the difficulty of the curriculum and the scholastic quality of the school attended. We also consider the applicant’s post baccalaureate academic experience, if any. Special attention is given to performance in courses taken in the Information Systems area.
  2. General intellectual ability
    We evaluate each individual’s performance on either the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which provide a measure of the applicant’s general verbal and quantitative abilities. These attributes, which develop over a long period of time, are related to success in graduate management curricula.
  3. Managerial potential
    We assess each prospective student’s level of managerial responsibility by examining his or her accomplishments in school, community activities, internships, and work experience.
  4. Ability to communicate clearly, succinctly, and persuasively
    The required essay demonstrates each applicant’s level of writing competence, as well as his or her ability to think through issues. Scores on an English proficiency exam may be required if English is not the applicant’s native language.

Degree requirements

Applicants are required to hold a Bachelor’s degree with an Information Systems major or concentration, or a related field. A combination of education and experience may be accepted in lieu of this requirement. We welcome a diverse cohort every year, and historically many of our students have a non-technical Bachelor’s degree. Studies conducted outside of the U.S. do not need to be converted to a four-point scale, but transcripts should be translated to English. We evaluate candidates on a case-by-case basis.

Work experience

Post-undergraduate professional experience is desirable, but not required.

Information Systems proficiency requirement

Foster MSIS applicants must demonstrate exposure to basic IT infrastructure, including databases, data networking, and some object-oriented development environment. College transcripts, employment responsibilities listed in your resume, and relevant real-world experience may also be used to demonstrate this understanding. Applicants who have limited experience in these proficiency areas are encouraged to consider applying for our Spring quarter, MSIS Accelerate.

Application components

Application checklist

  • Online Applicant Profile (create your profile here)
  • Personal statement essay
  • Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Official GMAT or GRE Score Report
  • Foster Statement of Integrity
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Non-refundable application fee ($85)
  • Video interview
  • (optional) MSIS Scholarship Application

Online application profile

Create your online application profile via the UW Graduate Admissions website. After creating your profile, you will be asked to select program information:

  1. Select your application type: “Graduate”
  2. Select your graduate program: “Business Administration – Foster School of Business – Information Systems MS”
  3. Indicate your desired entry date (e.g. Summer 2019)

Required personal statement essay

A personal statement essay is required and must be uploaded or entered online. The essay must be within 750 words and must answer the following questions:

  1. Why have you decided to pursue an MSIS degree?
  2. What are your career goals in the next 5 to 10 years?
  3. How will this degree help you reach these goals?


Your resume should be a complete summary of your education and professional work history in reverse chronological order. Your resume must be uploaded or entered online. Please include internships and other project experience as well. For each position or internship, include:

  • Company name; division, group, or department; dates of employment or internship
  • Position title, if applicable
  • Responsibility summary: a 2-4 sentence section describing your primary responsibilities for each position
  • Accomplishment bullets: 1-3 bullets for each position.

Letters of recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommendations could come from your professors or supervisor at work. Designate your recommenders in your online application profile. Recommenders will receive an email directing them to the online recommendation form.


Unofficial transcripts from all college institutions in which a degree was granted are required. Documents should be generated by the institution (e.g., a scan of an official document or a PDF created from a student portal). Anything appearing self-generated is not considered a valid document. Unofficial transcripts are used to evaluate your academic record during admissions. We reserve the right to request an official transcript at any point once you submit your application. Admitted students will be required to submit an official transcript for verification.

Do not send official transcripts to our office via mail. Admitted students will need to submit official transcripts at a later date.

Cumulative GPAs are required (3.0 minimum) for each listed prior school. Report GPA based on the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits. There is a check box where you can indicate “I do not have a GPA” for schools such as Evergreen State College. You are not required to convert GPAs to a 4.0 scale.

Required content for all transcripts:

  • Full name of applicant (former names are acceptable if indicated on application)
  • Name of degree-granting institution
  • Title(s) of academic degree(s) awarded
  • Dates of enrollment, including date of graduation/degree conferral
  • Names of individual courses
  • Grades, marks, or ratings of individual courses
  • International transcripts must include official English translations but are not required to re-scale grades to a 4.0 scale
  • Both marks sheets and degree statements are required, if applicable

Test Waivers

Test waivers may be provided on a case-by-case basis for select qualified applicants to the Summer 2022 cohort based on the criteria below. Please review the below information and if you wish to be considered for a test waiver, please submit the Test Waiver Request Form. We will respond to all test waiver requests within two weeks. The final date to submit a test waiver request for Summer 2021 is January 15, 2022.

Please note that completion of a request form does not guarantee the award of a test waiver, nor does a granted test waiver guarantee an offer of admission.

Selection Criteria:
A variety of factors will be considered when evaluating test waiver requests, including a candidate’s academic and professional aptitude. We expect candidates for a test waiver to have at least one of the following. Preference given for academic or professional experience in a quantitative field:

  • 5+ years of full-time progressive work experience and a minimum 3.0 (out of 4.0) cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • 3+ years of full-time progressive work experience and a minimum 3.5 (out of 4.0) cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Professional certification (such as CPA, CFA, PMP)
  • Quantitative master’s degree

*Graduates of the UW Foster School of Business with an Information Systems option within the last 3 years are automatically granted a waiver.

Foster School Statement of Integrity

All applicants must confirm the statement of integrity when completing the applicant profile.

The Michael G. Foster School of Business takes very seriously the standards of ethical behavior of its students. To ensure the admission process integrity, applicants must confirm the following statement:

“I certify that the statements in this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that withholding, misrepresenting or giving false information will invalidate my application. I understand the Foster School of Business may contact the individuals who wrote my letters of recommendation, past employers, schools I have attended, and other organizations or individuals I have listed in this application to confirm the accuracy of the information set forth. I acknowledge that the application fee and submitted records are not returnable.”

Proof of English language proficiency

If your native language is not English, the University of Washington requires applicants to demonstrate English language proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  • Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #1 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. The undergraduate degree must be equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School.
  • An official letter stating successful completion of one of the following UW Intensive English Programs (IEP). The letter must be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Complete the TOEFL exam. Minimum score requirement is 92 iBT / 580 PBT NOTE: Most test scores are valid for two years. Applicants with scores below the minimum score requirements are highly encouraged to retake the exam before submitting an application.

Non-refundable Application Fee ($85)

A non-refundable application fee of $85 must be paid by credit card through the online application system. You must submit a separate application and pay a separate application fee for each graduate program you are applying to. We are not able to transfer applications between programs.

Video interview

All applicants must complete a short video interview. You will need a computer with internet access, a webcam, and a microphone. The video interview allows us to get to know you better, assess your communication skills as well as your ability to think quickly and creatively. Once you submit your admissions application, you will be emailed instructions on how to complete the video interview. The interview consists of pre-recorded questions by the MSIS Program where your responses to these questions are recorded. The interview needs to be completed by the application deadline.
*In-person interviews may be substituted for the video interview on a case-by-case basis

MSIS Scholarship Application (optional)

The MSIS Program offers limited scholarships. The scholarship application is an optional part of the application for admission. Submission of the application should be included with initial program admission materials through the online application on the UW Graduate Admissions website.

This section contains information about what you can expect after you have submitted your application.


An admissions decision will be provided in approximately two months for those who submit their application by the application deadline (February 1). All communication regarding the status of your application, including admission decisions, will be through electronic mail only. If your application of admission is denied, you are permitted to reapply. Our admissions decisions are final. Typically, there is no single component that disqualifies a candidate from admission. Admission cannot be deferred.

Offer and Tuition Deposit

Once an offer of admission has been made, the applicant will have two weeks to consider our offer and pay a non-refundable, non-transferrable $3,000 tuition deposit. This deposit must be paid with a credit card online and is applied to the summer quarter tuition balance. Refer to our tuition and fees page for tuition information.

International Applicants

If you are an admitted international applicant and indicated you would be requesting an I-20 or DS-2019, you will be given separate instructions. The request for visa status requires you to provide statements of financial ability. Refer to our tuition and fees page for more information. Due to the program starting in summer quarter, there is a limited amount of time to submit your request and provide the financial documents. Delaying this process, may result in not obtaining your visa in time to join the program.