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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.

MSIS is a STEM-designated program

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.

Application deadlines

Application Open Date for the 2025-2026 Academic Year: September 1
Priority Deadline: January 5

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

Start date: June 23, 2025
Program duration: 12 months
Credits: 44
Total Enrollment: Up to 100
Class Size: Up to 50

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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. Test-optional applications are also available, learn more about how to apply test-optional for this cycle.
  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 the minimum equivalent of a four-year baccalaureate degree. 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)
  • Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Professional Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Test Scores: GRE/GMAT or Test Optional
  • English Language Proficiency*
  • Information Systems Proficiency
  • Scholarship Application (optional)
  • Personal Statement (optional)
  • Video interview
  • Non-refundable application fee ($90)
  • Foster School Statement of Integrity

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 2024)


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

Statement of Purpose

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

  • Why are you interested in MSIS?
  • What are your learning goals?
  • What are your career goals in the next 5 to 10 years?
  • How will MSIS help you reach these goals?

Professional Resume

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. We recommend using one academic and one professional reference. However, if you choose to use both academic references or professional references, that is acceptable as well. 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.

Test Optional

Applicants to the MSIS program who are able to demonstrate strong quantitative skills through their prior academic work and/or recent professional experience may apply with or without a GMAT or GRE test score.

What factors make an applicant well-suited to apply without a test score?
Candidates who may be competitive without a test score are those who can demonstrate quantitative ability and program readiness by meeting additional criteria:

  • Strong quantitative or analytical ability demonstrated throughout educational records, with a GPA at or above 3.5/4.0
  • An undergraduate, masters, or advanced degree in STEM or a business-related major, with strong performance and multiple quantitative or analytical courses
  • Clearly demonstrated quantitative or analytical professional work experience. Professional certifications in a quantitative-related field, e.g., CPA, CFA, PE, etc.
  • Four or more years of professional work experience which demonstrates deep quantitative, analytical, or leadership aptitude

Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee admittance to the Foster MSIS program. If you believe your academic readiness is best demonstrated by an exam, we encourage you to provide an exam score.

Test scores are strongly recommended if your transcript or work experience does not contain evidence of your quantitative abilities. If your GPA falls below the University of Washington Graduate School minimum of 3.0/4.0, test scores can also help mitigate concerns regarding academic readiness.

How do I apply without a test score?
To apply test optional, please complete the question in the “Test Optional Summary of Qualifications” section of the application. You will be asked to answer the following question. We advise that you stick to a 150-word maximum response:

  • Please detail the specific evidence in your academic and/or professional experience that supports your analytical and quantitative preparedness for success in our accelerated MSIS degree.

By completing this section you are not required to self-report GMAT or GRE scores. Please skip the GMAT and GRE sections in the application and leave them blank.

Please view our FAQ blog for answers to more frequently asked questions.

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.
  • Complete the IELTS exam. Minimum score requirement is 7.0. Request that your official scores be sent directly to the University of Washington via the “E-Delivery service” option.
  • Complete the Duolingo exam. Minimum Minimum score requirement is 120. Request that your official scores be sent directly to the University of Washington from Duolingo by selecting, “University of Washington Graduate Admissions (Bothell, Seattle, Tacoma).”

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.

Personal Statement (optional)

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?

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 on how to complete the video interview within 2-3 business days. 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

Non-refundable Application Fee ($90)

A non-refundable application fee of $90 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.

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.”

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 for priority deadline, March 23 for secondary deadline). 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.

Admissions Events

Participate in one of our admissions events to learn more about MSIS! Register to attend by selecting an event on the calendar below. Want to learn more about Foster’s Master of Science in Information Systems Program? Fill out the form to join our mailing list.

Upcoming MSIS Events

    • Class Previews— Experience an MSIS class first-hand and be the guest of a student host! Please note that while we do our best to accommodate each request, we are limited by classroom seating capacity.
    • Open house (online and in-person)—During this session, we will give you an overview of the program, discuss the admissions process, and answer any questions that you have.

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