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Admissions – MSBA

Application Deadlines and Notification Dates

The Foster MSBA Program offers one intake per year—each summer. You may apply to any of the below deadlines, however, you may only submit one application per academic year. We strongly encourage you to apply as early as you are able.

Round Application Deadline Receive Notification
1 November 17 (11:59pm PDT) Mid January
2 January 6* (11:59pm PDT) Early March
3 February 17 (11:59pm PDT) Mid March

*Final Deadline for International Applicants

Application requirements

We admit applicants who show high potential for success in business analytics. These applicants are excellent students from diverse backgrounds, with bachelor’s degrees and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They demonstrate aptitude for communicating complex ideas and undertaking rigorous quantitative analyses. Our ideal applicant is familiar and comfortable with math and statistics and has some exposure to R, Python, Excel, and SQL. We will choose applicants not only for their potential to benefit from the program but also for the experiences and knowledge they bring to the table. Keep in mind, every part of your application (from essays to admission requirements) is subject to fact-checking.

  • Online Applicant Profile (create your profile here)
  • Essay
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • Official GMAT or GRE Score Report
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Self-Review of Qualifications
  • Video Interview
  • Non-refundable application fee ($85)

Important dates

Candidates who are admitted to the MSBA program at Foster are required to attend a series of orientation events prior to the official UW start date. Please be sure to mark your calendar for the following mandatory events should you be admitted to the MSBA program.

  • Orientation week, June 14-18
  • Start of class, June 21

Application process

You must submit all application materials (outlined in the headers below) by the deadline to be considered. Click on each heading to learn more.

Online Applicant Profile

In order to apply to the MSBA program, you must first create a new applicant profile via the UW Graduate School 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 – MS in Business Analytics”
  3. Indicate your desired entry date (e.g. Summer 2019)


One short-answer essay is required and uploaded as part of your online application. The essay must be within 300 words.

  • What are your professional goals, and how will a business analytics degree help you achieve them?


Post-undergraduate professional experience is not required. Your resume must be uploaded to your online application. It should be a complete summary of your education and professional work history in reverse chronological format. For each position, include:

  • Company name and division/group/department
  • Position title
  • Dates of employment or internship
  • Responsibility summary – a 2 to 4 sentence section describing your primary responsibilities for each position
  • Accomplishment bullets – 2 to 4 bullets for each position

Transcripts & GPA Calculation

You must have completed the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university to be considered for admission. The minimum GPA is 3.0 for the last 90-quarter or 60-semester credits. Studies conducted outside of the U.S. need to be converted to a four-point scale (see below) and translated to English. Transcripts are required for all undergraduate and graduate-level institutions attended.

We review each applicant’s undergraduate history, taking note of the difficulty of the curriculum, the scholastic quality of the school, and the existence of any social or economic disadvantage that may have affected past academic performance. Your prior scholastic performance should indicate an ability to complete graduate level work.

Required format for all transcripts
Do not send official transcripts to our office via mail. Scan copies of your original transcripts in PDF file format and upload them to the online application. Make sure to include any transcript keys that describe the institution’s grading scale. These are typically found on the back side of most domestic transcripts.

The Graduate School Application asks applicants to report their Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 0.0 – 4.0 scale for the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits. If your university was not on such a system, please refer to the instructions provided on the Graduate School “Understanding the Application Process” for converting from an international grading system to a 4.0 scale. If you would like to calculate your GPA prior to applying, the application refers applicants to the Foreign Credits website, and to use the GPA calculator for this process.

If you attended a university that does not grade courses or provide a GPA, check the “I do not have a GPA” box. Self-generated online grade reports or versions that have been cut and pasted into a Word document will not be accepted.

The following information must be on 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
  • Both marks sheets and degree statements are required, if applicable

GMAT or GRE Score

For admission to Summer 2022 only, Foster will provide candidates the option to apply without a standardized test score to offer continued testing flexibility in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applying test optional

For a candidate to be competitive without a test score, they must demonstrate quantitative and program readiness by meeting at least two of the following criteria:

  • Strong quantitative or analytical ability demonstrated throughout educational records, with a cumulative GPA at or above 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, and similar grades in quantitative courses.
  • An undergraduate, masters, or advanced degree in STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, statistics, economics, finance, information systems, mathematics) with strong academic performance.
  • At least four 300-to-600-level (or U.S. equivalent) quantitative or analytical courses.
  • Two or more years of progressively responsible professional work experience which clearly demonstrate deep quantitative or analytical aptitude.

These criteria will be considered in holistic review along with other elements of the application including transcripts, resume, essays, recommendations and admissions interview, in the context of the competitiveness of the overall applicant pool.

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

Applying with a GMAT or GRE test

If you are choosing to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) these exams are offered year-round and can be taken multiple times. Scores are valid for five years and you must take the exam at least two weeks before the admissions deadline to allow for the scores to be matched with your application.

If you have taken the exam more than once, the admissions committee will use your highest total score to evaluate your application.

Request that your official scores be sent to the University of Washington MSBA Program. Include your score breakdown in the Self-Reported Test Score sections in the online application.

GMAT Score Reporting: University of Washington, Seattle – Michael G. Foster School of Business-Master of Science in Business Analytics (school code: 459-75-19)

GRE Score Reporting: University of Washington (school code: 4854), (dept code if required: 99)

Proof of English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in English is required for admission to a graduate program at the University of Washington. If your native language is not English you are required 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, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom.
  • Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required and the degree must be equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete the TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition exam. Minimum score requirement is 92 iBT / 580 PBT, though we recommend a score of at least 100. Request that your official scores be sent directly to the University of Washington from ETS (school code 4854). Include your score breakdown in the Self-Reported Test Score section in the online application. 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, though we recommend a score of at least 7.5. Request that your official scores be sent directly to the University of Washington via the “E-Delivery service” option. Printed hard copy Test Report Forms will not be accepted. It could take up to 21 days for the University of Washington to process your results so please take the exam well in advance of the application deadline. Include your score breakdown in the Self-Reported Test Score section in the online application. Applicants with scores below the minimum score requirements are highly encouraged to retake the exam before submitting an application.
  • NOTE: For admission to Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 only. Complete the Duolingo English Test. Minimum score requirement is 120, though we recommend a score of at least 125. 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).”

Letters of Recommendation

Two recommendation letters are required. Preferably, recommendations should be provided by professional contacts versus academic or personal contacts. Designate your recommenders in your online application profile. Recommenders will receive an email directing them to the online recommendation form.

You are required to complete the Self-Review of Qualifications section on the application to more easily explain your technical skillset. You are asked to write no more than two sentences to describe your experience, related coursework and/or knowledge in the following areas. If you don’t have any, write “N/A.”

  • Math, Probability and Statistics
  • Information Technology/Systems
  • Programming Languages (e.g. R, Python, SQL)
  • MS Excel
  • Data and Database Management

Video Interview

You are required to complete a short video interview while your application is under review. The interview allows us to get to know you better, assess your communication skills and your ability to think quickly and creatively. Interview invitations and instructions will be sent via email.

Non-refundable Application Fee $85

The fee can be paid only online via the UW Graduate School application portal, using a MasterCard or Visa credit/debit cards.

Next Steps

Notification of Admission Decision

Completed applications will be reviewed after each round and decisions sent approximately 8 weeks after the applicable deadline. All communication regarding the status of your application, including admission decisions, will be through email only. Application status updates will be displayed on the online application status page.

Offer and Tuition Deposit

Once an offer of admission has been made, the applicant will have two weeks to consider the offer and pay a non-refundable, non-transferrable $1,500 tuition deposit. This deposit must be paid with a credit card online and is applied to the summer quarter tuition balance.

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 MSBA International Applicants 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.

MSBA Orientation

All admitted students are required to attend our Orientation activities mid-June, prior to the start of classes. The sessions are designed to help you get to know your classmates and prepare you for success in the program.

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