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Admissions FAQ – MSBA

Does Foster offer an application fee waiver?

Unfortunately, Foster is unable to offer fee waivers as our application portal and fee is managed by the UW Graduate School. A limited number of fee waivers are available through the Graduate School based on financial need. Please visit the Graduate School website for more information.

How do I know if I should be applying as an international applicant?

You should submit an international application if you are not a US citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder). This includes:

  • International students who currently hold an I-20 from another school
  • International applicants planning to apply for a new student visa (F1/ J1)
  • International applicants who currently have an H1-B, H4, or other visa that allows for full-time study

What is the application deadline for international students?

International applicants must apply in either Round 1 or Round 2. The Round 2 application deadline is the final deadline for international applicants to ensure enough time for students to obtain or transfer the necessary visas by the start of the school year.

Can I apply to multiple Foster graduate programs?

You are welcome to apply to multiple graduate programs at Foster. Each program has its own application and admissions process, so you will need to complete an application to each individual program you wish to apply to.

Do you have rolling admission?

No. We review applications at the deadline to which they were submitted and send out admission decisions within 6-7 weeks after the deadline. Please see the Admission Notification dates for more information.

Can I apply to start in the fall term?

No, our program starts once a year in the summer quarter. The first day of the program varies but is always in mid-June.

Do you accept transfer credits?

No, we do not accept transfer credits. Our program is designed to be lockstep in that all courses build upon each other throughout the 12-month program. Our program is also rooted in team building and collaboration thus many assignments will be completed in small groups. If you are admitted, we require that you take all the courses, even if you have already taken them at another university.

Are there any prerequisites for the MSBA program?

All prospective students are expected to have a strong quantitative background. This is shown in a number of different ways but may include upper-level math and statistics courses, work or internship experience using analytical techniques, and/or the Quantitative sub-score of the GMAT or GRE. In addition, applicants should have some experience or coursework in computer programming (i.e. R, Python). It is important to demonstrate competence in analytical skills in your application, even though we do not have required prerequisites.

Are any of the application components weighted more heavily than the others?

Components of the MSBA application are not weighted. All of the factors are important aspects of the application and we do a comprehensive review and look at the total application holistically.

I was able to submit my application without both letters of recommendation and/or without official test scores. Is this okay?

You can technically submit your application, but it is not considered complete until all application materials have been received. Furthermore, your application will not be reviewed by the admissions committee until all materials are received. It is up to you, the applicant, to ensure that all materials are received by the deadline. Commonly forgotten components are:

  • Official GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Video Interview

If all materials are received prior to the next round, then you will be considered and sent a decision with the following round of applicants.

Does this program qualify as STEM?

Yes, Foster’s MSBA program is STEM-designated. The CIP code is 52.1399.

Is the MSBA program full-time or part-time?

The MSBA program is full-time, but classes occur on evenings and weekends. This makes our program ideal for both international students and working professionals.

I will finish all my courses and degree before the program start date but my graduation will not take place until after the program start date, am I still eligible?

You would be eligible to enroll in the MSBA program if you will complete all degree requirements before the start of our program (mid-June). In the online application, you will be asked to upload your unofficial transcripts and degree statements. If you are offered admission, and after your degree is conferred, you would need to provide updated official transcripts to the Graduate School for verification.

Why does this program include business management courses?

Many other programs are focused on just the hard data science skills. We believe that in order for business analytics to drive the greatest value to an organization these professionals need the technical skills, data acumen, and business acumen. They need to understand the business environment and what questions to ask, and be able to communicate the benefit of their analysis correctly. Otherwise, the analysis isn’t really aiding the organization. This led us to design our program with roughly 50/50 coverage in terms of business management and hard data science skills.

When can I expect a decision on my application?

Typically, within 6-7 weeks of the deadline to which you applied. Please refer to the Admissions webpage for approximate decision notification timelines by round.

How will I know my admissions decision?

All decisions will be sent via email to the email address you used in the application. The status on your application portal will also be updated if you’ve been admitted or denied.

Can Foster provide me feedback on my application if I am denied admission?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide denied candidates with feedback. There normally is not a single deciding factor that led to a denial, and the decision is usually dependent on the competitiveness of the entire applicant pool. If you are interested in reapplying for the program next year and wish to speak with an admissions counselor about ways to strengthen your application, you may contact [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

What if I want to defer my acceptance and attend the following year?

The MSBA program does not allow deferrals.

If I’m admitted, how long do I have to accept the offer?

You will have approximately two weeks to accept our offer of admission. The exact date will be included in your offer email and official offer letter. When you accept, you are also required to pay the non-refundable enrollment deposit. This is the only way to reserve a spot in the upcoming cohort.

What if I don’t respond to my admission offer by the given deadline?

You will forfeit your offer and the offer will be rescinded.

Can I pay a portion of the deposit now and a portion later?

In order to reserve your seat in the program and accept your admission offer, you must pay the full $1,500 non-refundable enrollment deposit. Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to accept partial payments.

I received an offer from a competing program with a deadline but I still have not heard from Foster’s MSBA. What should I do?

Please send an email letting us know about your deadline and we will try to update the status of your application in time for you to make a decision. While we can’t make any guarantees, we will do our best to make accommodations. In the email, please include proof of admission to the other program.

What are the scholarships available to the MSBA Program?

Each year we award a limited number of partial scholarships to admitted MSBA applicants.

How do I apply for scholarships?

All applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships upon application to the Foster MSBA Program. Your application for admission is also your application for scholarship consideration, and we consider all aspects of your application when awarding merit-based scholarships. There is no separate or additional application to be considered.

When will I found out if I’ve been awarded a scholarship?

If you’ve been awarded a partial scholarship, you’ll receive the notification and amount in your offer letter and/or offer email.

Is the video interview live with an admission’s counselor?

No, the video interview is recorded through Kira Talent. You will be asked a set of randomized questions and the admissions committee does not know which questions you will be asked ahead of time. For each question, you will have some time to prepare your thoughts and then you will have 1 minute to answer. Overall, you can expect to spend 15-20 minutes recording your answers to the video interview.

Do I have to complete the video interview?

Yes, it is a required component of the MSBA application. Your application will not move to review by the admissions committee without it.

When can I expect to receive my invitation to complete the required video interview?

You can expect an email invitation to complete your required video interview from Kira Talent within 2-3 business days after you submit your application. Please check the junk folder of the email address you used to apply to the MSBA program if you haven’t received your invitation within a few business days.

Do I have to complete the video interview before the application deadline?

You are expected to complete the video interview within 48 hours of receiving it. This may or may not fall before the application deadline to which you are applying.

For example, if the deadline is on June 10th, you submit your application on June 8th, we send the video interview email invitation on June 10th, then you have until June 12th to complete the video interview.
Note: these dates do not align with an actual application deadline, they are for example purposes only.

I completed my video interview, but it isn’t marked received on my application.

There is a manual process for our staff to mark each application component received. We do our best to mark the video interview as received within 2-3 business days. Thank you for your patience if it isn’t marked received immediately after you’ve completed it.

In the Employment History section of the application, should I report my work experience in order of position or by company/organization?

You should report your employment history in reverse chronological order to best represent your professional growth and experience. This will also put your most recent role at the top.

In the Employment History section of the application, do I need to list all work experience, including part-time jobs or internships?

In the online application, you may list your post-college work experience in the Employment History section if you prefer. Please do make sure that your resume is comprehensive and includes all relevant work experience, including part-time work and internships.

Is work experience required before applying to the MSBA program?

Work experience is recommended, but not required for admission to the MSBA program. We admit students with a range of experience as well as students who enroll directly from an undergraduate program. Applicants without professional work experience are encouraged to include relevant project, volunteer, and internship experience in your application materials. What’s most important is how your prior knowledge and experiences prepare you for success in the program, and that this program is a great fit with your goals.

Can I work while I am in the program?

Yes, our program is designed to be work-compatible so that individuals may work a typical work week. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9:30pm and on occasional Saturdays all day.

Can I have the GMAT or GRE requirement waived?

Update as of February 5, 2021: GMAT/ GRE waivers closed
A GMAT/ GRE waiver may be granted on a case-by-case basis for select qualified applicants to the Summer 2021 cohort. Please review the “Test Waiver” section of our admission page for more details and how to apply for a waiver.

Do you require official GMAT or GRE scores? How do I report my official scores to Foster?

Unless otherwise waived, official GMAT/ GRE scores are a required component of your complete application. While we can conduct an initial review of your application with your self-reported scores, official scores are required before an admission decision can be made. To report your official GMAT scores, use school code 459-75-20. To report your official GRE scores, use school code 4854, (dept code if required: 0000).

Does Foster prefer one test over another?

No, there is no preference toward the GMAT or GRE and the choice is the applicant’s.

I have taken the GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL more than once. Which score will Foster consider?

We will always consider your highest overall test score.

How soon before the deadline do I need to report my official test scores?

Please send your official test scores no closer than two weeks before the application deadline. Sometimes it can take 10-15 days for scores to be matched to the application system, so we encourage you to send them from ETS or GMAC as soon as you can. Official scores are required before your application can move to review by the admissions committee.

What if my official test scores do not arrive by the deadline?

We cannot guarantee that late test scores will be considered in our evaluation of your admissions application. You should make every effort to have a complete application by the admissions deadline.

I plan on re-taking the GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL after the application deadline. Will my new scores be considered?

You are welcome to report updated test scores. We recommend you contact us with this information and the date which we can expect the new scores at [email protected]. Please keep in mind that, while the admissions committee will do their best to consider updated scores, scores submitted after the application deadline are not guaranteed to be considered with your application.

I can’t take the GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL because of COVID-19. Can I apply without test scores?

The GMAT, GRE, and TOEFL exams are currently also offered in an online, at-home test format to provide options to test takers unable to take a test center-based exam because of the virus. These online, at-home test options will be available through February 2021 to accommodate applicants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As noted previously, a GMAT/ GRE waiver may be granted on a case-by-case basis for select qualified applicants to the Summer 2021 cohort. Please review the “Test Waiver” section of our admission page for more details and how to apply for a waiver. This waiver is not applicable for the TOEFL exam.

I can’t get an online exam date until after the application deadline. Can I apply with no test scores and update my application after the deadline?

Applicants should apply to the earliest application deadline to which they can submit their strongest complete application. If you are unable to take the GMAT, GRE, or TOEFL before the application deadline, we advise looking ahead to preparing a strong and complete application for the next application round.


The application asks for my GPA in several sections. Should I report my cumulative GPA or my last 60/90 credits?

Both. We recommend that you report and enter your GPA based on the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits, when prompted to “Self-Report GPA.” Though we recommend that you report and enter your cumulative GPA, as stated on your bachelor’s degree transcript when adding your transcript.

Do I need to calculate my GPA on a U.S. 4.0 scale?

Yes. We ask you to calculate your cumulative GPA on a U.S. 4.0 scale if your institution’s grading scale is not on a 4.0 scale. Please use the Scholaro GPA conversion resources provided in the application portal.

I attended a school outside of the United States. How do I report my GPA if it is not on a U.S. 4.0 scale?

All applicants should calculate their GPA to a U.S. 4.0 scale if the GPA isn’t already on this scale. Please use the Scholaro GPA conversion resources provided in the application portal to calculate your GPA to a U.S. 4.0 scale.

My school does not provide grades. How do I report my GPA?

Most schools provide some form of letter or number grades, marks, percentages or other forms of scoring. Please calculate your institution’s scoring methods to a U.S. 4.0 scale. If your university does not provide grades, there is a box on the application which you can check to indicate this.

My GPA is below a 3.0. Can I still apply?

Yes, you are welcome to apply if your GPA is below a 3.0. Each year we admit applicants with GPA’s that may fall below a preferred 3.0 GPA who have strong MSBA qualifications. We recommend that you refer to our Class Profile and consider how you can strengthen your application and demonstrate your academic readiness in other parts of your application. Our admissions counselors would be happy to talk with you more about this if you’d like to make an appointment by emailing us at [email protected].

Do I need to submit an official or unofficial transcript in my application?

We recommend that you either upload the PDF version of your unofficial transcript OR scan copies of your official transcripts and upload them as a PDF file to your application. Make sure to include all pages and any transcript keys that describe the institution’s grading scale. These are typically found on the back of most domestic transcripts.

Self-generated online grade reports or versions that have been cut and pasted into a Word document will not be accepted.

Where do I send my transcript?

Please do not send transcripts to our office by mail or digitally. You may submit your application using copies of your official or unofficial transcripts. Should you be admitted to Foster, we will provide further instructions on how to submit your official transcripts to the UW Graduate School once an offer of admission is extended.

How do I submit my transcript if the file is too large to upload to my application?

Please attempt to compress your transcript file size using tools such as Adobe Acrobat or other PDF compressors and upload it to your application. If your transcript is still too large, please email [email protected] for assistance.

Does my transcript need to be translated if it is not in English?

Yes, if your original transcript is not in English, you must submit an official translation in addition to the copy of your original transcript. Transcripts and degree documents that are in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official English translation (translated by a university, government official/organization, or a certified translation service, example: American Translators Association).

Do I need to submit transcripts for every school I have attended, including schools that I transferred from or where I did not earn a degree?

Please submit your transcript from the undergraduate institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree at a minimum. We also recommend that you include transcripts for all other coursework that you would like to be considered with your application, including community colleges with transfer credits. You should also include transcripts for any graduate degrees earned or additional coursework taken.

Do I need to submit a transcript if I took classes to earn a certificate or pursued continuing education?

Please include transcripts for all pertinent coursework and academic history that you would like the admissions committee to consider with your application.

I have a 3-year bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply?

The UW Graduate School requires that all graduate students have the equivalent to a 4-year undergraduate degree from the United States for admission. In some situations, additional course work or degrees in addition to a 3-year degree may meet the requirement. If you have questions about your degree prior to applying, please inquire at [email protected] and copy [email protected] in your email.

I don’t have full-time work experience, can I use two professors as my recommenders?

Yes. If you do not have a current or previous manager to use as a reference, you may use professors. We prefer two professional recommenders such as current supervisor, previous manager, peer team member, or someone you’ve worked with closely in another unit.

What can my recommenders expect?

Recommenders will receive an automated email once you designate them in the application system. Make sure you’ve notified and asked them to be a reference before you designate them. Then, they will be asked to fill out a short fill-in-the-bubble survey about traits we look for in a candidate. Lastly, they have the opportunity to upload a letter of recommendation or type it in directly to the text box.

If I am a re-applicant from a previous year to the MSBA Program, can I reuse my letter(s) of recommendation from a previous year?

Unfortunately, you cannot reuse letter(s) of recommendation. We update components of the application each year and as such the recommendation letter may have a new prompt.

My recommender no longer works at my company, which email address should I use for them?

We recommend using official company email addresses over personal ones like Gmail or Yahoo. If they are at a new company, you may use their new email address, company, and title.

What if my recommender cannot complete the recommendation by the application deadline?

You should withdraw their information in the application system and then designate a new recommender. All application materials must be received by the deadline to which you apply.

What if my recommender hasn’t completed the recommendation?

We suggest that you reach out to your recommender and follow-up with them directly. If they are non-responsive, you can withdraw their information in the application system and designate a new recommender.

Can I have the TOEFL requirement waived?

All applicants should meet the University of Washington’s English Language Proficiency requirement. We cannot waive this requirement and we cannot waive the TOEFL exam. However, you may choose a method other than the TOEFL exam to meet the requirement, if applicable. There are several ways to demonstrate English Language Proficiency outlined in the UW Graduate School Memo 8 if English is not your native language.

What are the English language exams that I can take to satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement?

TOEFL iBT Home Edition

  • Complete the TOEFL exam. Minimum score requirement is 92 iBT/ 580 PBT, though we recommend a score of at least 100 iBT.


  • Complete the IELTS exam. Minimum score requirement is 7.0, though we recommend a score of at least 7.5.

Duolingo English Test

  • For admission to Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 only. Minimum score requirement is 120, though we recommend a score of at least 125.

My transcript is in English. Does this satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement?

No, transcripts in English do not satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement for a Medium of Instruction document. Your transcript or an official letter from your college or university must clearly state that the Medium of Instruction was 100% in English to fulfill the requirement.

My university conducts all courses in English, do I still need to take an English language exam?

You do not need to take an English language exam if the Medium of Instruction of your entire degree program was in English and your transcript clearly states that the Medium of Instruction was English. In this case, you may provide an official letter from your university stating that the Medium of Instruction was 100% English.

English is not my native language, but I am living and working in the United States. Do I still need to take an English language exam?

You must submit documentation of English Language Proficiency as outlined in the UW Graduate School Memo 8 if English is not your native language. Living and working in the United States does not satisfy the English Language Proficiency requirement.

Do I need to submit official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores? How do I report my official scores to Foster?

If you are submitting the TOEFL exam to meet the English Language Requirement, official TOEFL scores are required. Minimum score requirement is 92 iBT / 580 PBT, though we recommend a score of at least 100. Please submit them to the University of Washington using school code 4854 on the ETS website. If prompted, you should leave the department code blank or use 99.

If you are submitting the IELTS exam to meet the English Language Requirement, official IELTS scores are required. 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.

NOTE: For admission to Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 only. If you are submitting the Duolingo exam to meet the English Language Requirement, official Duolingo scores are required. 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).”

Does Foster MSBA accept the TOEFL My Best Score?

Yes, we accept the TOEFL My Best Score.

Does Foster MSBA accept TOEFL ITP Plus for China?

No, the Foster MSBA program does not accept TOEFL ITP Plus for China exam scores.