MSIS Application Frequently Asked Questions

When you’ve made the decision to take the next step in your education, the last thing that should stop you is the application. We know that you want to put your best foot forward when applying to the Master of Science in Information Systems Program, so we’ve compiled some program and application FAQ’s to help your application reach its fullest potential. And, when in doubt, the MSIS team is always here to help!

Our final application deadline is February 1, and we want to make sure you feel comfortable submitting your best application.

Contact us anytime at [email protected]!

Program Information

Can I pursue this Masters degree while working full time?

Yes! MSIS is a full-time evening and weekend program designed to be work-compatible. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings (6-9:30 p.m.) and on Saturdays (9 a.m.-5 p.m.).

Students work at companies like Boeing, Microsoft, EY, etc. while completing the 1-year accelerated masters program. MSIS begins in June each year, and students graduate by the following June, creating a career advantage in just 12-months.

What do MSIS graduates do?

MSIS students come to the program with very diverse backgrounds and professional goals, and they pursue a variety of roles after graduation.The MSIS program curriculum equips students with broad technical skills to be at the forefront of technological innovation and open doors in many technology management fields.

An example of our alumni job titles include Data Analyst, Business Intelligence Consultant, Information Technology Consultant, IT Risk and Compliance Consultant, Product Intelligence Manager, Technical Program Manager, and more.

Learn more about the career services offered by the Foster School of Business and MSIS, and the jobs held by our alumni.

Admissions and Applications

My academic background is not in information systems, am I eligible to apply?

Absolutely – we welcome students with many backgrounds, from engineering to humanities, business, finance, and more. In fact, many of our students do not come from traditional IS backgrounds.

Because we welcome students from such a wide range of backgrounds, we do look to see that applicants have had exposure to three main areas of IT infrastructure: Databases, Data Networking, and Object-Oriented Development Environments. You can highlight your exposure to these areas through experience from work, certificate programs, class projects, internships, and/or courses that you believe will position you as a strong candidate. If your experience in these areas is limited, we encourage you to explore applying for our Spring quarter, MSIS Accelerate.

Here at Foster, we take a holistic approach when it comes to reviewing applications. We evaluate based on past academic performance, professional experience, communication skills, information systems experience, managerial potential, and more.

That’s why it is important to make sure you can articulate what makes you a good fit for the program. The personal statement is critical in providing us insights about you as an individual, and is a great place to discuss how your background has prepared you for the program. Ultimately, we want to know what drives you to be a part of the MSIS community at Foster, what your professional goals are, and how the MSIS program will help you reach those goals.

Your resume is also a great opportunity to highlight your education and professional work history or internships, demonstrating your fit for the program.

Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE score that I should have?

MSIS does not have a minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement. The average scores for our Class of 2022 were a 316 GRE and a 670 GMAT. If you are unsure which exam to take, find the examination that best highlights your strengths by visiting their respective websites (GRE, GMAT). Each site provides test resources, practice tests, and more to help you prepare.

Below are the codes needed to submit your test scores:

GRE: Institution code 4854
Institution code 4854
GMAT: University of Washington – Seattle – Michael G. Foster School of Business – Seattle/MS in Information Systems

*MSIS is now Test Optional for the 2023 admissions cycle. Read more about this policy on our admissions website or Test Optional FAQ blog. The GMAT/GRE requirement is always waived for recent graduates who have received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Information Systems from the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business. If you have questions about your waiver eligibility, email us at [email protected].


What can I expect from the video interview?

The video interview can be a lot less daunting than it sounds! It simply allows us to get to know you better and 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. The system will ask you three questions, and you will record yourself answering them. You get a minute to prepare and a minute to answer each question; the whole process typically takes about 10-15 minutes. Questions are randomized, but are designed to provide us more information about your background with leadership, information systems, your desire to pursue the program, etc.

We strongly encourage applicants to utilize the practice session. The practice session consists of 2 questions, and you can have as many practice sessions as you need to feel comfortable with the assessment. Practices are recorded so you can replay them to see how you did but are not saved or sent to our program.

The biggest piece of advice we can give is to treat this as you would an in-person interview, dressing in professional and presentable attire, and speaking clearly. The interview is required for all applicants, and it must be completed by the application deadline.

Tips for recommendation letter

Our program requires 2 recommenders to fill out a form and write a formal letter of recommendation. You will provide their contact information within the application, and the system will send them an email directly with instructions.

It is best to choose someone who you have a built a relationship with, whether that is a supervisor or professor, and someone who can convey your strengths. We recommend that you sit down with your recommenders, and ensure they have a clear understanding on why you want to apply to MSIS, and the skills and abilities that make you a good fit for the program.

Can I submit my application before my official test scores or letters of recommendation are received?

You can submit any time on or before the application deadline. You will be able to log back in to your application at any time as well, to track your materials and send reminders to your letter of recommendation writers to ensure that they submit their letters by the deadline.

As long as you self-report your test scores in the application system we can also begin review while we wait for your official scores to arrive.

When will I receive my decision?

Decisions are always released by late-March. Decisions are sent to the email address on your application, so please contact us immediately if this address changes.

Tuition and Fees

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! The MSIS program offers limited scholarships based on need and merit. The scholarship application is an optional part of the application for admission and is available for both domestic and international students. You can indicate scholarship interest through the application portal.

We encourage students to look for outside scholarships or submit the FAFSA if pursuing federal student loans.

Information for International Applicants

Is MSIS a STEM program?

Yes – and as a STEM program, students on an F1 visa are eligible to apply for a STEM OPT extension, which would allow them up to 36 months total work eligibility post-grad.

How do I demonstrate English language proficiency?

For international applicants whose native language is not English, the University of Washington recommends a 92 minimum TOEFL score or a 7.0 minimum IELTS score.

If you are an international applicant who will receive a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution or if your undergraduate education was completed in English, you are not required to submit TOEFL scores.

We would encourage you to review information on Proof of English Language Proficiency requirements here.

As an International student, can I work during the program?

Students on a new F1 visa are typically eligible to begin Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the final quarter (Spring). However, students on an F1 visa are able to work part-time on-campus at any time during the program, and many MSIS students take advantage of the numerous opportunities across campus.

Working as an international student can be complicated, and we always recommend you review the information available on the UW International Student Services website for the most accurate information.

Connecting With MSIS

What are ways I can get connected with MSIS?

We want to get to know you, but most importantly, we want to provide you an opportunity to meet the MSIS community and determine if this program is the right fit for you.

To get started, come meet us at an open house to gain an overview of the program and learn about our admissions process. If MSIS is the right fit for you, we welcome you to attend our application workshop, to help answer any last questions you have, and to make sure you are submitting your strongest application. Events are always posted on the Academic Events Calendar.

You can also sign up to receive program information, event notifications, and more.

If you’d like to follow us on social media, connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Join MSIS. Apply Today.

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