MSIS Goes Test Optional: Your Questions Answered

The Master of Science in Information Systems program at Foster is excited to announce our application process for the 2023 admission cycle remains test optional. It is our hope that providing this increased flexibility will remove some of the barriers standardized testing presents during these challenging times. 

The MSIS Admissions Committee takes a very holistic approach to evaluating applicants, and we recognize that standardized testing is not always reflective of a candidate’s experience. We value welcoming a cohort each year that brings diverse perspectives to the classroom. It is our hope that offering this opportunity to qualified candidates may allow them to highlight their strengths in other ways.”


Allison Shults, Assistant Director – Admissions 


Read more about our test optional policy and find answers to FAQ’s below:

Who should apply test optional?

Candidates who may be competitive without a test score are those who can demonstrate quantitative ability and program readiness by showcasing several criteria:

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

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 help demonstrate quantitative aptitude or mitigate concerns regarding academic readiness.

I’m interested – how do I apply test optional?

To apply test optional, please complete 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.

I already took the test and am happy with the results, should I still apply test optional?

We recommend anyone who already has test scores to submit them with their application. We do not have a minimum score requirement, and admit students with a wide range of scores: 

  • Average GRE: 316
    • Scores can be sent to institution code 4854
  • Average GMAT: 668
    • Scores can be sent to University of Washington – Seattle – Michael G. Foster School of Business – Seattle/MS in Information

If I apply test optional, will it put my application behind those who apply with scores?

Not at all. The MSIS program takes a very holistic approach to evaluating applications, looking at factors such as: educational and professional background, communication skills, managerial potential, information systems experience, and more. When an applicant applies test optional, we recommend they focus on ensuring the rest of their application is as strong as possible.

Will applying test optional impact my chances to receive an MSIS program scholarship?

MSIS offers limited scholarships based on financial need and merit. Scholarships are extremely competitive, and are never a full-ride. If you apply test optional you can still be considered for scholarships, however if you believe your academic abilities can be supported by test scores, we encourage you to submit them.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to the Admissions Team at [email protected] or check out the Admissions page for additional information about the application process. We look forward to assisting you in your MSIS journey.

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