Frequently asked questions

No. You do not need any prior industry or technology experience to enroll. The program’s interdisciplinary nature makes it accessible to students from all backgrounds, regardless of whether they have tech or information management experience.

The online degree options are available to students everywhere. While online students benefit from the UW’s location, students do not need to be in Seattle to experience these benefits.

Any online student in any track can work while taking the program if they are enrolled part time. We do not recommend students take any of the program tracks full time if also working full time. The program requires you to attend synchronous sessions (one and a half hours a week per course) held 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT on weekdays.

Yes. Admissions and graduation requirements for residential and online students are identical, and all graduates earn the same Master of Science in Information Management degree.

All MSIM degree options (Early-Career, Early-Career Accelerated and Mid-Career) are offered in two modes, residential and online. The courses, credits and requirements are all the same.

Key differences:

Program start dates: Students who pursue online options have four opportunities to begin the program each year (September, January, March or June). Conversely, all new residential students matriculate in autumn.

Application process: Application processes and timelines vary by degree option and modality, and candidates are advised to pay careful attention to the dates and details associated with their chosen degree track and mode of study.

Part time vs. full time: All online students can complete their studies part time, regardless of track. Residential students in the Early-Career and Early-Career Accelerated degree options are expected to be enrolled full time. Residential students in the Mid-Career track can be enrolled part time, and many classes are scheduled in the evening and on weekends to support working professionals.

Specializations: The residential options offer six specializations, while the online options currently offer three of these six specializations.

No. We offer one immersive experience per year to provide online students the opportunity to experience campus life, connect with their peers and instructors, and gain hands-on information management experience outside the classroom, but it is not required to complete your degree.

Course materials, labs, readings and discussion posts are delivered asynchronously in online classes. All online classes also require one weekly synchronous session that takes place in the evening, typically from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT on a weekday, subject to course scheduling.

For a four-credit course, you should expect to spend about 12-16 hours per week on coursework. This breaks down to around one to two synchronous hours and about 12 hours of asynchronous learning each week. You can expect the total time commitment to increase or decrease depending on the number of credit units per course.

Every course will have 60-90 minute synchronous sessions and one 60-minute office hour scheduled every week. Note that courses IMT 511 and IMT 543 are fully asynchronous and self-guided, but instructors will hold weekly office hours at set times. IMT 589 is a synchronous course with scheduled class sessions.

Online courses are designed and developed by core, full-time faculty to ensure a world-class academic experience and delivered primarily by industry experts who infuse the courses with real-world case studies, practical know-how and cutting-edge technical skills.

Yes, international students can apply to the MSIM online degree options. However, online students will not be issued an F-1 visa or be eligible for Curricular Practical Training employment authorization.

No. All admissions decisions are tied to a specific degree track (Early-Career, Early-Career Accelerated or Mid-Career) and program mode. Once admitted, you stay in that degree track and mode for the duration of the program.

No. All MSIM students are required to take 100% of their coursework in their designated program mode, meaning online students only take online courses. Residential students take most or all of their courses in person on the Seattle campus, with some limited online course offerings.

Online students are engaged in community-building activities with their core class in the online mode and have access to success coaches who guide their development and engage them in the life of the iSchool.

The iSchool student experience includes voluntary participation in student groups, the Virtual Student Community, and virtual workshops and events delivered by Career Services and the MSIM program faculty and staff. The iSchool hosts many events weekly that are offered in a hybrid environment, including research talks and guest speakers.

Yes, students in the online degree options are offered virtual one-on-one advising, help with general job search strategies, resume and cover letter workshops, interview advice, and career management modules through the iSchool Career Services office to support their job search activities. All MSIM students, regardless of their program mode, also have access to career events and programming offered through the University of Washington Career and Internship Center.

Yes, as a student at the UW, you have access to these services, though some campus resources cannot be delivered remotely. Online students who live in the Seattle area can also access all available resources in person.

The UW Graduate School has a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0. Any applicant with a GPA below 3.0 is welcome to apply to the MSIM program. They will need to demonstrate professional achievements, analytical and intellectual maturity, and overall readiness for graduate education through their application.

You need to select a specialization upon admission. However, if you find you would like to shift specializations, you may formally request a change. Please note that a formal request does not guarantee you will be able to switch specializations.

There is no prerequisite knowledge that applicants need to demonstrate to apply for and enroll in this program. Students come from a multitude of backgrounds, and all MSIM students benefit from the diverse experience and knowledge represented among their peers, both in and outside of the classroom.

Those wishing to improve the competitiveness of their application are advised to learn more about MSIM, the UW iSchool and the field of Information Management. We encourage you to think deeply on how the degree can impact your professional goals and reflect this insight via your personal statement.

At this time, you are not eligible to take courses outside the MSIM offered online.

You can find electives courses and their descriptions under the Curriculum section.