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Frequently asked questions

Application and admissions

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. Review our complete list of admissions requirements to ensure your eligibility for the M.S. in Information Management program.

No, 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 earn their degree.

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.

Non-native English speakers must fulfill the UW English language proficiency requirements. When fulfilling this requirement through test scores, the following minimum test score must be met:

  • TOEFLiBT – 100
  • Duolingo – 120
  • IELTS – 7.0

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.

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.

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. Contact your enrollment adviser for personalized application support.

Student experience and support

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.

Online students participate in community-building activities with their core class in the online mode and have access to success coaches who guide their development and engagement with the iSchool culture.

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 events weekly in a hybrid environment, including research talks and guest speakers.

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.

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. Regardless of their program mode, all MSIM students have access to career events and programming offered through the University of Washington Career and Internship Center.

Program tracks and delivery modes

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 between the residential and online modes include:

  • 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 September (autumn quarter).
  • Application processes: 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 paces: 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, but it is not required to complete your degree. The in-person immersion provides online students with the opportunity to experience campus life, connect with their peers and instructors, and gain hands-on information management experience outside the classroom.

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.

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 limited online course offerings.


In addition to asynchronous learning, all online courses will have mandatory synchronous sessions of at least 60 minutes each week, as well as offer optional office hours. The total weekly time commitment will vary depending on the number of credits per course and the course syllabus and format.

Every course will have synchronous sessions of 60-90 minutes and one 60-minute office hour (attendance optional) 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.

Yes, full-time, core iSchool faculty design and develop online courses to ensure a world-class academic experience. They teach some of the courses, while others are taught by industry experts who infuse them with real-world case studies, practical know-how and cutting-edge technical skills.

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.

At this time, online MSIM students are not eligible to take courses outside the degree.

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

Degree outcomes and career paths

Information management includes the oversight and implementation of organization-wide systems that facilitate the collection and protection of relevant data. The purpose of the field is two-fold: 

  • To design, develop, manage and use information with insight and innovation.
  • To support decision making and create value for individuals, organizations, communities and societies.

Companies often place this job function within the operations team because it plays an integral role in optimizing internal processes.

Graduates of the UW M.S. in Information Management program can secure careers in fields such as business intelligence, data science, and program or product management. Since information collection and analysis are essential to nearly every industry, UW graduates can successfully work in a range of organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit. Potential job titles may include:

  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Database administrators and architects
  • Data scientist
  • Operations research analysts
  • Project management specialists
  • Management analysts
  • Administrative services and facilities managers