MSI and PhD Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to common admissions questions.

What are the master's program admissions requirements?

All applicants:

  1. Application
  2. Application fee - Citizens or permanent residents ($75) or International applicants ($90) - submitted by credit card with the online application
  3. Application essay and statement of purpose response
  4. Personal statement
  5. Resume
  6. Three letters from professional or academic references (on company/university letterhead)
  7. One official copy of all higher education transcripts posting a degree sent directly to UMSI (If applicant will be graduating after the application deadline, they should submit an official current transcript now, and an additional official transcript upon their graduation)
  8. GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years - general test only (exemption given if applicant already has PhD)
  9. If requesting need-based aid from the University, must complete FAFSA form. More info at U of M’s Financial Aid website (www.finaid.umich.edu/) or call 734-763-6600

International applicants only:

  1. TOEFL or IELTS scores taken within the past two (2) years
  2. International applicants only: Statement of finances sent to UMSI (only after officially admitted)

What are the PhD program admission requirements?

All applicants:

  1. Rackham Application
  2. Application Fee - Citizens or permanent residents ($75) or International applicants ($90) - sent in with the Rackham copy of the application
  3. Statement of Purpose and Statement of Research plans
  4. Three letters from professional/academic references (on Rackham recommendation forms or on company/university letterhead)
  5. One official copy sent to UMSI, and one official copy sent to Rackham, of all higher education transcripts posting a degree. If applicant will be graduating after the application deadline, they should submit an official current transcript now, and an additional official transcript upon their graduation.
  6. GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years - general test only
  7. Resume

International applicants:

  1. TOEFL scores taken within the past two (2) years
  2. Statement of finances (only after receiving official admission) – sent to Rackham

How will my application be reviewed?

Our program views applications holistically, reviewing both your academic record and test scores, as well as your letters of recommendation, essay and resume as an overall package.

What are your application deadlines?

The MSI program admits students for fall semester of each year.

  • First consideration for UMSI financial aid: January 15
  • Final deadline (domestic and international): May 1

The PhD program admissions deadline is December 1 of each year for the following fall semester.

Are paper applications accepted?

No. All applications must be completed online.

Once my application file is complete, when can I expect to hear the committee’s decision?

Admission decisions are made in about 6-8 weeks after completion of the application file.

For MSI applications, we use rolling admission, meaning that we admit as they come in. For the doctoral program we do not use rolling admissions – we wait until after the deadline to begin the review process. Both an e-mail message and a letter with the committee’s decision will be sent to the applicant.

Is my bachelor’s degree eligible to apply for the MSI program?

All applicants must show one of the following:
  • Completion of a four-year bachelor's degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association;
    OR
  • Completion of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university recognized and approved by the higher education authority in the country where the degree is earned.
  • Note: if you have completed a three-year bachelor’s degree, please email umsi.admissions@umich.edu to inquire if this would be recognized as an equivalent degree.

Do I need to take the GRE in order to apply for the MSI program?

Yes. All applicants must include GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years - general test only.

Only those applicants who already possess a PhD are exempt from including GRE scores with their application.

Note: to be exempt from the GRE when applying to the MSI you must have completed the requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy degree; professional doctorate program completion does not exempt applicants from the GRE requirement. The U-M institution code is 1839. For more information, visit http://www.gre.org.

Can I use the GMAT/LSAT rather than the GRE?

While it is possible to petition to use the GMAT rather than the GRE, the decision on this question rests with the Admissions Committee.

Please send a request to umsi.admissions@umich.edu explaining why you would like to use the GMAT. Exceptions are also made for dual degree students.

Is there a minimum GRE score required?

There is no minimum GRE score required.

What is the minimum undergraduate GPA?

The average GPA of admitted students is around 3.5.

We do periodically admit applicants with UG GPAs less than 3.0, based on the strength of their overall application.

Who is required to take TOEFL/MELAB/IELTS?

All applicants who are non-native speakers of English.

Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide official score reports for the TOEFL exam.

  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.
  • You completed all of your graduate education and earned a graduate degree at an institution where all classes are taught exclusively in English.
  • You are a current U-M student.

Example of not meeting the English Proficiency Exemption criteria:

  • You completed two years of an undergraduate degree program at an overseas institution (Fudan University) where the medium of instruction is a language other than English. You then transferred to an institution (Monash University) where all classes are taught exclusively in English and earned a degree from that institution.

Being a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident does not automatically exempt an applicant from taking an English proficiency exam; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit English proficiency exam.

What are the minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores?

The minimum TOEFL score is 250 or higher on the computer-based test; 100 or higher on the Internet-based-test. The minimum IELTS score is 7.0.

What is the IELTS?

It is an alternative English language test.

We have learned that many prospective applicants have difficulty in scheduling TOEFL tests dates due to the limited spaces and test dates available. To ease this burden on applicants, we also accept official test scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Does UMSI accept transfer credit?

UMSI accepts up to six (6) credits of graduate level transfer credit for masters students only.

You do have to be a current student in good standing in order to request the transfer, so you must finish eight (8) credit hours here first. For the courses you wish to transfer, they must be graduate level, you must have obtained a B or better, you must not have used them towards any diploma or certificate, and the courses must be approved into your academic plan here (this is usually not a problem if they are relevant).

What constitutes full time enrollment?

Full time enrollment is defined in two different ways.

For tuition assessment purposes, full time term tuition rates apply to enrollment for a minimum of 9 credit hours in the full term (Fall, Winter). To be considered full time for financial aid purposes, enrollment at the level of 8 credit hours or above is required in the full term (Fall, Winter). At UMSI, a full time course load generally consists of 12 credit hours.

What constitutes part time enrollment?

Part-time students typically complete the program in 3-4 years and take less than 9 units a semester. Evening courses are available; however, you will need some flexibility from your employer as not all classes are available during evening hours.

Am I considered an in-state resident?

The School of Information does not make the decisions on residency requirements. This residency decision is handled by the U-M Office of the Registrar.

Can I see a listing of UMSI courses?

For which concentrations does UMSI offer a dual degree?

  • Information and Business
  • Information and Law
  • Information and Public Policy
  • Information and Nursing
  • Information and Social Work
  • Information and Medicine
  • Self initiated
  • Information and Fine Arts

More information on dual degrees can be found here. Students may also do a dual degree with any Rackham program given permission from both programs.

What will my tuition rate be if I am working towards a dual degree?

Tuition is determined by where the student is enrolled the first year and the second year. The third year, tuition will be charged by the higher one.

How many credit hours is the master’s program?

The MSI program is 48 credit hours, taking 2 years (4 semesters) of full time study.

How many credit hours is the doctoral program?

24 credit hours course work. It usually takes 4-6 years to complete the doctoral program.

I would like to come and visit campus, how do I do this?

Prospects can tour campus, tour UMSI, attend a class, and meet with a current student.

Campus visits can be arranged by contacting the admissions office at umsi.admissions@umich.edu.

What does it mean if I have been conditionally admitted?

If you have not yet completed your bachelor’s degree you will be admitted on a conditional basis. When we receive your transcript with degree posted, your status will change to "regular."

Can I enroll in a UMSI class without applying?

UMSI offers students a flexible enrollment with the Not a Candidate for a Degree (NCFD) admission status.

Admission in this program is limited to one term. Alumni -- and graduates of similar programs at other institutions -- might choose NCFD as a means to enroll for continuing education purposes (such as to take a refresher course for one semester) but not pursue a degree. Academic credits earned while holding NCFD status are applied toward the student's degree program. NCFD students are not eligible for financial assistance from the School and cannot register for courses until the first day of classes. Questions about NCFD admissions should be directed to the UMSI Office of Student Affairs at (734) 763-2285 or umsi.admissions@umich.edu. The GRE is not required when applying as NCFD, however, if an NCFD student decides later that they want to be admitted as a "regular" student, they will need to reapply and take the exam.

If I left the program for more than 12 months without finishing my degree, can I apply for readmission?

Yes, the School of Information offers the opportunity to apply for readmission to students who were in good academic standing (3.0 or better) when they left the program and have been gone for more than 12 months. Please see https://www.si.umich.edu/academics/readmission for additional important details.

If I have a similar degree to the Master of Science in Information, can I apply?

Please email umsi.admissions@umich.edu with your question and specifics about your previous degree so that we can better assess your eligibility to apply.

What is the retention rate in the MSI program?

Retention in the MSI is extremely high, and most students graduate within two years if attending full time. Typically over 95% of students who start the program finish the degree.

Does a three-year bachelor’s degree meet your degree eligibility requirements?

Please email umsi.admissions@umich.edu with your question and specifics about your previous degree so that we can better assess your eligibility to apply.

What is the minimum undergraduate GPA?

The average GPA of admitted students is around 3.5.

A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred.  We do periodically admit applicants with UG GPAs less than 3.0, based on the strength of their overall application.

What are the master's program admissions requirements?

All applicants:

Application

Application fee - Citizens or permanent residents ($75) or International applicants ($90) - submitted by credit card with the online application

Application essay and statement of purpose response

Personal statement

Resume

Three letters from professional or academic references (on company/university letterhead)

One official copy of all higher education transcripts posting a degree sent directly to UMSI (If applicant will be graduating after the application deadline, they should submit an official current transcript now, and an additional official transcript upon their graduation).  A four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) is required. If you have questions regarding the eligibility of your bachelor’s degree please contact umsi.admissions@umich.edu

GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years - general test only (exemption given if applicant already has PhD)

If requesting need-based aid from the University, must complete FAFSA form. More info at U of M’s Financial Aid website (www.finaid.umich.edu/) or call 734-763-6600

International applicants only:

TOEFL or IELTS scores taken within the past two (2) years

International applicants only: Statement of finances sent to UMSI (only after officially admitted)

 

What are the PhD's program admissions requirements?

All applicants:

  1.  Application
  2.  Application fee - Citizens or permanent residents ($75) or International applicants ($90) - submitted by credit card with the online application
  3.  Application essay and statement of purpose response
  4.  Personal statement
  5.  Resume
  6.  Three letters from professional or academic references (on company/university letterhead)
  7.  One official copy of all higher education transcripts posting a degree sent directly to UMSI (If applicant will be graduating after the application deadline, they should submit an official current transcript now, and an additional official transcript upon their graduation).  A four-year bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) is required. If you have questions regarding the eligibility of your bachelor’s degree please contact umsi.admissions@umich.edu
  8.  GRE scores taken within the past five (5) years - general test only (exemption given if applicant already has PhD)
  9.  If requesting need-based aid from the University, must complete FAFSA form. More info at U of M’s Financial Aid website (www.finaid.umich.edu/) or call 734-763-6600

 International applicants only:

  1.  TOEFL or IELTS scores taken within the past two (2) years
  2.  International applicants only: Statement of finances sent to UMSI (only after officially admitted)