Admission Requirements

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Admission Requirements2020-02-14T15:58:32+00:00

Admission Requirements

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Application Components

  • Applicants are encouraged to complete and submit their online application as soon as possible, even if official test scores and letters of recommendation have not yet been received.
  • The online application will ask for personal information such as your address, social security number, country of citizenship, and date of birth.
  • The application includes several questions used to determine residency status for tuition purposes. All students should complete these questions regardless of current or former location. For more information about determining your residency status, please contact the Office of Residency.
  • After submitting the application, you can verify that all materials have been received by logging into the application portal.
  • Admissions decisions are typically returned 2-4 weeks after applications are completed.
  • Note that the application process is completed entirely online. Please do not mail any application materials to our office.
  • Please note that ALL application requirements, including official test scores and recommendations, must be received and processed by the deadline for consideration.
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MSIS applicants must have completed the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. An academic or employment background specifically in business is not required to apply for the MSIS program.

International applicants holding a three-year bachelor’s degree should contact the International Admissions office to determine if additional coursework will be needed before applying to a graduate program.

Applicants must have earned their bachelor degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Consideration will be made for applicants meeting this 3.0 GPA over the last 60 hours taken in their undergraduate course work.

For international applicants who attended an institution that did not use a 4.0 GPA scale, transcripts will be evaluated by University of Utah international admissions officers. Your GPA will be converted to a 4.0-scale equivalent after you submit your application. A third-party transcript evaluation is not required.

Most MSIS applicants are required to take the GMAT or GRE standardized test. Scores are used to indicate aptitude for business studies and are valid for five years. If an applicant has taken the GMAT or GRE more than once, the highest score will be considered.

Score Reporting

Please note that official GRE/GMAT scores take 2-4 weeks to reach the University, and official scores need to be received and processed before application deadlines. Applications will not be reviewed until the official GRE/GMAT score has been received. Please account for this timeline when scheduling exams and sending official score reports.

GMAT/GRE Preparation

The University of Utah offers GMAT and GRE preparation courses through the Office of Continuing Education.

You may also consider using free online resources, such as:

GMAT/GRE Score Information

  • The MSIS program does not have a minimum GMAT or GRE score requirement. A score at or above the average is competitive for the program.
    • Average GMAT: 570-590
    • Average GRE: 309-312
  • Students who score below 550 on the GMAT (approximately 306 on the GRE) are highly encouraged to retake the exam in order to meet our minimum score for scholarship consideration (550 GMAT).
  • For applicants who take the GRE, we convert all GRE scores to the GMAT scoring scale in order to maintain consistency when considering applications. You can use the ETS conversion tool to convert GRE scores to GMAT scores.

GMAT/GRE Waivers

We offer several options for applicants to waive the GMAT/GRE requirement. Please see the bottom of this page for more information.

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and the ability to contribute to classroom discussions and interact in a team environment.

International applicants who do not hold a bachelor or graduate degree from a U.S. or English-speaking institution in the following countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom) are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS standardized exam and submit an official score report.

The MSIS program minimum score requirements:

  • TOEFL: 85
  • IELTS: 7.0
  • Competitive score for admissions and scholarships: 90

Applicants who score below the minimums are strongly encouraged to retake the exam before submitting an application. A video interview is required for admission. Please note the Eccles School has different minimum score requirements than the University.

Score Reporting

Official TOEFL/IELTS scores take 2-4 weeks to reach the university, and official scores need to be received and processed before application deadlines. Applications will not be reviewed until official scores have been received. Please account for this timeline when scheduling exams and sending official score reports.

  • Our TOEFL code is 4853 for the University of Utah. Please note that paper-based exam scores are not accepted.
  • During or after the IELTS exam, you will have the option to select the University of Utah to report your score electronically.

Two letters of recommendation are required for the MSIS application, and it is preferred that both come from professional relationships when possible. The best letters of recommendation will provide insight and specific examples of your potential to succeed in the competitive and challenging environment of a graduate program. Please allow amply time for your letter-writers to complete and submit their letters of recommendation.

Other Points to Consider

  • For applicants who have one or more years of professional, full-time work experience, we strongly recommend at least one recommendation come from a current or former employer.
  • The title or position of those you select is not necessarily important.
  • Choose someone who knows you well and can specifically address your academic achievements or your ability to add value to the workplace or professional team environment.
  • References of a personal or social nature are strongly discouraged.
  • Where possible, recommenders should use company letterhead and email IDs when submitting recommendations.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that both recommendations are submitted before the application deadline.

Submitting Recommendations

Recommendations are submitted online. You will be asked to supply the contact information, including e-mail addresses, for your recommenders on the online application. Your recommenders will then be sent a link to an online recommendation form. In addition to completing the form, your recommenders will have the opportunity to cut and paste or upload a letter of recommendation. All recommendations must be submitted online through this process. Paper recommendations are not accepted.

Required Written Essay – 750 word maximum

Written essay prompts:

  • Tell us about your interest in and experience with information technology.
  • Why are you choosing to pursue the MSIS program at this time in your career and what do you hope to achieve while in the program?
  • What goals do you have after the program, and how will the MSIS degree help you achieve them?
  • Tell us about the personal qualities and/or experiences that make you a strong candidate for the program.
  • Why do you think the MSIS program at the Eccles School is the right place for you?

Optional Written Essay – 250 word maximum

The optional essay is truly optional and may be presented in 250 words or less. It should be used to address any weaknesses (low GMAT or GPA) or inconsistencies in your application. You may also use it to explain your choice of recommenders or to share any additional information you would like the admissions committee to know that hasn’t been previously addressed.

Tips for Essay Responses

  • Keep answers in a business context and framework.
  • Focus your energy on painting a concise, complete, and well-thought-out picture of who you truly are, rather than present what you think the admissions committee is looking for in response to essay questions.

Imagine you are at the MSIS orientation. Please submit a video recording of how you would introduce yourself to your new peers and faculty members. Include any personal and/or professional aspects that you believe are significant. Additionally, include one interesting thing about yourself that is unrelated to your work/field of study.

Videos should be a maximum of one minute. Please email your video essay to Students are encouraged to email a .mov or .mp4 file or a non-password protected link such as to a Google Drive, Vimeo or Youtube file.

If a personal situation through the Americans with Disabilities Act precludes an applicant from submitting a video, please contact for alternate submission options.

Applicants will be asked to upload a business resume that includes your employment history in reverse chronological order, with titles, dates, and whether you worked part-time or full-time. Your educational record should also be in reverse chronological order and should indicate dates of attendance and degree(s) earned. Other information appropriate to a business resume is welcomed and encouraged. We strongly recommend you submit a resume that is updated and specific for this application.

Work Experience

The MSIS program does not have a minimum work experience requirement for admission; however, any relevant work experience can strengthen your application.

The online application will ask you to list in chronological order all colleges and universities attended, including the University of Utah, regardless of length of attendance. Include each college you have taken courses from, including concurrent enrollment, study abroad and correspondence courses.

You will then be asked to upload an unofficial transcript for each institution of higher education you have listed, regardless of length of attendance. This includes the University of Utah. An unofficial transcript for each institution must be submitted separately, meaning notation of accepted transfer credit does not replace the need for an unofficial transcript from the university from where credits were transferred. Your application will not be considered complete until all unofficial transcripts have been received, so please attach unofficial transcripts for each institution of higher education you have attended before submitting your application.

Applicants must upload a copy of all post-secondary transcripts to their application. These transcripts will be used as working copies during the admissions evaluation process. Failure to list all schools previously attended or making false or misleading statements on the application may result in cancellation of admission status and/or loss of credit.

International Applicants

If you are uploading transcripts from an international institution, please make sure to upload individual marksheets. We cannot accept a consolidated marksheet for evaluation.


  • Official English translations must be provided if the transcripts are only in the native language.
  • If you are having trouble uploading your transcripts due to file size, please email your documents to, note that your file size is too large, and our office will assist you.
  • Official transcripts are not required during the application process.
When you are ready to submit your application, you will be directed through a payment process. The application fee is $55.00 for domestic applicants and $65.00 for international applicants. Payment can be made via credit card or check. Please note that if you choose to pay by check, your application will not be reviewed until the payment is received.

An additional $30 fee will be charged for:

  • Applications for spring submitted after Nov. 1
  • Applications for summer submitted after March 15
  • Applications for summer and fall submitted after April 1

MSIS students come from a variety of backgrounds, and historically up to 50 percent of students do not have a technical background.

The MSIS curriculum is adaptive to both experienced and novice students. Faculty are adept at creating a challenging classroom environment for experienced students while at the same time ensuring a supportive and flexible experience for those new to information systems. Students who are new to IS are encouraged to seek out additional study resources, such as working with a study group, meeting with professors outside of class, completing additional self-study, working with a tutor or following a Massive Open Online Course in addition to the MSIS class requirements.

Students who are new to information systems will benefit from gaining an introductory background to IS before starting the program.

*There are many free and inexpensive courses that will meet this need.  This Free online CLEP Information Systems course offered by Modern States Education Alliance is one option.

Internships are also highly recommended for students to gain additional IS experience during the program.

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GMAT/GRE Waivers

We offer several options for applicants to waive the GMAT/GRE admissions requirement. View the criteria for each waiver below, and submit this form to formally request consideration for a waiver.


  • All GMAT/GRE waivers require a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA, and students must have graduated (or will graduate) from a regionally accredited institution.​
  • A request for a waiver is separate from the actual admissions application and does not imply admissions into the program.
  • Only one waiver can be applied toward waiving the GMAT/GRE.

Candidates with military service in the U.S. Armed Forces, who are currently active or honorably discharged, are eligible to apply for the Boots to Utes GMAT/GRE waiver. This status will allow their military experience in lieu of the GMAT/GRE.

Current University of Utah IS majors are encouraged to pursue the BS/MS Information Systems Co-Terminal degree, where they can pursue the MSIS program immediately after completing their undergraduate degree requirements. BS/MS applicants must have a minimum 3.2 IS GPA, a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, at least 90 credits completed with grades posted for a minimum of 3 upper division IS courses, and cannot have graduated with their bachelor’s degree.

Candidates who have earned a bachelor’s degree in information systems from the University of Utah and excelled academically may be eligible for Fast Track. To qualify, applicants must have earned a minimum 3.2 GPA in IS courses and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Fast Track applicants can also waive the letters of recommendation on their MSIS application.

Candidates who already hold or are concurrently pursuing an advanced degree can have their professional designation considered in lieu of the GMAT/GRE.
  • Qualifying degrees include: MBA, MS, Ph.D., JD, MD, etc. from a regionally accredited institution
  • MSIS applicants concurrently enrolled in or applying for the MBA, PMBA, MSBA, or MSF program are eligible for this waiver.
  • Please contact us at to inquire about other qualifying degree options.

Candidates with seven or more years of meaningful, professional work experience may be eligible to substitute their experience for the GMAT/GRE.

Candidates with five or more years of senior-level leadership experience in IT or operations that includes managerial responsibility may qualify for a GMAT/GRE substitution.

Candidates who have received a degree from the University of Utah with a 3.2 minimum cumulative GPA may be eligible to have their degree considered in lieu of the GMAT/GRE.

Candidates who hold a business degree from an AACSB-accredited institution with a minimum 3.3 GPA may be eligible to have their degree considered in lieu of the GMAT/GRE.

Request a Waiver