Umsi Admissions Essay

The School of Information draws intellectually rich, academically diverse students from dozens of different disciplines such as humanities, social sciences, fine arts, law, business, education, engineering, and health sciences. Students and faculty are united by a holistic view of information and a common interest in user-oriented systems and services. 

We seek students who:

  • exhibit leadership potential
  • have a team-oriented approach to problem-solving
  • are capable of dealing with ambiguity and change, and
  • have a strong commitment to service.

Please also check our deadlines and tuition pages.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • 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.
  • 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.

Application

To apply to the Master of Science in Information program, please use our online application.

Application fee

You should pay this fee via credit card when you apply online.

Transcripts

We require one scanned or electronic transcript uploaded to the online application or mailed directly to UMSI for all undergraduate and/or graduate programs in which you have received a degree. If possible, official transcripts are preferred, however we will accept unofficial for the review of your application and will require official transcripts if offered admission. 

If you have not yet completed your baccalaureate degree, you may submit a current (in-progress) transcript now and a final transcript showing degree conferral upon graduation. 

Mail transcripts to:
School of Information Admissions
3360 North Quad
105 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

(If needed)
Phone: (734) 763-2285

Three (3) letters of recommendation

Recommendations should be written by people who can provide substantive letters - people who know your work, abilities, and personal qualities, who have supervised you, and who can speak to your potential for successful graduate study. If you were recently a student, faculty members are appropriate. Other possible writers include employers and heads of organizations with whom you have volunteered. Personal friends and family members are not appropriate recommenders.

Ask your recommenders to submit their letters online (you will be given a chance to register your recommenders in the online application).

Statement of Purpose

Please discuss the following questions based on your exploration of the UMSI website, as well as your own reflection on your academic abilities, experiences, and personal qualities. You are welcome to add comments from your readings, observations, and experience. Your essay should be four to six pages (4-6), double-spaced. At the School of Information, we highly value academic integrity. Please be sure that any essay content that is not your own original thoughts is properly attributed.

  • What are the critical issues in the field of information?
  • What are your aspirations in the field of information?
  • What is your understanding of the School of Information?
  • How will a UMSI education help you reach your aspirations?
  • What would you contribute to the UMSI community and to the field as a whole?

Personal Statement

How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan?

Please see the online application for further details. The Personal Statement should be one to two (1-2) pages double-spaced.

Resume

Please upload a copy of your current resume with your online application.

For 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 following:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (preferred). Score earned within the past two years of 100 or higher on the Internet-based test (iBT).
  • TOEFL subject scores of at least 25 on the iBT are strongly preferred.  When taking the TOEFL, use the U-M institution code: 1839.
  • The School of Information does not have a specific department code for the TOEFL; you may list "99."
  • You may choose to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam instead of the TOEFL (minimum score of 7.0 required).

Applicants who have earned or will earn a Bachelor's or Master's degree are exempt from taking an English proficiency examination if one of the following criteria is met:

  • 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.

Note for International Applicants:

UMSI does NOT require the submission of financial documentation at the time of application. International students who are admitted to the program will receive information about I-20's, F-1 visas, and submitting financial documentation in their email offer of admission. They should submit appropriate financial documentation at that time, following the instructions provided. 

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions web page or email us umsi.admissions@umich.edu if you have additional questions about our application requirements.

Click to access the online application.

This week, we interviewed Evelyn Yu, a dual-degree student at UMSI and Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Read about her experience as an international student at the university here: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to come to Ann Arbor for a graduate program?

I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. After receiving a degree in business, I joined EY Advisory Service as a consultant and switched to internal consulting positions in different companies later on in my career. Throughout my career, I found my interest in tech and design thinking, so I decided to take on my MBA.

I started my MBA program in Fall 2016, and focus my career search on tech companies and design thinking consulting firms. Along my recruiting process, I realized how important UI/UX design and Data Analytics are if you want to succeed in the future. Thus, I decided to apply for MSI program and luckily got admitted.

How do you cope with the differences in culture, language, and environment in general?

I would say language was the most challenging part when I just came to the state. To make things worse, class participation often accounted for 30% of the grade at business school, which made me really anxious. To cope with the language barrier, I forced myself to at least speak up once in every class. After a while, I felt more comfortable to speak in English without overthinking before I raised my hand.

I think it's important to keep an open mind when you see something different. In terms of culture, I tried to observe what my native friends do in different occasions. There was one event I remembered vividly about eating at a restaurant. I went to a restaurant with three American classmates, and the waitress came asking whether we'd like something to drink. I tried to order the main dish I wanted and didn't get why the waitress kept telling me that she would take the order later. In Taiwan, if you go to a restaurant, most of the time you will order everything at once (e.g., drinks, appetizer, main dish, etc). Later, I realized that people usually order drinks first, then after you get the drink, the server will come back and ask what dish you want for the main course. Ever since then, I would ask my native friends what they usually do and observe how they behave. 

As for the environment, I spent some time getting myself used to the dry air here in Michigan. The humidity in Taipei is really high, often close to 100%, so my skin became really dry after I came to the States. Buying a humidifier and applying lotion more often are the two pieces of advice I can give right now. I knew it would be cold in the winter, but it's not scary. Just get a really nice jacket, a pair of snow boots, gloves, scarf, and a hat. And you can survive the winter! It's actually really fun to see all the snow and go skiing.

What are some of your favorite moments at UMSI?

I really enjoy working with classmates at UMSI, because the mindset of MSI students is really different from a business student. I always learn some new things when working with them. For example, during class activities in SI 588, fundamental human behaviors.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you have encountered as an international student since you came to UMSI?

Some classes at UMSI require more writing, and it's not just casual writing, but academic writing. I think this is one of the biggest challenge an international student will face at UMSI.

In regards to internships, how did you go about finding one and were there any difficulties that you ran into?

Since I started at Ross in the first year, my internship recruiting was focused on MBA intern positions. The biggest challenge I faced when looking for an internship last year was networking. In Taiwan, networking isn't a big thing in the recruiting process. Therefore, I was really nervous at the beginning -- I didn't know what to talk to the recruiter or alumni from the company about. To make things worse, you sometimes need to "cold-call" some alumni to learn more about a company that you are interested in. To be honest, I still feel nervous now if I am going to cold-call some alumni. However, practice makes perfect! Also, try to think all these networking efforts as you really want to get to know a person and make friends with him or her.

Do you have any tips on financial management?

I cook my myself pretty often. I think it's a good way to save some money and to stay healthy!

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