Wednesday, January 27, 2016

UMSI Career Fair for current students is this week

UMSI's Career Fair (for current UMSI students) is this week!

The fair features many employers as well as a special "Elevate your Passion" session before the fair.
Elevate Your Passion is an event where 11 students will present to employers in a 3-minute TED talk style presentation.  The presentation will allow students to share their passion, innovative accomplishments and/or career goals with employers.  For UMSI students, this session provides an opportunity to have unprecedented exclusive access to the career fair employers.   This is just one of the ways that UMSI helps you get the job that you want.

As a prospective student or applicant, we want to let you know that UMSI has four full time career development office staff members and they are available to meet with students.  The office also holds regular workshops, employer visits, and another career event later in the spring.  UMSI students also have access to a job/internship/part-time job database that is just for UMSI students. 

As you may remember from an earlier email or post: Master of Science in Information students have a 98-99% employment rate each year.  You can read more about careers and view the employment report here: and read profiles of current students and alumni here:

Some employers that will be at this year's fair include:
  • SapientNitro
  • Duo Security
  • Athena Health
  • Are You a Human
  • Venture for America
  • LLamasoft
  • IBM Design
  • Waltrics
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Tech town Detroit
  • University of Michigan
  • Cengage
  • Deloitte Digital 
  • Quicken Loans
  • MSU Libraries
  • JSTOR/Ithaka 
  • ...and more! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Hello! As the first application deadline approaches, we wanted to provide answers to questions that are commonly asked during the application process. I hope this helps to address some of your concerns, if you have any questions, please email us anytime at

1) Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE taken within the past five years is required of all applicants. We do not have a minimum requirement. Our review process looks holistically at all application pieces and takes each piece into consideration. For details visit: MSI Application Requirements.

2) Is the TOEFL required? Or, can I be exempt from the TOEFL?

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 are met:
  • You are a native speaker of English.
  • You completed all four years of your undergraduate education at an institution in the United States and earned a degree from that institution.
  • You completed all of your undergraduate education and earned an undergraduate degree in one of the following countries, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.
  • 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, a minimum of two years duration, and earned a graduate degree in one of the following countries, the United States, Australia, English speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the United Kingdom. Graduate education includes Master's, Ph.D., and professional degrees. Graduate degrees that are exclusively research based are excluded.
  • Current U-M student.
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.

TOEFL scores are good for up to 2 years and in order for us to use your score, you need to apply to our program within that timeframe. If your scores will expire after you apply, that is not a problem. However, if your scores will expire before you apply, we may not be able to use them.

3) I got an email saying not all my application materials were in, can you check to see if my materials are in?

I get a lot of email asking if we have received your letters of recommendation, test scores or transcripts. We'll be in touch regularly until you've completed your application. We check for missing pieces regularly, so unless there is a specific or urgent issue, please know that we'll contact *you* if we need any other materials.

3a) How do I know you have my materials (i.e. transcripts, test scores) if I haven’t submitted yet?

If you have not yet submitted your application, Prior to submitting, it is very time consuming to check for materials, so we appreciate your waiting until you submit and receive confirmation from us to see if there is an issue.

Please note that around the January 15 early deadline, it may take us several days (or longer) to process your application. Do know that your application is considered submitted and received the date you submit, not the day we process it.

4) What sort of funding or scholarships does your school offer?

Funding for masters programs in general is limited, and while we do offer a substantial level of funding to our masters students, many well qualified students do not receive funding from our department. All UMSI departmental funding is in the form of merit tuition scholarships. UMSI merit scholarships range from partial to full tuition coverage, with possible additional benefits, (regardless of residency status) for four semester of full-time MSI coursework. There are also a handful of fully funded assistantships available through the Professional Practice Fellows Program. Many additional students obtain relevant part time jobs and internships to help defray costs and to obtain valuable experience. Our student services staff work very hard to help students find creative ways of financing their graduate program.

Other options of funding may include research assistantships with UMSI faculty. Some students are able to secure these positions at some point after they are enrolled. Faculty prefer to hire students they know and who have performed well in the program. Certainly, you could use our web site to identify faculty whose research interests you, and email them to introduce yourself to begin the process of exploring future research opportunities.

Teaching assistantship opportunities are rare within our own program for our master’s students. If you feel your background may qualify you to assist with an undergraduate course in another department, you could check with relevant departments to see if they have needs for graduate student instructors, which carries tuition, stipend and health insurance.

In addition, I encourage you to review additional sources of funding, including those we highlight on our own web site on the funding your degree page.

5) Are there any classes I should take? Are there any pre-requisite classes? Should I take any programming classes if I don’t have experience in them?

We admit students from all undergraduate majors and with a wide range of academic coursework. If you do decide to take additional coursework, you can choose what is of interest to you in relation to our curriculum, given we draw from a number of fields to create an interdisciplinary program.

Some of the fields represented in our courses and faculty include psychology, computer science, data science, economics, history, political science, public policy, linguistics, and more. Our curriculum spans social sciences and humanities as well as quantitative and technical areas. Thus we seek students with the potential to do well across these areas.

In other words, we don't need or require students to have coursework in all of the above mentioned areas, but we do look for evidence that students have strength in quantitative and analytical areas as well as in writing, creative thinking, synthesizing ideas, etc.

6) When will I hear about my application decision?

We appreciate all of your enthusiasm but the time it takes to process, complete, review, and evaluate applications can be time consuming. We typically tell students it takes six to eight weeks to get a response from us after the review of applications start. We begin to review applications after our application deadlines. For the PhD this would mean review will start after the December 1st deadline. For the Master’s programs this means after the January 15th deadline, the deadline for first priority for UMSI merit scholarships.

7) Does the School of Information Offer an Online Degree?

Our school does not offer any distance or online learning options for our degree. We do offer the option of taking a part-time course load.

For more information see the answer to “What constitutes part time enrollment” on the FAQ page.