MIM Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it possible to complete the MIM degree on a part-time basis?
Yes. Some of our students choose to attend part time, taking 1 - 2 classes per semester and completing the program in 3 or more years.
- Can I complete the MIM coursework entirely online?
Not at this time. While the iSchool does offer some online courses, most coursework, including much of the MIM core, must be completed in person on UMD’s College Park campus.
- Can I complete the program in under two years?
Yes, it is possible to complete the program in fewer than two years. This requires taking accelerated coursework during the winter and summer semesters to meet the degree requirements.
- Is it possible to work while completing the program?
Certainly. Many of our students hold part-time and even full-time positions during their studies. While we cannot guarantee when courses will be offered, we do our best to schedule classes at times that can accommodate professional students' schedules.
- Do you prefer that applicants have work experience somewhere before applying?
While we prefer students to have some professional work experience prior to starting the MIM program, we also welcome applicants who apply directly from their undergraduate programs. Our student body is a mix of folks of different life experiences, contributing to the richness of our course discussions. Some students join us directly from their undergraduate degrees and others enter MIM after working in their field for several years.
- How can I find out more about the MIM program? Can I visit campus or sit in on a class?
Prospective students are encouraged to attend one of our periodic virtual information sessions. Applicants who live in the DC Metro area are also welcome to attend the iSchool's annual Open House in October.
- Do I need to take the GRE?
If you hold an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution AND your undergraduate GPA was 3.25 or higher, your GRE admission requirement will be waived. Applicants who don’t meet those criteria need to have a verbal GRE of at least 40 percentile and a quantitative GRE of at least 60 percentile to be considered to the MIM program.
- Do I need to take the TOEFL/IETLS/PTE exam?
You will be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores if you do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the English speaking countries (the list of countries can be found here. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with international credentials, you will still be required to submit English test scores if you do not hold a degree from one of the countries on this list. Applicants need to have a TOEFL score of at least 96 to be considered for admission to the MIM program.
- What is the career path for someone pursuing a MIM degree?
Information management is not only pervasive across most industries, the demand is growing for information professionals that can bridge the gap between business needs and technology. Although MIM specializations prepare you for specific technical roles (such as data scientist, data analyst, technology specialist, or information architect), the MIM program trains students to be effective data management professionals in any information environment.
- Where do students from this program get internships and jobs?
MIM students and graduates have been recruited as interns and employees by companies such as Accenture, Amazon, Capital One, US Census Bureau, Verizon Wireless, Adobe Systems, American Express, KPMG, Optimal Solutions, World Bank, Microsoft, Washington Post, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, among many others.
- How much does it cost to get a master's degree?
UMD’s Student Financial Services and Cashiering’s website posts the latest tuition and fees. Please note that there are different costs for students classified as Maryland residents and students from out of state or other countries.
- Do you provide scholarships or assistantships for incoming MIM students?
As is true with most professional master's programs in the United States, students in our program are self-pay. While we have many highly qualified applicants, unfortunately, we do not have the institutional resources to offer scholarships or grants to our students. Current students fund the costs of the program through a combination of savings, loans, and work.
Graduate assistantships are posted on ejobs.umd.edu. Some students find hourly employment at the Stamp Student Union, Eppley Recreation Center, or University Libraries. You can look at their home pages for hiring information.
- What resources are available to help me learn about funding?
The MIM Program team is focused on providing the best possible educational experience for students who enroll. Please note that we aren't able to serve as a centralized source for funding and hiring information for current or prospective students. However, we are happy to point you to these campus resources:
- Tuition and fees - https://ischool.umd.edu/tuition-fees
- U.S students - https://financialaid.umd.edu/resources-policies/graduate-student-faqs
- International students - https://financialaid.umd.edu/resources-policies/international-students
- Is the GRE required?
The GRE is required for all applicants except those who meet the following criteria:
- U.S. applicants who have either a 3.25 or higher cumulative undergraduate GPA OR
- Have completed another graduate program.
Competitive GRE scores are typically in the 40th percentile or higher for Verbal scores and in the 60th percentile or higher for Qualitative scores. If you are unsure about your credentials, email email@example.com.
- Is the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE required?
You will be required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores if you do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution or from one of the approved English speaking countries to waive the exam. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with international credentials, you will still be required to submit English test scores if you do not hold a degree from one of the countries on this list. Applicants need to have a TOEFL score of at least 96 to be considered for admission to the MIM program.
- What kind of GPA/test scores are you looking for?
The Graduate School requires that applicants must have earned a minimum 3.0 average GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in all prior coursework. While we give serious consideration to applicants’ test scores, they are only one part of the application. The application review committee considers applications holistically, weighing all of the application materials carefully. In short, test scores matter, but they are only one part of your application.
- What are you looking for in the supplemental application?
We want to give you a chance to tell us more about yourself. This is an opportunity to concisely share with us information that we won’t necessarily know from the rest of your application materials. Please follow the instructions for the Supplementary Application regarding how to submit the application.
- Can someone from the MIM program review my materials before submission? I would like to know my chances for admission before I apply.
We do not offer pre-reads of applications nor can we estimate anyone’s likelihood of acceptance. We review applications holistically and the applicant pool varies annually. Use your best judgement based on the criteria we’ve outlined to provide what you feel are your strongest application materials.
What am I supposed to enter in the second GRE field?
Nothing, you can leave this field blank. Applicants who are required to submit GREs only need to submit one set of scores.
Can I upload an encrypted transcript?
Please do not upload an encrypted transcript to the application. It will upload as a blank document and the program will not be able to use it for our evaluation. If you only have access to an encrypted transcript, please print the document, scan it, then upload a scanned version.
What if my transcripts are in a language other than English?
The University of Maryland’s Graduate School provides information for international students on submitting transcripts. Please submit a single combined PDF, including English and native languages together. If your institution does not issue records in English, official English translations must be provided/uploaded, and the original language records must be submitted/uploaded, as well. Only translations issued by the institution or a professional translating service will be accepted. Translations must be literal.
I submitted my standardized test scores but my application is still marked incomplete. What happened?
Because standardized test scores must be manually processed by the University, it can sometimes take a little while for the scores to be marked as received on the application. If it has been more than two weeks since your scores were sent but your application is still marked as "incomplete," you can contact either the iSchool Student Services Office or the Graduate School to request someone check on your scores.
How can I confirm my recommendations have been submitted?
The online application will indicate when each of your recommenders has submitted their recommendation. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that recommendations have been completed, so please make sure to check that each of your recommendations has been received.
New Student Questions
- I was recommended for admission to the program, but I haven’t received an official acceptance letter yet. What does this mean?
The MIM program can only recommend applicants for admission. Final admissions decisions are made by the University of Maryland Graduate School. You will receive official notification of your admissions decision from the Graduate School.
- What is the Graduate School looking at when they review applicants who have been recommended for admission by the program?
While the MIM review process involves assessing whether applicants will be a good fit for the program and have the qualities and skills necessary to be successful in the program, the Graduate School is mainly checking to confirm that the information submitted by applicants is correct and that it meets the Graduate School’s requirements (i.e., a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a degree from an accredited institution, etc).
- How do I respond to my offer of admission?
Your official acceptance letter from the Graduate School should contain information about how to respond to your offer of admission. Please follow the link in your acceptance letter to accept or decline your offer of admission.
- Can I defer enrollment to the MIM program?
Admitted students may defer enrollment for up to one year. Students may defer for any reason, at any time before the start of the fall semester. To defer, you should first formally accept your offer of admission by following the instructions in your acceptance letter. Then, you should follow the steps for deferral to initiate the process with the iSchool.
- Where can I find my University ID (UID) number?
Your UID number is listed on the bottom of your initial acceptance letter from the Graduate School. If you’ve misplaced your letter and have not yet set-up your UMD email account, you can email iSchoolAdmission@umd.edu.
- Why do I need to get a student ID?
Your student ID serves as your library card, and is required for access on-campus resources, such as the University Health Center and the free UMD shuttle system.
- Where do I get my student ID?
You can get your ID on the first floor of the Mitchell Building on the College Park campus, 8:30-4:30 PM Monday – Friday. Call (301) 314-8240 if you have additional questions.
- Do I have to submit my official transcripts by mail?
You may submit your official transcripts by mail, but you can also drop them off in person once you arrive on campus, as long as they are in a sealed envelope.
- Are there any technology requirements? What kind of laptop/software should I get?
You should be prepared to bring a laptop to class, but whether you use a Mac or a PC is up to you. You should be able to complete your assignments regardless of the kind of operating system you use. There is no standard software students are required to purchase. Software requirements vary from course to course, and instructors will inform their students if specific applications are required for a course. UMD also provides software licensing to students through TERPware. Various products are available for download and use by UMD students, faculty, and staff, including Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office.
- What books/software/programming languages should I be familiar with before attending?
The MIM program does not have prerequisite coursework, and there is no required reading ahead of the start of the semester. However, we ask that all incoming students complete some light MIM program tasks ahead of orientation. Enrolled students will receive instructions in the summer prior to starting in MIM.
- How do I know what courses to register for?
The MIM Curriculum, Courses, and Syllabi page provides guidance about how MIM students typically complete their degree, as well as links to resources like the program checklist, student handbook, and the iSchool two-year course plan. Here you will also find suggested academic plans by specialization. Current students have an academic advisor and access to a student portal with more advising information.
- How do I register for courses?
Students register for courses via Testudo. For detailed information about registering, please consult the university's registration guide.
- Can I waive any core courses?
As the program continues to evolve, we have made the decision to limit the course waivers that we offer. It is rare that we allow students to waive courses. The program is designed to build on skills learned in each course. All students should consider this an opportunity to learn, review and master skills.
- Can I transfer credits and apply them toward my degree at UMD?
Students may transfer up to 6 credits earned prior to enrollment from an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park. To be eligible for transfer, courses must have a grade of B or better, be graduate-level, and cannot have been applied to a previous degree. They must be less than five years old at the time of the request. For more information about taking courses outside of the iSchool and on transferring credits, please visit the Academic Policies, Forms, and Handbooks page.
- How many courses should I take?
Most full-time students take 3 courses each fall and spring semester for two years. International students are required to maintain a full-time status, which often means taking 3 courses per semester. More information about maintaining full-time status is available here. We strongly recommend that students do not register for more than 3 classes per semester, as three 3-credit courses per semester is considered a full course load for graduate students.
- How much time should I plan on spending on coursework outside of class?
This will vary greatly from student to student, but a good rule of thumb for estimating workload for a graduate class is 2-3 hours per week, per credit hour. So a 3-credit course would take somewhere between 6-9 hours per week outside of class.
- How do I know what textbooks are required for my course?
For every class you take, you should check the class Testudo listing to see if there are textbooks required for the course.
Go to Testudo
Find the listing for your individual course
Select the section for which you are signed up
Click the stacked book icon to the right of your section number. This will inform you of any required textbooks.
Keep in mind, not all instructors list their required materials on Testudo. If you still have questions about required readings for your courses, feel free to contact your course instructor to verify.
- When should I plan to arrive on campus?
New students should plan to arrive on campus the week before classes start, as a number of events for new students take place during this week, including the iSchool Orientation, Graduate School Orientation, and International Student Orientation.
- Do I have to attend orientation?
The iSchool Orientation is mandatory for all new students, except in extenuating circumstances. MIM students are also required to participate in virtual orientation activities over the summer prior to arriving on campus. Although we do not require students to attend the Graduate School orientation, you are encouraged to do so. International students are required to attend International Student Orientation, and should receive details about new student requirements for international students via International Student & Scholar Services.
- Where do graduate students live, and how can I find housing?
Most graduate students live off-campus. Many live close to campus, in College Park or nearby Hyattsville. Others live in neighboring areas like Takoma Park, Silver Spring, or Bethesda, which are a short drive away. Some choose to live in DC or commute from elsewhere in Maryland and Virginia. Where students live depends greatly on their budget and available transportation, as well as personal preference. UMD’s Off-Campus Housing Services provides information about housing in the area and maintains a database of housing opportunities and people seeking roommates.
- How do I get to campus?
- If you’re flying in to Maryland, there are three airports in the region:
- Baltimore Washington International Airport
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
- Washington Dulles International Airport
- The UMD campus is served by the College Park stop on Metro’s green line. Free shuttle service runs to and from the College Park Metro station.
- Check out the UMD Department of Transportation site for lots of information on how to get around the College Park campus by free UMD shuttle, via the Metro, on foot, by bike, or by car. They also have a number of apps that you can use to help navigate to the campus.
- If you’re flying in to Maryland, there are three airports in the region:
- How can I find a graduate assistantship?
The MIM program works to connect students to assistantship opportunities when they become available, but students are also encouraged to apply to positions across campus via the University’s ejobs.umd.edu portal.
- What does a graduate assistantship entail?
Assistantships are typically either full-time (20 hours/week) or part-time (10 hours/week) positions, and can be designated as either a teaching assistantship (TA), research assistantship (RA), or administrative assistantship (AA). Masters students typically hold administrative assistantships, and, more rarely, RAs or TAs. These positions usually include a stipend and some amount of tuition remission; the amount varies depending on the assistantship, but a 20-hour GAship usually includes full tuition remission.
Questions about Faculty
- Will I get to work closely with faculty?
Yes. Most graduate courses in the iSchool have a student-teacher ratio of 9:1. Many students work on faculty research projects, through independent studies, or as graduate assistants or volunteers.
- I’m interested in studying with a particular faculty member. Will I get to do research with faculty?
If there are particular faculty you’re interested in working with, you are welcome to contact them directly. If you do so, please be respectful and take the time to inform yourself about their work in advance. While most faculty are happy to hear from prospective students, keep in mind that they are not admissions advisors and will likely not be able to answer questions about program requirements. Please keep in mind that the faculty member you’re hoping to work with may not be available. Faculty may be on sabbatical, or may not be teaching in a given semester.
Questions from Alumni, External Partners, and Employers
- How can I be involved in the MIM program?
We’re so glad you asked! There are a number of opportunities to be involved with MIM, including giving a guest lecture, developing a new course, teaching within the program, and more. Contact Michelle Simon (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
- I have a job/internship opening that aligns well with MIM. How can I advertise this to your students and graduates?
Job and internship postings for MIM students can be sent to the program (email@example.com). If they are a good fit, they will be shared with our students. Employers interested in exhibiting at our Career and Internship Fairs can also contact us for more information.
- I am a MIM alum. Is there an iSchool alumni group?
The iSchool Alumni Network is the College of Information Studies’ group within the UMD Alumni Association. Contact Claudia Sanchez (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.