Application Requirements

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Minimum Admissions Requirements

While the MSTI program is designed to allow students from any background to be successful, familiarity with programming is a key skill.

All applicants must submit evidence of competency at an intermediate level in object-oriented programming (Python preferred). Coursework or certificates are acceptable evidence, and can be from university/college transcripts, or completion certificates for online courses. Courses or certificates should be dedicated programming courses and should cover the following topics:

  • Basic operators: arithmetic and comparison
  • Functions: defining, calling, and return values
  • Basic understanding of modules and packages

If you have completed a non-academic programming course, you must submit evidence of course completion in the form of a certificate or examination.

Web programming languages (HTML, CSS, Javascript) do not satisfy the requirement.

Successful completion of these course prerequisites is required since the MSTI courses are based on the foundational knowledge that is covered in these courses. Students who have not completed all of the prerequisite courses (or completed them several years ago) tend to struggle academically in the MSTI classes.

Applicants will not be considered if they have not met these prerequisites, so you must submit evidence of meeting these prerequisites in order to be considered for admission.

Recommended Courses

We recommend Educative.io’s, or the University of Washington’s Continuum College course as a course that meets the requirements, but many other courses may also be acceptable – please contact us at msti@uw.edu if you have questions about this.

Applicants who did not earn a Bachelor's Degree where the language of instruction was English must submit proof of English Proficiency. The University of Washington Graduate School’s Policy 3.2 describes several different ways to do this.

If you are using test scores for proficiency, please note that the MS in Technology Innovation requires higher minimum scores than the UW Graduate School requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT: score of 100, speaking score 23
  • IELTS: 7, minimum speaking score band of 7
  • Duolingo English: Total score of 130, with a Production subscore of 125

Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a foreign institution.

Any major is acceptable, though applications without programming coursework are required to show evidence of meeting the prerequisites listed below.

A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits (international grades will be converted).

For applicants to the Dual Degree Option with Tsinghua University, in accordance with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China’s policy, applicants with a mainland Chinese passport must take the Chinese National Graduate Exam to be admitted to the MSE(DSIT) program. Please see Tsinghua University's website for more details.

Submission Requirements

Prepare transcripts from every college or university where you earned a degree or college credit. Download unofficial transcripts or scan printed copies, and ensure that they are readable. Your transcripts should show your GPA, and number of credit hours per course completed, and also provide evidence that you have completed the prerequisite coursework listed here. If you accept an offer of admission, you will be required to submit an official transcript from your most recent or relevant degree.

You will need to request two to three letters of recommendation from professional or academic references. Ask individuals who know you well and can speak to the skills, abilities, and experiences that would make you a great candidate for the MSTI program. Recommendations can come from faculty members, mentors or supervisors. You will need to enter the email address for each recommender into the Graduate School application which will trigger an email directing them to a secure website where they can submit their letters.

If you are applying to the dual degree program, your recommenders will need to submit recommendations to both the UW and Tsinghua University. Because the recommendations can be the same for both institutions, please ask them to address the letter to the "Dual Degree Review Committee" and to recommend you for the "Dual Degree program (MSTI + MEDSIT)." Please consult the Tsinghua University website for more information about submitting your recommendations to their application.

Prepare a resume or curriculum vitae to provide a chronology of your academic and professional experience, highlighting the most relevant educational and work activities. Include any interests or volunteer work that have prepared you for this course of study.

We recommend using a US resume/CV format, and many examples of this can be found online.

In a personal statement of no more than 1000 words (around 200 words per question), answer the questions below and discuss how they relate to the specifdegree program you are applying for (MSTI-Connected Devices, MSTI-Robotics, Dual Degree-Connected Devices, Dual Degree-Robotics). This statement will serve as an example of your written communication skills.

Prompt: The Master of Science in Technology Innovation program prepares its graduates to become innovators in the global market for connected devices or robotics through an immersive, project-based curriculum focused on technology development, design thinking, and entrepreneurial skills.

  • What specific aspects of the MSTI program are of most interest to you and why?
  • What are your goals and aspirations, and how will participation in this program help you achieve them?
  • Based on your previous experiences, what unique contribution would you bring to enhance the learning experience of your cohort of student peers?
  • Tell us about emerging technologies that you are interested in pursuing and/or about any particular problem spaces and/or user groups you are passionate about addressing
  • The MSTI curriculum requires basic computer programming knowledge to succeed. How are you prepared to tackle the technical challenges of the program? What kind of technical skills are you hoping to learn?

Though not required, it's strongly recommended that applicants submit a portfolio, since the portfolio gives the review committee a better idea of your experience and skillset.

Your portfolio can be anything that demonstrates your interests or creativity through three to five examples of previous work. Examples of items to feature in your portfolio might include screenshots of an app you built, a video of a project you worked on, or a video for a Kickstarter campaign you launched.

Create the portfolio in a PDF format. You may include examples of your work in the PDF or embed links to other sites, such as your own website or a portfolio website such as GitHub or Squarespace. Please do not submit any hard-copy materials; instead, take photos or create brief, two- to three-minute videos of your work to include in the portfolio. Your PDF portfolio should be no larger than 30 MB.

Applicants who did not earn a bachelor's degree where the language of instruction was English must submit proof of English proficiency. See the Graduate School's full policy here.

Scores must be sent directly to the UW by the Educational Testing Service using institution code 4854 (TOEFL); no department code is needed. Only scores less than two years old will be accepted.

If you’re submitting scores, please note that the MSTI program recommends higher minimum scores than the UW Graduate School requirement:

The MSTI program requires the following for admissions:
TOEFL iBT: score of 100, speaking score 26
IELTS: 7, minimum speaking score band of 7.5
Duolingo English Test: 130, with conversation subscore of 125

If you have met the programming prerequisites in your university transcripts you will not need to submit additional documentation.

If you have completed a non-academic programming certificate course or boot camp, you must submit evidence of course completion in the form of a certificate or examination.

Applicants will not be considered if they have not met these prerequisites, so you must submit evidence of meeting these prerequisites in order to be considered for admission.

If your prerequisite knowledge is unclear from your documentation, you may be contacted to clarify how you intend to meet the requirements.

International Student Information

Any applicant who requires a visa to study in the United States is considered an international student. In addition to the requirements listed above, some additional materials may be required, as indicated below:

Applicants who did not earn a Bachelor's Degree where the language of instruction was English must submit proof of English Proficiency. The University of Washington Graduate School’s Policy 3.2 describes several different ways to do this.

If you are using test scores for proficiency, please note that the MS in Technology Innovation requires higher minimum scores than the UW Graduate School requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT: score of 100, speaking score 23
  • IELTS: 7, minimum speaking score band of 7
  • Duolingo English: Total score of 130, with a Production subscore of 125

International students must have or be eligible for a visa status that allows for academic study at the University of Washington. For more information, please review the citizenship and visa status section on the University of Washington Graduate School's application process page, and contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services at uwgrad@uw.edu or 206-685-2630 if you have any questions.

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