Admissions and Financial Aid
Admissions to the MS Information Systems and Graduate Certificate in Information Systems are competitive. In the admission process, the graduate faculty considers the potential of applicants to complete a program successfully and achieve a position of leadership in the private or public sectors. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis. All applications are reviewed holistically – exceptional career or leadership experience may offset weak scores in some applicants. Students applying for these all-coursework graduate programs are NOT required to submit GRE scores or letters of recommendation. However, such submissions are still recommended.
At a minimum an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.
All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts and essay must be received before a formal acceptance will be considered. Much more weight weight is given in these applications to student essays (motivations, life experiences, ability to succeed) and previous transcripts as compared to research focused applicants. Applications processed through the Graduate School are accomplished on a rolling basis and no strict deadlines apply. However, those applying for campus-wide research assistantships or scholarships should complete their application packets by January 1 for September admission. If programs are not full, applications will be accepted right up to the week before classes begin. Among other considerations, reviewers assess the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully. Conditional or provisional admission is available.
To apply for the MSIS degree, students submit:
- Completed online application indicating the MSIS degree program
- Transcripts of all previous college or university work
- Your current resume which should include contact information for three references
- A brief essay
- $65 application fee
For detailed requirements, please read all the comments that follow.
To apply for the Information System Graduate Certificate, students consult:
- the graduate certificate application information
International students also submit:
- TOEFL or IELTS scores (TOEFL minimum of 80 or IELTS 6.5.)
- Waived for native English speakers and students graduating from an English-speaking or ESL programs.
- WES or ECE certified transcript translation.
- Certificate of Finances
- Copy of passport or visa
International applicants should also review the Office of International Programs page for more information on Visas, financial statements, and other requirements, or to contact an international advisor. All applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Professional Recommendations supplied in Resumes
Recommenders listed in your resume should be able to comment on your academic strengths, work ethic, responsibilities, accomplishments, career advancement, managerial experience, or ability to be successful in the degree program. These references may or may not be contacted depending on circumstances. Please provide mailing address, phone, and email contact information as appropriate.
Application Essay Prompt
Submit an essay describing your motivation for pursuing the degree. The essay is evaluated not only for content, but also for intrinsic writing quality and strengths. Your essay should be no more than two pages. Please state in the essay that you are applying for the MSIS/MBA Dual Degree program if that happens to be the case.
Application Fee Waivers
Application fees are waived for:
- Graduates of University of Maine System Schools
- Veterans of the US Armed Forces
- Fulbright Scholars
- Participants in select programs (eg. IRT/McNair)
FURTHER ADMISSION AND APPLICATION NOTES
Note 1: Transfer Courses – For the MSIS, a maximum of six credit hours of graduate course work taken prior to enrollment in the master’s program, whether at this university or another, may be counted towards the master’s degree. If the course did not count towards a completed undergraduate degree and if the student’s graduate advisory committee formally approves acceptance of the courses on the student’s Program of Study, then the credit hours may be transferred to apply toward the master’s degree.
Note 2: Tuition – For more information about tuition and fees please visit the Bursar’s Office webpage. Alternatively, see Tuition and Fees at UMaine Online. The low in-state tuition rate remains the same whether taking courses online or on campus. Although the grad courses, programs, and instructors are essentially identical, please note that tuition and fees for out-of-state students are different for online versus on-campus programs. All non-resident online graduate students from anywhere in the world receive the very favorable E-Tuition Rate. This remains one of the lowest nation-wide and international graduate tuition rates offered by a publicly funded U.S. land-grant, sea-grant university. On campus students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island qualify for the NEHBE Scholarship rate when the UMaine graduate degree is not offered in those states.
Note 4: STEM Status – International students applying to the MSIS on campus should note that the MSIS program is certified as a STEM program (see U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program and CIP Code 14.3801) potentially allowing a longer post-graduation training stay in the U.S.
Note 5: Grad Certificate in Addition to MSIS – Students currently enrolled in a master’s degree program through the Graduate School who wish to pursue an approved graduate certificate program simultaneously in a subarea or specialization (e.g. IS or GIS Grad Certificates) should ideally apply for admission to the certificate program before one-half of the required master’s credits are completed.
Note 6: Four Plus One Program – UMaine undergraduate student applicants MUST apply for admission to the Four Plus One program directly to the graduate coordinator in SCIS and NOT to the graduate school.
For general information on the range of grants, loans and scholarships available from Federal and other sources for graduate students, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. The department provides no assistantships for non-research based degrees. However, university wide assistantships and scholarships may be available. All full-time students are eligible to apply. Note: Those seeking a Graduate Certificate rather than a full graduate degree are ineligible for most grants, loans and scholarships.
As an online student, does your employer support a tuition reimbursement program?
Despite the high percentage of companies offering tuition-assistance programs, average employee participation is still only around 5 percent. Under IRS rules in 2020, up to $5,250 in educational reimbursement may be written off by the company as an employee fringe benefit. Over that amount is reported as employee income and thus the employee must pay taxes on any amount the employer pays over $5,250.
Note: At an in-state graduate tuition rate, Maine employees of participating employers may take almost 12 credits per year (4 courses) online at UMaine with no cost to themselves except potentially for fees if not covered by their employer. At the out-of-state e-rate for tuition, U.S. employees of participating employers in any state may take approximately 9 credits per year online at UMaine with no cost to themselves.