Apply to the MPA Program

Fall 2016 applications are now being accepted. Our priority deadline is February 1, 2016: applications that are complete by February 1—with all materials received—are guaranteed consideration.

Start Your Fall 2016 Application

The priority deadline to receive all application materials is February 1, 2016.

The MPA program uses an online application form. You may start your application at any time, and return as often as needed to work on it until you are finished. See complete details below, but in short:

  • To start the online application, set up an account.
  • Enter basic information about yourself
  • Enter names and contact emails for 2 references: they will be emailed immediately after you enter their info to request a letter of recommendation
  • Upload your resume, statement of purpose, and public policy essay in Word or PDF format.
  • When everything is complete, to submit your online application pay the $50 non-refundable application fee by credit card, debit card, or e-check. (Please note that paying by e-check delays the submission of your application by six business days.)

Need help with the online application? See Directions & Information or contact

Transcripts are not part of the online application and are submitted separately.

We only consider complete applications. An application is considered to be complete after all application materials are received, including: the online application with attachments, application fee, all official transcripts and both recommendations. Faxed or emailed materials are not official documents and cannot be accepted.

Applications that are complete by February 1 are guaranteed consideration. They will be reviewed in one group, after February 1, and applicants will be informed of admission status in mid-March.

Applications that are complete after February 1 may be considered, if we're looking for additional well-qualified applicants after February 1. These applications would be considered in a second application group, and applicants will be informed of admission status in early April.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education. You may be admitted provisionally pending completion.

Minimum GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale for last 90 graded quarter hours or 60 graded semester hours of post-secondary school coursework from accredited institutions. We will calculate your GPA after you apply. If your GPA falls below 3.0 but you are otherwise well qualified, we encourage you to apply: the Admissions Committee is permitted to make a few exceptions to this requirement every year. Evergreen grads: this requirement doesn't apply to you. Instead, we read through your evaluations to determine whether you're ready for graduate-level study.

Statistics: successful completion of an MPA-approved introductory statistics course before beginning the MPA program in the Fall. The good news is that you may apply and be admitted conditionally before you’ve taken statistics, but you must complete the coursework before beginning your MPA studies. If you've already taken statistics or plan to take it before you apply, note that the statistics course must be completed within three (3) years of the Fall of admission. See more about our statistics requirement.

Evidence of writing, analytical and general communication skills of high quality and at a level appropriate for graduate study. The Admissions Committee considers all your application materials to look for evidence of these skills.

You do not need to take the GRE.

Applicants with less than one year of full-time work with significant responsibility in public or non-profit administration or in a public policy area will be required to complete an internship while in the MPA program.

Preparing Your Application: The Details

Select and contact your two references

Request references from people who can provide evidence of your ability to do excellent graduate-level work: writing, analysis, and general communication skills. Current or former faculty, supervisors, and colleagues are potential providers of recommendations. If you have graduated from college within the last two years of the Fall of admission, at least one of your references must be from a faculty member.

You will need to provide the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of your recommenders in the online application form. These people will be emailed immediately, before you submit your application, so contact them in advance!

Your recommenders will be emailed and asked to submit their letters of recommendation by email. They may address their letters to the “MPA Admission Committee.”

If a letter of recommendation cannot be submitted via our online application system, we will accept a hard copy/printed letter of recommendation, with the following conditions:

  1. We will only accept a signed original letter in its original sealed envelope.
  2. In order to complete the online application you must enter the recommender’s name and contact info in the online application form, but you may use a “dummy” email address so the recommender isn’t contacted.
  3. Letters of recommendation may be no more than two years old when submitted.
  4. The recommendation may be sent by the recommender or the applicant, as long as it is still in its original sealed envelope.

Send or deliver to:

The Evergreen State College
Graduate Admissions, Library 2002
Attention: MPA Admissions
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505

Format your resume

You'll need a chronological resume listing all positions held in at least the past ten years. Include any significant volunteer public or community service activities. Emphasize how a position relates to your proposed graduate work.

Write a statement of purpose

Tell us what brings you to public service and to the Evergreen MPA program. Why do you want to pursue graduate study in public administration in general and at Evergreen in particular?

Describe in detail your experiences in education, employment, and public or community work. How did those experiences influence you to seek a graduate degree in public administration?

Speak particularly to the elements of the Evergreen MPA mission; for example, working collaboratively, embracing diversity, and valuing fairness and equity.

This statement helps the Admissions Committee assess your interest and motivation for graduate study. The Committee will look at the fit between what our program offers and what you hope to receive from it.

Your statement should be no more than three (3) pages, double-spaced.

Write a public policy essay

This essay on a public policy issue of interest to you should clearly explain the issue, describe the major contending views, argue a position, and defend it with relevant evidence. The essay may follow any standard style format for a college paper. Include proper citations of all source material.

We recognize that many applicants may not have written a public policy essay before. This is your chance to demonstrate college level writing and critical thinking skills. The Admissions Committee will evaluate your essay based on: 1) the quality of its analysis and writing; and 2) the coherence of its argument.

Also, note that this essay does not have to be original work: you may use work that you have completed previously, as long as your final document meets the requirements for the policy essay.

Tribal Governance applicants should write about a policy issue specific to tribal communities and demonstrate an understanding of policies that are relevant to tribal governments or that affect American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or international indigenous groups.

Your essay should be no more than five (5) pages, double-spaced, not including cover page, citations, etc.

For some good examples of public policy essays, see the links below: each essay was written by an MPA applicant admitted in Fall 2014:

Request transcripts

You will need to request and submit official transcripts from every college or university that you have attended. Transcripts are submitted separately from the online application.

Evergreen Students and Alumni

If you transferred credit from another college or institution towards your Bachelor's degree, you will need to submit new official transcripts from those institutions.

You will also need to request an official transcript from Evergreen for the MPA program. You can order your Evergreen transcript online.

One transcript must verify the award of a bachelor’s degree. Provisional admission can be granted on the basis of work in progress near the completion of a bachelor's degree. We may need an updated transcript during the review process. A final transcript must be submitted to gain regular admission status.

A transcript is considered official if it bears the official seal and signature of the issuing institution and is either:

  1. Sent directly by the issuing institution.
  2. Or sent or delivered by the applicant, as long as it's still in the issuing institution’s original sealed envelope.

The transcript is to be sent or delivered to Evergreen’s Graduate Admissions Office in Library 2002; the complete address is below.

Evergreen accepts e-transcripts from other colleges that are registered members with Docufide, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance, Parchment, and Scrip-Safe International. If the e-transcript system asks for an email address, please use

Otherwise, mail or deliver transcripts to:

The Evergreen State College
Graduate Admissions, Library 2002
Attention: MPA Admissions
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505

Apply Online

To apply online, you will first need to set up an account and then you can start the Online Graduate Application. Need help with the online application? See Directions & Information or contact

You will need to upload your resume, statement of purpose, and public policy essay in Word or PDF format.

You can pay the $50 non-refundable application fee by credit card, debit card, or e-check. Please note that paying by e-check delays the submission of your application by six business days.