Master of Public Administration

MPA Mission and the change

Our students, faculty and staff create learning communities to explore and implement socially just, democratic public service.


  • think critically and creatively;
  • communicate effectively;
  • work collaboratively;
  • embrace diversity;
  • value fairness and equity;
  • advocate powerfully on behalf of the public; and
  • imagine new possibilities and accomplish positive change in our workplaces and in our communities.

Evergreen's MPA program provides an intellectual, collaborative and engaged learning environment in which students learn to act as facilitators in defining and pursuing the public interest. Key ideas and concepts are presented within the historical, political, social, cultural and economic contexts of public administration. At the same time, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their own understanding and experiences in the context of theory.

Students will develop expertise in both oral and written communication. Much of the work takes place in seminars, small group discussions where participants will discover the meaning or significance of assigned readings. Students will experience teamwork while working to complete various learning projects. They will learn to reason critically, to analyze important dimensions of public service and to understand and take coherent positions on key public administration and policy issues. In addition, students will have opportunities to discuss contemporary public issues with practitioners and faculty. Students will use their own experiences to integrate theory and practice (Knowledge Skills & Abilities).

We are Unique

The Evergreen State College's Graduate Program in Public Administration, commonly referred to as the MPA program, began in 1980. The program's primary objective is to provide high-quality professional education to students pursuing careers within government agencies, tribal government and nonprofit organizations involved with public issues.

Evergreen's MPA program is unique, thanks to a set of fundamental ideas and beliefs that permeates everything the college does, both inside and outside the classroom. The cornerstones of an Evergreen education, graduate or undergraduate, include collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching and learning, narrative evaluations instead of grades, an emphasis on experiential learning and engaged discussions encompassing diverse views.

Evergreen challenges students' assumptions while helping them develop critical thinking and an ethical orientation that enable graduates to act with professionalism and integrity. Significant public administration and policy questions are approached in a cross-disciplinary fashion so they can be seen in their broadest contexts: historically, culturally, politically, economically, socially and scientifically.