Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate

These principles infuse the Evergreen curriculum and guide academic planning for both faculty and students.
  1. Articulate and assume responsibility for your own work.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will know how to work well with others, not only in the workplace or social contexts, but as an active participant in the struggle for a more just world. You will assume responsibility for your actions as an individual and exercise power responsibly and effectively.


    • Timely attendance and completion of work
    • Progress from less advanced to more advanced work
    • Learn how to seek out and use academic resources when needed
    • Take initiative in group work, leading and contributing
    • Bring notes and relevant questions to seminars
    • Present thoughtful self-evaluations (throughout study) and summative self-evaluation (senior year)
    • Design your own clear and distinctive curriculum, such as an Individual Learning Contract or Internship Contract
    • Publications, gallery presentations, community work
  2. Participate collaboratively and responsibly in our diverse society.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will understand that by giving of yourself you make the success of others possible. A thriving community is crucial to your own well-being. The study of diverse worldviews and experiences will help you to develop the skills to act effectively as a local citizen within a complex global framework.


    • Keep your commitments for seminar preparation, group projects, and community service work
    • Understand and articulate important cultural or social issues in program choices, community service, and academic work
    • Be a fully engaged member of a collaborative work group, support the learning of others in leadership and cooperation
    • Build bridges between disparate groups
    • Personal transformation as a result of interactions across differences, challenging your own biases
  3. Communicate creatively and effectively.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will know how to listen objectively to others so as to understand and accept a wide variety of viewpoints. By developing a genuine interest in the experiences of others, you will learn to ask thoughtful questions, to communicate persuasively, and express yourself creatively.


    • Produce written work or oral presentations that successfully convey ideas, appropriate to the particular form of the assignment and to the audience
    • Develop ability to clearly explain concepts to others
    • Write strong self-evaluations, successfully articulating your learning
    • Contribute effectively to seminar discussions
    • Produce professional-level work that is an excellent example of the particular form
  4. Demonstrate integrative, independent, critical thinking.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will have the ability to appreciate and critically evaluate a range of topics, across academic disciplines. As you explore these disciplines, you will develop a greater curiosity toward the world around you, and its interconnections, that will enhance your skills as an independent, critical thinker.


    • Produce an independent project within a program, or as an Individual Learning Contract
    • Produce a major research project with a thesis you designed which successfully integrates multiple lines of thought
    • Ability to assess the value of evidence in a research project
    • Ability to critique academic work
    • Understand the limitations of a particular mode of inquiry
    • Develop new methods and strategies for tackling problems
    • Complete outstanding original work
    • Ability to assess the success of your own work
  5. Apply qualitative, quantitative and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across disciplines.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will understand the importance of the relationship between analysis and synthesis. Through being exposed to the arts, sciences and humanities, and coming to your own critical understanding of their interconnectedness, you will learn to apply appropriate skills and creative ways of thinking to the major questions that confront you in your life.


    • Successfully complete courses or programs—involving research projects—in creative arts, math, science, computer science, humanities, and social science
    • Ability to approach a research problem from several different modes of inquiry
    • Ability to interpret and make judgments about data and validity of conclusions
    • Cumulative development of skills in math/CS/science, or creative arts, or social science/humanities—i.e., progression of learning in research or projects in one or more of these areas into an advanced level
  6. As a culmination of your education, demonstrate depth, breadth and synthesis of learning and the ability to reflect on the personal and social significance of that learning.

    A successful Evergreen graduate will be able to apply the personal frame of reference you develop as a result of this unique education in order to make sense of the world. This understanding will allow you to act in a way that is both easily understood by and compassionate toward other individuals across personal differences.


    • Complete at least two multi-quarter, interdisciplinary programs
    • Earn at least 45 credits in a single area of study, showing clear progression of learning
    • Choose and complete programs that move you toward more complexity
    • Earn credits in at least four of the five major disciplinary areas (Natural Sciences, Mathematics/Computer Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts)
    • Write a strong Academic Statement showing integration of learning across disciplines and depth of study in at least one area

Evergreen is a very different place to learn, and we’re here to help you succeed.

Our Graduates

Graduates of The Evergreen State College do well in graduate schools all over the country and in all sorts of careers.

You can find our alumni everywhere! See what Greeners have accomplished after Evergreen.

The Social Contract

A central focus of Evergreen’s values is freedom—freedom to explore ideas and to discuss those ideas in both speech and print; freedom from reprisal for voicing concerns and beliefs, no matter how unpopular. It's this freedom that is so necessary in a vibrant, dynamic learning community.

The Social Contract is a guide for civility and individual freedom.