How to Apply - Master of Public Administration

Prepare to enter the Master in Public Administration program and learn how your application is evaluated.

Fall 2023 Applications for Olympia and Tacoma

Fall 2023 & Application Rounds and Deadlines

Application Round Deadline

Priority Round

(First Round)

February 1, 2023, 11:59 pm Pacific Time

  • Applications received by February 1 are eligible for scholarships and sponsored aid awards.  Many awards require submission of your FAFSA by February 1 to be considered.
Second Round

April 3, 2023, 11:59 pm Pacific Time

  • Applications received by April 3 will receive an admission decision in time to join Admitted Student Night and priority registration for Fall Quarter classes.
Final Round July 10, 2023, 11:59 pm Pacific Time

Create your account today so we have a place to compile your application materials, including transcripts.

Create your Application Account Log in to Continue Your MPA Application

Evergreen's Master in Public Administration program is designed to create a learning community by admitting a class (cohort) of students to explore core concepts of public administration together. Cohorts start in the fall.

The program has three cohorts:

  • Olympia - Open for Fall Quarter 2023, begins every fall
  • Tacoma - Open for Fall Quarter 2023, begins every two years (odd years)
  • Tribal Governance - will be open again in Fall Quarter 2024, begins every two years (even years)

Applicants choose which concentration they would like to pursue:

  • Public and Nonprofit Administration
  • Public Policy
  • Tribal Governance (must be admitted to the Tribal Governance cohort)

Strong candidates demonstrate evidence of their ability to do high-quality graduate-level work in a public administration program that includes:

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Writing skills
  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Other qualities that contribute to graduate school success, such as persistence during challenging times, leadership ability, emotional intelligence and the ability to work with people

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 a 2-credit internship while in the program.

Admissions Requirements Have Changed

If you have applied in the past, read the Transcript and Public Policy Memo directions closely.

Admission Requirements and Application Materials

Your application is not considered complete until we have received all materials

Bachelor’s Degree

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an approved accredited institution of higher education. You may be admitted provisionally pending the completion of your bachelor's degree.

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent measures of performance if you are a graduate of an institution with no grading system) for those credits earned at the institution awarding the bachelor's degree.
    • If your GPA falls below 3.0 but you are otherwise well-qualified, we encourage you to apply.
    • If you are an Evergreen student/alumni, or alumni of an institution with no grading system, we will review your transcript for evidence of readiness for graduate-level study.

Application checklist

Submit all materials in a Word or PDF format. A complete application includes:

  • Official transcripts from the college or university that conferred your bachelor's degree and any subsequent degrees, and
  • Unofficial transcripts from all prior undergraduate or graduate institutions
  • Recommendations from two people who can comment on your readiness for graduate study 
  • Current resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Public policy memo
  • $50 non-refundable application fee

Americorps members and alumni and Peace Corps volunteers may qualify for an application fee waiver. Request a waiver before completing your application! We cannot reimburse the application fee if you request a waiver after you pay the fee.

We do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Your application is not considered complete until we have received materials for each of these requirements.

You do not need to submit all application materials at the same time. You can upload materials and send your recommendation invitations at any time. We encourage you to order your transcripts at the beginning of your application process.

International students have additional requirements. See the section at the bottom of this page.

Evergreen Students and Alumni

Order Your Evergreen Transcript

Detailed Application Instructions

You should order transcripts at least 30 business days before the application due date

Request transcripts

Request and submit official transcripts from the institution that awarded your bachelor's degree and any subsequent degrees, including Evergreen.

  • Unofficial transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate institutions must also be submitted. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted as an attachment in the application portal or may be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office.

If you have not yet finished your degree at the time of application, you will submit your in-progress official transcript. If you are admitted, you will need to arrange to have a final, official transcript sent after your degree is conferred. 

Send official transcripts to the Graduate Admissions Office to address below. If you have non-English transcripts, you must have them translated into English and certified by a translation agency.

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

  • Sent directly by the issuing institution or
  • Sent or delivered by the applicant, as long as it’s still in the issuing institution’s original sealed envelope

If you are submitting via an e-transcript system and it asks for an email address, use Otherwise, mail or deliver transcripts to:

The Evergreen State College
Graduate Admissions, Evans Hall 1200
Attention: MPA Admissions
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505

Official transcripts may take several days to a few weeks to be delivered and processed. You should order transcripts at least 30 business days before the application due date to assure your application will be ready for consideration.

Provide two recommendations

Your recommenders should be able to provide evidence of your:

  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Writing skills
  • Oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Other qualities that contribute to graduate school success, such as persistence despite difficulties or challenges, leadership ability, emotional intelligence, etc.

If you have graduated from college within the last two years, at least one of your two recommendations must be from a faculty member. 

You will need to provide the name, title, organization, email address and phone number for each of your recommenders in the online application.

Evergreen will automatically email your references after you enter their information, so contact your recommenders in advance!

  • These automatic emails can get sent to spam folders due to the embedded link.
  • Email the assistant director to resend the invitation if your recommender has not received it.
  • Please give your recommenders at least three weeks before the application due date to complete their forms. 

Format your resume

Provide a current, chronological resume listing all positions held in at least the last ten years. Include any significant volunteer or community service activities. Emphasize how a position relates to your proposed graduate work. 

We use your resume to determine whether you must complete an internship as part of your graduate course of study. 

Write a statement of purpose

Your statement of purpose is an essay that describes your interest and reasons for graduate study. We 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 1,000 words (three pages double-spaced). Please address all three components of the prompt below.


  • How have your experiences in education, employment, and public or community work influenced you to seek a graduate degree in public administration? 
  • Why do you want to pursue graduate study in public administration in general and at Evergreen in particular? 
  • Which elements of the Evergreen MPA mission draw you to the program? For example things like working collaboratively, embracing diversity, valuing fairness and equity, etc.

Write a public policy memo

In a memo of no more than 300 words, describe and argue a position about a significant public problem or policy with which you have had personal or professional experience. This is your chance to demonstrate college-level writing and critical thinking skills. We will evaluate your memo based on the quality of its analysis and writing, and the coherence of its argument. 

Some options for developing your policy memo include but are not limited to:

1) Problem definition argument: In one paragraph, define and describe a public problem in terms of who is affected, what places are most affected and/or how it has worsened or improved over time. Then argue that the problem requires more public or policymaker attention with reference to the problem’s individual, social or economic consequences.

2) Policy evaluation argument: In one paragraph, describe an existing law or public policy in terms of its goals and design (the methods used to implement the policy). Then evaluate the policy in terms of its impact on the problem it was intended to address or in terms of its unintended social and economic consequences.

3) Policy recommendation: In one paragraph, describe a policy alternative that has been proposed to address a significant public problem, in terms of its goals and design (the methods that would be used to implement the alternative). Then argue for the adoption of this alternative in terms of its likely effectiveness in addressing the public problem.

Additional considerations in your policy memo:

  • Assume you are preparing this memo for an audience that is intelligent but not familiar with the public problem or policy you are addressing and who you hope to persuade to your position.
  • You are not required to use bibliographic citations in your memo, but you should be sure to defend your argument with relevant evidence.
  • If you do use bibliographic citations, you may select any standard style format, including APA, Chicago, or MLA.

Need guidance on citations?

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a good resource for citations and other writing fundamentals.

Application Processing Time

Allow 10 business days for a status update on your application

During peak application processing season, Evergreen receives a large number of applications each day.

Allow 10 business days after we have received your complete application for your application completion status to be updated on the Applicant Self-Service Center.

Need help with the online application?

Contact  Please include "MPA" in your subject line.

International Students

International applicants have three additional admissions criteria

International students are strongly encouraged to apply by the priority deadline of February 1 to allow time for Visa application processing. International applicants have three additional admissions criteria:

  1. You must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following ways:
    • A bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education or from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago or the United Kingdom.
    • Official documentation from an institution (other than those listed above) verifying that your bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree is from an institution where all instruction is in English.
    • One of the following minimum English language proficiency test scores demonstrated through submission of official scores at the time of application: 
      • TOEFL paper test: 550
      • TOEFL computerized test: 220
      • TOEFL (internet-based or MyBest score): 79 (92 recommended)
      • IELTS: 6.5
  2. If you have non-English transcripts, you must have them translated into English and certified by a translation agency. Evergreen requires a certified translation and original transcripts. The service you select should send the translated, official transcripts directly to Evergreen.
  3. If admitted, you must provide evidence of having the ability to pay all expenses for one academic year's enrollment at Evergreen that includes:
    • Tuition and fees
    • Room and board
    • Books and supplies
    • Health insurance 
    • Personal expenditures
    • Transportation (excluding travel to and from the U.S.).

If admitted, the Graduate Admissions and International Students offices will work with you on this paperwork.