Apply Master of Public Administration

Create Social Change 

The Evergreen State College is located in Olympia, Washington - the capitol's backyard. As a top-rated masters college we teach students to advocate for change in their community and beyond. 

Qualities of a Strong Candidate

  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, writing, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Persistence through challenging circumstances
  • Interest in leadership and working with people
  • Strong emotional intelligence 

Apply to MPA for Fall 2024 Olympia and Tribal Governance Cohorts

Start or Continue Application

Fall 2024 Application Deadlines

First Round


February 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. PST

Applications received by February 1 are eligible to apply for our scholarships and sponsored aid awards.  Many awards require submission of your FAFSA by March 1, 2024 to be considered, regardless if you are using federal aid or loans to fund your education.

Second Round

March 27, 2024, 11:59 p.m. PST

Applications received by March 27 will receive an admission decision in time to join Admitted Student Night and priority registration for Fall Quarter classes.

Final RoundJuly 1, 2024, 11:59 p.m. PST

Please 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. Applications are evaluated by the Admissions Review Committee after the due date.

MPA's Cohort Model

Evergreen's Master in Public Administration program is designed to create a learning community by admitting a cohort of students to explore core concepts of public administration together. Students may select a concentration in Public Policy or Tribal Governance based on their cohort, speak to us during the application process to determine your concentration.

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.

Olympia: Next accepting applications for Fall 2024. Begins every Fall.

Tribal Governance: Next accepting applications for Fall 2024. Begins in Fall every other year during even-numbered years. 

Tacoma: Next accepting applications for Fall 2025. Begins in Fall every other year during odd-numbered years.

Learn more about the MPA Cohorts

Apply Online

Pay the $50.00 non-refundable application fee by credit card, debit card, or e-check.

Your application is only considered complete when we receive your online application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, statement of purpose, public policy memo, resume and application fee.

Need help with your application?

Contact Please include "MPA" in your subject line.

Admissions Requirements Have Changed: If you have applied in the past, read the Transcript and Public Policy Memo directions closely.

Admissions Requirements

We look at all of your application materials when considering your admittance

Submit all materials in a Word or PDF format. Your application is not considered complete until we have received materials for each of these requirements. We do not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

  1. 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 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.
    • If your GPA falls below 3.0 but you are otherwise well-qualified, we encourage you to apply.
  2. 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
  3. Two letters of recommendation from two people who can comment on your readiness for graduate study
  4. Resume
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Public Policy Memo

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.

Evergreen alumni will need to request an official transcript from Evergreen even if you have not graduated yet. You can order your Evergreen transcript online.

Preparing Your Application

Order transcripts at least 30 business days before your 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 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 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 positions relate 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. 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.

Write Your 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 (3 pages, double-spaced). Please address all three components of the provided prompt:

  • 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 Your Public Policy Memo

In a memo of no more than 500 words (1-2 pages, double-spaced), 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.

International Students

International applicants have 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. 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. Have non-English transcripts 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.

Application Fee Waivers

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.

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Office Hours