Apply to MES

Learn more about our application requirements and process.

Thank you for your interest in Evergreen's Master of Environmental Studies Program! 

New Applications for Fall 2021 opened October 6th 2020. Please start your application through the above application portal and please email Averi Azar at if you have any technical difficulties. You can save your progress at any time and can return to this page and continue when you're ready to submit. Our final application deadline is June 1st, 2021 at 11:59pm, PST so please be sure to submit all application materials listed below by this date in order to be considered for priority admissions. 

Please also take a look at our Financial Aid resources at and submit your FAFSA/WASFA and an MES Scholarship Application by the February 1st, 2021 deadline to receive priority consideration for tuition waivers, scholarships and fellowships. Students who apply for Financial Aid after February 1st will still be eligible for student loan aid.

All application materials listed below must be received for your application to be considered.

*If you are experiencing difficulty obtaining official transcripts or letters of recommendation, please reach out to Assistant Director, Averi Azar for consultation.

Remember, you do not need to find a faculty sponsor before you apply. You'll be matched with a thesis advisor in your final year.

Qualities of a strong candidate

  • Excellent writing, communication, quantitative, and analytical skills
  • Educational background and/or work experience in environmental studies
  • Coursework in both social and natural sciences (15 quarter credits of each recommended)
  • Interest in interdisciplinary solutions to environmental challenges

Admissions requirements

We look at your application portfolio as a whole to see if you have the qualities of a good candidate for the MES program.

  • Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject) from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education or foreign equivalent. You may be admitted provisionally pending completion.
    • 3.0 GPA for last 90 quarter credits
    • 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 regionally-accredited U.S. institutions or foreign equivalent.

      Evergreen Students and Alumni, because you don’t have a GPA, we read through all of your evaluations to determine whether you’re ready for graduate-level study.

      We will calculate your GPA after you apply. If it falls below 3.0 but you are otherwise well qualified, we encourage you to apply as we are able to make a few exceptions to this requirement every year.

  • Prerequisites
    • 4 credits of Natural Science
    • 4 credits of Social Science
    • 4 credits of Statistics
      • (completed within last 5 years)
      • Prerequisite coursework in social science, natural science, and statistics. You can apply before completing all prerequisites, but you will need to provide proof of completion before starting MES. Review specific requirements.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

*Critical reasoning, Data interpretation and quantitative analysis, and Written and verbal communication

  • Official Transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Analytical Essay
  • International students have additional requirements. See the “International Students” section for more details.

We do not require the GRE. 

Preparing your application

  • Select and contact three people to recommend you

    Request recommendations from people who can provide evidence of your ability to do excellent graduate-level work in writing, critical inquiry, quantitative analysis, and who can attest to your strong 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.

    Your recommenders will be asked to upload their recommendation letter to our online application. You will need to provide the name, title, organization, email address, and phone number for each of your recommenders in the online application form. Once their contact information is entered, your recommenders will be emailed immediately (you do not need to submit your application to activate this email). Make sure to contact them in advance so they know to expect this message.

  • Format your resume

    List key employment or other experiences relevant to your interest in environmental studies; include any significant public and community service activities.

  • Write a statement of purpose

    Tell us why you want to pursue graduate study in environmental studies at Evergreen in 500 to 1,000 words. Describe in some detail your experiences in education, employment, and public or community work. Explain how they influenced you to seek a graduate degree in environmental studies.

    This statement helps the admission committee assess your interest and motivation for graduate study and helps the committee gauge the fit between what our program offers and what you hope to receive from it. Your essay will also be evaluated for clarity, analysis, and general writing skills.

  • Write your analytical essay

    The analytical essay requirement is your opportunity to show your skill in analysis and writing. 

    Please write an essay on an environmental policy issue of your choosing. This component should:
    • Clearly explain the environmental policy issue
    • Describe the major contending views
    • Articulate your position
    • Defend your position with relevant evidence

    You may use work that you have completed previously, as long as your final document meets the requirements for the analytical essay.

    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 clarity and coherence of its argument
    2. The overall quality of its analysis and writing

    Your essay should be no more than five (5) pages, double-spaced, not including cover page, figures (graphs, tables, etc.), citations, etc. Please include a copy of all graphs or tables as an appendix.

    The essay may follow any standard style format for a college paper. Include proper citations of all source material. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a good resource.

    The following are good examples of environmental policy essays:

    Atlantic Salmon Farming in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea

    Long-term Capitol Lake Management Plan Review in Relation to the Sea Level Rise in Downtown Olympia

    Harvesting Forest Biomass as a Sustainable Fuel Source

    Management of Prairies with Prescribed Fire in the Olympic Peninsula

    An Evaluation of Wetland Mitigation Banking in the United States: Positives and Negatives

  • 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

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

    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.

    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 before classes start to gain regular admission status. Students with non-English transcripts 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:

    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.

    Evergreen accepts e-transcripts from 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: MES Admissions
    2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
    Olympia, WA 98505

Apply online

Application fee waivers

AmeriCorps and Earth Corps members and alumni, and returned Peace Corps volunteers, may be eligible 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.

Our online application will be available in October 2020 and requires a $50 non-refundable application fee. 

You can pay the 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, resume, analytical essay, and application fee. 

After you apply

If you apply by the priority deadline, you'll receive your admission decision and financial aid letters by the week of March 8th. 2nd round applicants should expect to receive admissions decision letters by late April. On May 22nd, join us for the MES Admitted Student Day to meet your new classmates and faculty.

As soon as you're admitted, we'll help you apply for MES-related jobs and internships, advise you on prerequisites, help you find housing resources, and answer questions about financial aid. We’ll keep you informed all the way up until you start classes in the fall.

Transferring graduate credits

If you took any electives from MES or from another regionally-accredited program, you may be able to apply up to 8 credits to your degree with Director approval.