Apply to MES

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

Fall 2023 Admission Deadlines

  • First Round Deadline: December 30th, 2022
    • Admission decisions: February 1st, 2023
      • Priority consideration for scholarships and tuition waivers are given to students who apply during this round
  • Second Round Deadline: March 10th, 2023
    • Admission decisions: April 10th, 2023
      • Students who apply by the second round will be able to register first for elective courses of their choosing when registration for Fall 2023 opens up in May 2023.
  • Third Round Deadline: July 1st, 2023
    • Admission Decisions: July 1st, 2023
      • This is the final deadline to submit Fall 2023 applications

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

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. 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.

  1. Bachelor’s Degree (in any subject) from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education or foreign equivalent. You may be admitted provisionally pending completion.

    1. 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.
  2. 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. International students have additional requirements. See the “International Students” section for more details.

    3 Letters of Recommendation

    • *Critical reasoning, Data interpretation and quantitative analysis, and Written and verbal communication
  4. Official Transcripts

  5. Statement of Purpose

  6. Analytical Essay or GRE Scores

  7. Resume

Preparing your application

Select and contact three references

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 following information for each of your recommenders in the online application form:

  1. Once you enter your recommender's contact information, they will be emailed immediately (you do not need to submit your application to activate this email invitation). Make sure to contact them in advance so they know to expect this message.


  2. Title

  3. Organization

  4. Email address

  5. Phone number

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.

Analytical Essay or GRE Scores

You may choose to submit either GRE Scores or the Analytical Essay for the final application requirement. For those interested in submitting the Analytical Essay, please follow the directions for the Analytical Essay below and submit your essay as an attachment in this section of the application. If you wish to submit your GRE Scores, please follow directions in the GRE Scores section.

Analytical Essay

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

Please write an essay on an environmental issue of your choosing. This component should:

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

This is your chance to demonstrate college level writing and critical thinking skills. The Admissions Committee will evaluate your essay based on:

  • 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 clarity and coherence of its argument
  • The overall quality of its analysis and writing

The following are good examples of environmental 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

GRE Scores

You may submit GRE Scores that are up to 5 years old from the date you plan to submit your application. For example, if you took the GRE on September 19, 2017, you may access and submit your scores from ETS until September 18, 2022.

If you have not yet taken the GRE, you will need to ensure that you take the test in time for your scores to be submitted to the Graduate Admissions office by the application deadline you are applying for. It takes ETS 10-15 working days from your test date to send your scores to your college(s) of interest. If for example, you would like to meet the First Round Application deadline of December 30, 2022, you will need to have taken the GRE by December 14, 2022 to ensure that your scores are received in time. Your GRE test fee includes 4 free score reports to be sent to colleges of your choosing, you can request to have ETS send your scores to Graduate Admissions at Evergreen via email tograduateadmissions@evergreen.eduor mail to:

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

Request Transcripts

You will need to request and submit an official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor's degree. 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 through Parchment.

Your 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. 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:

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, Evans Hall, 1200
Attention: MES Admissions
2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
Olympia, WA 98505

  1. Sent directly by the issuing institution.
  2. Or delivered by the applicant, as long as it’s still in the issuing institution’s original sealed envelope.

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 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 or GRE scores, and application fee.

After you apply

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.

International Students

International applicants have three additional admission criteria:

  • English Language Proficiency: Every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following three ways:
    1. 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.
    2. Official documentation from an institution (other than those listed in #1 above) verifying that the applicant's bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree is from an institution where all instruction is in English.
    3. One of the following minimum English language proficiency test scores demonstrated through submission of official scores at the time of application: TOEFL paper test: 600; TOEFL computerized test: 250, TOEFL online test: 100, or IELTS: 7.5.
  • Students with non-English transcripts must have them translated into English and certified by a translation agency.
  • If admitted, international students must have evidence of having at least $36,744 USD to pay all expenses for one academic year's enrollment at Evergreen. This estimate includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, personal expenditures, and transportation (excluding travel to and from U.S.). The Office of Admissions will work with admitted students on this paperwork.