Apply to the MPA Program

Thank you for your interest in Evergreen's Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program!

We are now accepting applications for the Public & Nonprofit Administration, Public Policy, and Tribal Governance concentrations at the Evergreen Olympia campus. The third round deadline is Monday, April 27, 2020.  

When to apply

Public and Nonprofit Administration and Public Policy concentrations in Olympia: Students begin the program every Fall. We are accepting applications for the Fall 2020 cohort.

Request information about the Public and Nonprofit Administration and Public Policy concentrations.

Tacoma cohort: We are no longer accepting applications for the Tacoma cohort. We will begin accepting applications for the MPA Tacoma program in Fall 2021. 

Find out more about the MPA program in Tacoma.

Tribal Governance concentration in Olympia: We are accepting applications for the Fall 2020 cohort.

Request information about the Tribal Governance concentration.

Admission requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. You may be admitted provisionally pending completion of your bachelor's degree.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale for the last 90 graded quarter hours or 60 graded semester hours of post-secondary school coursework from accredited institutions or foreign equivalent. 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 permitted to make a few exceptions to this requirement every year. Evergreen Students and Alumni, because you don’t have a GPA, we read through your transcript.
  • Statistics: successful completion of an MPA-approved introductory statistics course before beginning the MPA program in the Fall. You may apply for admission prior to taking statistics, but you must complete your statistics coursework and provide proof of completion before beginning your MPA studies in the Fall of admission. You have a three (3) year window prior to the Fall of admission to complete an approved statistics course. For example: for students admitted for Fall 2020, the three year window for statistics completion is Fall 2017 through Summer 2020, with proof of completion received by the MPA program by September 15th, 2020.
  • Evidence of your ability to do high quality graduate-level work in a public administration program, including:
    • 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, ability to work in groups, etc.
  • 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 MPA program.
  • International students have additional requirements. See the “International Students” section for details.

We do not require the GRE.

Preparing your application

  1. Select and contact two (2) recommenders

    Your references should be able to provide evidence of:

    • 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 of the Fall admission, at least one of your two recommendations must be from a faculty member. For Fall 2020 applicants, this requirement applies to anyone who graduated or intends to graduate from college beginning in Fall 2018 through Summer 2020.

    You will need to provide the name, title, organization, email address, and phone number for each of your recommenders in the online application form. These people will be emailed immediately, before you submit your application, so contact them in advance!

  2. Format your resume

    You will need a chronological resume listing all positions held in at least the past ten years. Include any significant volunteer public or community service activities. Emphasize how a position relates to your proposed graduate work.

  3. Write a statement of purpose

    Tell us what brings you to public service and to the Evergreen MPA program. Why do you want to pursue graduate study in public administration in general and at Evergreen in particular?

    Describe in detail your experiences in education, employment, and public or community work. How did those experiences influence you to seek a graduate degree in public administration?

    Speak particularly to the elements of the Evergreen MPA mission; for example, working collaboratively, embracing diversity, and valuing fairness and equity.

    This statement helps the Admissions Committee assess your interest and motivation for graduate study. The Committee 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 three (3) pages, double-spaced.

  4. Write a public policy essay

    This essay on a public policy issue of interest to you should:

    • Clearly explain the issue
    • Describe the major contending views
    • Argue a position
    • Defend your position with relevant evidence

    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.

    You may use work that you have completed previously, as long as your final document meets the requirements for the policy 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 quality of its analysis and writing
    2. The coherence of its argument

    Tribal Governance applicants should write about a policy issue specific to tribal communities and demonstrate an understanding of policies that are relevant to tribal governments or that affect American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other indigenous groups.

    Your essay should be no more than five (5) pages, double-spaced, not including cover page, citations, etc.

    Here is a general outline to follow for the public policy essay. For some good examples of public policy essays, see the links below: each essay was written by an MPA applicant admitted in Fall 2014:

  5. Request official transcripts

    You’ll 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 the MPA program. 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 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 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, or
    2. 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 other 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: MPA Admissions
    2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
    Olympia, WA 98505

Apply online

Americorps members and alumni and Peace Corps volunteers may qualify for an Application Fee Waiver.

To apply online, you will first need to set up an account and then you can start the Online Graduate Application.

You will need to upload your resume, statement of purpose, and public policy essay in Word or PDF format.

You can pay the $50 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, resume, public policy essay, and application fee.

Need help with the online application? Contact