Apply to the MPA Program

Thank you for your interest in Evergreen's Master of Public Administration program!


Applications for Fall 2021 have closed. Thank you to all of the 2021 candidates!

Applications for Fall 2022 will open early October.
First priority application due date is February 1, 2022.

Already applied for Fall 2021?

Choose your concentration

The MPA program has three concentrations.

Public and Nonprofit Administration and Public Policy concentrations

These programs begin every Fall in Olympia. Applications for Fall 2022 open October 1.

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

Tribal Governance concentration

Applications open October 1 for a Fall 2022 start.

Request information about the Tribal Governance concentration.

Admission requirements


We do not require the GRE.

Bachelor’s degree

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 your GPA falls below 3.0 but you are otherwise well qualified, we encourage you to apply.
  • If you are an Evergreen student or alumni, we will review your transcript without a GPA.

Other requirements

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 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 MPA program.

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

Application checklist

To apply online, create an account to gain access to our Online Graduate Application.

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

  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Public Policy Essay
  • Recommendations from two people who can comment on your readiness for graduate study 
  • Official transcripts from every college or university that you have attended
  • $50 non-refundable application fee

Your application is not considered complete until we have received 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.

Detailed application instructions

Request official transcripts

Transcripts are submitted separately from the online application.

Request and submit official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, including Evergreen and colleges or institutions you transferred credit from towards your bachelor's degree. 

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

Evergreen students and alumni

Order your Evergreen transcript online.

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, 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

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 references

Your references 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 references in the online application.

Evergreen will automatically email your references after you enter their information, so contact your references in advance! Note that these automatic emails can get sent to spam folders. Please give your references at least three weeks before the application due date to complete their forms. 

Format your resume

Provide a chronological resume listing all positions held in at least the past 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 MPA course of study. 

Write a statement of purpose

A statement of purpose is an essay. Your statement of purpose helps us assess your interest and motivation 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: working collaboratively, embracing diversity, and valuing fairness and equity.

Write a public policy essay

Write an essay on a public policy issue that interests you. We recognize this may be your first time writing a public policy essay. This is your chance to demonstrate college-level writing and critical thinking skills. We will evaluate your essay based on the quality of its analysis and writing, and the coherence of its argument. 

Your essay should be no more than 1,500 words (five pages double spaced), not including cover page and citations. 

You may follow any standard style format for a college paper including APA, Chicago, or MLA. Include proper citations of all source material.

Need guidance on citations?

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

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

This essay should:

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

Sample essays

Each of these sample essays were written by an applicant who was accepted into the program.

Application processing time

During peak application processing season, we receive a large number of applications each day. 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.

Need help with the online application?


International students

If you’re an international applicant, you have three additional admission 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 in the bullet 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, including:
    • Tuition and fees
    • Room and board
    • Books and supplies
    • Health insurance 
    • Personal expenditures
    • Transportation (excluding travel to and from U.S.).

If admitted, the graduate office of admissions will work with you on this paperwork.