Master of Public Administration

Apply to MPA

Fall 2014 admissions update (as of 4/17/14):

  • Tribal Governance concentration -- *open* for applications. Ready to apply? Start completing our online application form now!
  • Public and Non-Profit Administration concentration -- admissions complete: closed to applications.
  • Public Policy concentration -- admissions complete: closed to applications.

Re: Fall 2015 admission: applications will be accepted beginning October 1, 2014, with a priority application deadline of Monday, February 2, 2015.

For more information about...

  • ...the Public-Non Profit Administration and Public Policy concentrations, contact Randee Gibbons via email or at (360) 867-6554.
  • ...the Tribal Governance concentration, contact Puanani Nihoa via email or at (360) 867-6202.

In the meantime, it's possible for an individual with a bachelor's degree to take our elective courses as a Graduate Special Student, and count up to 12 graduate credits toward their MPA degree if they are later admitted to the program. Get more information on Special Student requirements and registration procedures for the upcoming quarter.

Get more information now about

Application Checklist

All application materials -- including the online form with components listed below + letters of recommendation + transcripts -- must be *received* for your application to be considered. To maximize your chances of having a complete application, we suggest that you alert your references *before* submitting the online application and order transcripts ASAP. 

1. Submit the online MPA Application form -- include the following components:

  • Resume (prepare a document to upload): Please prepare a chronological resume listing all positions held in the past ten years. Include any significant volunteer public or community service activities. Emphasize how each position relates to your proposed graduate work. Applicants with limited professional experience in this field (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 an internship before completing the MPA program. For more information, see the "Applicants with limited professional experience" section on the MPA Admissions Requirements page.
  • A statement of purpose of no more than three typed, double-spaced pages (prepare a document to upload). Given the sum total of your professional and life experiences, tell us what brings you to public service and to the Evergreen MPA program and why you want to pursue graduate study in public administration, particularly at Evergreen. Describe in some detail your experiences in education, employment and public or community work and how those experiences influenced 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, valuing fairness and equity, etc.) This statement helps the admissions 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.
  • A public policy essay of no more than five typed, double-spaced pages regarding an issue of interest to you (prepare a document to upload). The essay itself must be no more than five typed pages, excluding any cover page, citation page, etc. This essay should clearly explain the relevant issue(s), describe the major contending views, argue a position and defend it with relevant evidence. The essay will be evaluated on the quality of its analysis and writing, and the coherence of its argument. Include proper citations of all source material: there are several citation styles that are commonly used. The essay may follow any standard style format for a college paper. For students who apply to the Tribal Governance concentration, your essay should deal with issues specific to tribal communities and show a well developed understanding of policies that are relevant to tribal governments, or policy issues affecting American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or international indigenous groups.
  • The names of two recommenders with email addresses and phone numbers -- Enter this information in the online application form. Then, your recommenders will be emailed to submit their letters of recommendation (LORs) via email. Recommenders are emailed right away, *before* you submit your application. Recommenders must provide clear evidence that you are capable of doing graduate-level work: for example, evidence of writing, analytical and general communication skills of high quality and at a level appropriate for graduate study. Current and former faculty, supervisors, colleagues, etc. are potential providers of recommendations. Applicants who were awarded their bachelor's degree within the last two years must provide at least one LOR from a faculty member. Recommenders may address LORs to the "MPA Admission Committee". Letters of recommendation (LORs) less than a year old are preferable; LORs can be no older than two years from the date of application. If necessary, printed ("hard") copies of recommendations -- signed originals only -- may be submitted instead, as follows: (1) Recommenders mail or deliver a signed original; (2) Applicants mail or deliver a signed, original recommendation in its original, sealed envelope. Note that names and contact info for recommenders are required for submission of an online application -- even when hard copies of recommendations will be submitted -- and therefore *must* be entered as part of the online application. Mail or deliver hard copies of recommendations to this address:  Office of Admissions, Attention: MPA Applications, Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia, WA 98505.
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $50. The online application system accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit cards or an e-check (requires a routing number and bank account number). Re: credit cards: there is a 2.75% convenience charge for using a credit card. Re: e-checks: expect a bank processing delay of 6 business days when paying by e-check, which will delay application receipt and processing and recommender notification by 6 business days, when the e-check "clears". For example, if you submit an application on Tuesday, January 21st and pay your application fee by e-check, your application will be received and processed by Evergreen on Wednesday, January 29th.
2. In addition to the online application:
  • Official transcripts -- request and submit official transcripts from *every* college or university attended - including Evergreen - regardless of credit earned, the nature of coursework, or whether you earned a degree. We need official transcripts from any and all colleges attended, even if those credits were accepted and applied toward the award of a Bachelor's (or other) degree by any institution. (For Evergreen students and alums: you must submit *new* official transcripts from every college or other institution from whom Evergreen accepted/awarded credit toward your Bachelor's degree.) One transcript must verify the award of a bachelor's degree (if you have not yet received your bachelor's degree, see information about "Provisional admission" below). A transcript is considered official if it bears the official seal and signature of the issuing institution and is sent directly by that institution to Evergreen's Office of Admissions, or is enclosed in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution and delivered by the applicant to the Office of Admissions. If the envelope is opened *prior* to receipt by the Office of Admissions, the transcript is no longer official and cannot be accepted. Electronic transcripts: Evergreen can also receive official transcripts electronically from schools that are members of Docufide, National Student Clearinghouse, Naviance and Scrip-Safe International. Check with your previous institution's registrar to find out if they participate in any of these electronic transcript services. (Re: provisional admission -- "Provisional admission" can be granted on the basis of work in progress near the completion of a bachelor's degree. The applicant should submit an official transcript showing work completed to date at the time of application. Occasionally, we may need to request an updated transcript during the review process. A final transcript, showing completion of outstanding coursework and the conferring of the bachelor's degree, must be submitted to gain regular admission status.)
  • Mail or deliver transcripts to: Office of Admissions, The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia, WA 98505, Attention: MPA applications
  • For hand-delivery, the Office of Admissions is located in the Library building (the structure with the clock tower) on the first (lower) floor in Room 1201: hours are M-F, 8am-5pm. Mail or hand-deliver all documents; faxed or emailed materials are not official documents and cannot be accepted.

Please note:

  • The GRE is *NOT* required for MPA admission.
  • Application materials, once submitted, become the property of the College and cannot be returned, forwarded or reproduced.
  • Only complete applications will be considered for admission: "complete" means that all application materials have been received by the Office of Admissions.
  • Some candidates may be interviewed during the application review period. We will contact you if this will be necessary.
  • As you prepare your application materials, when using someone else's ideas, information, language or writing please be sure to properly acknowledge the original source. Representing the work or ideas of others as one's own, even inadvertently, is an act of plagiarism and may result in penalties as severe as revocation of admission or dismissal from the college. Plagiarism can be avoided by using a variety of strategies to review and edit your work and proper citation practices (for example, the APA style guide is commonly used in the MPA program).