Apply to the MPA Program

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

Fall 2021 applications are being accepted.

Our second round application due date is April 5, 2021.

When to apply

Public and Nonprofit Administration and Public Policy concentrations

Olympia: This program begins every Fall. Accepting applications now for the Fall 2021 Olympia cohort.

Tacoma: Accepting applications now for the Fall 2021 Tacoma cohort. 

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

Tribal Governance concentration

Accepting applications for the Fall 2022 cohort in October of 2021.

Request information about the Tribal Governance concentration.

The second round due date for the next cohort is April 5, 2021. We look forward to hearing from you.

Admission requirements

We do not require the GRE.

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 review your transcript.

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 on at the bottom of this page for more details.

Preparing your application

To apply online, you will first need to set up an account to gain access to our Online Graduate Application.

A complete application includes (in Word or PDF format):

  • Resume,
  • Statement of Purpose,
  • Public Policy Essay


  • Recommendations from two people who can comment on your readiness for graduate study, and
  • Official transcripts from every college or university that you have attended.

You do not need to wait to submit all of your application materials as a single "packet" - 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.

A $50 non-refundable application fee is required and can be paid by credit card, debit card, or e-check. (Americorps members and alumni and Peace Corps volunteers may qualify for an Application Fee Waiver.)  

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. We recommend students request letters of recommendation and official transcripts at least 30 business days prior to the application deadline.  

Detailed Application Instructions

Request official transcripts

You’ll need to request and submit official transcripts from every college or university that you have attended, including Evergreen and those colleges or institutions that you transferred credit from towards your bachelor's degree. Transcripts are submitted separately from the online application. Please send all transcripts to the Graduate Admissions office; see detailed information below. Students with non-English transcripts must have them translated into English and certified by a translation agency.

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.

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.

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, 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 recommenders in the online application form. Evergreen's online application system will send an email immediately after you enter their information and before you submit your application, so contact them in advance! Note: Occasionally these automatic recommendation request emails will end up in a spam folder. Please give your recommenders at least three weeks before the application due date to complete their forms. 

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. We use your resume to help determine whether you must complete an internship as part of your MPA course of study. 

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 1,000 words. (3 pages double spaced)

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:

  • The quality of its analysis and writing, and
  • The coherence of its argument.

For some good examples of public policy essays, see the links below. Each essay was written by an MPA applicant who was accepted into the program:

Your essay should be no more than 1,500 words, double-spaced, not including cover page, citations, etc. (5 pages double spaced)

As a reminder:

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.

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? Contact