Credit Policies

All graduate students are expected to perform at a high academic level.

Full time MPA students need to take 8 or more graduate credits per quarter.

Students may register for no more than 12 graduate credits per quarter. Exceptions to this limit must be approved by the MPA Director.

Maximum Time Limit and Maximum Credit Limit for Degree Completion

The MPA degree requires completion of 60 graduate credits within a maximum of 6 years, which includes quarters in which the student had taken an approved leave of absence. Students who expect to need more than 6 years to complete the program must request an extension in writing from the MPA Director. Note that review of requests to extend the length of time allowed for completion of the degree will take the length of officially approved leaves of absence into consideration.

The maximum number of credits that MPA students may attempt in pursuit of the degree is 76 graduate credits. This total includes all credits that were attempted, including those for which credit was not received. This ceiling allows up to 16 additional attempted credits past the 60, or two quarters of full-time registration (8 credits per quarter). The ceiling is approximately 125% of the number of credits (60) needed to award the MPA, which mirrors the undergraduate attempted credit maximum policy and ensures that Evergreen will be in compliance with federal student loan rules. In addition, this ceiling encourages MPA students to graduate and use their MPA-honed knowledge, skills and abilities in the world. Without the ceiling, Evergreen is vulnerable to negative audit findings and fines.

Under very exceptional circumstances, students may petition the MPA Director for permission to exceed the maximum of 76 attempted credits. To maintain financial aid eligibility above the 76 attempted credit maximum, students need to appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

Auditing a Class

An auditor is a class visitor permitted on a space-available basis to attend class without earning credit. Attendance in class beyond three visitations requires official approval from the instructor, enrollment through the office of Registration and Records, and payment of associated tuition and fees. Auditors are generally not allowed in offerings that use laboratory or studio facilities and where any participation requires significant attention from the instructor (e.g., in teaching group process skills). Class participation requirements are set by the instructor.

An auditor may enroll for no more than eight (8) audit hours per quarter. An auditor must receive instructor approval and is only able to enroll on a space available basis as determined by Registration and Records staff at the time of enrollment.

No academic credit will be awarded for auditing classes. No transcript record is created for audited programs or courses. Students may not base applications for Prior Learning Assessment on the content of programs or courses they have audited. Enrollment as an auditor does not entitle the student to a student ID card or validation sticker.

An auditor will be charged 50% of the published resident tuition rate. Any class fees required for students may apply. Charges are refundable until the end of the first week of the quarter, following the college’s 100% refund policy.

Core Credit Policy

Students are expected to complete the entire first year of Core before beginning the second year of Core coursework. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may fail to complete one quarter of first year Core: by being on a leave of absence, withdrawing before completion, receiving an incomplete or not receiving credit (NCR). To complete the “missed” quarter, typically the student is expected to complete the missed quarter of first year Core during the next year, concurrently with the applicable quarter of second year Core. The second year of Core coursework requires successive completion: each quarter of second year Core must be successfully completed before beginning the next quarter of second year Core coursework.

No partial credit will be given for Core courses.

An incomplete in a Core course may be granted by the course's Faculty team only under exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the MPA Director. The incomplete must be accompanied by a detailed plan/contract for the student to complete Core in order to continue with the Core sequence. Failure to complete the plan/contract within one (1) academic quarter will result in a no credit (NCR) and academic probation.

Depending on how much work the student must complete, an incomplete in any quarter of Core may delay the completion of the Core sequence and therefore delay the completion of the MPA degree.

Only under exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the MPA Director, may a Core course be completed as an Individual Learning Contract.


An incomplete is given when students have done most of the required work for a course and need more time to complete it. The term of an incomplete is defined by the faculty: the maximum term for an incomplete in a non-Core course is one year. Incompletes not removed by the end of the defined term will be reported to the Registration Office as "No Credit" (NCR).

The circumstances under which MPA course faculty may give an incomplete varies depending on the type of course being taught, as follows:

  • For Core courses, see the Core Credit Policy above.
  • For concentration courses, incompletes are given at the discretion of the faculty or faculty team as applicable.
  • For four (4) credit MPA elective courses, incompletes are given at the discretion of the faculty or faculty team as applicable.
  • For two (2) credit MPA elective courses, no incompletes are permitted.

Partial Credit

Faculty may offer partial credit for elective courses at their discretion. No partial credit will be given for Core courses.

No Credit (NCR)

No credit (NCR) may be given when a student has not met the expectations of the course. An NCR means that the student will receive no (zero) credit for the course. An NCR is given at the discretion of the faculty or faculty team as applicable.