About the MPA Program

Can I set up a meeting with an admissions counselor?

Can I talk to a current student?

Yes. See our list of student ambassadors to connect with a current MPA student.

Can I sit in on a class to see what it's like?

Yes. Prospective students can view our course listings, including the course number, name, time, building, room number, and instructor. Most of the course titles link to a brief description of the class, and you will also find that the three letter code for the building links to a map. Once you decide which class or classes you would like to visit, please reach out to the instructor to let them know you'd like to visit the class because you're considering applying to the MPA program (please don't plan to visit a class more than once). You can find contact info for most of the instructors from our faculty directory. If the instructor you seek isn't on the faculty directory, please email evansuw@uw.edu to request contact info. 

Do you have on-campus information sessions?

Yes. We host on-campus information sessions each spring and fall. See our Admissions Resources page for upcoming events.

Can I pursue dual (concurrent) master’s degrees?

Yes. the Evans School offers a number of formal and informal concurrent degree programs with other University of Washington departments. Contact the admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900 if you are interested in applying to a concurrent degree program.

Can I enroll in classes without being formally admitted into the MPA program?

Yes. Anyone can apply to register for classes for any quarter as a Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) student. If you are interested in learning more about studying as a GNM student, contact the admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900 prior to submitting your application.

Can I work while in the MPA program?

Yes. Many of our students have part-time jobs or internships while in the program, particularly in the second year. Generally, we recommend that students in the full-time MPA program wait until after their first quarter to begin a part-time job or internship.

Is there support for professional development at the Evans School?

Absolutely! The Evans School takes the professional development of our students very seriously. We have an outstanding Career Development team that helps students define and achieve their career goals. You can see the career outcomes of our recent graduates from our employment report.

Can I contact a faculty member directly?

The Evans School's faculty are top teachers and researchers in their fields, and we encourage everyone considering enrolling at the Evans School to explore the faculty directory. Whether or not to contact a faculty member directly depends on the timing and the reason for reaching out. If you’d like to reach out to a faculty member, please consult the admissions team first at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900. 

Application Instructions

How do I make my application more competitive?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from prospective students, and it’s also one of the most complex to answer.

Because our students come from diverse personal, academic, and professional backgrounds, we encourage prospective students to connect with Admissions staff through information sessions, application planning sessions, online webinars, and individual counseling appointments via phone, Skype, or in-person. Visit our Admissions Resources page for a schedule of upcoming sessions. You can schedule an appointment. with an admissions counselor here

How much professional experience do applicants usually have?

Among our incoming 2017 MPA class, about 25% of students had less than one year of work experience, about 60% had one to five years of work experience, and about 15% had more than five years of work experience. 

Are there prerequisite classes or recommended classes?

There are no formal prerequisites for the MPA program. However, applicants with prior coursework in introductory microeconomics or statistics may be more competitive.  If you have not previously taken a college-level course in microeconomics or statistics, you may be interested in doing so at a local community college or university. You can include the grade(s) in your application.

How many letters of recommendation do I need?

We require one letter of recommendation in order for your application to be processed. However, additional letters of recommendation typically increase the strength of an application. You can designate a maximum of three recommenders in the application.

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

We recommend designating faculty members from your undergraduate studies, and/or supervisors from a professional job. Additionally, we prefer that your recommenders submit using the online form. 

Though we can continue to receive recommendations after the January 15 application deadline, we recommend engaging your recommenders before then. 

My recommenders haven't submitted their letters. What should I do?

Reach out to them directly and give them a friendly reminder.

Can I upload additional materials like writing samples, published reports, videos, etc.?

The online application will not accommodate additional documents or other files, but applicants can embed links into their essays and/or resumes to highlight additional materials that are posted online. 

Do I need to send official transcripts as part of my application?

No, we only require unofficial transcripts for the application. Admitted students will need to submit their official transcripts the summer before they start in the program.

Do I need to submit official test scores as part of my application?

Yes, there is a section in the application for you to self-report your scores, but you will also need to have your official GRE/GMAT and TOEFL (if required) scores sent electronically in order for your application to be considered complete. Official test scores typically take 1-2 weeks to arrive at the University of Washington after being sent, so please send them in advance of the January 15 application deadline.

Is there a minimum GRE score?

No, we do not a have minimum requirement for GRE scores. We review applications holistically, weighing test scores alongside your grades, prior professional and volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, and your statement of purpose.

Is there a preference between the GRE and GMAT?

No, we accept both the GRE and GMAT with no preference.

How do I send my official GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL scores to the Evans School?

For GRE and/or TOEFL scores, request that ETS send the official scores electronically to the University of Washington, using institution code 4854.

For GMAT scores, request that GMAC send the official scores electronically to the full-time MBA program at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Please note that the University of Washington Graduate School no longer accepts IELTS scores. If you have any questions, please contact the admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900.

What if my GPA is below 3.0?

The University of Washington Graduate School requires that applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 graded semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits of study (this is usually the most recent two years of study).  However, admissions decisions are ultimately up to the discretion of the Evans School admissions committee.  If you have questions or concerns about your GPA, please contact the admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900.

Can I apply for spring or winter entry into the Evans School?

No. We only accept applicants for autumn entry in our MPA, part-time MPA, and Ph.D. programs.

Can I be considered a competitive applicant if I haven’t studied or worked directly in public policy/administration?

Yes. We welcome applications from a range of academic and professional backgrounds. Students who majored in STEM fields, the arts, humanities, and other areas help to provide a diversity of academic perspective within the MPA program.

Are application fee waivers available?

Yes. There are three types of fee waivers that applicants can be considered for. Please evaluate each option to determine which option you may qualify for.

Financial Need. Fee waivers are available to applicants who qualify for financial need and are determined by the University of Washington Graduate School. For more information click here. Fee waiver requests must be submitted in the online admission application by January 8th.

PPIA Fellows and McNair Scholars. Any applicant affiliated with PPIA or McNair can send documentation to the University of Washington Graduate School at uwgrad@uw.edu to receive a fee waiver.

African American & American Indian/Alaska Native & Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Applicants. The Evans School is deeply committed to improving the diversity of our MPA program. Applicants who identify as: African American, American Indian, Alaska Native. Hawaiian, and/or Pacific Islander and do not qualify for the other fee waiver options should schedule an appointment with the Evans Admissions team to be considered for an application fee waiver by December 31st.  Click here to schedule an appointment.

The application asks me to list my top two interest areas. What if I'm not sure what my top two interest areas are?

Our interest areas are very flexible for Evans MPA students. Evans students get the opportunity to explore their interest areas in the second year, and often take a blend of classes across the different interest areas. Your responses help us get a sense of what applicants are interested in, but this can always change as students begin taking classes at the Evans School.


Are scholarships available? Is financial aid available? How do I apply for them?

Yes, Both merit-based fellowships and need-based financial aid are available.

All applicants for admission to the Evans School who submit a complete application by January 15 are considered for Evans School fellowships. There is no additional application for fellowships, and awards are conveyed at the time of admission. About 30% of our admitted students are offered fellowships each year.

Need-based financial aid is administered by the University of Washington Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). Applicants who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by January 15 can expect to receive their financial aid information from OSFA by early April.

We also encourage applicants for admission to seek outside fellowships and funding sources. The University of Washington’s Graduate Information Funding Service (GFIS) blog aggregates funding opportunities for graduate applicants and students.

I’m a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. How do I apply for the Coverdell Fellows program?

All Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV’s) who identify themselves as such in the application will be considered for Coverdell Fellowships, along with other Evans School fellowships. Fellowship recipients will be notified of their award at the time of admission.  Coverdell fellowships are competitive, and not all RPCV’s will receive fellowships.

What are the requirements to be considered an in-state resident?

International Students

How do I show English proficiency?

If you are not a native speaker of English, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency through your application.

The University of Washington Graduate School’s Memo 8 identifies all the ways applicants can demonstrate English proficiency. The most common are:

  1. Providing official TOEFL scores. The University of Washington requires a minimum total score of 92 for graduate study, but applicants generally need to score at least in the high 90s  to be considered for admission to the Evans School.
  2. Through a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom. 

Please read Memo 8 carefully to ensure that your application meets the proficiency requirement.

As of May 1, 2017, the Evans School no longer accepts IELTS scores as a measure of English language proficiency. Please contact the admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900 if you have any questions. 

Are there more resources for international applicants?

Yes. The University of Washington Graduate School has a page with helpful information for international applicants.

I applied. Now what?

When will I hear if I have been admitted?

We work to send admissions decisions as quickly as we can, but the process requires time for deliberation. Typically, decisions begin going out in late January with all decisions sent by mid-March.

If you submit your application in the weeks before the January 15 deadline, you have a higher likelihood of hearing back from us sooner than mid-March.

Notifications are sent by email and are sent to the email address you listed in your application. Please add evansadm@uw.edu to your email contacts to ensure that you receive the decision email.

Is it possible to defer my admission to a future term?

We do not generally offer deferrals. However, if you have an extenuating circumstance that you believe merits consideration, please contact our admissions team at evansadm@uw.edu or 206-543-4900 to discuss your situation.

How big is the incoming class?

We enroll roughly 175 students into the MPA class each year. Check out the MPA Class of 2018 profile page.

For additional information, please contact email or call 206-543-4900.