Applying for graduate school can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? What can you expect? How does the process work? We’ve put together the information below to help you understand the basics of applying for the Evans School’s MPA program.

General MPA Program Information

Each year we enroll 175 to 200 students 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. We encourage all prospective students to connect with admissions staff through online webinars and individual appointments. We recommend prospective students review information about application requirements, degree requirements, and tuition You can also connect with current students and and alumni.

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.  

Approximately two-thirds of the Evans School’s MPA students have more than two years of professional experience. However, we do not require previous professional experience before applying to our 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. 

Absolutely! The Evans School takes the professional development of our students very seriously. Our outstanding Career Development team is here to support all our MPA students. 

Yes. The Evans School offers several formal and informal concurrent degree programs with other University of Washington departments, such as the School of Law, Foster School of Business, School of Social Work, and School of Public Health.  

Yes. Anyone can apply to register for elective classes for any quarter as a Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) student. For more specific questions, please contact the admissions team at prior to submitting your application. 

Application Materials

GRE Requirements

GRE scores are Not Required. All applications will be reviewed holistically. Applicants may opt to submit official scores to be reviewed as part of the application review process. Applicants submitting GRE scores should self-report scores into the application and need to have official scores sent electronically to the University of Washington as the institution (code 4854), and Public Administration as the department (code 4801). Applicants who choose not to submit GRE scores as part of their application will not be at a disadvantage.

No, we do not have a 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. 

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

  • For GRE 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. 

Quantitative Preparation Requirements

No, there is no advantage or disadvantage in the Admissions Committee’s review of applications regarding whether or not standardized test scores are included.

Please use your statement to reflect upon any hardships or circumstances that may have informed your grade(s) and why you believe you are better positioned for academic success in the quantitative coursework of the MPA program. 

Yes. Though it may have been some time since you have taken quantitative coursework, successful completion of past coursework still demonstrates quantitative preparation. All applicants must upload their transcripts into the application portal.  Your transcripts should reflect the courses that you have indicated as part of your statement. 

Yes, you may include written examples in the Statement of Quantitative Preparation, although applicants should describe the work performed in academic or professional research and/or projects in the context of its relevance to the quantitative coursework in the MPA curriculum. 

TOEFL and IELTS Requirements

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

Letters of Recommendation

We require one letter of recommendation 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. 

We recommend designating faculty members from your undergraduate studies, and/or supervisors from a professional job. Additionally, recommenders should submit using the online form. We recommend engaging your recommenders before then, well before the January 15 deadline to ensure we can include it in the review of your application. 

Reach out to them directly and give them a friendly reminder. When logged into your application, you can have the system re-send them the email that has the link to where they can complete the recommendation. You can also track whether a recommendation has been completed or not. Most importantly, you should still submit your materials by the January 15th deadline even if your recommendations are not complete.

Transcripts and Grades

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. 

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. 


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.

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. 

Additional Questions

  • Yes. Application fee waivers are need-based and open to U.S. citizens. Application fee waivers are managed by the UW Graduate School.
  • Requesting a fee waiver is the last step in the application and must be submitted at least seven days prior to the application deadline.  
  • If you do not qualify for the UW Graduate School fee waiver, you may qualify for a merit-based Evans School Fee Waiver (limited availability). Please email to learn more.  

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. 

No. We only accept applicants for autumn entry in our MPA program. 

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. Evans students get the opportunity to explore their interest areas more so in the second year, and often take a blend of classes across the different interest areas.