Evergreen State College

The logo for the Evergreen State College

Degree Programs at Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College appears on our list of the 30 Best Colleges for Young Democrats.

Evergreen State College offers an interdisciplinary style of learning that allows students to study multiple subjects as they work on a degree in one specific area. Each program features semester-long courses that help students focus on one subject at a time. All undergrads must take 180 credits of classes, of which 72 must come from math, computer science, and science classes. Instead of offering specific majors, the college offers programs of study, including American studies, agriculture, business and management, law and government policy, maritime studies, queer studies, psychology, zoology, and writing. The college also offers study abroad programs that let students live and work in more than 40 countries.

Three graduate programs allow students to focus on environmental studies, teaching or public administration. The teaching program looks at how teachers can establish a curriculum base on the experiences of their students and how teachers can address education politics. Prior to starting their second year, students can apply for fellowships too. The college’s public administration program includes concentrations in tribal government, public and nonprofit administration and public policy. Students in the tribal government concentration will take 20 extra credits of classes. Through the environmental studies program, students can gain hands-on experience dealing with environmental issues through internships and fieldwork. Evergreen offers this as a part-time program with evening and weekend courses. It also allows students to do a thesis based on their experiences and interests.

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About Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College is a public college in Washington that follows a liberal arts curriculum. The state did a study in the early 1960s that found it needed a new college to meet the needs of students in the Olympia area. This led to the state issuing a charter in 1967 for The Evergreen State College. Also known as Evergreen and ESC, it is one of the nation’s most unique colleges. Instead of taking multiple classes each term, undergrads pick a subject to study and focus only on that subject during the semester. The college does not award grades either. Professors will evaluate the work that students do and decide how many credits they earned. Students who do not follow the terms of the program can actually lose credits.

The college’s graduate programs are more traditional. Students take specific courses and rotate through their classes each term to meet the requirements of their programs. U.S. News and World Report included Evergreen on its lists of the best schools in the west, the best undergrad teaching programs and for having the best experiences for freshmen. Incoming freshmen take seminar courses designed for them that let them work in small groups and get tips on handling their classes. Fans of the Gossip Girl book series know the college because it’s where one of the main characters, Dan, attended college. Evergreen has an enrollment of more than 3,300 students.

Evergreen State College Accreditation Details

Evergreen has regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), which is a large education accrediting agency in the northwest. Students can use this accreditation to bring credits into the college or to transfer those credits when they leave. They can also use NWCCU accreditation to get financial aid. Regional accreditation is mandatory for any school that allows students to get financial aid and use the FAFSA.

Evergreen State College Application Requirements

ESC does not use the same admissions criteria that other schools do because it looks for students who have strong critical thinking skills and a commitment to their education. Undergrads need a high school diploma and a minimum grade point average of 2.0. Students who earned an associate degree from a community college in Washington receive priority acceptance to the college. There are other programs in the state that let students transfer to the college with up to 90 credits. Those programs guarantee acceptance to students. Undergrads will use the Evergreen application or submit a paper application through the mail and then submit their transcripts and a standardized test score. The college will waive the test score requirement for students who are 25 or older.

Graduate students applying to the college will also need to submit an application. The college requires that they have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in at least the last 60 credits of work attempted and that they have bachelor’s degrees. Students should also submit transcripts that show they took courses that relate to the graduate program. Most programs look for students who took College Algebra and higher level math courses. The application has spaces where students can put the names of three references and contact information, which the college will use to get letters of recommendation. Students should also provide a resume and a statement of purpose. The environmental studies program requires an analytical essay on a topic relating to an emerging environmental topic too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending ESU for Washington residents is $22,326 per year. This includes $6,810 in tuition. Both residents and nonresidents pay the same amount for their room and board and other supplies. Nonresidents pay a higher tuition rate of $25,326 though, which brings their totals to $40,842 per year. Graduate students who live in Washington pay $3,967 per term to take up to 16 credits of courses. Students taking graduate classes who are not Washington residents pay $8,642 per term. The college will reduce the amount that grad students pay if they take fewer classes in a semester.

Five different types of financial aid are available for Evergreen undergrads. The college has tuition waivers that go to Washington residents who want to attend college. Students who file the FAFSA can also get grants from the college and the government, take out student loans and qualify for work study. Evergreen offers multiple scholarships that provide students with $1,000 or more each semester. It has an online database that shows students the number of scholarships still available and how they can qualify for those funds. The Evergreen Need Grant is an award given to graduate students with financial need. Those students can also use student loans from the government or get scholarships from the college. Evergreen State College sends financial aid award letters to students within weeks of receiving their FAFSA forms and applications.