Becoming a candidate “… each of us holding our breath to hear the name of the first runner-up, knowing that life would change beyond imagination for the name that was not called. Suddenly I felt, more than heard, the audience acclaim and struggled to hold still while Amber pinned that wobbly crown to the top of my body, which was quaking with disbelief and excitement. Thus began an incredible adventure…”


-Janet Reasons, Miss Washington 1996



To compete at Miss America, a candidate must first win a local pageant and then go on to win her state title.

She must also meet the following requirements:


  • Single female at least 17 years of age and a senior in high school, but not older than 25 on December 31st of the year before her competition at Miss America

  • Never married, pregnant, or a parent

  • High school graduate (or GED)

  • United States citizen

  • Meet criteria for good moral character and good health as set forth by the MAO

  • Able to meet the time commitments and responsibilities of the local to which she is applying

  • For a complete listing of Miss America requirements, you may go to

  • Each candidate must choose a “platform.” A platform is a relevant social issue that you care deeply about and would like to address in your community, state or even nationwide.


A portion of the questions you are asked in the interview phases will be based on your platform.In the Miss America Organization there are five phases of competition:


  • Talent

  • Private interview (one candidate with the full panel of judges)

  • Presence and Poise in Evening Wear

  • Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit

  • On-stage question (one general random question)


Because time commitments vary from one local pageant to the next, you should contact the local pageant you qualify for to get an estimated time commitment and define the responsibilities and duties expected of their local representative. For a listing of all local pageants in the state, visit our local programs tab.


The Miss Washington Scholarship Organization family is here to help you do, and be, your very best! We look forward to the opportunity to watch you participate and grow as a young leader. This scholarship program has created many opportunities for young women - opportunities that are far-reaching beyond receiving a crown. We are blessed to have you participate and know this will be an exceptional experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.