Bloomington Campus

Master of Public Affairs

Prior Professional Experience Credit

The M.P.A. Program Director of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs may grant up to 12 credit hours toward the M.P.A. degree for students who have had significant policy-level work experience in their backgrounds. In general, credit requires work experience above the entry level that involves some independent managerial, analytic, or scientific responsibility. Credit will be granted for work experience gained until initial matriculation in the program according to the following guidelines.

  • To receive 3 credit hours, a student must have a minimum of one year’s technical, administrative, or policy-level work experience with a government, nonprofit, or private agency.
  • 6 credit hours will be awarded for four years of managerial experience in directing programs, preparing budgets, and making decisions on organizational or staff development or for four years of professional experience in policy analysis or planning.
  • Those with four or more years of executive assignment may be awarded 9 to 12 credit hours. Applicants must have had responsibility for supervision of high-level staff, budget preparation, and organizational control of public agencies, or executive responsibility for policy analysis or planning.
Application Process and Policies

Students are eligible to apply for prior professional experience credit up to the completion of 24 credit hours, which usually occurs before the close of their second semester of M.P.A. graduate study. Applicants may appeal the initial professional credit decision by submitting a request, in writing, for reconsideration and providing additional information to the appropriate program or campus director.

Determination of professional credit is made separately from decisions about transfer of credit. Under no circumstances will the prior professional experience credit and transfer credit total more than 21 credit hours of the 48 required for the M.P.A. degree. Students receiving prior professional experience credit should carefully plan the balance of their program with a faculty advisor.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.