Indianapolis Campus

Mid-Career Option Credit (MCO)


The Graduate Admissions Committee of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs may grant up to a maximum of 6 credit hours toward the MSCJPS degree for students who have had significant professional level work experience.  “Professional” level work is that requiring extensive education or specialized training (e.g., at least an undergraduate degree) and gives substantial control over the manner in which it is done to the person performing it. 

Credit will be granted for work experience gained before the student completes 24 credit hours of course work in the MSCJPS program.

The following guidelines will be used by the Admissions Committee to award these credits:

1.  To receive THREE (3) credit hours, a student must have had one to three year’s professional experience with a public, private, or nonprofit organization in at least one of the following areas:
  1. Managing operations or programs
  2. Analyzing, developing, or evaluating plans, policies, or programs
  3. Conducting public or legislative relations programs
  4. Other professional activities involving significant decision-making responsibilities

Have one to three year’s professional experience in one of the following capacities:

  1. Law enforcement as a sworn full time police officer
  2. Correctional officer in prison or correctional facility
  3. Bailiff or court officer
  4. Probation or parole officer or correctional treatment specialist
  5. Full time firefighter
  6. Service in the military

2.  To receive SIX (6) credit hours, a student must have had at least three to five years of professional experience with significant responsibility in policy development or management in a public, private, or nonprofit in one or more of the four areas listed above.

3.  THREE (3) credit hours will be awarded by the Admissions Committee to students in the MSCJPS program who have completed at least one year of full-time service in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or similar national service program, including military service. Students receiving credit for such service may also apply for an additional three credits, based on other career experience, which will be awarded in accordance with these guidelines.

STUDENTS MAY RECEIVE A MAXIMUM OF 6 CREDITS OF COMBINED MCO CREDIT AND CREDIT FOR FULL-TIME SERVICE IN AGENCIES SUCH AS Americorps, etc.(e.g. 3 credit hours for professional experience is the maximum if a student also received three credit hours for service experiences).



Students are eligible to apply for Mid-Career credit at the time of admission to graduate study or up to the time they have competed 24 hours of course work in the MSCJPS program.  Professional experience acquired after the completion of 24 hours of course work in the MSCJPS program will not be considered in awarding Mid-Career credit.  Students may be awarded more Mid-Career credit than they can use to fulfill their degree requirements.

Please submit your completed application, resume, and organizational chart (if available) to SPEA Student Services (BS 3025).  Please have your supervisor send the evaluation form directly to Luke Bickel at Student Services.



For every three credit hours of Mid-Career credit awarded, students will be charged for one (1) credit hour at the tuition-rate applicable to them.

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