For Professionals

Be prepared for the next challenge in your career

O’Neill Online is fully integrated into the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, so graduates receive the same diploma whether they study online or on-campus. The high-quality, extremely flexible O’Neill Online MPA and graduate certificate programs are ideal preparation for your next leadership role in your organization or for the next challenge in your career. These programs are designed to develop competencies for public work— whether that be in the public, nonprofit, or private sector. 

Gain credit and tuition savings for prior professional experience

Your professional experience credits can count toward the MPA’s experiential component and lower the total cost and time to complete the degree.

Recognition of work and service experience

O’Neill Online MPA students can receive credit for three to six hours of course work—or more, in rare cases—for Prior Professional Experience (PPE) or service in the public sector, a nonprofit organization, or industry. That can translate to tuition savings of more than $3,500 for Indiana residents or $7,000 for nonresidents.

 

Experiential waivers and credit reductions can be granted for prior professional or technical work experience. The MPA faculty program director, using guidelines set forth in the Professional Experience application forms, determines if the experience qualifies for a waiver and/or reduction. Three to six credit hour reductions are most common. In general, credit reductions require work experience above entry level that involves some independent managerial, analytic, or scientific responsibility and work that articulates with the student’s current field of study.

  • To receive a 3-credit hour reduction, a student must have a minimum of two years' technical, administrative, or policy-level work experience with a government, nonprofit, or private agency.
  • 6-credit hours is generally possible for two to four years of relevant full-time managerial and/or policymaking
    experience in any sector, such as program leadership, budgetary oversight, organizational or staff development,
    fundraising, analysis, planning, or human resources supervision.
  • A 9-credit hour reduction is possible for five to seven years of relevant full-time managerial and/or policymaking experience. At this point, at least one higher-level, multi-year assignment is expected, including
    responsibility for supervision of staff, budget preparation, or organizational control of public or nonprofit
    agencies.
  • 12-credit hours is possible for eight or more years of relevant managerial and/or policymaking experience leading to one or more executive assignments.

Students with significant senior level management experience may qualify for nine to 12 hours of credit for professional experience, which translates to a potential savings of more than $7,000 for Indiana residents or $14,000 for nonresidents.  

Other available incentives

Specific incentives are also available for military, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, and Peace Corps service.  

An automatic award of three credit hours per year of service (up to a maximum of six credits). Your AmeriCorps service also satisfies the experiential requirement for the O’Neill Online MPA. As an AmeriCorps alum, you will also receive a graduate school application fee waiver from Indiana University.

An automatic award of six credit hours (three credit hours per year of service). Your Peace Corps service also satisfies the experiential requirement for the O’Neill Online MPA. As Peace Corp alum, you will also receive a graduate school application fee waiver from Indiana University.

On your O’Neill application, be sure to check the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer box.