When combining education with experience, first determine the applicant's total qualifying education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; then determine the applicant's experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; finally, add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level. All creditable education must be in an accredited college or university.
An applicant for a GS-184, Sociology, position has successfully completed 60 undergraduate semester hours, including 24 semester hours in sociology, and, in addition, has 2 full-time years of appropriate experience that demonstrates that the applicant possesses the necessary analytical and communication skills. The applicant would qualify for GS-5, since the 60 semester hours (the equivalent of 2 years of undergraduate education, or 50 percent of the total requirement) were supplemented by 2 additional years of appropriate experience that provided the remaining 50 percent of the total required education and experience.
The position to be filled is a Quality Assurance Specialist, GS-1910-5. An applicant has 2 years of general experience and 45 semester hours of college that included 9 semester hours in related course work as described in the individual occupational requirements in Section IV-B. The applicant meets 67 percent of the required experience and 38 percent of the required education. Therefore, the applicant exceeds 100 percent of the total requirement and is qualified for the position.
The position to be filled is a Management Analyst, GS-343-9. An applicant has 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to GS-7 and 1 year of graduate level education. The applicant meets 50 percent of the required experience but none of the required education, since he or she does not have any graduate study beyond that which is required for GS-7. Therefore, the applicant meets only 50 percent of the total requirement and is not qualified for the position. (The applicant's first year of graduate study is not qualifying for GS-9.)
The position to be filled is a Music Specialist, GS-1051-11. An applicant has 9 months of specialized experience equivalent to GS-9 and 2 1/2 years of creditable graduate level education in music. The applicant meets 75 percent of the required experience and 50 percent of the required education, i.e., the applicant has 1/2 year of graduate study beyond that required for GS-9. Therefore, the applicant exceeds the total requirement and is qualified for the position. (The applicant's first 2 years of graduate study are not qualifying for GS-11.)
Combination of Graduate Education and Professional Experience:
Combinations of successfully completed graduate level education and specialized experience may be used to meet total experience requirements. Only graduate level education in excess of the amount required for the next lower grade level may be combined with experience. For example, an applicant with 6 months of appropriate experience equivalent to GS-7 (50 percent of the experience requirement for GS-9) and 27 semester hours of appropriate graduate education (50 percent of the education requirement for GS-9, in excess of that required for GS-7) would be qualified for a GS-9 position (assuming that there is no evidence that the attended college or university requires more than 18 semester hours as equivalent to a year of graduate study).