Training at a police academy takes about three months, while an associate's degree with police academy training requires about two years of full-time study. Academy graduates are immediately qualified to start working as police officers.
Schools with Programs for Police
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, In-State, (2015-2016)*|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, primarily associate's Public||Academy certificate||$2,834|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's, Academy certificate||$3,360|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,560|
|Lone Star College System||The Woodlands, TX||4-year, Public||Academy certificate||$3,184|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Academy certificate, Associate's||$2,805|
|Tarrant County College District||Fort Worth, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's, Academy certificate||$2,064|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
College Selection Criteria
Students should consider the following when searching for a school in this field:
- Look for police institutes that are state-approved.
- Check into a police school's job placement rate.
- Consider schools that offer police training as part of a 2- or 4-year degree program if wishing to advance professionally. A police academy certificate qualifies graduates for general field work at the regional or state level, but a bachelor's degree is required to work as a detective or for the FBI.
Police academy schooling is available to U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old and do not have a criminal history. Prospective students must also be in good physical shape and hold a high school diploma.
After admittance into police training school, individuals complete physical education and classroom courses in law, interrogation techniques and report writing. Practical application courses include firearms training, defensive tactics, CPR and first aid.
Students looking for a career in law enforcement can find training with police academies or through associate's degree programs often available at 2-year institutions. Certain departments may require further education for advancement, such as a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.