What Are the Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Police Officer?

What Are the Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Police Officer?

What Are the Educational Requirements Needed to Become a Police Officer?

Educational requirements for police officers are determined on a state-by-state, agency-by-agency level, according to DiscoverPolicing.org. Most departments require at least a high school diploma or a GED, while extremely few require a college degree.

A 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that 83 percent of U.S. police agencies require at least a high school diploma, 8 percent require at least some college, and only 1 percent require a four-year college degree, notes The Baltimore Sun. Although a lack of a bachelor's degree is usually not a barrier to being hired by a police department, police with advanced degrees have been shown to have higher starting salaries, more rapid career advancement and a lower incidence of discipline, reports USA Today.