​​How to become a Police Officer​

​Police applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the completion of the police academy, must have a minimum of 45 college hours (each year of continuous experience as a full-time, commissioned law enforcement officer in the state of Texas and/or each year of active duty in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces may be substituted for ten (10) college credit hours, up to a maximum of 30), and must have previously held a full-time job.  ​

Applicants that meet the minimum requirements will take a written examination.  Those that pass will then complete and return a Personal History Statement and undergo a complete background investigation (consisting of a law enforcement records check, driving history, criminal background investigation, credit history, and reference checks) followed by a polygraph examination.  Eligible applicants will then appear before an oral interview board and must successfully pass a psychological evaluation, a physical examination, and a drug screen.  

Applicants who are not already commissioned will be hired as a Police Cadet and be sent to the Central Texas Police Academy, located on the TAMU Riverside Campus, to complete the 18 week academy (728 hours of instruction).  Upon successful completion of the Academy, and passing of the State peace officer licensing exam, applicants will then become a Police Officer in Training and will have to compete a 20 week field training program.  Upon successful completion of field training, officers will then be assigned to a patrol shift.

For those already commissioned, applicants will start out as a Police Officer in Training, and upon successful completion of field training will be assigned to a patrol shift.​


​​Minimum Requirements

  1. Must be a US citizen.
  2. Must be at least 21 years of age.​
  3. Must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record, or the ability to obtain a State of Texas class “C” vehicle operator’s license within 30 days of employment.
  4. Must not ever have been convicted of an offense above the grade of a Class B misdemeanor (Class A misdemeanor or Felony).
  5. Must not have been convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the last 10 years.
  6. Must not have ever been placed on court-ordered community supervision for any criminal offense above the grade of a Class B misdemeanor (Class A misdemeanor or Felony).
  7. Must not have been placed on court-ordered community supervision for a Class B misdemeanor within the last 10 years from the date of the court order.
  8. Must not have ever been convicted in any court of an offense involving family violence as defined under Chapter 71, Texas Family Code.
  9. Must not have used any felony grade controlled substances within the last 5 years that were not prescribed by a licensed physician.
  10. Must not have used or consumed marijuana within the last 2 years.
  11. Must be able to successfully pass a drug test.
  12. Must not be prohibited by State or Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
  13. Must not have ever received a dishonorable or other discharge based on misconduct which bars future military service.
  14. Must be able to successfully pass a psychological evaluation, physical examination, and complete background investigation to include but not limited to driving history, criminal background and credit history.
  15. Must not ever have had a TCOLE license denied by final order or revoked.
  16. If currently a licensed peace officer, your TCOLE license must not be currently suspended, or a surrender of license must not currently be in effect.

TAMU HR Career Ladder Information​