Colorado Police Academy Requirements

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Joining a police academy is a milestone on the path to becoming a police officer. Many requirements vary from state to state, however, certain standards, such as being a citizen of the United States, are required across the board. Colorado police academy requirements consist of, in part, the following:

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before the date the application is completed.  Applicants must be at least 21 years of age prior to or on the date of appointment as a State Police Cadet.

Residency and Citizenship Requirement

Applicants must be a resident of Colorado and possess a valid Colorado driver’s license upon appointment as a State Police Cadet.  Applicants must be a United States citizen at the time of initial application.

Educational Requirement

Applicants must possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED) time of application.  Correspondence or mail-order high school diplomas are not accepted. Additionally, applicants are required to have at least 60 semester hours or sworn police officer experience may be substituted for education requirements as follows:

    • Two years sworn Police Officer experience or Colorado POST certified       corrections officer at a county jail, state or federal prison may substitute for 30 semester hours of college credit.
    • Three years sworn Police Officer experience or Colorado POST certified       corrections officer at a county jail, state or federal prison may substitute for 45 semester hours of college credit.
    • Four years sworn Police Officer experience or Colorado POST certified       corrections officer at a county jail, state or federal prison may substitute for 60 semester hours of college credit.

Credit for experience is given only for full years of sworn service in Patrol or Investigative assignments or Colorado POST certified corrections officer at a county jail, state or federal prison. Time assigned to military assignments are not eligible for experience credits. Experience credit is given only for individuals not out of the policing profession longer than 12 months.

All credit hours contributing to the minimum requirement must be completed with a minimum grade point of 2.0 or better. All earned semester hours must be from one of the following six regional accrediting bodies: Middle States, North Central, Northwest, Southern, New England, or Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For foreign degrees, accreditation will be accepted from a member of the NACES. The accreditation statement must detail each course taken to include title, GPA and total semester hours. For a list of NACES members go to


Automatic Disqualification Factors

Applicants are advised that the Colorado State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements as detailed above.  In addition, the following information is provided regarding our criteria for automatic disqualification:

  • Falsification, omission, or misrepresentation of any information during the completion of the Polygraph Screening Booklet, the Polygraph Examination, the Formal Application for Employment, and any other documents/processes associated with the Cadet Selection Procedures.
  • Substance abuse/use within a prescribed time frame and/or that is beyond what is considered experimental by the Colorado State Police.
  • Criminal arrests/behavior which would not reflect well on the Colorado State Police.

The core purpose of the Colorado State Police is to seek justice, preserve peace, and improve the quality of life for all.  As such, the Department has established the core values of Honor, Service, Integrity, Respect, Trust, Courage, and Duty, and is seeking applicants who possess these traits and conduct themselves accordingly.  Certain issues within a person’s background have been identified which will result in automatic disqualification, including but not limited to:  criminal conduct (actual arrest and/or admission of behavior whether or not arrested) and substance abuse.

A preliminary determination will be made by the Colorado State Police based upon information supplied; therefore, applicants must be forthright and honest in documenting their conduct.  Be advised that this preliminary determination is not binding as it is made based upon information provided by the applicant only.  Should an applicant continue in the selection process, the conduct will then be discussed and documented with a  Colorado State Police Officer.

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the Colorado State Police is to contain no misrepresentation, falsification, omissions, or concealment of material fact and that, upon submission of any official document (on-line or otherwise), applicants swear or affirm that all information provided is true, complete, and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.  Applicants are further advised that all information provided is subject to later investigation.

Physical Readiness Test

The tests and standards have been validated to ensure that an applicant, if selected to an Academy class, will have a reasonable chance of success in attaining a higher standard of Physical Readiness during cadet training. Failure of any one test excludes the applicant from further processing.

Academy physical training requires a great deal of physical strength and stamina.  Both the written test and the physical abilities test are designed to measure an applicant’s ability to perform satisfactorily at the Training Academy and on the State’s Minimum Standards test.  The physical abilities test may include such tasks as:

Applicant will be required to pass a physical agility/ability examination.

Agility course involves:

  • 540-yard obstacle course run
  • Pull a weighted duffle to the ground within a specific space to simulate a foot chase.
  • Physically taking down a 55-pound duffel on both sides of the body
  • Squeezing a handgun trigger six times with each hand
  •  Dragging a large, 135-pound simulated body for 34 feet within a lane that is only six feet wide*In Adams County, there is a mandatory obstacle course simulating a chase      through a city, featuring stairs, fences and tunnels. The course culminates in dragging a 165-pound dummy for 20 feet.

The above 6 requirements must all be completed within a designated time frame.

Ability portion involves:

Completing the tasks below in repetition during an allotted time frame:


AGE: 21-29 30-39 40-49 50-older
1.5 Mile Run 12:18 12:51 13:53 14:55
Sit-ups 40 36 31 26
Push-ups 33 27 21 15


AGE: 21-29 30-39 40-49 50-older
1.5 Mile Run 14:55 15:26 16:27 17:24
Sit-ups 35 27 22 17
Push-ups 26 21 15 13

NOTE:  The eligibility requirements are subject to change at any time.