Illinois Police Academy Requirements

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The Illinois police academy requirements are similar to other states but unique in specific ways. Below you will find the full list of Indiana police academy requirements.

Academy Training- Illinois police officer candidates are required to complete 400 hours (10 weeks) of “hands on” training at a police academy.

Age Requirement – The applicant must be at least 21 years of age at time of employment. There is no upper age limit. Note: The on-line application asks if you are at least 21 years of age, or will be 21 within six months.

Residency and Citizenship Requirement – Applicants are required to be residents of Illinois with a valid Illinois driver’s license. Additionally, applicants must be citizens of the United States of America.

Educational Requirement – Applicants must possess a high school diploma or General Equivalency Degree (GED) time of application.  It is not a requirement that the diploma or GED be obtained within Illinois.

Applicant will be required to take a written/oral examination, psychological test, as well as a polygraph examination.

Automatic Disqualification Factors – Applicants are advised that the Illinois State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements as detailed below.  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 Illinois State Police.
  • Criminal arrests/behavior which would not reflect well on the Illinois State Police.

The core purpose of the Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois State Police Officer.

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the Illinois 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 –

Law enforcement officers that maintain a high degree of physical conditioning are less prone to be affected by the stressful conditions of the job, sustain fewer injuries, and utilize less leave time related to illness. Illinois’ police academy physical conditioning program combines strength training and aerobic exercise to help students develop good exercise habits and to improve their fitness level throughout the academy. It is strongly recommended that recruits begin a fitness regimen before beginning academy training.

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:

  • 1. Sit and reach Test
This is a measure of the flexibility of the lower back and upper leg area. It is an important area for performing police tasks that may involve range of motion and is important in minimizing lower back problems. The score is the distance, in inches, reached on a yard stick.
  • 2. One Minute Sit-up Test
This is a measure of the muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles. It is an important area for performing police tasks that may involve the use of force. It is also important for maintaining good posture and minimizing lower back problems. The score is the number of correct sit-ups completed in one minute.
  • 3. One Repetition Maximum Bench Press
This is the maximum weight pushed from the bench press position, measuring the amount of upper body force that can be generated. It is an important area for performing police tasks requiring upper body strength. The test will be conducted on a Universal DVR-Chest Press. The score is a ratio of weight pushed divided by body weight.
  • 4. 1.5 Mile Run
This is a timed run to measure the heart and vascular systems’ capability to transport oxygen. It is an important area for performing police tasks involving stamina and endurance and to minimize the risk of cardiovascular problems. The score is in minutes and seconds.



The actual performance requirement for each exercise is based upon norms.  The required performance to pass each exercise is based upon gender and age.  The following table outlines minimum performance standards by sex and age for each of the five exercises.




Age 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59
Sit & Reach









Per Minute Sit-up









Maximum Bench Press (% of total weight)









1.5 Mile Run









  The eligibility requirements are subject to change at any time.