Tennessee Police Academy Requirements

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Joining a police academy is a milestone on the path to becoming a police officer. The Tennessee police academy requirements are intended to set a high standard for potential officers. Below are all the requirements and disqualifying factors. Be aware that there is a lot of competition for police jobs so going above the minimum requirements is advised. Tennessee police academy requirements consist of, in part, the following:

Age Requirement

Tennessee police academy age requirements state that applicants must be a minimum 21 years of age. Applicants may complete an application and proceed in the hiring process at 20.5 years of age if they will be 21 by the starting date of the next academy class.

Residency and Citizenship Requirement

Applicants must be a resident of Tennessee and possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license upon appointment as a State Police Cadet.

Applicants must be a United States citizen at the time of initial application.

Tennessee Police BadgeEducational Requirement

Tennessee Police Academy requirements for education state that the 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, to be eligible for the testing process, applicants must possess one of the following:

1) Associate’s degree or at least 64 hours of college credit from an accredited institution; or

2) Four years of certified law enforcement experience; or

3) Four years of active full-time military experience; or

4) An equivalent combination of education and experience.

*All military veterans must have an HONORABLE DISCHARGE documented by a DD-214.

Automatic Disqualification Factors

Applicants are advised that the Tennessee 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 Tennessee State Police.
  • Criminal arrests/behavior which would not reflect well on the Tennessee State Police.

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

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the Tennessee 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 Abilities Test

Fitness Charts

Fitness Standards for push‐ups, sit‐ups, pull‐ups, sprint and 2 mile run. The maximum possible score when including all events (2 mile run, 100 yard sprint, sit-ups, pushups, bench press, leg press and flexibility) is 100. Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (POST) requires that a student must achieve a score of 75 or greater for satisfactory completion of the Academy. The Physical Fitness Obstacle Course is scored separately and a 75 or greater score is also required in that event.

Age 2029 3039 4049 50+
Pushups 40=12 35=12 30=12 25=12
One minute time limit. 35‐39=10 29‐34=10 25‐29=10 19‐24=10
12 possible points 28‐34=8 23‐29=8 18‐24=8 12‐18=8
20‐27=6 16‐23=6 12‐18=6 7‐11=6
12‐20=4 10‐16=4 7‐11=4 5‐7=4
Below 12
Below 10
Below 7
Below 5
Situps 50=12 40=12 30=12 25=12
One minute time limit. 45‐49=10 35‐39=10 25‐29=10 20‐24=10
12 possible points 40‐44=8 30‐34=8 20‐24=8 15‐19=8
35‐39=6 25‐29=6 15‐19=6 10‐14=6
30‐34=4 20‐24=4 10‐14=4 5‐9=4
Below 30
Below 20
Below 10
Below 5
Pullups 5=12 4=12 3=12 2=12
12 possible points 4=10 3=9 2=8 1=8
3=8 2=6 1=4 0=0
2=6 1=4 0=0
1=4 0=0
100 yard sprint 14=12 16=12 18=12 20=12
(in seconds) 15=10 17=10 19=10 21=10
12 possible points 16=8 18=8 20=8 22=8
17=6 19=6 21=6 23=6
18=4 20=4 22=4 24=4
19=0 21=0 23=0 25=0
Two mile run 14:30=16 16:00=16 18:00=16 20:00=16
16 possible points 14:31‐16:40
24:01=0 25:01=0 27:01=0 28:01=0




The eligibility requirements are subject to change at any time.

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