Police Patrol Officer Education Requirements And Degrees

If a police patrol officer career is compelling to you, you might also be interested in what kind of education you need to become a police patrol officer. For police patrol officers, the most commonly required education level is a bachelor's degree.

We decided to investigate the topic of police patrol officer education more precisely by analyzing 1,091 police patrol officer resumes and found that police patrol officers most commonly study criminal justice, law enforcement, or business. 41% of police patrol officers hold a bachelor's degree, 20% hold a associate degree and 11% hold a master's degree.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a police patrol officer are John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York and University of Houston.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in police patrol officer education paths.

We prepared a list of a police patrol officer certifications that you should consider. The most common certification for police patrol officers is Commercial Driver License (CDL) (CDL).

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Police Patrol Officer ?

We assessed our data to determine the typical level of education for police patrol officers. The most common degree for police patrol officers is bachelor's degree. In fact, 41% of police patrol officers earn that degree. A close second is associate degree with 20% and rounding it off is master's degree with 11%.

  • Bachelors degree, 41%
  • Associate degree, 20%
  • Certificate degree, 14%
  • Masters degree, 11%
  • Other Degrees, 14%
What Should I Major in to Become a Police Patrol Officer ?

According to our resume data, most police patrol officers, 49% to be exact, major in criminal justice. Some other common majors for a police patrol officer include law enforcement and business majors.

Most Common Colleges for Police Patrol Officer

Here are the most common colleges for a police patrol officer career in the US based on their resumes. Police patrol officers often get their degree in John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, University of Houston, and Baltimore City Community College.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

University of Houston

Baltimore City Community College

Kaplan University

Pikes Peak Community College

Most Common Certifications For Police Patrol Officer

Commercial Driver License (CDL) (CDL)

#1 Certification For Police Patrol Officer

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that is responsible for establishing standards for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) operators, including the Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The minimum national CDL testing standards and licensing requirements established by FMCSA are administered by state driver licensing agencies when they issue a CDL. You are required to obtain and hold a CDL if you drive interstate, intrastate (within a state), or for foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets any of the classifications of a CDL. States develop their own tests which must meet the minimum federal standards, but which also may have standards unique to the state. To get a CDL, first you must get a commercial learner's permit. States can only issue learner's permits and CDLs to drivers after they pass knowledge exams and skills tests. You have to pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests for the class of license and type of endorsement required to operate the type of commercial vehicle you plan to drive. And, you have to take the skills test in a vehicle of the same type as the vehicle you plan to operate. For a quick reference of CDL Classes, see the CDL License Matrix.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that is responsible for establishing standards for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) operators, including the Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The minimum national CDL testing standards and licensing requirements established by FMCSA are administered by state driver licensing agencies when they issue a CDL. You are required to obtain and hold a CDL if you drive interstate, intrastate (within a state), or for foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets any of the classifications of a CDL. States develop their own tests which must meet the minimum federal standards, but which also may have standards unique to the state. To get a CDL, first you must get a commercial learner's permit. States can only issue learner's permits and CDLs to drivers after they pass knowledge exams and skills tests. You have to pass the CDL knowledge and skills tests for the class of license and type of endorsement required to operate the type of commercial vehicle you plan to drive. And, you have to take the skills test in a vehicle of the same type as the vehicle you plan to operate. For a quick reference of CDL Classes, see the CDL License Matrix.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 4 year(s)
Certifying Organization
Federal Motor Carrier Safety...

Top Online Courses For Police Patrol Officers

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for police patrol officers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a police patrol officer:

  • Police department
  • Law enforcement
  • Public safety
If you want to improve police patrol officers skills these courses could help you in this.

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Hot Topics in Criminal Justice
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Introduction to International Criminal Law
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An Introduction to American Law
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This course will give you a glimpse into six different areas of American law: Tort Law, Contract Law, Property, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Civil Procedure. You will gain insight into the complexities and dilemmas that arise from the application of law in different settings, and what is distinctive about American approaches...

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Top 10 Colleges For Police Patrol Officers

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for police patrol officers. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

2. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,853
Enrollment
14,759

3. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

4. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

9. Siena Heights University

Adrian, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$27,124
Enrollment
2,035

10. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

Top 10 Affordable Colleges For Police Patrol Officers

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for police patrol officers.

1. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$16,091

2. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$16,714

3. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,306

4. USF Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$5,587
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,043

5. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,469

6. Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$4,831
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$19,559

7. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

8. SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Utica, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,238
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,567

9. Minot State University

Minot, ND • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,064
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$15,576

10. Florida International University

Miami, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,556
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$19,434

Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into For Police Patrol Officers

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
19%
SAT Average
1,466

2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
22%
SAT Average
1,420

3. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
4%
SAT Average
1,497

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

Admissions Rate
40%
SAT Average
1,376

6. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

Admissions Rate
42%
SAT Average
1,380

7. Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
50%
SAT Average
1,284

8. University of Tulsa

Tulsa, OK • Private

Admissions Rate
41%
SAT Average
1,321

9. Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
28%
SAT Average
1,429

10. University of Denver

Denver, CO • Private

Admissions Rate
56%
SAT Average
1,300

Top 10 Easier To Apply Colleges For Police Patrol Officers

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. Notre Dame College

Cleveland, OH • Private

Admissions Rate
90%
SAT Average
994

2. Nyack College

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
999

3. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
92%
SAT Average
1,031

4. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX • Private

Admissions Rate
98%
SAT Average
1,003

5. Curry College

Milton, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
93%
SAT Average
1,026

6. University of North Texas at Dallas

Dallas, TX • Public

Admissions Rate
83%
SAT Average
992

7. Felician University

Lodi, NJ • Private

Admissions Rate
81%
SAT Average
999

8. Presentation College

Aberdeen, SD • Private

Admissions Rate
97%
SAT Average
1,050

9. Manor College

Jenkintown, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
94%
SAT Average
898

10. Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Bartlesville, OK • Private

Admissions Rate
68%
SAT Average
964

Police Patrol Officer Jobs

Updated April 6, 2021