The Basic Peace Officer Course (BPOC) prepares women and men for service as peace officers in the State of Texas. After completing the police academy, graduates are permitted to take the State’s licensing exam. Cadets who score above a 70 on the State exam then become licensed peace officers and are eligible for employment in the State’s 2,700 police agencies.
Tuition for the Basic Peace Officer Course is currently $2,375. There are approximately $600.00 in extra costs, for uniforms, ammunition, etc. Tuition can be paid out in installments.
Financial Assistance and
Veterans’ Assistance is available. Beyond the above, there are pre-admissions expenses students need to absorb. The state requires a pre-admittance Medical Evaluation ($135.00) and Psychological Evaluation ($150.00); there’s an additional criminal history check that’s required, done through a Fingerprint ($39.99).
There are a variety of program options. Once one decides on a preferred class, it is best one attends to all the pre-admission particulars as soon as possible. Contact the office for particulars. Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There are full-time and part-time classes available. Fulltime classes generally run for twenty-one weeks, Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with some weekends. Parttime evening classes run for forty-two weeks, Mondays through Fridays, 6:30-10:30 p.m, with occasional weekend classes. Parttime morning classes run for forty-two weeks, Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. -noon, with occasional weekend classes.
Note: Basic Police Officer courses are listed on the
CE Schedule. Please search classes for CJLE.
The Texas Occupations Code sets legal minimum qualifications for peace officers in the state of Texas. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is the regulatory agency charged with maintaining and regulating the standards set in the Occupations Code. Per the above, qualifications to be a peace officer in Texas are:
- Must be a U.S. citizen.
- Must be 21 years old (or 18 years old with 60 college hours).
- Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
- Must pass a state criminal history and fingerprint check.
- Must not be currently charged with a crime.
- Veterans of U.S. military services must not have a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.
- Must not be restricted from owning or possessing a weapon or ammunition.
- Must have a valid Texas driver's license (out-of-state applicants must comply with Texas law.)
- Must clear a background investigation (review of personal history statement).
- Must pass a fingerprint check.
- Must pass a physical and drug screen examination.
- Must pass a psychological examination (includes personal history statement).
The Law Enforcement Academy will need the following documents. In some cases, the original or certified copy must be presented.
- Birth certificate or naturalization certificate (For U.S. citizenship, an original or certified copy must be presented; a copy will be made by the academy staff.)
- Valid Texas driver's license (Applicants with an out-of-state driver's license must be prepared to comply with Texas law regarding obtaining a valid Texas driver's license.)
- Driver's History Statement (Applicants will follow directions given by the academy to obtain the correct form.)
- High school diploma or GED (Academy staff will copy the original or certified copy.)
- DD Form 214 (for military veterans only).
- Personal History Statement (Forms will be provided. You will need it filled out before the academy schedules an appointment for your initial interview, as this statement must be completed and presented at your interview.)
In addition to meeting the qualification standards established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, every person applying to the Dallas College Law Enforcement Academy must comply with these additional requirements.
- Pass a TSI exam.
- The TSI exam assesses reading comprehension, essay and sentence skills at the college freshman level. It is required because Law Enforcement Academy cadets must read Texas law and be able to fulfill the writing needs of crime and arrest reporting.
- If you have already taken the exam or a comparable exam, you will not be required to retake it (academy staff will determine this with you in your initial interview.) Military veterans with two or more years of active duty experience are exempt from the TSI exam requirement.
- Applicants can obtain a waiver to take the first exam attempt for free. Second or third attempts are at the cost of the applicant. If you have not passed one or both portions of the exam by the third attempt, you will be required to take remedial courses prior to attending the academy.
- Have a bacterial meningitis vaccination. This requirement will be reviewed with you during the initial interview. Exceptions are only made if:
- You have received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last five years.
- You are 22 years old or older.
Can I become a police officer if I've made mistakes in the past?
Yes. Dallas College Law Enforcement Academy doesn’t demand perfection and realizes people make mistakes. We realize applicants don’t lead perfect lives prior to making application. Applicants are required to be honest about their situation(s), however, with anything less being grounds for dismissal from the process. You’ll want to discuss your situation when you come in for the required interview. See below and contact the office for more information.
How old do I have to be to be a law enforcement officer?
You must be 21 years old to be hired at a law enforcement agency. Exemptions: Applicants who are 18 years of age may be accepted if they have 60 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university, or if the applicant has received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces with at least two years of full-time active duty service.
What are the minimum education requirements to be a law enforcement officer?
All law enforcement officers must have a high school diploma or equivalency to enter into a law enforcement academy in the state of Texas. Some agencies have higher education requirements; contact the agency you are considering for more education requirement information.
Where can I work after I pass the State exam?
After passing the TCOLE Exam (from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Education), you are eligible to apply to any law enforcement agency in Texas. Contact the agency you are considering and be aware of any specific agency requirements.
Will too may traffic violations hinder my acceptance into the law enforcement academy?
Your driving history shows your ability to abide by traffic laws. The agency you apply to will probably require you to submit a three-year Texas DPS driving history for evaluation. Chronic violations can be a deterrent for an agency. Complying with all laws will help you in your job search.
I received deferred adjudication for a Class A Misdemeanor. Can I still be a police officer?
No, an adult Class A Misdemeanor or felony conviction or court-ordered community supervision (adjudicated or deferred) is a lifetime disqualification for licensure as a peace officer in the state of Texas. A "No Contest" plea is considered a guilty verdict. However, there is an exception. You should discuss your situation with an academy official.
Do I need to have both a psychological and a physical examination prior to enrolling?
Both a psychological and a physical examination are required prior to enrolling in the basic licensing course. Applicants who interview successfully, are directed to licensed professionals under contract with the academy who will provide the tests. One must be examined by a medical professional selected and contracted by the academy, who is licensed by the Texas Medical Board and knowledgeable of law enforcement officer duties.
Interested persons are encouraged to begin the application process as early as possible—usually forty-five days in advance of a class start date. Registration ends two weeks before start dates. Once paperwork is in hand, the academy commences with one-on-one interviews—which are by appointment only.
The first step to applying for federal financial aid is completing a FAFSA form online at
studentaid.gov. Once you have submitted your FAFSA, you should contact the Financial Aid office to obtain a Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) application. Be sure to apply for assistance as soon as possible, as it takes time for financial aid to be processed. For more information on courses for which grant money can be applied, contact the Financial Aid Office at
Financial Aid Office.
How to Apply for Financial Aid:
File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
- Fill out and submit the
TPEG Application for Continuing Education as soon as possible eight weeks before the beginning of the course, or when you complete your CJTC enrollment packet.
- You will receive an email notification stating the status of your financial aid application from the financial aid office.
- Once you have been approved for financial aid, bring your approval paperwork with you when you are notified by the Criminal Justice Training Center to register for the Basic Peace Officer course.
- Though there may well be exceptions, be prepared to pay for the first Basic Peace Officer course phase you enroll in, plus books, uniforms and equipment. It could take some time for the financial aid award to be approved.
Please note: Dallas College charges a higher tuition rate to students registering the third or subsequent time for certain courses, including some Continuing Education courses. For more information, visit the
Third Course Attempt page.
Applying for Veterans' Assistance:
If you are interested in applying for VA benefits, please contact
The academy’s certification courses can do more than provide vocational certification. Through Dallas College’s “Pathway Program”, certificate programs can translate into college credits, enabling students to earn college hours toward a degree. Contact the academy office for more information.
The journey of a lifetime begins with the first step. We realize there are a few steps here and it can be a bit confusing. The academy’s staff is here to assist you with every step in the process, or with any questions you may have before taking those steps. Noted below is a general outline and description of the step-by-step procedure for enrolling.
- Email the academy at
4Justice@DallasCollege.edu or call the academy at 972-391-1084 to schedule an interview and receive the paperwork via email. Paperwork will be sent to you.
- Complete the Personal History Statement you’ll have received.
- Expect to hear from the academy about an applicant interview.
- Applicant must bring their completed personal history statement to the interview.
- Applicant is interviewed by an academy staff member, reviewing their qualifications, academy requirements and exceptions/exemptions, if applicable.
- Applicants will be directed to obtain a student ID Number (if they do not already have one).
- Applicants will be directed to take and complete the reading and writing portions of the TSI (if they haven't yet done so), however:
- Official transcripts from an accredited college or university showing valid TSI scores, or showing a college-level English course with a "C" grade or above suffice for an exemption.
- A transcript showing an Associates, Bachelor's, Masters', etc. from an accredited college or university is also an exemption.
- Applicants must meet the Meningitis Vaccine requirement for the college (if applicable).
- Applicants must satisfy preliminary qualifications — and complete the checklist provided via email when they scheduled their appointment, which includes:
- Proof of education (high school diploma, GED or higher).
- A DD-214 with at least 24 months of (full-time) active-duty service AND an Honorable discharge is also accepted.
- DD-214 (if applicable) — cannot have been a Dishonorable Discharge.
- Valid Texas driver's license (applicants with an out-of-state license must obtain a Texas driver's license to enter into a Texas-based Law Enforcement Academy.)
- DPS driver history statement (applicant must follow instruction on their checklist.)
- Proof of citizenship (must be two forms, which include birth certificate, Social Security card or passport –or– naturalization papers)
- "FAST" form fingerprint/criminal history and TCOLE qualification statement (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview.)
- Physical Exam, which also includes a 5-panel (or higher) drug screen. Both the L-2 and the drug screen results must be presented to meet this criteria (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview.)
- Psychological Exam (applicant must follow directions provided during their interview).
- Registration must be done through the academy. Registration is not available online or through the college registrar's office, as those two methods do not prove the applicant has met all the state requirements for registration in a law enforcement academy.