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Cadet Selection Procedures

The Cadet Selection Procedures are subject to change at any time without prior notification/publication.

Application:  In order to successfully apply, applicants must meet the Eligibility Requirements.  Applicants who do not meet the Eligibility Requirements, despite the status within processing, will be disqualified.  Applications must be submitted via and may be filed anytime throughout the calendar year.

Qualifying Examination(s): Examination notices will be forwarded to all eligible applicants advising them of the date, time, and location.  Additional information may be found at Test Announcements.

Eligibility List:  Upon completion of the qualifying examination process, including the application of veterans' preference points, the eligibility list will be established, with notification to all applicants as to their ranking on the list.  The Department will periodically invite a select number of applicants for further processing based upon the needs during the life of the eligibility list. 

Polygraph:  Applicants participate in a pre-employment polygraph examination to determine an applicant's truthfulness or deception in all aspects of an applicant's life.  A Certified Polygraph Examiner from our Department will conduct the Polygraph Examination.

Background Investigation:  Applicants who have successfully passed the Polygraph will be subject to a thorough, comprehensive background investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police.  The background investigative report will address each area of an applicant's life, specifically addressing, but not limited to, the following areas:  personal background, family, education, military, employment, character references, personal associates, legal/criminal/traffic history/behavior, credit, and residency.

Applicants who live or lived out of state for any period of time may experience a delay in the completion of the background investigative report as the Pennsylvania State Police must rely on the assistance of other law enforcement agencies.

Medical/Psychological/Physical Readiness Testing:  Applicants ruled eligible by the Background Investigation Screening Panel will be invited to the Medical/Psychological/Physical Readiness Testing processing. The letter of invitation will indicate a date, time, and location for this one-day processing and will include instructions for completing and/or providing various medical documentation at the applicant's expense. The State Police Medical Officer reviews the medical documentation provided by the applicant's chosen physicians and uses it to conduct a cursory medical evaluation. 

Applicants will be given a battery of psychological tests at the discretion of the State Police Psychologist and, as determined, may be required to undergo further evaluation at the Department's expense.

More information on the Medical Requirements (dental, hearing, vision standards, etc.) may be found on the Cadet Medical Information document.

The Physical Readiness Tests are depicted on the chart below along with an explanation of the testing procedure.

Applicants must be able to complete all tests as contained in the table below to continue in the process.  Failure of any one exercise will disqualify the applicant and remove them from the eligibility list.

Physical Readiness Standards

​300 meter run
​1.5 mile run(min:sec)
​Males – Ages 20-29 
​Males – Ages 30-39
​Females – Ages 20-29
​Females – Ages 30-39

More information on the Physical Readiness Tests may be found on the Cadet Physical Readiness Tests document. 

Appointment:  Applicants successful through the Cadet Selection Procedures will be eligible for appointment, in eligibility list and rank order, to the next available Cadet class.  Appointment letters are generated at least three weeks in advance of the class commencement date.

All applicants are not offered immediate appointment due to the limitations of class sizes and/or budgetary constraints.  Those applicants who do not receive an immediate offer of appointment will remain on the eligibility list for possible appointment to a subsequent Cadet class.

Applicants appointed to a cadet class will be required to complete all tests as contained in the Entry Standards column upon reporting for training.  Failure of any one exercise will disqualify the applicant and their appointment will be rescinded.

Physical Testing Graduation Standards

At the conclusion of Basic training, Cadets will be required to perform all tests as contained in the Graduation Standards column below.  Dismissal proceedings will be instituted for any cadet who fails to pass the final physical test at graduation standards: 

Test Graduation Standards
Vertical Jump18 inches, 3 Attempts
1 RM Bench Press85% Body Weight
Illinois Agility Run19.5 Seconds, 2 Attempts
300-Meter Run65 Seconds
Push Ups30 Repetitions (no time limit)
1.5 Mile Run14 Minutes and 50 Seconds

NOTE:  The Cadet Selection Procedures are subject to change at any time. 

Applicants are advised that all information provided to the Pennsylvania State Police is to contain no misrepresentation, falsification, omissions, or concealment of material fact and that, upon submission of official documentation (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.

Questions regarding the Cadet Selection Procedures may be forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Police at:

Additional Information may be found at