Department of Criminal Justice Studies

Peace Officer Training

Officer talking with students on the St. Cloud State University Mall

Becoming a peace officer in Minnesota

St. Cloud State University offers one of many pathways to becoming a licensed peace officer for the State of Minnesota. Credit requirements getting to and attending a Skills training program may be applied to a student's bachelor's degree. 

Future peace officers must complete academic components, complete a Skills training program, and meet minimum selection standards established by the Minnesota P.O.S.T. Board. St. Cloud State University does not offer Skills, however it does offer the academic components required to be eligible to take the Peace Officer Licensing Exam and guides students through the Skills application process. 

Current students are encouraged to voice their interest in this career path to their advisor or the PPOE Coordinator as soon as possible so adequate planning and discussions may take place.  

The P.O.S.T. board authorized St. Cloud State's academic program in 1979. 


of officers with at least a two-year degree were 40% less likely to lose their jobs due to misconduct.

Your degree will help you!

Be less likely to use violence, more problem-oriented, and have better relations with the community you serve.

Read 5 reasons why

Prerequisites for Skills

There are a number of institutions across the state that offer Skills training programs, the hands-on skills needed to effectively perform the job of a peace officer. To participate you must:

  • Complete CJS 111, 421, 422, and 431 as an undergraduate or CJS 521, 522, 531 and 601 as a graduate student and earn at least a 2.65 grade point average in those courses.
  • Complete each of the 10 liberal education goal areas with a minimum of 60 credits (equivalent to an AA degree).
  • Minnesota traffic statutes and ordinances learning objectives.
  • Earn your Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB)-approved First Responder level or higher certification. Students may elect EMSC1462 at St. Cloud Technical & Community College or equivalent course. This is required to take the Peace Officer Licensing Exam.
  • Meet the fall deadline for consideration of admission to the next spring or summer program. Watch for meeting announcements during fall semester via email and on Huskies Connect.
  • Meet all P.O.S.T. Board minimum selection standards listed below. 
  • Fill out and process a consortium agreement if you plan to use financial aid toward your Skills training. 
  • View some of the forms you will be asked to fill out to attend Skills (PDF).

St. Cloud State University students completing a Skills program may transfer those credits back to count towards their bachelor's degree. Most Skills programs are 12 credits, which may count towards a student's completion of 120 credits for a bachelor's degree.  

St. Cloud State only accepts credits earned from a Minnesota State College or University with a grade of C- or higher (up to 16 Technical Transfer credits).

Peace Officer Licensing Exam

Future peace officers must take and pass the Peace Officer Licensing Exam. 

Once a student has successfully completed and passed a Skills program and met all other requirements, they may apply to take the Peace Officer Licensing Exam. Exam candidates may apply for this exam online, or obtain a written application from their PPOE coordinator. Applicants who pass this exam are eligible for a peace officer license for three years.

Exam prep course and study materials are available through Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Additional options are shared with students when available. 

P.O.S.T. Board selection standards

To briefly summarize, to be eligible you must:

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Possess a valid Minnesota driver's license.
  • Complete a comprehensive written application.
  • Never have been convicted of a felony.
  • Never have been convicted under Minnesota Statutes, section 609.224, 609.2242, 609.231, 609.2325, 609.233, 609.2335, 609.234, 609.324, 609.465, 609.466, 609.52, or 609.72, subdivision 3; as well as never been convicted under any state or federal narcotics or controlled substance laws or any similar law of another state or federal law.
  • Submit to a thorough background investigation.
  • Pass a thorough physical examination.
  • Pass a psychological examination by a licensed psychologist.
  • Pass a physical strength and agility exam to measure job-related skills.
  • Pass a written examination to demonstrate mental skills.
  • Pass an oral examination to demonstrate job-related communication skills.

Hiring agencies may apply additional standards and may determine mental and physical standards for its personnel.

PPOE Coordinator

The Professional Peace Officer Education Coordinator for St. Cloud State University is trusted to produce peace officer license eligible candidates who have the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary for performance of an entry level peace officer in Minnesota as identified by the law enforcement profession. 

Dr. John Pilz

  • PPOE Coordinator

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