The selection process consists of the following and applicants should be prepared to participate in every part of the selection process:

  • Written Examination
  • Polygraph Examination
  • Background Investigation
  • Physical Readiness Processing (including urinalysis drug screening)
  • Medical Evaluation
  • Psychological Evaluation

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 the NEOGOV and may be filed anytime throughout the calendar year.

Written Examination – Once the examination date is established, notices will be forwarded to all eligible applicants advising them of the date, time, and location of the written examination. Upon successful completion of the written examination, notices will be forwarded to eligible applicants advising them of the Polygraph Examination Phase.

Polygraph Examination – Applicants that successfully complete the qualifying Written Examination will move forward in the process based on the needs of the Department and will move on to the Polygraph Examination Phase. A Certified Polygraph Examiner from our Department will conduct the Polygraph Examination Phase.

Background Investigation – Applicants who proceed through processing will have 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 assistance of other law enforcement agencies.

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.

Physical Readiness Processing – Applicants invited to participate in further processing will receive an invitation from the Pennsylvania State Police which assigns a date, time, and location for this processing. The invitation will be a part of a processing packet which the applicant must complete in its entirety within the prescribed timeframe.

This one day of processing includes:

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


MALES 20-29

300 Meter Run
62.1 seconds
26 Repetitions
1.5 Mile Run
13 minutes 16 seconds

MALES 30-39

300 Meter Run
63 seconds
20 Repetitions
1.5 Mile Run
13 minutes 46 seconds


300 Meter Run
75 seconds
13 Repetitions
1.5 Mile Run
15 minutes 52 seconds


300 Meter Run
82 seconds
9 Repetitions
1.5 Mile Run
16 minutes 38 seconds

To view further information regarding the Cadet Physical Readiness Test Entry Standards, HERE:

Medical/Psychological Processing – Applicants ruled eligible by the Background Investigation Screening Panel will be invited to the Medical/Psychological Processing (including urinalysis drug screening test). Included with the letter of invitation will be a processing packet that includes 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.

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 will be automatically disqualified from further consideration should any admissions reveal behavior which is deemed inappropriate for employment with the Pennsylvania State Police. Applicants are advised that the Pennsylvania State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements. In addition, the following information is provided regarding our criteria for automatic disqualification:

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.

Vertical Jump
18 inches, 3 attempts
1 RM Bench Press
85% Body weight
Illinois Agility Run
19.5 Seconds, 2 attempts
300 Meter Run
65 Seconds
Push Ups
30 Repetitions (no time limit)
1.5 Mile Run
14 Minutes and 50 seconds

Videos demonstrating the Physical Readiness Tests can be found here.

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: ra-pypsdccadet@pa.gov