HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - For aspiring Pennsylvania State Troopers, it just got a bit easier to join the ranks. Today, Gov. Josh Shapiro and PSP Commissioner Colonel Chris Paris announced college credits are no longer required for the PSP Cadet application process. 

“I've directed Colonel Paris in his role as Commissioner of the State Police to waive the college credit requirement for Pennsylvanians who want to be State Troopers effective immediately,” said Gov. Shapiro. 

The previous educational requirement of 60 college credits has been in place since the 1990s, when cadet applications were much higher than they are now. 

"In the 1990s, the Academy received 10,000 applicants per class. In 2019, just a few years ago, they had 8,000 applicants per class. But this year, they had just 1,800 applicants for their latest class,” said Shapiro. 

Gov. Shapiro believes dropping the requirement means more troopers and more opportunities. 

“For nearly 30 years, college credit requirements have prevented some of the most capable and committed from being able to serve our commonwealth. No longer will that be the case,” said Shapiro. “The opportunity to serve should be open to any qualified Pennsylvanian, regardless of whether they have a four-year degree or whether they have hours of college credits,” he added. 

“Filling the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police with women and men dedicated to serving the people of Pennsylvania is of utmost importance,” said State Police Commissioner Col. Chris Paris. “The elimination of the college credit requirement will open the door to a rewarding career for many who would make exemplary troopers but would not have otherwise had the opportunity,” he added. 

Cadets receive 28 weeks of training at the State Police Academy before they graduate.  

Cadet applicants must: 

  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state  
  • Be at least 20 years old at the time of application, and at least 21 years old and cannot have reached age 40 upon entry into the training academy  
  • Be a Pennsylvania resident and possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license at the time of graduation 

According to PSP, applicants who meet all eligibility requirements move on to a qualifying written examination. Applicants who pass the exam must complete a polygraph examination, background investigation, physical readiness test, medical screening, and psychological screening before training at the academy. 

Upon completion of the training academy, cadets are promoted to trooper and receive an increase in salary, currently set at $66,911 annually. 

You can find more information about State Police Cadet eligibility requirements here.