Police Training Academy

Fairmont State University Police Academy

About The Program
Admission Requirements & Steps
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The Fairmont State University Police Training Academy is a rigorous, academically-based training program that prepares graduates to enter the law enforcement profession. Upon program completion, graduates will be qualified for certification as West Virginia Law Enforcement Officers. In addition to being “job ready” for hire by municipal police and county sheriff’s departments as well as a variety of other State agencies with law enforcement responsibilities, graduates will be excellently prepared for graduate study in Criminal Justice or related fields.

Although enrollment is currently limited to current or new degree-seeking Fairmont State students (or transfer students), non-degree seeking students will eventually be allowed to apply.

About the Program

The Academy’s Basic Police Training Program is designed for current or future degree-seeking students. This program is a 16-week residential ‘basic training’ experience – you will live on campus in Pence Hall with your Academy cohort. During your time in the Academy, you will:

  • Train physically
  • Take numerous courses in criminal law and procedure
  • Learn basic police procedures like dealing with crimes in progress or bomb threats
  • Learn advanced policing procedures including advanced firearms training
  • Acquire basic police investigative techniques
  • Gain experience in vehicle operation and crash investigation
  • Learn vital skills related to improving the relationship between police offers and the communities they serve

Is it for me?

The Academy Basic Program is for people who embrace challenges and strive to make a difference. It is an immersive and intensive 16-week program that requires students to reside in academy housing (Pence Hall on the Fairmont State University campus). Students can expect to be challenged both physically and mentally.

Academy Instructors

The instructors consist of experienced law enforcement professionals as well as Fairmont State faculty members. Students will also benefit from visiting law enforcement professionals from various government agencies, including state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state and local prosecutors’ offices.

Program Philosophy

The need for more and better-trained law enforcement professionals has never been greater. Today’s law enforcement professionals face unprecedented challenges including international terrorism, racial bias, evolving technologies, and a growing mental health crisis.

The skills and knowledge to effectively deal with these issues requires a new method of training – one that combines a higher level of education and extensive training in several disciplines. The law enforcement professionals of tomorrow must also be trained in practices that respect all members of the community equally, and develop specialized knowledge and understanding that enable fair policing.

We believe tactical skills are important, but attitude, tolerance, and interpersonal skills are equally essential.

This program has been built from the ground up, and our advisory board not only benefits from law enforcement professionals, but also the insights of the NAACP and the Human Rights Commission.


In addition to being credited towards meeting the academic requirements for the Criminal Justice major or minor, students graduating from the Fairmont State University Police Training Academy will also be eligible for immediate certification upon being hired by a West Virginia law enforcement agency. Employment opportunities for certified officers are outstanding with many agencies offering hiring bonuses. Notably, many other states will accept completion of Academy training as meeting partial requirements for law enforcement certifications in those states. In addition to the Criminal Justice major or minor, this certification will also be a significant resume boost for other law enforcement jobs. If you dream of working in the FBI, DEA, or similar government agency, completing the Police Training Academy program could be a great first step. Most law enforcement-related government agencies require some law enforcement experience, and our program sets up for immediate employment.

Fairmont State also has some law enforcement positions on campus for students – you can learn more about that by filling out the form on this page and talking to a Police Training Academy representative.

Admission Requirements, Steps & Application

The Police Training Academy Program was designed primarily for students majoring in Criminal Justice. While those CJ applicants will be given priority, other majors are welcome to apply.

  • All applicants must have a current GPA of 2.75 or better.
  • Applicants must submit a formal application.
  • Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from their academic advisor.
  • The selection process will include an oral interview by a selection committee.
  • Applicants will undergo a criminal background check and drug screening.
  • Applicants must provide a complete medical examination
  • Applicants must undergo a Psychological Exam
  • Applicants must satisfactorily complete a Polygraph Examination
  • Applicants must pass a physical ability test prior to admission into the program. All applicants, regardless of age or gender, must be able to complete:
    • 18 pushups
    • 28 sit-ups
    • And run 1.5 miles in 14:36 or better
    You can prepare yourself for this pre-admission physical test by following this training plan

Like what you see? Apply now.