The Regional Police Academy is a 16-week, 800-hour police training school designed to provide basic law enforcement training to employed and pre-employed recruits. 

The curriculum covers such topics as physical fitness training, firearms, precision driving, first aid and CPR, police tactics, defensive tactics, criminal justice, domestic violence, traffic enforcement, criminal law and other law enforcement areas. To learn more about the courses, go to course descriptions.

Twelve NMU credits received after the completion of the academy can be applied to NMU's Associate of Applied Science Degree in law enforcement or as general elective credits in other undergraduate programs at NMU.

Financial aid is available for the academy for qualified applicants.

At the successful completion of academy training, a recruit becomes licensable as a police officer through the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES).  The State Licensing Examination is given upon successful completion of all academy requirements. Passing the licensing exam, qualifies a recruit as licensable in Michigan to become a police officer. A license is granted upon employment by a police department. The NMU RPA training may transfer to other states. Each state has it's own educational requirements and standards for certification. For specific requirements contact the state's law enforcement governing agency for clarification. 

MCOLES establishes the requirements for admission to all of the state’s regional academies. Keep reading to learn more about entrance requirements.


  • Minimum of an associate degree or higher.
    • Completion of your degree just prior to the academy or upon completion of the academy you will need a letter from the Criminal Justice Department indicating such. Follow the instructions on this page.
  • High school diploma or GED.
    • *Minimum 1-year training and experience as a military police officer in any of the service branches.  Contact MCOLES at (517) 322-1949 for more information.
  • Sponsored by an agency (This waives the educational requirement).
    • High school diploma or GED.
    • Hired and on the payroll of a law enforcement agency.
    • Passed a drug test.
    • Contact the academy for more information on stipulations of this option.

Health and Physical Fitness

  • Pass a physical examination (all candidates MUST successfully pass MCOLES physical fitness **test)
  • Pass a hearing examination
  • Weight proportionate to height
  • Free from mental or emotional disorders
  • Physical integrity
  • Normal color vision and normal visual functions

Age and Citizenship 

  • 18 years of age or older
  • U.S. citizen


  • No felony convictions
  • Good moral character
  • Pass a limited background check


  • Possess valid Michigan operator's or chauffeur's license
  • Pass an oral interview
  • All candidates MUST pass the MCOLES reading/writing test**


Financial aid is available through NMU’s standard financial aid process for qualified applicants. NMU also works with Military Veterans to apply any educational benefits to academy costs.

The main costs for the program are:

  • Academy fee: $4,900
  • NMU application fee: FREE
  • Uniforms and boots: approximately $700
  • Housing on campus (If needed, not required): approximately $2400

Additional costs to consider are:

  • Housing and food
  • Physical examination
  • Hearing examination
  • Vision examination
  • Physical fitness test**$45.00
  • MCOLES reading/writing test**$65.00

For further clarification:
** NMU is a regional test site for these exams.

For more information, please contact the NMU Regional Police Academy at 906-227-1408.