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Police Officer Selection Standards

The minimum Police Officer selection standards are set forth in Government Code Sections 1029 and 1031. The UCLA Police Department sets higher standards and police officers must be:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship and will be a US citizen at time of appointment (resident aliens are eligible if they have applied for citizenship at least one year prior to taking the written test)
  • Free of any felony convictions
  • Possess a valid California Driver's License
  • A high school graduate, pass the General Education Development test or have attained a two-year, four-year, or advanced degree from an accredited or approved institution
  • Fingerprinted for purposes of search of local, state, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record
  • Must meet POST physical standards, including: vision at least 20/100 correctable to 20/30 in each eye, functional color vision and hearing loss no greater than 25 dB at 500-2500 Hz and 35 dB 3000 Hz
  • Found to be free from any physical, emotional or mental condition which might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer. Offer of employment contingent upon completion of satisfactory pre-employment psychological and physical suitability examinations.
  • Of good moral character, as determined by a thorough background investigation.
  • Possess analytical and decision making skills to identify problems, weigh solutions, recognize alternatives and their implications independently and quickly
  • Possess interpersonal skills to interact with diverse public consisting of students, faculty, staff, visitors and immediate surrounding communities
  • Skill in speaking clearly using appropriate vocabulary to provide information and relate evidence in court and exercise authority in activities, which might involve hostility and resistance
  • Skill in writing accurate and descriptive reports
  • Skills in using computers
  • Possession of a Basic Certificate issued by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) is desired

Applicants without California Basic POST (California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training) Certification and have not successfully completed a POST certified academy may be hired as a Police Trainee and sent to a POST Regular Basic Course training program at a Basic Academy. The Police Trainee position earns approximately 5% less than the starting salary of a Police Officer. Exceptions to this would be peace officers employed by certain specialized law enforcement agencies, coroner peace officers, Reserve Level II or Level III officers, limited function officers and peace officers from other states.

For peace officers from another state, California POST has a Basic Course Waiver (BCW) process for individuals who want to become California peace officers and have completed at least 664 hours of general law enforcement training (including a general law enforcement basic course of at least 200 hours), and have at least one year of successful sworn general law enforcement experience. The BCW is a 4-step process that includes: self-assessment/application; POST evaluation; written and skills testing; and issuance of a waiver letter. Once the BCW process is successfully completed, the applicant receives a waiver of the California Regular Basic Course; however, acceptance of the waiver is at the discretion of this department.

Other Employment Requirements

  • Applicants must be able to read and write at the levels necessary to perform the job of a peace officer as determined by passing the POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery (PELLETB) or other professionally developed and validated test of reading and writing ability.
  • Applicants must take and pass the POST Work Sample Test Batteryalso referred to as the Physical Ability Test. The Work Sample Test Battery includes these five events:
    • Obstacle Course-Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles, and a 34-inch high obstacle that must be vaulted
    • Body Drag-Lift and drag a 165-pound lifelike dummy 32-feet
    • Chain Link Fence -Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
    • Solid Fence Climb-Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
    • 500-Yard Run-Run 500 yard

Each of the five events is timed. Student performance times are converted to points and totaled.

  • Every peace officer applicant will be interviewed prior to employment to determine the applicant's suitability for law enforcement service.
  • A background investigation on the history of a peace officer applicant will be thoroughly conducted to make sure that the applicant is of good moral character and that nothing in his/her background is inconsistent with performing peace officer duties. Every peace officer applicant who continues the process will be given a polygraph exam. The background investigation is also conducted to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum selection requirements.

California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Tactics (POST): How Do I Become a Police Officer?

After reviewing this information, if you have any additional questions regarding Police Officer recruitment, testing, hiring or training, contact the Personnel and Training Division at


UCLA Police Department
Phone: (310) 206-8883
Fax: (310) 267-2546
Mail Code: 136408


601 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1364

Business Hours

Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Station Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week