Police Officer Training Cohort

Becoming a UDC MPD Police Officer Cohort

Like MPD’s Cadet Corps, the Department’s Police Officer Training Cohort serves as a pipeline for those who do not meet all the qualifications required to become a police officer with MPD.

As part of this partnership with the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Community College, participants may obtain the 60 college credits required to become a police officer. The cohort runs on a periodic basis throughout the year. After successfully gaining 60 credit hours, applicants will be eligible to enter the police officer hiring pipeline. Participants attend classes on nights and weekends at UDC Community College to earn an associate degree.


  • Qualifications
  • Qualifications:

    • Must be at least 19 years old to apply and may not have reached the mandatory retirement age of 64. Must be 21 to be an officer.
    • Must maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average while in the cohort. 

    How It Works

    Participants take two eight-week classes simultaneously throughout the year. Classes will be held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 pm – 10 pm and Saturdays from 9:30 am – 12:20 pm. This includes a "Special Topics" course taught jointly by MPD and UDC, discussing current challenges in law enforcement. 

    Upon earning 60 college credits, each participant completes an updated police background check and is then hired as a full-time, MPD police officer recruit. Once hired, each participant will receive a salary of $60,199. New recruits will enroll in the Metropolitan Police Academy to complete the remainder of their training. UDC Community College has worked with MPD to offer an additional five (5) credits for participants in this program to obtain their Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Law Enforcement after successful completion of the Police Training Academy. Thus, participants in this program will both graduate from the Police Training Academy and would also earn their associate degree.

    UDC Community College provides affordable education and MPD is working with our governmental partners to make scholarship and affordable loan opportunities available. Current tuition per semester is $1,762 for DC residents, $2,674 for DC metro area residents, and $4,222 for out-of-area residents. UDC Community College has a variety of tuition assistance and scholarship opportunities. Also, UDC will work with you to accept earned credit from other colleges. See the sample course schedule

    The UDC/MPD Police Officer Training Cohort allows participants to secure meaningful employment as a DC police officer with MPD while obtaining their associate degree. Participants have the opportunity to obtain practical application of classroom topics through the strong partnership between UDC Community College and MPD. 

  • Application Process
  • Application Process: 

    Here’s how the selection process works:

    1. Complete an MPD interest card. 

    2. Attend an in-person MPD Prospect Day where you will participate in several screening events [e.g., physical ability test, document screening, fingerprinting].

    3. Complete the online Personal History Statement.

    4. Undergo a comprehensive background investigation.

    5. Take a polygraph exam.

    6. Submit to a medical and psychological evaluation.

    7. MPD review and decision. 

    8. Begin college classes.

    9. Complete 60 college credits, receive an updated background investigation and begin working as an MPD recruit officer.

    10. Graduate from the Metropolitan Police Academy and receive your associate degree in Applied Science in Law Enforcement.

  • Pay & Benefits
  • Pay & Benefits:

    There is no salary during this program, as you will not be an MPD employee. However, you will obtain your associate degree in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Law Enforcement degree and become a DC police officer upon successful completion.

    Once hired by MPD, you will earn a salary of $60,199, increasing to $65,863 after an 18-month probationary period. There may be additional educational reimbursement options available once hired. 

  • FAQs
  • FAQs:
    What are the advantages for the UDC / MPD Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) versus applying as a police officer directly?
    The UDC / MPD Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) is designed specifically for individuals who do not have their sixty (60) college credits required to join MPD but are interested in earning their associate degree and becoming a police officer in our nation's capital. By joining this program, you get to pursue your higher education in a small cohort of individuals, while getting strong practicum experience with the Metropolitan Police Department. By applying, you complete the police officer application process up front to determine suitability for selection as a DC police officer, upon completion of your education.
    Do I have to be a DC resident to apply?
    While DC residents receive a hiring preference, this program does not require you to be a DC resident. UDC Community College tuition cost is based upon location of residence (DC, Metro Area or Out of State). Scholarships are available and DC residents qualify for additional scholarships. DC residents may qualify for full tuition scholarships, depending on availability.
    I already have some credits—will those be accepted?
    During the orientation program, a recruiter will discuss in greater detail; however, UDC will accept qualifying transfer credits, which may waive the requirement to take certain courses. While MPD requires sixty (60) credits for appointment as a police officer, to earn the associate degree, participant must complete the requisite coursework.
    When do I get hired by MPD?
    Individuals participating in the UDC/MPD Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) are hired at the time of completing sixty (60) college credits and meeting background suitability standards. Once hired by MPD, you will earn a salary of $60,199 increasing to $65,863 after 18-month probationary period. Once hired, members receive full benefits, including health, dental, vision and paid sick and annual leave.
    How much does tuition cost at UDC Community College?
    The cost for tuition is based upon the number of course credits enrolled. For a full course registration, the cost below outlines the total tuition and fees. It should be noted there are a variety of financial incentives that may be available to include scholarship opportunities to cover the cost of tuition. Once hired by MPD, you will earn a salary of $60,199, increasing to $65,863 after the 18-month probationary period. There may be additional educational reimbursement options available once hired. Attend an orientation to learn more about scholarship opportunities available.
    DC Residents Metro-Area Residents Out-of-State Residents
    • 1st Fall Term $1,762 $2,674 $4,222
    • 1st Spring Term $1,762 $2,674 $4,222
    • Summer Term $1,762 $2,674 $4,222
    • 2nd Fall Term $1,762 $2,674 $4,222
    • Total $7,048 $10,696 $16,888
    How is this different than the Police Cadet Program?
    The Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) is designed for those individuals who may not have graduated from a DC high school or may be outside of the Police Cadet Program's age of eligibility (17-24 years of age). Like the Police Cadet Program, participants in POTC will get their education as well as future employment with MPD.
    What if I go to another school currently?
    If selected for the Police Officer Training Cohort, the staff at UDC Community College would assist you with transferring your enrollment. For MPD eligibility, you must have a minimum of sixty (60) credits, regardless of the institution the credits were obtained; however, to receive your associate degree, you must have relevant transfer credits and/or complete necessary coursework through this program. During orientation, a recruiter can provide you further information.
    Upon completion of the Police Officer Training Cohort, can I apply with other law enforcement agencies?
    The Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) is designed for members to become a part of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC. To obtain your associate degree through this program, you must successfully complete the Metropolitan Police Academy. As the premier law enforcement agency in the country, acceptance into POTC and as a future member of the Department is an honor.
    What is the minimum GPA required for entrance?
    While there is no minimum GPA required for application, generally, MPD seeks candidates with a 2.0 or higher. Candidate GPA's are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
    Is there a requirement to maintain a certain GPA in training?
    In order to maintain in good standing through the Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC), each participant must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA at UDC Community College. There are a variety of support mechanisms in place to ensure students are successful and excel while at UDC.
    What is MPD's role during the Police Officer Training Cohort?
    As you are a future member of MPD, our Department has partnered with UDC to provide substantive experiences that compliment your classroom education. You'll have the opportunity to meet many of our command staff members, participate in police ride-alongs and become a member of the MPD team as you matriculate to the Metropolitan Police Academy.
    What are the age requirements to apply?
    All applicants for the Police Officer Training Cohort (POTC) must be at least 19 years old at the time of application to the POTC and may not have reached the mandatory retirement age of 64 years of age. Applicants must be 21 years of age at time of hire as a police officer.
    Still have questions? Check the MPD Helpdesk to see if we’ve answered it.
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