Photo of a police car donated to the NMC Law Enforcement / Police Academy program

NMC Police Academy

If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding career that allows you to serve your community, Law Enforcement is an outstanding choice.

Northwestern Michigan College offers a pre-service track program for students interested in becoming police officers. Once students complete the first year general education requirements as outlined on the course sequence guide, they are eligible to apply for entry into the Police Academy (year two on the course sequence guide). Following successful completion of both year one and year two requirements, students will earn their AAS degree in Law Enforcement and take the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) licensing exam.

Applicants who already possess an Associate Degree (or higher), or have at least one year active military police experience, are eligible to apply for entry into the Police Academy. Following successful completion of the academy (year two on the course sequence guide), students will earn a Level ll Certificate in Law Enforcement and take the MCOLES licensing exam.

Students who successfully pass the MCOLES licensing exam will become police officers when they are hired by an agency and are sworn into office.

NMC offers the following:

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Course Descriptions

Course Sequence Guides

Program Requirements

Police Academy Schedule

The NMC Police Academy is a two-semester program which begins each fall semester and concludes the following spring. The curriculum is mandated by MCOLES and absences are strictly prohibited. Although the schedule is subject to change at any time, the following scheduling guidelines are generally adhered to.

MCOLES Pre-Enrollment Testing

Prior to being considered for entry into the academy, students must pass the MCOLES Reading and Writing Test and the MCOLES Pre-Enrollment Physical Fitness Test. NMC currently offers two testing dates in the spring (right). Students must have a signed Physician’s Health Screening Form and a valid operator’s license in order to participate in the fitness test. Detailed information including video tutorials can be found on the MCOLES website. The cost for the fitness test is $45 cash or check (made payable to NMC). Students sign up for the fitness test by emailing NMC Police Academy Director Gail Kurowski at To view information regarding the Reading and Writing Test, including schedules, enrollment procedures, and test scores, students must log into the PSI website. The cost is $68 and is payable (by credit card only) directly to PSI. A passing score on the Reading and Writing Test is valid for life.

Application Timeline

The application process begins in April and concludes in June each calendar year.

Following successful completion of the MCOLES Pre-Enrollment Tests, students will receive an information packet with MCOLES and NMC documents that must be completed. As part of the paperwork process, students will undergo a complete medical evaluation and drug testing at Munson Occupational Health & Medicine in Traverse City. Once the paperwork and medical evaluation are complete, the Director will notify students with a date and time for their oral interview. Following a successful interview, students will be given forms and instructions to have their fingerprints taken. A thorough and comprehensive background investigation will be conducted on each applicant. Please refer to the Licensing Standards for Michigan Law Enforcement Officers on the MCOLES website. Once the background investigation is complete, students will be notified by the Director. Successful students will receive uniform guidelines and instructions in preparation for the academy.

Sequence of Application Events

  • Complete first year requirements or have already completed your degree or have at least one year military police experience
  • Pass the MCOLES Pre-Enrollment Tests
  • Complete the academy information packet paperwork
  • Complete the medical evaluation and drug testing at Munson
  • Oral interview with the Director
  • Complete fingerprint forms and return them to the Director
  • Pass the background investigation (the Director will notify you)
  • Notification of acceptance (from the Director) with uniform guidelines & instructions

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between the AAS Degree and the Level II Certificate?

    • Students who have completed the first year general education requirements will earn their AAS Degree after successfully completing the academy.
    • Students who already have a degree, or a minimum of one year military police experience will earn the Level II Certificate.
  • What are the minimum education requirements?

    • Successful completion of the courses listed under year one on the course sequence guide or
    • An Associate Degree (or higher) or
    • At least one year active duty service as a military police officer
  • Is the academy schedule flexible?

    • The academy schedule is not flexible. Students are required to register for every class listed on Year 2 of the course sequence guide. Students with specific medical qualifications may be granted exemption from the HAH 200 course. Classes are not offered with alternative schedules and are only open to academy students.
  • What is the cost to attend the Police Academy?

  • What additional course fees are required?

    • $650 — LWE 214 Firearms
    • $100 — LWE 218 Physical Training/Wellness
    • $100 — LWE 215 Defensive Driving
  • What are the MCOLES Licensing Standards?

  • What if I have a criminal history record?

    • Anyone with a felony conviction on their record is automatically disqualified from the application process. A complete list of disqualifying offenses can be found on the MCOLES website.
  • Is there a drug test?

    • Yes. All medical forms are included in the information packet. NMC pays for the cost of the drug test. The student is responsible for the cost of the medical evaluation and are not permitted to use their own personal physician for the examination.
  • Do I have to buy a uniform?

    • Yes. Students will be given the uniform guidelines and requirements following successful completion of the application process. Refer to the classroom fees spreadsheet for estimated costs. Students will purchase their uniforms through the NMC bookstore.

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This program meets the requirements for preparation or licensing in the state of Michigan. The applicability of this program to requirements of other states has not been determined.