Law Enforcement

This program is a Selective Program. Application requirements are included in the description below.

Basic Peace Officer


This program is designed to prepare students for a profession in law enforcement. Police academy students will learn the role and responsibilities of a law enforcement officer and become knowledgeable in Texas Criminal and Traffic law. The police academy will prepare students for peace officer certifications according to the standards from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education.

Application Requirements

In order to be considered for entry into the South Texas College Police Academy/Basic Peace Officer certificate, all applicants must complete the requirements below which will be evaluated for accuracy, passing scores, and acceptable outcomes:

  1. Must be at least 21 years of age by the completion of the police academy.
  2. Applicants with military background must have an honorable discharge to apply.
  3. Complete Police Academy application (published on program webpage).
  4. Pass Physical Fitness Test administered by Police Academy. Information about test dates are published on program webpage. (Applicant must have valid identification to participate in test.).
  5. Complete Personal History Statement.
  6. Pass a Polygraph Examination. (Examiner approved by the Pharr Police Department.)
  7. Submit fingerprints for criminal history check through a state/national database. Applicants convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, or above, or convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the last 10 years will not be considered.
  8. Pass medical screening to include urinalysis. (Medical doctor approved by the Pharr Police Department.)
  9. Pass psychological screening. (Doctor approved by the Pharr Police Department.)
  10. Must provide the following documents:
    • Certified Copy of Court Disposition (for all charges on criminal history)
    • Licensee Medical Condition Declaration (TCOLE L-2 Form)
    • Licensee Psychological and Emotional Health Declaration (TCOLE L-3 Form)
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship
    • Valid Texas Driver’s License
    • Official high school transcript (accredited) or proof of GED completion.
    • Military Discharge Form (DD 214), if applicable.

Law Enforcement

Associate of Applied Science

The Law Enforcement Associate Degree program offers the educational opportunity for veteran officers already in the field to expand upon their knowledge base. The program also provides the necessary foundation for those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

Ruben Villescas, Chief of Police, Pharr Police Department
Juan Gonzalez, Chief of Police, San Juan Police Department
J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office
Robert Dominguez, Chief of Police, Mission Police Department
Dagoberto Chavez, Jr., Investigator, Texas Attorney General Office
Dr. Vanessa Nelson, Texas Department of Public Safety - Crime Lab
Victor Rodriguez - Chief of Police, Mission Police Department


Associates Degree

Basic Peace Officer Certificate


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
CJLE 1506 Basic Peace Officer I 5
CJLE 1512 Basic Peace Officer II 5
 Credit Hours10
Second Semester
CJLE 1518 Basic Peace Officer III 5
CJLE 1524 Basic Peace Officer IV 5
CJLE 1429 Basic Peace Officer V 4
 Credit Hours14
 Total Credit Hours24 Credit Hours

Law Enforcement Associate of Applied Science


Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
CRIJ 1301 Introduction to Criminal Justice (or CJSA 1322 - See Escrow Credit Below) 3
CRIJ 1306 Court Systems and Practices (or CJSA 1313 - See Escrow Credit Below) 3
ENGL 1301 Composition I 1 3
COSC 1301 Introduction to Computing 3
CJSA 1348 Ethics in Criminal Justice 3
CJLE 1249 Intermediate Arrest, Search and Seizure 2
 Credit Hours17
Second Semester
CRIJ 1310 Fundamentals of Criminal Law (or CJSA 1327 - See Escrow Credit Below) 3
CRIJ 2328 Police Systems and Practices (or CJSA 1359 - See Escrow Credit Below) 3
Select one of the following: 1 3
Introductory Sociology  
Psychology of Adjustment  
General Psychology  
GOVT 2306
Texas Government
or United States History I
CJLE 1327 Interviewing and Report Writing for CJ Professions 3
CJLE 1333 Traffic Law and Investigations 3
 Credit Hours18
Third Semester
CJSA 1312 Crime in America 3
Math Elective 1 3
CJLE 1259 Intermediate Spanish for Law Enforcement 2
CJLE 1194 Current Events in Law Enforcement 1
CJLE 1345 Intermediate Crime Scene Investigation 3
 Credit Hours12
Fourth Semester
Speech Elective 1 3
Humanities Elective 1 3
Law Enforcement Elective 3
Basic Telecommunication Certification
or Criminal Justice Survey
CJLE 2345 Vice and Narcotics Investigation 3
CJLE 2168 Practicum 1
 Credit Hours13
 Total Credit Hours60 Credit Hours

Identifies courses to fulfill minimum 15 credit hour General Education requirement

Escrowed Credit

Upon successful completion of CJSA 1348 Ethics in Criminal Justice and CJLE 1249 Intermediate Arrest, Search and Seizure, students who have successfully completed the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers and Education 618 hour Basic Peace Officer certification will be awarded 23 credit hours for the following courses:

CJSA 1322Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CJSA 1313Court Systems and Practices3
CJSA 1327Fundamentals of Criminal Law3
CJSA 1359Police System and Practices3
CJLE 1327Interviewing and Report Writing for CJ Professions3
CJLE 1333Traffic Law and Investigations3
CJSA 1312Crime in America3
CJLE 1259Intermediate Spanish for Law Enforcement2
Total Credit Hours23