To become an FBI agent is a dream and career goal for many, but How To Become An FBI Agent? Well, we are going to discuss that in detail along with that, other useful information about the best colleges for FBI or educational programs that you need to attend to become an FBI agent.
The first and essential requirement for becoming an FBI agent is to have a college degree, different educational institutions are offering academic degrees that might help you become an FBI agent, but a top-rated college will increase your chances of success in this field, it is for this reason that we have brought the best colleges for FBI profiling for you that will include a list of top 15 best colleges in America to become an FBI agent.
I’m sure you must be aware of what is FBI but to recall, the FBI stands for the Federal Bureau of investigation. It is an agency that is primarily responsible for protecting the US homeland from any threat to its existence, boundaries, and people. So, what do FBI agents do to protect their nation or homeland? Well, let’s discuss that.
To begin with, one needs to understand that the Job duties for FBI agent are different from regular employees of the agency, the agents work in the field and perform surveillance to gather information against suspected criminals. Their job is to observe the criminals and gather evidence against them. Once they have gathered the information, they develop the cases against them so that they can be executed and in doing so, the agents also collaborate with the local law enforcement agencies.
The FBI agents do work alone in the field. Instead, the agency provides them with all necessary support in their efforts against the criminals. There are different departments within the federal bureau of investigation such as the technical support department or the IT departments which are the backbones of a field agent, the people working in these departments are directed to extend all the necessary support to the field agents and undercover agents so that their missions can be executed appropriately.
“The agents are a workforce that do forward-facing our investigative missions” said Peter Sursi, an FBI senior executive who oversees the agencies recruiting and hiring process.
Now that we have walked you through the responsibilities of an FBI agent, it is essential to also enlighten you about the efforts that you need to put to become an FBI agent so, without any further due let’s discuss what it takes to become an FBI agent.
Related: Best Majors For Fbi Special Agents
Requirements to become an FBI Agent?
People dream of becoming an FBI Agent, but a heavy burden is put on the shoulders of FBI agents, therefore, before hiring agents, it is ensured by the recruiting department that the person they select must have the muscles to bear the burden of becoming an FBI agent.
There are several pre-employment requirements from the candidates who are willing to become an FBI agent; these requirements are discussed below.
- The candidate must be a US citizen
- He/she must be a bachelor’s degree holder. Post-college work experience can be a great plus for the aspiring candidate.
- The candidate must be able to clear top-secret security clearance. This is to ensure that the candidate will not share the secrets of agency and national security with unauthorized people
- The candidate must be able to clear to the drug test.
- The candidate will also have to take a medical certificate from the agency’s chief medical officer. This certificate is to ensure that the candidate is in a position to withstand the challenging physical routine during the job.
We have discussed the requirements that you need to clear to become an FBI agent, let’s now Jump to the job responsibilities of an FBI agent so that you can better understand the demands of the career path that you are going to choose for yourself.
Related: FBI Requirement
Job Responsibilities Of An FBI Agent
The Job of FBI agents is demanding; the agents will have to give up on their regular routines to become an FBI agent. You wonder what does this mean, well, you will not have a definite work schedule and you can expect to work in irregular hours. In other words, the agents will have to surrender some control of their lives to the agencies, and the aspiring candidates must be Okay with that.
Persistence is another crucial factor when it comes to becoming an FBI Agent; the aspiring candidate must be willing to dig in more and more in search of information. The agents stationed at the remote stations will have to face more challenging tasks as compared to the agents who are stationed in metropolitan cities. The natures of investigations also vary depending on the stations of FBI Agents.
One thing that aspires many people to join the FBI is the variations is the Job nature of the FBI agents, for example, your one posting might be very peaceful in which you have to go through documents and proofread them. In contrast, the other posting might demand you to deal with hardcore criminals. This diversity like job compels many young students to join the FBI as an agent.
But how do you become one? First of all, you need to be good at your studies so that you can get a college degree from a reputed institution. Once you have acquired academic knowledge, you can apply for any of the announced posts and get selected as an FBI agent but fulfilling all the requirements.
Now we have come to the section for which I’m sure you must have waited, the top 15 best colleges to become an FBI Agent.
In this section, we shall explore the best FBI colleges in us. Getting a degree from these colleges will not only give you immense knowledge, but it will also increase the chances of your employment at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
So without any further due, here is our complete list of the top 15 best colleges to become an FBI Agent
Related: Best Degree Paths For Becoming An Fbi Agent Complete Career Guide
Top 15 Best Colleges To Become An FBI Agent
Each of these institutions has a long history of training successful FBI agents. They offer rigorous coursework and hands-on experience that is sure to prepare students for a career in federal law enforcement. In addition, they have close ties to the FBI itself, which can help students get ahead when it comes time to apply for jobs. If you’re interested in becoming an FBI agent, be sure to check out one of these schools!
Name of the Institution
|1||Arizona State University||Pheonix AZ|
|2||University of Michigan- Dearborn||Dearborn, MI|
|3||California State University||Long Bean, CA|
|4||Indiana University||Bloomington, IN|
|5||University of Georgia||Athens, GA|
|6||Heritage University||Toppenish, WA|
|7||Purdue University||Indianapolis, IN|
|8||Truman State University||Kirksville, MO|
|9||California State University – Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA|
|10||Holy Family University||Philadelphia, PA|
|11||American University||Massachusetts, Washington DC|
|12||CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice||New York City|
|13||George Mason University||Fairfax, VA|
|14||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|15||Michigan State University||Michigan|
Now that we have given you the list of top 15 best colleges to become an FBI Agent, let’s explore the universities one by one and see what makes them the best colleges for FBI agents.
Arizona State University
The university offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice, which will help you learn the subject matter related to an FBI agent’s job. The University criminal justice and criminology program is considered a leading Higher education program in the United States.
The state of the art infrastructure of the university and qualified faculty makes the program more impressive. It is for this reason that the university got was ranked in 5th position across the United States by U.S. News and World Report
University of Michigan- Dearborn
The University of Michigan has a state of the art infrastructure that provides the ultimate learning environment to criminal justice students. The university’s College of Arts, science, and letters has nationally recognized faculty members due to which it is considered good colleges for FBI agents.
California State University
California State University has a School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, which is considered among the best schools for FBI agents. Many of the school graduates have succeeded in securing a good position at various law enforcement agencies. The university has students from diverse backgrounds, which exposes you to different cultural diversities.
Indiana University’s department of criminal justice is based on two fundamental principles, Innovation and relevance. The innovative techniques used to inculcate knowledge into the students have proved to be much efficient for the students’ learning.
The second principle is relevance, which means that the relevant knowledge of criminal justice is being given to the students, making them prepared for the market. It is for this reason that Indiana University is among the top FBI colleges.
University of Georgia
The criminal justice program at the university of Georgia provides interdisciplinary academic course work to the students. The course includes critical theoretical aspects and research techniques, which have proved beneficial for the students.
Not just the theory, the students are also taught about various practical aspects of the criminal justice field. During the degree program, students are appointed on different internships due to which the university is considered among the best FBI universities
The Heritage University is famous for its criminal justice program. The program aims to teach the career-oriented students to develop critical thinking, effective communication, and work ethics in their personalities.
The program doesn’t only teach knowledge but also prepares the students for the job market requirements. Among the college for FBI agents, the students of heritage university have proven themselves in various field jobs of criminal justice.
Among the universities for FBI agents, Purdue University ranks on 7th number. The criminal justice program of the university emphasizes teaching the legal aspects of criminal justice to the students. Having a firm grip on legal matters makes the students more resilient when performing the job’s responsibilities.
Truman State University
Truman State University’s The School of social and cultural studies offers a criminal justice degree. The school is considered among the best FBI schools, and the graduates from the school have acquired a leadership role in various criminal justice organizations.
California State University – Los Angeles
The California State University:Los Angeles holds 9th position in our list. The Faculty members of the university and the state of the campus’s art infrastructure have been compelling many students to graduate from the institution.
Many students have graduated from the university and scored the right positions within the criminal justice system.
Holy Family University
The criminal justice program is one of the popular programs at Holy Family University. It provides students with academic knowledge in criminal justice and practical training in the fieldwork. The university offers two different programs, which include a master’s program and a bachelor’s degree.
The university is ranked among the top universities for becoming an FBI agent because of the knowledge they teach to the students.
The American university is located in Washington, DC, just a few steps away from the power corridors. The American homeland security department is just a few steps away from the university. The prime location compels the students to land at these offices; therefore, they strive to attain any of the positions.
For this reason, many of the university graduates have got employed at different offices in Washington DC.
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
A university is known for its graduates. Many of the John Jay College alumni have suggested the aspiring candidates for becoming an FBI agent to consider the university for their higher studies. When asked why they said the university’s supporting staff and the faculty members are the main reason because they recommend this university.
George Mason University
The students of George Mason University acquire knowledge related to criminology in their bachelor’s degree. When supported by practical experience from the internships, it becomes much productive for carrying the field jobs. It is, for this reason, the degree of George Mason University is much valued.
The northeastern university prepares the students for both professional and research careers so that their knowledge can contribute to the country’s policy-making. The graduates from the university have scored the right positions in various criminal justice organizations.
Michigan State University
Michigan University aims at preparing the students for taking the leadership role so their social problems can be addressed by those who are well equipped with knowledge. The graduates of Michigan state university have acquired many of the leadership roles in different departments.
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What college degrees does the FBI look for? ›
All FBI agents must hold a bachelor's degree at minimum, and many possess a master's degree or higher. FBI agents often earn degrees in fields such as criminal justice or political science, though the Bureau does not maintain any specific academic major requirements for applicants.Can you become an FBI agent right out of college? ›
For the special agent process, we require a college degree, but also a minimum of three years of continuous work experience before being able to apply to the FBI. There are caveats to that. If you obtain an advanced degree, you can lower the number of continuous work experience years from three down to two.What percent of FBI agents are accepted? ›
How Does the FBI Hire Agents? The FBI accepts fewer than 20% of applicants, making jobs within the bureau highly competitive.Is it hard to get a job in the FBI? ›
Becoming an FBI Agent is a tremendously difficult and competitive process. It takes years of time, planning, and hard work to mold yourself into the kind of candidate the FBI is looking to hire. It's not going to happen overnight, and the hiring process itself can take a year or longer.Are all FBI agents lawyers? ›
You do not have to be a lawyer or have a law degree to become an FBI special agent. The bureau does recruit lawyers as special agents and it uses attorneys and other legal professionals in a variety of other roles.How hard is FBI Academy? ›
FBI Agent Training at Quantico
Before beginning field work, FBI agents must pass through New Agent Training at the FBI Academy. This approximately 20-week course is one of the most difficult training programs law enforcement officials will ever go through, and it will test both physical and mental limits.
Depending on their case assignments, FBI agents may work a very strenuous and variable schedule. The FBI says that special agents must "work a minimum of 50 hours a week (which may include irregular hours) and be on call 24/7, including holidays and weekends." They are on call for possible assignment 24 hours a day.How long is the FBI Academy? ›
All special agents begin their career at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, for 20 weeks of intensive training at one of the world's finest law enforcement training facilities. During their time there, trainees live on campus and participate in a variety of training activities.What do FBI agents wear? ›
Do FBI agents have a uniform? They frequently wear suits and ties for the majority of their work. They may be dressed casually while making arrests or conducting surveillance. When performing undercover operations, they dress appropriately for the position they are portraying.Can FBI agents have long hair? ›
Must be clean-shaven throughout training. Hair must be of reasonable length without faddish or exaggerated style or color. Men's hair must not be longer than the bottom of the collar, without adornment such as buns, ponytails or braids.
Are FBI agents allowed to tell family? ›
No. Such information is protected from public disclosure, in accordance with current law and Department of Justice and FBI policy.Does the FBI look at your GPA? ›
Students must have and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) throughout the application process (or, for collegiate hires, through graduation). Honors interns must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the program.Is an FBI job worth it? ›
Pros of being an FBI agent
FBI agents typically earn a decent salary and receive a good benefits package. The average salary for a special agent is $71,665 per year . In addition, special agents receive health insurance, long-term care coverage, group life insurance, retirement savings and investment plans.
The Special Agent Selection System (SASS) is a multi-step process designed to hire individuals who can help to make a difference in this job. The SASS typically takes one year to complete, often longer.What age can you be an FBI agent? ›
You must be at least 23 years old at the time of your appointment. You must also be younger than 37, unless you qualify for an age waiver available to veterans.What should I wear to an FBI interview? ›
Phase I and Phase II Writing Assessment — Wear casual, comfortable clothing that is suitable for an office environment. Phase II Structured Interview — Dress in a professional manner; business attire is recommended.How do FBI agents get hired? ›
You will be contacted to schedule an interview. Specialized career paths may require additional assessments. After passing interviews and applicable assessments, you will receive a conditional offer for FBI employment. You will complete a BI, including a polygraph, to receive an FBI Top Secret Security Clearance.Can FBI agents get married? ›
While the FBI marriage rules do not prohibit FBI agents from marring foreign nationals, it may affect their security clearance eligibility, preventing agents from performing specific responsibilities.Does FBI carry guns? ›
Agents carry Bureau-issued or approved handguns and may be issued additional equipment as needed. Those in specialized areas like the Hostage Rescue Teams may also be issued weapons that fit their duties.How many people pass FBI Academy? ›
Just getting accepted as a new agent is difficult; only 6 percent of applicants are accepted for basic training, which typically lasts about 20 weeks. The tactical training includes scenarios at Hogan's Alley, a mock town at the academy.
Can you fail out of the FBI Academy? ›
Yes, you can. You can fail out of the Academy and you can fail out two ways. Let me say, that's probably the hardest part of our job is dismissing a student, and not because we're dismissing them.Can FBI agents have social media? ›
With additional internal approvals, FBI agents can access not just public-facing social media but also private groups and chat rooms.What do FBI agents do daily? ›
Our agents enforce many different federal laws and perform various roles in the Bureau, so there really is no such thing as a “typical day” for an FBI agent. Agents in our field offices, for example, could be testifying in federal court one day and executing a search warrant and gathering evidence the next.Does the FBI get days off? ›
FBI employees receive annual paid leave, as well as federal holidays off.
FBI agents work all over the country and, in some cases, all over the world. While you'll start in the same place as just about everyone else, in Quantico, Virginia, the FBI frequently ends up sending you where it needs you.Who is new girl on FBI? ›
'FBI': Shantel VanSanten to Recur as New Team Member Nina Chase | TVLine.Do you get paid while training for the FBI? ›
Salary and Compensation: New Special Agents, called New Agent Trainees or NATs, are paid on the GL schedule for Federal Law Enforcement Officers (LEO), beginning as a GL-10, step 1, while in training at Quantico.Can FBI agents have facial hair? ›
Can FBI Agents Have Beards? General FBI grooming and hygiene standards are codified, unless otherwise as specified for a duty or position, post-training, as: Clean shaven through training, clean mustaches permitted afterwards. Jewelry and piercings must be small, simple, and not pose a safety risk.Can FBI agents wear glasses? ›
One of the qualifications FBI agents must have is good vision, although it accepts those who correct poor eyesight with glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery.Do FBI agents carry badges? ›
Special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) carry official badges that identify them as working for the organization.
What is FBI motto? ›
As in the American flag, the red bars exceed the white by one. The motto, “ Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity,” succinctly describes the motivating force behind the men and women of the FBI (see below).Is being an FBI agent fun? ›
FBI agents say the job is often exciting, and working on such significant, challenging issues is very rewarding. One of the most significant downsides of working as an FBI agent is so many additional work hours in sometimes very challenging situations.How many black FBI agents are there? ›
The investigations will inevitably be conducted by a majority White workforce – 74% of FBI employees are White, according to the Office of Personnel Management. And just 4.7% of the roughly 13,500 special agents at the FBI identify as Black or African American, the agency says.Do you have to be a cop before FBI? ›
Yes. You can become an FBI agent if you have no prior law enforcement experience. One path to becoming a federal agent is through a four-year degree in one of the appropriate fields relating to the job being applied for and three years of relevant work experience.What questions does the FBI ask on the polygraph test? ›
- Personal history.
- Negative information from other agencies (such as previously failing a polygraph)
- Employment background.
- Criminal behavior.
- Financial information.
- Illegal drug use.
- Alcohol use.
- Illegal or deviant sexual behavior.
The FBI has over 19,000 employees. About 7,800 of these are Special Agents.Does the FBI drug test? ›
The investigation includes a security interview; polygraph examination; drug test; fingerprint, credit, and records checks; and extensive interviews with former and current colleagues, neighbors, friends, professors, etc.How much vacation do FBI agents get? ›
|13-26 DAYS Annual Leave|
|11 DAYS Federal Holidays||13 DAYS Sick Leave|
|15 DAYS Military Leave*||12 WEEKS Parental Leave†|
Becoming an FBI agent is a tremendously difficult and competitive process. It takes years of time, planning, and hard work to mold yourself into the kind of candidate the FBI is looking to hire, and the hiring process itself can take a year or longer.Do FBI agents travel? ›
For more than seven decades, the FBI has stationed special agents and other personnel overseas to help protect Americans back home by building relationships with principal law enforcement, intelligence, and security services around the globe that help ensure a prompt and continuous exchange of information.
How fast do FBI agents get promoted? ›
Agents start at 10, but promotions are fairly regular to GS-13. You're eligible for non-competitive promotion to 11 after successfully completing the 2-yr probationary period. It's 1 more year to 12, and then 2 years to 13.What happens if you fail FBI polygraph? ›
If you fail the FBI polygraph, you'll be barred for life from FBI employment.Who is higher DEA or FBI? ›
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) scored higher in 6 areas: Culture & Values, Work-life balance, Career Opportunities, CEO Approval, Recommend to a friend and Positive Business Outlook.Does the FBI recruit from colleges? ›
The Collegiate Hiring Initiative is the FBI's full-time, entry-level hiring program. You are eligible to participate in this program if you are a graduating senior or have received an undergraduate, graduate or PhD degree. For the 2021 Collegiate Hiring Initiative, students must graduate by June 2021.What education do you need to become an FBI agent? ›
Hold a bachelor's degree. Have two years of full-time work experience, or one year plus a master's degree. Meet the special agent physical fitness requirements. Have a valid driver's license and at least six months of driving experience.How do you get into FBI? ›
- Begin the application process. ...
- Pass phase one and two testing. ...
- Pass the physical fitness test (PFT). ...
- Receive a conditional appointment offer. ...
- Pass a background check. ...
- Complete the Basic Field Training Course (BFTC) training at the FBI Academy. ...
- Accept an assignment to an FBI field office.
In its "Special Agents" career profile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation website doesn't indicate any height requirements for agents. Agents do have to meet a number of physical and medical requirements, given the physically demanding aspects of the job.Is becoming an FBI agent hard? ›
Becoming an FBI agent is a tremendously difficult and competitive process. It takes years of time, planning, and hard work to mold yourself into the kind of candidate the FBI is looking to hire, and the hiring process itself can take a year or longer.How long is the FBI Academy? ›
All special agents begin their career at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, for 20 weeks of intensive training at one of the world's finest law enforcement training facilities. During their time there, trainees live on campus and participate in a variety of training activities.Are FBI agents allowed to tell family? ›
No. Such information is protected from public disclosure, in accordance with current law and Department of Justice and FBI policy.
How old is the youngest FBI agent? ›
You must be at least 23 years old at the time of your appointment. You must also be younger than 37, unless you qualify for an age waiver available to veterans.How many hours do FBI agents work? ›
Depending on their case assignments, FBI agents may work a very strenuous and variable schedule. The FBI says that special agents must "work a minimum of 50 hours a week (which may include irregular hours) and be on call 24/7, including holidays and weekends." They are on call for possible assignment 24 hours a day.How hard is FBI Academy? ›
FBI training is extremely mentally challenging but still requires a physical need as well. Ultimately, I found it to be in excellent physical and mental shape before taking on either.What do FBI agents wear? ›
Do FBI agents have a uniform? They frequently wear suits and ties for the majority of their work. They may be dressed casually while making arrests or conducting surveillance. When performing undercover operations, they dress appropriately for the position they are portraying.Do FBI agents quit? ›
Similarly, you should understand the true career path of an FBI special agent; many new special agents routinely quit within the first 2-5 years due to an unrealistic expectation of the organization (fostered by years hollywood fiction).Can FBI agents get married? ›
While the FBI marriage rules do not prohibit FBI agents from marring foreign nationals, it may affect their security clearance eligibility, preventing agents from performing specific responsibilities.What age do FBI agents retire? ›
Under Public Law 108-458, the FBI may raise its mandatory retirement age to 65 for up to 50 employees per year. Note: Positions affected by a mandatory retirement requirement typically have a maximum entry age of 37 so that the person can work for 20 years before retirement at 57.Is there a weight limit for FBI? ›
There are no weight limits, but agents have to achieve certain requirements in four different exercises depending on their age and gender. The threshold to pass is not nearly as high as it is for military commandos or hostage rescue-team members.How fast do you have to run a mile in the FBI? ›
|-2 points||15+ minutes||13:30+ minutes|
|0||14:59-14 minutes||13:29-12:25 minutes|
|5||11:56-11:35 minutes||10:34-10:15 minutes|
|10||10:34 minutes or faster||8:59 minutes or faster|