Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy

The Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA), formally the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP) was developed in 1977 to prepare the seasonal ranger to perform law enforcement in areas administered by the National Park Service. The training program is offered at various venues across the country. The core required program consists of 680 class hours and lasts on average 17 weeks. Some programs may offer additional add-on classes to increase your potential for hire with the NPS. All parks also require Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certification, and many require the higher-level Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification for employment.

A successful graduate becomes eligible to receive a Type II law enforcement commission once a background investigation, drug testing and medical screening has been completed. To qualify under Civil Service for the lowest level law enforcement (LE) job (GS-5) within the National Park Service, an individual must have a bachelor of science degree or one year of specialized experience, or a combination of education and experience. Once commissioned as a U.S. Park Ranger, the ranger is authorized to carry firearms, make arrests, investigate crimes, and assist in the execution of warrants as per NPS policy.

The cost of each school's program is set by the administration of that school. Prospective students should personally contact the directors of the schools being considered and inquire as to the availability of housing and meals, as well as the tuition costs and any additional fees for ammunition, targets or other items.

ANPR makes every effort to keep this information up to date but please refer to the individual programs for the most accurate information.

Colorado Northwestern Community College

500 Kennedy Drive (Cramer Building)
Rangely, CO 81648

For further details see:

Interested Students Should Contact:
Kathy Kottenstette

Course Schedule:
August 17, 2021 - December 10, 2021
January 11, 2022 - May 4, 2022

CNCC has been holding NPS LE academies since 1990, has a staff made entirely of previous NPS personnel. Classes are limited to 22 students. This is a FLETC-accredited, 17-week academy that provides the student with 650 hours (30 credit hours) of training. Upon completion of the academy, students will receive a FLETA-accredited NPS/FLETC SLETP certification. This certification will allow you to be eligible for a seasonal Type II position with the National Park Service. This academy is for college credit but students are not required to be part of a degree program.

The academy is located in NW CO, within three hours of Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, Dinosaur, CO National Monument, and countless BLM and FS lands. CNCC routinely has class trips to these areas, and also rents out outdoor recreation equipment to students at no cost. Along with an on-campus climbing gym that provides free gear and lessons, the recreation center (including weight room and pool) in Rangely is available at no cost to students.

The CNCC tuition conveniently includes housing (single occupancy) and meals (19 per week). Additional certificates included with the academy curriculum include TASER, radar, patrol rifle, and NHTSA DUI/SFST/HGN with wet lab. During each academy is an optional 40-hour wildland firefighting class. This course covers National Wildfire Coordinating Group curriculum (S130, S180 and S190). Upon completion you are eligible to obtain a Red Card. Also, during or following the academy is offered an Emergency Medical Responder (40 hours) course and a NASAR FUNSAR/SARTech II (45 hours) course.

The CNCC Academy is now eligible under FAFSA for all students as of May 2017. It is also eligible under the Colorado College Opportunity Fund and the GI Bill.

Northern Arizona University

19 W. McConnell Drive
PO Box 15016
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5016

For further details see:

Interested Students Should Contact:
Michael O'Connor
(928) 523-8242

Course Schedule:
No Fall 2023 session
January 3, 2024 - April 26, 2024
August 5, 2024 - November 22, 2024

Northern Arizona University’s Park Ranger Training Program (PRTP) offers the National Park Service Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA, formerly known as the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program) curriculum plus enhanced education regarding the protection of natural and cultural resources. The program is directed by a career National Park Ranger with approximately 30 years’ experience and a doctorate in educational leadership. The PRTP instructor cadre includes more than 40 instructors with extensive land management and local agency law enforcement experience. NAU had graduated nearly 800 students from the program in its 20 year history.

NAU is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, within a short drive of nine units of the National Park System. This makes available outstanding opportunities to interact with supervisors in these parks to learn more about park operations and land management careers. As a part of coursework in resource protection, guided field trips to four of these units and formal meetings with park leaders are provided.

The class size is small with a maximum of 26 students admitted for each session. The program is approximately 16 weeks, with work full-time during the week and practical exercises scheduled on many weekends. Study is supported with extensive technology-enhanced (on-line) materials.

For those interested in a Bachelor of Science degree, the program constitutes the majority of work required for an emphasis (minor) in Park Protection. NAU also offers a Master of Science in Parks and Recreation Management for those aspiring to hold leadership positions in the NPS or other agencies.

For additional information call the director at 928-523-8242 or visit the program’s web page at

Skagit Valley College

2405 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273-5899

For further details click here

Interested Students Should Contact:
Rick Mossman
(360) 416-7829

Course Schedule:
Fall: August 19, 2023 - December 14, 2023
Spring: January 6, 2024 - May 3, 2024

Skagit Valley Colleges PRLEA program is a rigorous 720 hours National Park Service approved academy held at the city of Mount Vernon, Washington State, campus. The park Ranger law enforcement academy meets the Land Management—Federal Law Enforcement Training Center curriculum and qualifies a cadet for a seasonal ranger commission with the National Park Service. This program also has been the main recruiting academy for Washington State Parks and numerous local city and county parks. As of October 2023, graduates from this academy qualify for one year to work with any law enforcement agency in the State of Washington, only needing to be sent to the State Equivalency Academy (two weeks) by the hiring agency. The college also offers a separate (optional) wildland fire class (qualifying you for a red card) and an (optional) Emergency Medical Responder class. These two classes are compatible with the academy. The college also offers an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class both Spring and Fall semesters, but it is not compatible to take at the same time as the Park Ranger Academy. 

The seasonal law enforcement program is conducted in a full-time academy setting with a typical week consisting of a minimum of40+ hours. The Director is a retired career Chief Park Ranger having been in involved over 49 years with most aspects of rangering and National Park Management. The Mount Vernon campus is located 30 minutes from the beaches and parks of the Pacific coast and 30 minutes form the Cascade mountains and North Cascades National Park.

Protecting Americas treasures-its National Parks and natural areas-motivates our leadership and instructors to train you to the best you can be, and above all, successful on your first day on the job as a law enforcement protection park ranger.

Southwestern Community College

Division of Public Safety Training Center - Law Enforcement Training Program
225 Industrial Park Loop
Franklin, NC 28734

For further details click here 

Prospective Applicants Should Contact:
Mitch Boudrot, LETP Director
(828) 306-7043

Zach Dezarn, NPS-PRLEA Coordinator/Instructor
(828) 306-7055

Founded in 1964, Southwestern Community College (SCC) takes pride in a history characterized by community involvement and collaboration resulting in excellent educational opportunities. SCC"s main campus is 50 miles southwest of Asheville, N.C., 90 miles southeast of Knoxville, Tenn., and 149 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. SCC is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The National Park Service - Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (NPS-PRLEA) is delivered through the Division of Public Safety Training Center's (PSTC) Law Enforcement Training Program (LETP), located in Franklin, N.C. The LETP is responsible for, and committed to, providing the highest level of training capabilities to those who serve, safeguard, and secure our communities within the state of North Carolina, our nations federal level of law enforcement, and essential personnel within the criminal justice system.

"Excellence Through Training"

Guided by integrity, our commitment to excellence, professionalism, the efficient management of resources and cultivation of strategic partnerships, the Law Enforcement Training Program (LETP) provides innovative research, timely consultation, comprehensive program development, exceptional education, realistic training, and continuous support for law enforcement professionals, expressed through our operational philosophy: esse quam videri and consistent with established standards.  The LETP encompasses basic through advanced law enforcement certification training, inclusive of annual in-service training, as established by the State of North Carolina Department of Justice - Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards Commission, the State of North Carolina Department of Justice - Sheriff's Education & Training Standards Commission, and the National Park Service - Law Enforcement Training Center.  

The NPS-PRLEA training sessions are delivered twice a year (January-May and August-December) with a maximum class of 24 recruits per training session and approximately 780 scheduled training hours with optional course add-ons, including Woodland Operations and Wildland Fire. 

Southwestern Community College has been dedicated to the delivery and improvement of the National Park Service – Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (NPS-PRLEA) program for prospective commissioned Law Enforcement Park Rangers, graduating over 2,689 candidates since the program's inception upon the main campus in Sylva, since 1978.

Temple University

Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy
Temple University Ambler Campus
Haines House
580 Meetinghouse Road
Ambler, PA 19002

For further details click here

Interested Students Should Contact:
Dennis Madarang
Interim Director - PRLEA

Course Schedule:
Fall, 2024 (date to be announced in early 2024)
Fall, 2025 (date to be announced in early 2025)

(Applications will be accepted until approx. one month prior to academy start date, or until the class is full, whichever occurs first.)

The University College at Temple University offers the National Park Service Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA) and a certificate in National Park Service Management. Temple offers the PRLEA at its Ambler Campus, which is located in Montgomery County just 30 minutes north of Philadelphia. The PRLEA is more than 700 contact hours of instruction and is academically rigorous. Classes are conducted on a full-time basis, five days per week, eight hours per day, and require approximately 19 weeks to complete. Enrollment is comprised of up to 26 students in each class. All students commute to training each day, although local, off-campus housing options exist. Students are required to successfully complete numerous written examinations and skill performance evaluations in order to graduate. Proper demeanor, grooming, dress, punctuality, and attention to duty are a part of the training regimen. The 187-acre Ambler Campus is host to many law enforcement training resources and facilities including a confined space training simulator, trails and wooded areas including mock campground with a visitor center, a non-lethal training ammunition (NLTA) facility, residential and institutional buildings and spaces for tactical training, and a weight room, gym, and mat room.

The NPS PRLEA curriculum places particular emphasis on visitor and resource protection, federal law and procedure, authority and jurisdiction, natural and cultural resource management, officer safety and survival skills, and physical conditioning of instruction designed to prepare and enable students to obtain employment with the National Park Service as a seasonal Type II law enforcement ranger. In addition, completion of this program may meet the required training standard for other federal, state, and local land management / park service agencies. Upon successful completion of the PRLEA at Temple University, students are awarded a certificate of completion and participate in a graduation and an awards ceremony highlighting distinguished achievement in academics, marksmanship, driving, leadership and physical fitness.

Minnesota North College - Vermilion Campus

1900 East Camp St.
Ely, Minnesota 55731

For further details click here

Interested Students Should Contact:
Admissions questions: Jeff Nelson
(218) 235-2193
Program questions: Bennett Suave
(218) 235-2128

Course Schedule:
August 19, 2024 - December 13, 2024

Offered every fall semester, the 700+ hour Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA) is scheduled over a 17-week period beginning mid-August and running through mid-December. Cadets can expect a comprehensive training, with course components scheduled full-time, five days a week that will include several weekend days. Qualified instructors with a variety of backgrounds and from multiple agencies teach in their areas of expertise to contribute to a strong program with well-prepared graduates.   

This academy is a certificate program offered by Minnesota North College at the Vermilion campus.  Located in Ely, Minn., and adjacent to the Superior National Forest, this campus is literally at the doorstep of over 3 million acres of federal land that includes the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. A variety of outdoor leadership, resource management, and resource protection programs are available, with students earning two-year degrees (AA, AS, AAS), diplomas, and certificates. A park ranger skills program has been offered by Vermilion since 1988, with other law enforcement studies programs available prior to then. Minnesota North College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Vermilion PRLEA is a blended program that also meets the skills requirements of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.  Student housing is available, and many students choose to live at the Outdoor Learning Center (cabins on a Boundary Waters access lake).  This credit-based certificate program is financial aid eligible. Offered once a year, the class size is limited to 30 students.

Additional Resources

NPS: Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program

Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Summary

Physical Efficiency Battery as a Condition of Employment for Law Enforcement Position

DOI-HR Decision on Physical Efficiency Battery

Approved Basic and Field Training Courses for Law Enforcement Commissions

Men's 2019 FLETC Physical Efficiency Battery Percentiles

Women's 2019 FLETC Physical Efficiency Battery Percentiles