FBI Qualifications & Education Requirements

The education and experience needed to meet the needs of the FBI varies with the department of the FBI you intend to apply within. Within the FBI you may apply to five separate departments, each department has separate skills and experience needed. Applicants should view these needs as minimums, the FBI reviews thousands of applicants yearly and only advances those with competitive packages.

The following items are required by every department within the FBI:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • That you are between the ages of 23 and 37
  • A successful background check
  • Top secret security clearance
  • No disqualifications
  • A medical examination
  • A passing physical fitness exam


To qualify under the Accounting Entry Program the applicant must have: A CPA certification; or hold a four-year degree with a major in Accounting. In addition applicants need three years of progressively responsible accounting work in an accounting firm or comparable public setting, such as state comptroller or the General Accounting Office.

For priority in accounting you must have:

  • Two years of professional financial work experience in:
    • Auditor
    • Financial Analyst
    • Business Owner
    • Fraud Investigator
    • White Collar Crime Law Enforcement
  • And, hold one of the following credentials:
    • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
    • Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
    • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

Computer Science/ Information Technology

To qualify under the Computer Science and Information Technology Entry Program candidates must one of the following:

  • Computer or information technology related degree
  • Electrical Engineering degree
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification
  • Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) certification

For priority under the computer science department you must have one of the following:

  • Degree in Engineering
  • Degree in Architecture


To qualify under the Language Program, you must have a bachelor’s degree in any discipline and fluent in one of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (all dialects)
  • Farsi
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Pashtu
  • Punjabi
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

Also, you must pass both the listening and reading sections of the ‘Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT)’ and reach a score of three or higher on the ‘Speaking Proficiency Test (SPT)’ in a critical foreign language.


When qualifying under the Law Entry Program, candidates must have a JD degree from an accredited law school. All applicants meeting this requirement are considered competitive and meet the critical skills requirement.


To qualify under the Diversified Program, you must have a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, and three years of full-time work experience; or an advanced degree and two years of full-time work experience.

Addition Critical Criteria

As well as the necessary skills listed above, you may also qualify for priority within the above five departments by showing the following skills:

Intelligence Experience – two years of full-time work in an intelligence area or a degree in International Studies, International Finance, or closely related field

Law Experience — law degree from an accredited university

Law Enforcement or other Investigation experience — Two years of full-time investigative experience

Military Experience — two years substantial full-time work experience within the military

Physical Science Expertise – degree in a scientific field including: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Forensics, Mathematics, Medical Specialist, Nursing, and Physics.


FBI Criminal Investigator Description FBI Selection & Training