USMS Qualifications & Education Requirements

Education & Experience

In order to become a Deputy U.S. Marshal, all applicants must possess the superior educational credentials and law enforcement experience. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree with Superior Academic Achievement which is defined as:

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher for all undergraduate courses, or for the final two years of undergraduate study; or
  • A GPA of 3.5 in all the courses in the major field of study, or for those major courses in the final two years of college; or
  • Rank in the top one third of the class; or
  • Membership in a national honor society

The Superior Academic Achievement requirement may be replaced by at least one year of graduate study in a law enforcement related field like criminal justice, law or sociology.

In addition to the educational requirement, all applicants must possess at least three years of experience performing the following duties:

  • At least one year of experience performing duties at the GL-05 pay grade
  • Managing associates, subordinates, prisoners and the public
  • Managing and executing investigations and arrests
  • Conducting searches and seizures
  • Writing reports for civil and criminal legal matters
  • Executing warrants on wanted persons

These requirements are only the minimum, and many of the most qualified candidates will possess education and experience which far exceeds this.


Entry into the U.S. Marshal Service is a highly competitive process. In order to limit the number of candidates, the USMS has instituted a rigid set of rules which disqualify many without impeccable personal and professional qualifications. If you have any of the following in your personal history, you will likely be disqualified from consideration:

  • Not a U.S. Citizen
  • Not between the ages of 21 and 37 (some veterans may be exempt from maximum age limit)
  • Lack a bachelor’s degree
  • Lack a valid driver’s license
  • Failure to pass the written exam
  • Failure to pass the structured interview
  • Failure to pass a medical evaluation and drug test
  • Use or experimentation with illicit drugs
  • Failure to pass a background investigation
  • Conviction of a domestic violence charge
  • Less than excellent physical condition
  • Failure to complete the basic training program

In addition to a comprehensive background investigation, the USMS may also investigate your financial, employment, academic and social history to determine if you meet the agency’s high standards for a Deputy U.S. Marshal.


USMS Deputy Marshal Description USMS Selection & Training