The letters IQ are standing on top of a blue background, filling the bottom right portion of what is sean. In the top left corner is the Disqualification Appeals logo. This helps illustrate that the blog relates to answering the question, “Is there an IQ cap for police?”

Is There an IQ Cap for Police Officers?

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Have you ever wondered, “Is there an IQ test to be a cop?” If you did, you might also have wondered, “Is there an IQ cap for police officers?” The hiring process for police officers does not typically include an IQ test, per se. However, it does involve several cognitive assessments that function similarly to an IQ test. These exams measure cognitive abilities, including verbal and mathematical reasoning, memory, and information processing speed.

These tests aim to ensure that all candidates possess the mental understanding to perform the duties required of a police officer. The force wants to ensure you can make quick decisions, effectively communicate, and solve problems under stress. What the force doesn’t want to do is exclude you if your intelligence level is higher than most other candidates.

Are you looking at becoming a police officer with the NYPD? Are you also wondering how a person’s IQ impacts their ability to be an officer with the New York Police Department, you’ve come to the right place. Continue reading to learn more about police officers and IQ from Disqualification Appeals.

What Is Considered a High IQ?

A high IQ is typically considered a score over 130. According to standard IQ testing norms, this number represents the top 2% of the population. This level of intelligence is often referred to as gifted. Those with this level IQ or above frequently have high analytical ability, quick learning capacity, and sophisticated problem-solving skills.

Generally speaking, people with a high IQ can process information more efficiently and effectively. These traits are beneficial in any intellectually demanding field, including law enforcement.

What Is the Maximum IQ Limit?

There is no maximum IQ limit for entering law enforcement or any other profession. Concerns that individuals with very high IQs may become bored or not follow instructions are not generally supported with evidence in the context of policing. This is why law enforcement agencies focus on assessing each candidate’s abilities, personality, and overall suitability for the role. This is done instead of imposing limits based on cognitive intelligence scores.

What Is the Average IQ in America?

The average IQ in the United States is 100, with a standard deviation of about 15. This average is based on a standardized bell curve used in the scoring system of IQ tests, ensuring that most people score within a middle range, with fewer individuals displaying extraordinarily high or low scores. The distribution is intended to provide a benchmark for measuring cognitive abilities relative to the general population, with scores adjusted periodically to maintain this average as the population evolves and testing methods improve.

Do Cops Have an IQ Limit?

If you are wondering, “Do cops have an IQ limit?” you’ll be glad to know that law enforcement has no established IQ cap or specific IQ requirement for police officers. Police departments typically seek candidates who demonstrate abilities crucial for effective law enforcement rather than focusing solely on cognitive intelligence as measured by an IQ test.

The recruitment process includes assessments designed to evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking, problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, and ability to handle complex situations vital for daily policing tasks. While high cognitive ability is an asset, departments also value practical skills, emotional stability, and strong moral character.

After reading that there is no IQ limit, you might be surprised to find that in 1996, a court case was filed by Robert Jordan in the New York 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Jordan claimed that when he applied for a position with New London Police, he was not granted an interview. He believed that he was denied an interview due to being labeled as having a high IQ. The appeal resulted in the court finding that Mr. Jordan was not discriminated against. This was because every applicant for employment was considered with the same standards.1 

Can You Become a Cop With a High IQ?

Individuals with a high IQ are encouraged to become police officers. The individuals bring critical analytical skills and advanced problem-solving abilities to the force. A higher IQ can be advantageous in many aspects of police work, such as strategic planning, crime scene analysis, and managing complex investigations. However, it’s essential for candidates to also demonstrate strong interpersonal and communication skills, as well as the physical and emotional resilience needed in law enforcement.

Contacting Disqualification Appeals Is the Smart Decision

Did you apply for the NYPD and receive a disqualification notice? Disqualification Appeals is here to help. Whether you received a character disqualification, NYPD psychological disqualification, or a medical disqualification, you shouldn’t let a disqualification notification keep you from achieving your dream.

Contact us today and schedule a consultation. We can help you with your NYPD recruitment process. We will also provide the guidance you need to prepare effectively for your future in law enforcement.

If you prefer, you can call us at 631-234-4434. We’ll provide you with personalized support tailored to your unique situation. Let us help you realize your desire to become an NYPD officer.



1 – ABC News – Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops