Your goal is to help people. This two-year degree is a great start for your career path.
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Recent Graduates
There are 28 recent graduates of this Madison College program.
Annual Salary
Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $50,256.
Student Satisfaction
95% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.

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Criminal Justice Studies
Program Number: 105045
Your Degree:
Associate Degree
Area of Study:
Law, Protective and Human Services
Delivery Method:
100% In Person
Some Online/Some In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
60 Credits | Finish degree in 2 years
financial aid icon Financial Aid Available
transfer icon Program Transfers
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Estimated Program Cost


Financial Aid

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  • Program Overview

    Prepare for a career in law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, warden and juvenile justice-related careers.

    The Criminal Justice associate degree program includes courses that:

    • Explore current topics like human trafficking, mass, spree and serial killers, and contemporary controversies around the administration of the death penalty.
    • Examine the evolution of forensic science and community policing
    • Study juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice.
    • Explain the legal foundation of interviewing and interrogation.

    Positions in the Criminal Justice fields often require a background investigation, psychological testing and drug testing. An applicant for employment as a law enforcement officer or to enter the Law Enforcement Academy must possess either a two-year associate degree from a Wisconsin technical college or its accredited equivalent from another state or a minimum of 60 fully accredited college-level credits.

    Program Details

    Students in the Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Program can attend full- or part-time.

    Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement classes are offered at the Madison College Truax campus, Protective Services Building.

    Careers in Criminal Justice

    Associate degree graduates are ready for a range of professional positions in the field of law enforcement including:

    • Law Enforcement Officers in city, county, state and federal law enforcement departments
    • Private Security Officers
    • Investigators
    • Correctional Officers
    • Juvenile Detention Workers

    With additional education and/or work experience, graduates may find employment as:

    • Detectives
    • Sergeants
    • Lieutenants
    • Captains
    • Chiefs
    • Probation and Parole Officers

    Criminal Justice Jobs

    Meet the Faculty
    Criminal Justice Program at Madison College
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    Watch the video to meet the faculty of the Madison College criminal justice program.

  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2024-2025 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

    Current and newly admitted program students, go directly to your Degree Progress Report to view:

    • Progress toward your specific requirements
    • Alternative (in lieu of) courses to meet specific requirements

    If you have questions after reviewing your degree progress report (advisement report), please see Advising Services.

    First Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Second Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Third Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Fourth Semester
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    Recommended Electives
    Electives must be 10- or 20- level courses. It is recommended to complete this in third semester.
    3 credits
    3 credits
    3 credits
    2 credits
    1 credit
  • Admission

    To Apply

    Earning a degree is a great way to advance your career development opportunities, so apply today!

    International students who wish to apply for, maintain, or transfer their F-1 student visa status to Madison College are required to complete the International Admission Process.

    Note: It is recommended to only apply for a semester that has already started if you are currently enrolled in classes or you have verified that classes are still available for that semester.

    Application Dates

    Fall 2024

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is November 15, 2024

    Spring 2025

    • Application open
    • Application completion deadline is April 15, 2025

    Admission Requirements

    All materials must be submitted by the application deadline.

    1. Admission Application

    The online application allows you to save your work as you complete it and ensures fast, secure delivery to our office.

    2. Education Completion

    Official transcripts must be sent from the institutions you attended and indicate one of the following:

    • High school (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript)
    • GED/HSED transcript
    • College transcript(s) showing:
      • Completion of an associate degree or higher, or
      • At least 30 credits completed with a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4-point scale
        • The credits must be completed at a single college and cannot be combined with other transcripts
        • Any transfer credit listed on a transcript does not count toward the 30-credit minimum

    All high school and/or college transcripts are recommended to be submitted for Credit for Prior Learning evaluation.

    Additional Notes

    • Class capacity is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.
    • Course prerequisites differ from admission requirements; admission into a program does not guarantee eligibility to enroll in courses or success in the program. Refer to program curriculum for details.

    After Acceptance

    Once you are admitted into your program, review the Start of Semester Checklist to prepare for your first day of classes at Madison College.


    Contact the Enrollment Center at or 608.246.6210.

    apply for admission

    Get Started!

    Apply to Madison College and take the first step towards your Criminal Justice Studies career.

    It's Free to Apply

  • Transfer Opportunities

    UW System Schools

    Students who complete the A.A.S. degree are guaranteed admission to UW-Platteville to the B.A. or B.S. in Criminal Justice major given that all admission requirements are met (minimum 2.0 transfer GPA, in good standing at previous institution)

    Wisconsin Private Schools

    Students who receive an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Madison College will be guaranteed admission to Edgewood College within 5 years of completing the AAS Degree. Students will major in Criminal Justice.
    Completion of an A.A.S. Degree at Madison College after 2015, and meeting admission requirements for the Rader School of Business (RSOB) at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) can earn a B.B.A degree in Technical Sales at MSOE.
  • Career Outcomes

    After completing the Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement program at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to demonstrate:

    Communication Skills
    Communicate clearly and effectively both verbally and through written documentation with clients, coworkers, other agencies and supervisors, by demonstrating listening skills, effective report writing, appropriate interview techniques, testifying in court and displaying sensitivity to diverse cultures and individuals.

    Community Skills
    Demonstrate community resource skills including, but not limited to, conflict resolution, media relations, media communications, safety instruction; and referrals to, assistance and/or collaboration with other public agencies.

    Interpersonal Skills
    Demonstrate desirable professional abilities including self-motivation, self-awareness, cooperative work and group facilitation skills.

    Analytical Skills
    Apply critical thinking skills for appropriate law enforcement decision-making.

    Legal Studies and Skills
    Use legal knowledge to enforce, interpret, and apply laws.

    Technical Skills
    Demonstrate appropriate technical skills in communication, observation, investigation, evaluation, and basic safety assistance in law enforcement situations.

    Tactical Skills
    Aware of appropriate procedures for crisis management and dispute resolution.

    Professional Standards
    Exhibit appropriate professional standards through the demonstration of personal ethics, leadership, stress management, professional growth through continuing education, and adherence to "chain of command."

    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      Number of Program Graduates354428
      Number of Surveys Sent354428
      Number of Surveys Returned213121
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment192517
      Percent Available for Employment90.5%80.6%81.0%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market9.5%19.4%19.0%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed172517
      Percent of Graduates Employed89.5%100.0%100.0%
      Employed in Related Occupation11149
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation64.7%56.0%52.9%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation6118
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation35.3%44.0%47.1%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.0%0.0%0.0%
      Seeking Employment200
      Percent Seeking Employment10.5%0.0%0.0%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)
      Number of Satisfaction Responses213120
      Very Satisfied (4)81214
      Percent Very Satisfied38.1%38.7%70.0%
      Satisfied (3)13185
      Percent Satisfied61.9%58.1%25.0%
      Unsatisfied (2)011
      Percent Unsatisfied0.0%3.2%5.0%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)000
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.0%0.0%0.0%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses213121
      Preparation for Getting a Job
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job
      Career Change
      Percent Career Change
      Improvement of Existing Skills
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills
      Preparation for Further Education
      Percent Preparation for Further Education
      Personal Interest
      Percent Personal Interest
      Percent Other0.0%0.0%0.0%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses172517
      Before Enrollment386
      Percent Before Enrollment17.6%32.0%35.3%
      While Attending the College462
      Percent While Attending the College23.5%24.0%11.8%
      After Training at the College10119
      Percent After Training at the College58.8%44.0%52.9%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses172517
      In College District131912
      Percent In College District76.5%76.0%70.6%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District452
      Percent of In Wisconsin23.5%20.0%11.8%
      Outside of Wisconsin011
      Percent Outside Wisconsin0.0%4.0%5.9%
      Employer Location Unknown002
      Percent Location Unknown0.0%0.0%11.8%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202120222023
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count7148
      Average Monthly Wage$4,199$3,817$4,188
      Average Hourly Wage$24.41$22.19$24.35
      Average Work Hours per Week41.839.650.2
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count1
      Average Hourly Wage$15.00
      Average Work Hours per Week16.0
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2023
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      City of Janesville Police DeptPolice OfficerJanesville
      City of Madison Police DeptPolice Officer
      Columbia County Sheriff's OfficeJailerPortage
      Columbia County Sheriff's OfficeDeputy Medical ExaminerPortage
      Madison Area Technical CollegePublic Safety Officer
      Marshall Fire DepartmentLieutenantMarshall
      Reedsburg Police DeptPatrol OfficerReedsburg
      Sauk CountyHuman ServicesBaraboo
      University Of Wisconsin Police DepartmentSecurity Officer

      * - Only cities outside of Madison will display.

      ** - Only states outside of Wisconsin will display.

      *** - If you have a position to post, please contact Career and Employment Services at

Ready to get started?
Your first step is to apply to Madison College. It's easy and free to apply, so get started today!
Contact the School of Human and Protective Services

Madison Truax Campus
Protective Services Building, 100

1701 Pearson Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53704


  • Monday – Thursday 8 am - 5 pm
  • Friday: 8 am - 4:30 pm