Know that law enforcement is for you? Read on to find out how to apply.
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Student Satisfaction
100% of our recent graduates report they are satisfied with their Madison College education.
100% of our recent graduates got a job in the industry.
Annual Salary
Our recent graduates of this program reported an average starting salary of $58,236.
Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement 720 Academy
Program Number: 305042
Your Degree:
Technical Diploma
Area of Study:
Law, Protective and Human Services
Delivery Method:
100% In Person
Estimated Time to Complete:
21 Credits | Finish diploma in 1 year
financial aid icon Financial Aid Available
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What You'll Pay
Use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your tuition costs.
Estimated Tuition


$3,012.45 Tuition
$538.02 Materials/Supplemental Costs
$1,500.00 Other Costs
  • Program Overview

    The Law Enforcement Academy at Madison College prepares you for entry-level positions as a law enforcement officer at the municipal and county level. The Law Enforcement Academy program is limited to sworn law enforcement officers who have been assigned by their department and pre-service students who meet all of the requirements.

    The total tuition for the 720-hour (18-week) academy is $5,000. This includes tuition, books, and academy uniform shirts. You are not allowed to work another job (including sworn officers working at your agency) on days the academy is in session. The Law Enforcement Academy is financial aid eligible. Madison Area Technical College holds two academy classes per year. One during the Fall semester and one during the Spring semester.

    Reservations for agency-sponsored recruits must be received by November 1st for the spring academy. A physical readiness (fitness) testing certificate is also required for entry. As a pre-service applicant, you should follow the deadlines listed on the Admissions tab. For sworn recruit enrollment information, contact Kris Rauls at 608.245.5888 or

    Program Details

    Students in the Academy must attend full-time.

    Classes are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Some topics require evening attendance. The Department of Justice requires you attend 100 percent of the training unless excused by the academy director. Excused absences are extremely limited and will only be granted under certain circumstances.

    The Law Enforcement Academy is offered in the Protective Services Building at the Truax campus and requires travel to off-site locations.


    Prospective employers throughout Wisconsin consider Madison College Law Enforcement graduates top candidates. Program graduates are ready for a range of professional positions in the field including:

    • Revenue Agent
    • Deputy Sheriff
    • Police Officer
    • Special Agent
    • Park Ranger
    • Conservation Warden

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

    • Detective
    • Sergeant
    • Lieutenant
    • Captain
    • Chief



  • Curriculum and Experience

    Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2022-2023 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.

    1 credit
    3 credits
    1 credit
    1 credit
    2 credits
    2 credits
    1 credit
    1 credit
    5 credits
    2 credits
  • Admission

    Spring Fulltime Academy: January 9, 2023 – May 12, 2023 (applications accepted September 15 – November 1, 2022)

    Fall Full Time Academy: August 14, 2023 – December 15, 2023 (applications accepted May 1 – June 15, 2023)

    Early applications are not accepted. Due to the increased demand for staffing by agencies in our district, seats for pre-service applicants are limited.

    Madison College offers basic law enforcement academy training to those persons not yet hired as a law enforcement officer, but who wish to fund and enroll in the training themselves. The process for civilian entry into the academy is not automatic, and requires a complete assessment to include a background investigation, interview panel, skills assessment and a physical readiness test. Madison College only accepts those persons who demonstrate the ability, responsibility and maturity needed to successfully complete our training academy and gain employment as a law enforcement officer. Recruits who enter our academy prior to being hired by a police agency are termed "pre-service." We proudly have a placement rate of over 90 percent within six months of graduation from our police academy for pre-service recruits. You can apply to the Madison College Law Enforcement Academy as a pre-service student if you meet the following qualifications:

    • At least age 18 years old
    • A U.S. citizen
    • Completed 60 associate degree level college credits at an accredited college or university
    • Have no felony charges, domestic abuse injunctions or mental commitment history
    • Have a valid driver's license with minimum infractions over the past seven years

    To apply as a pre-service candidate to the academy, please read and follow the entire process below.

    Part One: Documentation & Fitness Testing

    Download and complete:


    • Official copies of your college transcripts
    • Official proof of high school graduation or equivalency
    • Your driver's record (available online)
    • Military discharge records (if applicable)

    Drop off or mail documents to:

    Madison College Law Enforcement Academy
    1701 Pearson St.
    Madison, WI 53704


    Physical Readiness Test You may schedule your test date while your application is in review.

    Late or incomplete applications are not considered for entry into the academy.

    Part Two: Interview

    If your application passes review, you will be notified of your interview, it is within 75 days of the start of the Law Enforcement Academy.

    Part Three: Conditional Acceptance

    Based on the results of your interview and fitness test, you may receive a conditional acceptance letter into the academy as a pre-service recruit and directions for fingerprinting and a criminal background check.

    Part Four: Final Acceptance

    If you pass the Department of Justice background check, you will receive the academy training schedule, uniform requirements, policies, and orientation information.                                                          

  • Career Outcomes

    After completing the Law Enforcement Academy at Madison Area Technical College, you will be able to:

    • Make Decisions: Students must make sound decisions which are legal, ethical, do not compromise safety, do not compromise investigations, resolve situations at least temporarily and promote long-term problem solving.
    • Use Tactics: Students must use sound tactics by using effective tactical evaluation, deploying resources appropriately, maximizing the use of cover and concealment, using appropriate positioning and movement.
    • Manage Emergencies: Students must manage emergencies effectively by taking charge, determining priorities, stabilizing scenes, preserving life and evidence, identifying additional resources needed and returning scenes to normal.
    • Conduct Investigations: Students must conduct effective investigations by assessing and stabilizing scenes, identifying and locating victims and witnesses, conducting effective interviews and interrogations, identifying, collecting, and preserving physical evidence, documenting physical and testimonial evidence.
    • Articulate and Document Actions: Students articulate and document actions effectively by preparing and using field notes, preparing written reports and associated paperwork, explaining the rationale behind actions taken, and testifying regarding observations and actions.
    • Interact with Others: Students will communicate and interact with others effectively by showing respect, exhibiting a professional attitude and demeanor, adapting to situations, and displaying sensitivity for diverse cultures and individuals.
    • Graduate Summary

      Graduate Report Summary Overview

      2019 2020 2021
      Number of Program Graduates 43 44 28
      Number of Surveys Sent 43 44 28
      Number of Surveys Returned 15 23 10
      Percent of Surveys Returned 34.90% 52.30% 35.70%
      Available for Employment 14 22 8
      Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 95.70% 88.90%
      Not in Labor Market 1 1 1
      Percent Not in Labor Market 7.10% 4.30% 11.10%
      Available for Employment

      2019 2020 2021
      Graduates Employed 14 21 8
      Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 95.50% 100.00%
      Employed in Related Occupation 13 21 8
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation 92.90% 100.00% 100.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation 1 0 0
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 7.10% 0.00% 0.00%
      Employed - No Response 0 0 0
      Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
      Seeking Employment 0 1 0
      Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 4.50% 0.00%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      2019 2020 2021
      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.6 3.6 3.8
      Number of Satisfaction Responses 14 23 8
      Very Satisfied (4) 9 14 6
      Percent Very Satisfied 64.30% 60.90% 75.00%
      Satisfied (3) 5 9 2
      Percent Satisfied 35.70% 39.10% 25.00%
      Unsatisfied (2) 0 0 0
      Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
      Very Unsatisfed (1) 0 0 0
      Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      2019 2020 2021
      Number of Primary Reason Responses 15 23 9
      Preparation for Getting a Job 9 15 4
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 60.00% 65.20% 44.40%
      Career Change 3 4 2
      Percent Career Change 20.00% 17.40% 22.20%
      Improvement of Existing Skills 2 3 2
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 13.30% 13.00% 22.20%
      Preparation for Further Education 1 1 1
      Percent Preparation for Further Education 6.70% 4.30% 11.10%
      Personal Interest 0 0 0
      Percent Personal Interest 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
      Other 0 0 0
      Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
      When Employment was Obtained

      2019 2020 2021
      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 14 20 8
      Before Enrollment 5 5 5
      Percent Before Enrollment 35.70% 25.00% 62.50%
      While Attending the College 0 7 3
      Percent While Attending the College 0.00% 35.00% 37.50%
      After Training at the College 9 8 0
      Percent After Training at the College 64.30% 40.00% 0.00%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      2019 2020 2021
      Number of Employment Location Responses 14 21 9
      In College District 9 17 8
      Percent In College District 64.30% 81.00% 88.90%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District 3 3 0
      Percent of In Wisconsin 21.40% 14.30% 0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin 2 0 0
      Percent Outside Wisconsin 14.30% 0.00% 0.00%
      Employer Location Unknown 0 1 1
      Percent Location Unknown 0.00% 4.80% 11.10%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend 2019 2020 2021
      Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 9 16 7
      Average Monthly Wage $4,296 $4,346 $4,853
      Average Hourly Wage $24.98 $25.27 $28.21
      Average Work Hours per Week 40.8 43.4 42.7
      Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 3 0 1
      Average Hourly Wage $21.06 $15.00
      Average Work Hours per Week 24 16 24
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2021
      Employer(s) Job Title City* State** Positions
      Arena Police Department Police Officer Arena
      City Of Watertown Police Dept Police Officer Watertown
      Dane County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sheriff 3
      DeForest Police Dept Police Officer DeForest
      Jefferson Police Department Police Officer Jefferson
      Lodi Police Dept Law Enforcement Lodi

      * - 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

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