Know that law enforcement is for you? Read on to find out how to apply.
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Student Satisfaction
93% 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
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  • 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 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.

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

    Fall Full Time Academy: August 12, 2024 – December 13, 2024 (application window closed - academy is full)

    Spring Full Time Academy: January 13, 2025 – May 16, 2025 (application window closed - academy is full)

    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 least 40 associate degree level or higher college credits with an accredited college or university
      • Applicants must provide an official college transcript
      • Colleges and universities must be accredited by an accrediting agency or association that is acknowledged by the United States Secretary of Education
    • 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

      Number of Program Graduates442848
      Number of Surveys Sent442848
      Number of Surveys Returned231017
      Percent of Surveys Returned
      Available for Employment22817
      Percent Available for Employment95.70%88.90%100.00%
      Not in Labor Market
      Percent Not in Labor Market4.30%11.10%0.00%
      Available for Employment

      Graduates Employed21817
      Percent of Graduates Employed95.50%100.00%100.00%
      Employed in Related Occupation21817
      Percent Employed in Related Occupation100.00%100.00%100.00%
      Employed in Unrelated Occupation000
      Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Employed - No Response000
      Percent Employed - No Response0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Seeking Employment100
      Percent Seeking Employment4.50%0.00%0.00%
      Reaction To Training at Madison College

      Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4)
      Number of Satisfaction Responses23816
      Very Satisfied (4)14611
      Percent Very Satisfied60.90%75.00%68.80%
      Satisfied (3)924
      Percent Satisfied39.10%25.00%25.00%
      Unsatisfied (2)001
      Percent Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%6.30%
      Very Unsatisfed (1)000
      Percent Very Unsatisfied0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

      Number of Primary Reason Responses23917
      Preparation for Getting a Job1546
      Percent Preparation for Getting a Job65.20%44.40%35.30%
      Career Change423
      Percent Career Change17.40%22.20%17.60%
      Improvement of Existing Skills325
      Percent Improvement of Existing Skills13.00%22.20%29.40%
      Preparation for Further Education110
      Percent Preparation for Further Education4.30%11.10%0.00%
      Personal Interest000
      Percent Personal Interest0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Percent Other0.00%0.00%17.60%
      When Employment was Obtained

      Number of When Employment Obtained Responses20817
      Before Enrollment5510
      Percent Before Enrollment25.00%62.50%58.80%
      While Attending the College734
      Percent While Attending the College35.00%37.50%23.50%
      After Training at the College803
      Percent After Training at the College40.00%0.00%17.60%
      Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

      Number of Employment Location Responses18912
      In College District17812
      Percent In College District94.40%88.90%100.00%
      In Wisconsin, Not in District000
      Percent of In Wisconsin0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Outside of Wisconsin000
      Percent Outside Wisconsin0.00%0.00%0.00%
      Employer Location Unknown110
      Percent Location Unknown5.60%11.10%0.00%
      Salary Trend
      Salary Trend202020212022
      Full Time Employment (Related Job)Full Time Salary Count16715
      Average Monthly Wage$4,346$4,853$4,853
      Average Hourly Wage$25.27$28.21$28.22
      Average Work Hours per Week43.442.744.3
      Part Time Employment (Related Job)Part Time Salary Count01
      Average Hourly Wage$15.00
      Average Work Hours per Week1624
    • Graduate Employers

      Graduate Employers for academic year: 2022
      Employer(s)Job TitleCity*State**Positions
      Capitol PolicePolice Officer3
      City of BeloitLaw Enforcement OfficerBeloit
      City of Sun PrairiePolice OfficerSun Prairie
      Columbus Police DeptPolice OfficerColumbus
      Dane County Sheriffs OfficeDeputy Sheriff
      Jefferson County Sheriff's DeptDeputy SheriffJefferson
      Oregon Police DeptPolice OfficerOregon
      Sauk County Sheriff's DeptSheriff'S DeputyBaraboo
      Sun Prairie Police DepartmentPolice OfficerSun Prairie
      UW - Madison Police DeptPolice Officer
      Watertown Police DepartmentPolice OfficerWatertown
      Waukesha County SheriffDeputy SheriffWaukesha
      Waupun Police DeptOfficerWaupun

      * - 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