Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

Associate Degree in Applied Science

Program number: 105041


The Criminal Justice associate degree program provides the academic and professional training necessary to prepare for a career in law enforcement, probation and parole, corrections, warden, and juvenile justice related careers. The 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 may be offered at these Madison College campuses:

  • Madison - Truax
  • Madison - South
  • Reedsburg
  • Portage
  • Fort Atkinson

Some of the courses for this program may be available online.

Criminal Justice Program at Madison College


To Apply

After Acceptance

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


Contact Enrollment Services at or (608) 246-6210.


Prospective program students, the information below reflects the basic requirements for students admitted for the 2017-2018 academic year. To learn more about Madison College, visit us.

Current program students (including newly admitted), go directly to your Degree Progress Report (also referred to as an Advising Report or Academic Requirements) to view:

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

If you have questions after reviewing your report, please see Advising Services.


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."



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

Find open jobs in this industry on Wisconsin TechConnecttm

Wisconsin TechConnect Connecting Skills with Jobs
  • Graduate Summary
    Graduate Report Summary Overview

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Program Graduates 71 35 51
    Number of Surveys Sent 71 34 49
    Number of Surveys Returned 48 16 20
    Percent of Surveys Returned 67.60% 47.10% 40.80%
    Available for Employment 44 14 18
    Percent Available for Employment 91.70% 87.50% 90.00%
    Not in Labor Market 4 2 2
    Percent Not in Labor Market 8.30% 12.50% 10.00%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 40 10 17
    Percent of Graduates Employed 90.90% 71.40% 94.40%
    Employed in Related Occupation 21 7 7
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 52.50% 70.00% 41.20%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 19 3 10
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 47.50% 30.00% 58.80%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 4 4 1
    Percent Seeking Employment 9.10% 28.60% 5.60%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.4 3.6 3.5
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 48 16 19
    Very Satisfied 21 10 11
    Percent Very Satisfied 43.80% 62.50% 57.90%
    Satisfied 26 6 7
    Percent Satisfied 54.20% 37.50% 36.80%
    Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 1 0 1
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 2.10% 0.00% 5.30%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 48 16 19
    Preparation for Getting a Job 27 7 12
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 56.30% 43.80% 63.20%
    Career Change 6 6 4
    Percent Career Change 12.50% 37.50% 21.10%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 2 2 0
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 4.20% 12.50% 0.00%
    Preparation for Further Education 10 1 3
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 20.80% 6.30% 15.80%
    Personal Interest 3 0 0
    Percent Personal Interest 6.30% 0.00% 0.00%
    Other 0 0 0
    Percent Other 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    When Employment was Obtained

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of When Employment Obtained Responses 40 10 14
    Before Enrollment 12 3 2
    Percent Before Enrollment 30.00% 30.00% 14.30%
    While Attending the College 9 2 5
    Percent While Attending the College 22.50% 20.00% 35.70%
    After Training at the College 19 5 7
    Percent After Training at the College 47.50% 50.00% 50.00%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 40 10 18
    In College District 29 7 12
    Percent In College District 72.50% 70.00% 66.70%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 5 2 4
    Percent of In Wisconsin 12.50% 20.00% 22.20%
    Outside of Wisconsin 1 1 0
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 2.50% 10.00% 0.00%
    Employer Location Unknown 5 0 2
    Percent Location Unknown 12.50% 0.00% 11.10%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 15 5 6
    Average Monthly Wage $3,276 $4,362 $3,864
    Average Hourly Wage $19.05 $25.36 $22.47
    Average Work Hours per Week 40.9 43 47.1
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 2 1
    Average Hourly Wage $11.20 $15.00
    Average Work Hours per Week 28 16
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 3 2
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 0 1
    Total Jobs 3 3
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Columbia County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sheriff Portage
    Iowa County Sheriff's Dept Correctional Officer Dodgeville
    Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept Deputy Sheriff Jefferson
    Rock County Sheriff's Dept Correctional Officer Janesville
    UW - Madison Police Dept Security Officer
    Waunakee Police Dept Police Officer Waunakee

    * - Wisconsin TechConnectTM jobs are posted through a statewide consortium operated and funded by all 16 of the technical colleges in Wisconsin.

    ** - 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


Related Programs

Uniform Requirement - Spring 2019

The following uniform requirement is for all students enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program and attending criminal justice classes in Madison.

  1. The required uniform is a navy blue polo shirt with program logo or Criminal Justice Association-issued polo, uniform or dress pants, black belt and a closed toe black work shoe/boot. This uniform will be worn for all criminal justice class sessions. All uniforms will be worn correctly - no alterations are acceptable. 
  2. Students may choose to wear a black or dark blue long sleeve t-shirt or turtle neck under their uniform shirts when appropriate due to weather conditions. All shirts worn must be tucked in at all times.
  3. Denim jeans are not permitted.

Fall 2019 the Criminal Justice Program will not have a uniform requirement.