School of Human and Protective Services

Protective Services Education Building 100
1701 Pearson Street
Madison WI 53704

CALL: (608) 243-5400

Monday - Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement

Associate Degree in Applied Science

Program number: 105041


Providing the academic and professional training necessary to become a law enforcement officer, the Criminal Justice—Law Enforcement associate degree program at Madison College provides necessary skills in behavioral sciences and written and verbal communication. Police officer efficiency and effectiveness increases with a better understanding of the daily problems of society and knowledge of law enforcement techniques.

Graduates seeking employment will be required to pass a physical exam and meet physical fitness standards; have possession of a valid driver’s license and a good driving record; and have no conviction of a felony offense. Positions require a background investigation, psychological testing and mandatory drug testing. An applicant for employment as a law enforcement officer must possess either 1) a two-year associate degree from a Wisconsin technical college or its accredited equivalent from another state or 2) a minimum of 60 fully accredited college-level credits.

Program Details

Criminal Justice is on a career pathway that includes this associate degree, a technical diploma and a certificate not currently available at Madison College. All will prepare you for a good job and with the associate degree, you can transfer to another college to earn your bachelor’s degree. Learn at your own pace and increase your earning potential with credentials that keep you moving on your career path.

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
  • Reedsburg
  • Portage
  • Fort Atkinson
  • Watertown

This program is not offered online.


To Apply

View the admission requirements for application deadlines, materials, and requirements.

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 the Enrollment Center at or (608) 246-6210.



The courses listed below outline the requirements for completion for students officially admitted in the 2016-2017 academic year. Requirements for completion may vary depending on the semester in which a student is admitted or may be completed by other equivalent courses. Current/continuing students should consult their Academic Requirements report available through their student account for specific requirements and equivalent courses.

First Semester
Second Semester
Third Semester



3 Credits

Fourth Semester



3 Credits


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



Related Programs

Uniform Requirement

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.