Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement 720 Academy

Technical Diploma

Program number: 305042

Credits: 21

Area of Study: Law, Protective and Human Services

Financial Aid Available

Estimated Program Cost:

Tuition - $2,866.50
Materials/Supplemental Costs
Other Costs
Total Estimated Program Costs*:

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.

Submissions for agency-sponsored recruits must be in at least 30 days prior to the start of the academy, and also require a physical readiness (fitness) testing certificate 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.

Explore financial aid eligibility for this program.

All courses for this program are offered only in person.


Spring Fulltime Academy: January 13, 2020 – May 15, 2020 (applications due September 15 – November 1, 2019)

Fall Full Time Academy: August 17, 2020 – December 18, 2020 (applications due May 1 – June 15, 2020)

Early applications are not accepted.

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 certified driver's record
  • Military discharge records (if applicable)

Drop off or mail documents to:

Madison College Law Enforcement Academy
1701 Pearson St, Room 100
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.                                                          


The courses listed below outline the requirements for completion for students officially admitted in the 2019-2020 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.


There are currently no Transfer Partnerships for this program. Review our Transfer Opportunities page for information on all Madison College transfer options.


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.

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

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 12 13 45
    Number of Surveys Sent 12 13 45
    Number of Surveys Returned 6 9 19
    Percent of Surveys Returned 50.00% 69.20% 42.20%
    Available for Employment 6 6 18
    Percent Available for Employment 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
    Not in Labor Market 0 3 1
    Percent Not in Labor Market 0.00% 50.00% 5.60%
    Available for Employment

    2016 2017 2018
    Graduates Employed 6 6 16
    Percent of Graduates Employed 100.00% 100.00% 88.90%
    Employed in Related Occupation 4 5 16
    Percent Employed in Related Occupation 66.70% 83.30% 100.00%
    Employed in Unrelated Occupation 2 1 0
    Percent Employed in Unrelated Occupation 33.30% 16.70% 0.00%
    Employed - No Response 0 0 0
    Percent Employed - No Response 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Seeking Employment 0 0 2
    Percent Seeking Employment 0.00% 0.00% 11.10%
    Reaction To Training at Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Student satisfaction Mean (Out of 4) 3.7 3.7 3.4
    Number of Satisfaction Responses 6 6 18
    Very Satisfied 4 4 7
    Percent Very Satisfied 66.70% 66.70% 38.90%
    Satisfied 2 2 11
    Percent Satisfied 33.30% 33.30% 61.10%
    Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Very Unsatisfied 0 0 0
    Percent Very Unsatisfied 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Primary Reason for Attending Madison College

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Primary Reason Responses 6 9 19
    Preparation for Getting a Job 5 6 10
    Percent Preparation for Getting a Job 83.30% 66.70% 52.60%
    Career Change 1 0 6
    Percent Career Change 16.70% 0.00% 31.60%
    Improvement of Existing Skills 0 0 1
    Percent Improvement of Existing Skills 0.00% 0.00% 5.30%
    Preparation for Further Education 0 3 1
    Percent Preparation for Further Education 0.00% 33.30% 5.30%
    Personal Interest 0 0 1
    Percent Personal Interest 0.00% 0.00% 5.30%
    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 6 6 9
    Before Enrollment 0 2 2
    Percent Before Enrollment 0.00% 33.30% 22.20%
    While Attending the College 1 0 3
    Percent While Attending the College 16.70% 0.00% 33.30%
    After Training at the College 5 4 4
    Percent After Training at the College 83.30% 66.70% 44.40%
    Location of Employment (related and unrelated)

    2016 2017 2018
    Number of Employment Location Responses 6 6 16
    In College District 3 4 14
    Percent In College District 50.00% 66.70% 87.50%
    In Wisconsin, Not in District 2 2 2
    Percent of In Wisconsin 33.30% 33.30% 12.50%
    Outside of Wisconsin 0 0 0
    Percent Outside Wisconsin 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
    Employer Location Unknown 1 0 0
    Percent Location Unknown 16.70% 0.00% 0.00%
    Salary Trend
    Salary Trend 2016 2017 2018
    Full Time Employment (Related Job) Full Time Salary Count 2 3 12
    Average Monthly Wage $4,902 $4,142 $4,464
    Average Hourly Wage $28.50 $24.08 $25.96
    Average Work Hours per Week 43.3 50 40.7
    Part Time Employment (Related Job) Part Time Salary Count 1 1 1
    Average Hourly Wage $24.00 $16.00 $13.00
    Average Work Hours per Week 30 30 20
  • Graduate Employers
    Total Positions Open for academic year: 2018
    Wisconsin TechConnectTM Jobs* Madison Non-Madison
    Number of Full Time Positions Open 13 21
    Number of Part Time Positions Open 41 8
    Total Jobs 54 29
    Graduate Employers for academic year: 2018
    Employer(s) Job Title City** State*** Positions
    Belleville Police Dept Police Officer Belleville
    City of Fitchburg Fire Dept Police Officer Fitchburg
    City of Sun Prairie Police Officer Sun Prairie 2
    Fall River Police Department Law Enforcement Officer Fall River
    Fitchburg Police Dept Police Officer Fitchburg
    Maple Bluff Police Dept Police Officer
    Middleton Police Dept Police Officer Middleton
    Milton Police Department Police Officer Milton
    Poynette Police Deaprtment Police Officer Poynette
    Sauk County Sheriff's Department Deputy Sheriff Baraboo 2
    Shorewood Hills Police Department Police Officer Shore Hills
    UW - Madison Police Dept Police Officer 2

    * - 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