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. - 5 p.m. 
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement 720 Academy

Less Than One Year Technical Diploma

Program number: 305042


The Law Enforcement Academy at Madison College prepares candidates for entry-level positions as law enforcement officers at the municipal, county and state level. This program is limited to sworn law enforcement officers assigned by their department with the approval of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Exceptions to this are granted on a space available basis to candidates who complete the process identified below.

Admission is restricted to those who qualify under the Administrative Code of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board. Graduates seeking employment will be required to pass a physical exam and meet the 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 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.

The total tuition for the 720-hour (18 week) academy is $5,000. Students are not permitted to hold full-time employment during academy training, or work part-time employment on days in which the academy is in session. The academy is not financial aid eligible.

Madison College offers the 720 hour Academy to agencies across Wisconsin, as well as pre-service candidates in a full-time or evening format. 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. For sworn recruit enrollment information, contact Kris Rauls at (608) 245-5888 or krauls@madisoncollege.eduLate or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Program Details

Students in the Academy can attend full time.

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.


Fall Full Time Academy:  August 21-December 21, 2017 (applications due May 1-June 15)

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% 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 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
  • Have no misdemeanor charges or convictions

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)

Mail documents to:

Madison College Law Enforcement Academy
1701 Wright Street
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 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 2017-2018 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.



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