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 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 Full Time Academy: January 14, 2019 – May 17, 2019 (application period closed)

Fall Full Time Academy: August 19, 2019 – December 20, 2019 (applications due May 1 – June 14, 2019)

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
  • 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)

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 2018-2019 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

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