Law Enforcement students stand outside during training

Criminal Justice Law Enforcement - Associate Degree

Earn your associate degree while simultaneously completing the 720 Law Enforcement Academy. This program equips you with the skills and knowledge to tackle the exciting challenges of police work, including criminal investigations, navigating the legal system, patrol procedures, crime scene protocol, and essential use-of-force and driving techniques. Graduate prepared to hit the ground running and make a difference, all while saving you five months of training and $5,000 in tuition.

Program Code: 105046
Home » Academics and Training » Criminal Justice Law Enforcement

Program Costs & Financial Aid

See costs of tuition, books, and supplies.

This program is fully eligible for financial aid.

Estimates based on in-state residency. Learn more about tuition and fees.

Explore Locations

Offered At:


  • Day
  • Full-time

How do I get started in this program?

Requirements for Program Entry

  • Apply at
  • An official high school transcript, or equivalent, showing proof of graduation. (For a list of equivalents, go to If your cumulative GPA is below 2.6, complete or submit a placement evaluation.
  • Student packet (packets are mailed one week after the application is submitted) which includes forms and requirements as designated by the Department of Justice.
  • Students who apply to this program must be a United States citizen in accordance with the Department of Justice. Proof of citizenship must be presented to the Public Safety office with the student packet.
  • Valid driver’s license and eligible to drive college vehicles under the college’s insurance carrier. More information included with the student packet.
  • Students will be required to participate in and pass a physical fitness exam prior to starting the second semester of this program. Students must also pass a fitness test at the completion of the program to obtain their certifiability status. Click on the link to the Physical Readiness Testing site below to view a list of fitness test events and minimum passing scores for the pre and post test.
  • Students must participate in an interview with a panel of NWTC and community members in order to enter the LE program. This interview is integrated into the Employment Strategies course which is required in your first semester.
  • A background check is required by the Wisconsin Department of Justice at the end of your first semester. There is an approximate cost of $40 for this background check. The Wisconsin Department of Justice does not allow any person with the charges below in the preparatory law enforcement officer training program: An unpardoned felony conviction, misdemeanor crime of domestic violence conviction as defined in 18 USC 921(a)(33), or conviction of a crime that falls under the definition of domestic abuse as defined in § 968.075(1)(a), Wis. Stats., or a conviction that is subject to the imposition of the domestic abuse surcharge under § 973.055(1), Wis. Stats., regardless of whether any part of the surcharge was waived by the court under § 973.055(4), Wis. Stats., will prohibit an applicant from taking part in preparatory law enforcement officer training and will prohibit employment as a law enforcement and/or tribal law enforcement officer.
  • Tip! Our admission advisors will assist you through every step. Have questions? Connect with NWTC Admissions at or 920-498-5444

What are my courses?


Students following the study plan below will complete the Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement associate degree in the number of semesters shown. All core Law Enforcement curriculum must be completed within three years to obtain Department of Justice certifiability.

Total Credits 63
  • Curriculum Note: The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.
  • Students must obtain a "C" or better in all 10-504-XXX classes to move forward with each semester.

Program Outcomes

  • Think critically
  • Manage emergencies
  • Communicate effectively
  • Demonstrate professionalism
  • Conduct investigations
  • Interact with others
  • *Demonstrate tactical skills [applies only to occupational certifications]

What careers are in my future?


Graduate Employment

with 85% in field


Median Starting Salary

Source: NWTC Graduate Outcome Survey

Employment Potential

Law Enforcement Officer

  • DNR Officer
  • State Trooper
  • Military Law Enforcement Officer
  • Private Investigator

Employment opportunities with additional education

  • Police or Sheriff Administrator
  • Specialized Units (K-9, SWAT, etc.)
  • State Agent
  • Federal Agent
  • Jail/Correctional Officer

What's next after graduation?

Start here. Finish at a four-year.

NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.

What else do I need to know about the program?


  • Due to Department of Justice - Training and Standards Bureau requirements, transfer of credits for core criminal justice courses will not be accepted. The exception to this would be if the courses are from another Wisconsin Technical College authorized as a certified Department of Justice - Training and Standards training academy.

Industry Credentials

Students who successfully complete this program will be certifiable as a law enforcement officer in the state of Wisconsin.

Study Abroad Opportunities

The International Studies staff continually seek opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.

Learn more about upcoming study abroad opportunities.

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Classes wherever you have an internet connection. 

  • An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
  • Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
12 or more credits per term.
Fewer than 12 credits per term.