Degree Type

37-credit Technical Diploma

Program Code


Time to Degree

1 or 2 years

Start Date

August / January

How You'll Learn

On Campus

8-Week Courses





This program is 1,550 hours and is offered in both part-time and full-time sequences.

Full-time students can:

  • Take classes during the daytime.  Typically classes are scheduled Monday through Friday during the daytime (approx. 40 hours per week).
  • Complete this program in 10 months.
  • Begin this program in the fall or spring semester.

Part-time students can:

  • Take classes during the evening. Typically classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday evenings and Saturdays during the daytime.
  • Complete this program in 16 months.
  • Begin this program in the fall or spring semester.

Contact an enrollment counselor if you have any questions about scheduling options.

Those working in cosmetology have a taste for style, helping clients enhance their experience and look their best. Combine theory with practice to study haircutting, styling, color, perm waving, chemical relaxing, and learn about nail and skin care. Learn business aspects of working in a salon, including professional and personal development, communication and Wisconsin law.

Deadlines To Know*

Fall 2024 Start

  • Application Opens: September 1, 2023
  • Application Deadline: May 20, 2024

Spring 2025 Start

  • Application Opens: April 1, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 10, 2025

Summer 2024 Start

  • This program cannot be started in summer.

* Submit all checklist items by the application deadline. Apply early; deadlines are subject to change based on program demand.

Tuition Costs

The cost of your degree depends on a number of factors, including where you live, how your program is delivered, how long it takes to finish your program and the financial aid you receive. Explore current tuition and fees.

Additional Estimated Costs

  • Program iPad (128GB): Purchase or rent through the WCTC Bookstore
  • Cosmetology Kit: $2,500 plus tax
  • State board exam: $400
  • Lab access: $365

How To Apply

  • Apply online and pay the $30 application fee.
  • Submit a copy of one of the following to demonstrate your reading or writing skills:
      • High school GPA of 2.60 or above. Transcript must include completed coursework through the 11th grade.*
      • ACT, ACCUPLACER® or GED - 2014 Series (165 or higher).*
      • Prior college coursework may meet this requirement in whole or in part. Courses must be in the specific area(s), and you must have earned a grade of C or better (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) in the courses.*
      • If none of the above apply, sign up for the ACCUPLACER® placement test.

*Unofficial copies of these documents can be sent to

Questions on the application process? Visit the Admissions page or contact an Enrollment Counselor.


Program Details

Questions? We'd love to help! Connect with our Enrollment team by filling out our online form or by email at

If you enjoy experimenting with hair and nail techniques, have a creative eye and strong people skills, a career in cosmetology may be for you. Those in this field need to have good manual dexterity and stamina as they stand for long stretches of time, and they perform specialty services that require attention to detail.

  • Hair Stylist
  • Cosmetologist
  • Spa Services Provider
  • Makeup Artist
  • Cosmetology Retail Sales

This program is open to qualified high school applicants. Please note:

  • To take the state licensing exam, you must:
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Be a high school graduate or have attained high school graduation equivalency.
  • You are required to obtain licensing within one year of completing this program.
  • Occasional overnight travel to trade shows is optional but beneficial.

Learn more >

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Cosmetology program.

$21,400 – $42,000 annually, plus potential commission and tip opportunities

Salary range estimates based on wages for related occupations in Waukesha County as reported by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). Individual wages may vary based on experience, industry, location and specific job requirements.

Check the WCTC Graduate Success Report to view our graduates’ entry wages.

As a program student, you are eligible to receive:

  • Financial aid loans
  • Scholarships
  • Other forms of assistance

Learn more about financial aid.

What Makes This Program Unique?


WCTC's Style & Class Salon and Spa is a full-service salon that is part of the Cosmetology program. Students learn in this hands-on environment by servicing guests.


Graduates of this program have achieved a 100% pass rate on the Wisconsin State Licensing Exam for Cosmetology since 2009.


Participate in hair shows, community service, and industry-sponsored events to begin developing your professional network for employment.

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