The Cosmetology program combines theory with practice in the art of haircutting, styling, perm waving and chemical relaxing, haircolor, highlighting, foiling techniques, and nail and skin care. Students gain experience in Southwest Tech's Creative Elements Salon by working on mannequins, fellow students, and salon guests. Students also learn the business aspects of working in a salon, including professional and personal development, business practices, communication, and Wisconsin state law. Lower cost and less time than local competitors. Scholarships available for cosmetology program students.

  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    Do you have a love for style, enjoy helping others enhance their appearance and look their best, and enjoy working closely with the public? If you are also friendly, outgoing, and creative, then a career in Cosmetology may be a perfect fit. Students must complete 1550 hours of classroom instruction to meet the requirements of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College and the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). If you want to work in Wisconsin, get licensed in Wisconsin. Make the transition from graduate to licensed Cosmetologist in Wisconsin easy.

    Students entering the Cosmetology program should:

    • Enjoy working closely with the public.
    • Be friendly, outgoing, concerned for other people, and creative.
    • Have good communication skills.
    • Work well with others.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma requiring three semesters or more to complete.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Special equipment and uniforms required.
    • Opportunities to attend professional salon, beauty, and fashion shows.

    Cosmetology students must achieve a grade of C or better in each of the 502 program area courses to be eligible to progress from Semester 1 to Semester 2 and from Semester 2 into Semester 3. Students should check with instructor for updated regulations for taking the state Cosmetology licensure exam.

    Note: In order to qualify for licensure for your cosmetology state board exam, you must be 18 years of age, have completed a minimum 1550 hours of instruction and the requirements of the Southwest Tech Cosmetology Program.

    To graduate from this program and be eligible to take the state licensing examination, each student must:

    • Successfully meet all Southwest Tech program requirements.
    • Receive a passing grade of C in all program courses.
    • Complete a minimum of 1550 theory and practical hours of training.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 24-25

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,820
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,148
    Books and Supplies $1,466
    Personal Expenses $3,608
    Transportation $4,018
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $84
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $23,744
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $11,872

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Art
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Math

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Perform shampoo, haircut, and style service
    • Perform skin care services
    • Perform chemical services
    • Perform nail services
    • Develop business practices for industry success
  • Career Opportunities
  • This program prepares graduates for licensing as a Cosmetology Practitioner (hair designer). A Cosmetology student can automatically practice all nail services that a Manicurist performs under the Cosmetology License.

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam