Point Park University's criminal justice program is based upon the enforcement of the law, detection of crimes, investigation of crimes, prosecution of offenders and eventual sentencing of individuals convicted in the criminal justice system. Unlike many other criminal justice programs which are centered in psychology or sociology, Point Park's criminal justice curriculum is based upon the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act and integrates social sciences, behavioral sciences and humanities as part of its interdisciplinary program.
The criminal justice program has two interrelated goals. The first is to help you develop a fundamental understanding of the criminal justice system and the political and social environment in which it operates. The second goal is to give you the skills and the training you’ll need to confidently enter the criminal justice field.
Courses are taught by passionate, experienced practitioners. The criminal justice program also features an active advisory board comprised of University faculty and working criminal justice professionals who designed the innovative curriculum. Meanwhile, our University's Downtown Pittsburgh location makes it easy for judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and law enforcement officers to teach here. And there is no shortage of invaluable, career-focused internships and observations — from serving at Renewal, Inc. to meeting professionals from local Secret Service and FBI offices.
Meet criminal justice alumna and academic excellence award recipient, Amanda Heinbaugh.
The Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice is offered in the following formats.
- Bachelor of Science - traditional
- Bachelor of Science - accelerated - Previous academy training can be used toward the 60 transfer credits required, and up to 18 credits can be granted through experiential learning/portfolio preparation.
- Bachelor of Science - capstone - If you have an associate’s degree, you can build on your degree by enrolling in the capstone program and completing it in just two years.
- Bachelor of Science and Master of Science five-year program - Earn both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in criminal justice in five years.
You will receive a well-rounded education through Point Park's core curriculum and classes in your major. Some of the courses in the criminal justice program include:
- Evolution of Policing
- Federal Law Enforcement
- Corrections, Probation and Parole
- Money Laundering
- Criminal Profiling
- Transnational Criminal Activities
- Forensic Evidence I and II
For a comprehensive list of program requirements, see the School of Arts and Sciences course descriptions and the program guides listed at the top of the page.
During their time in the criminal justice program, students have interned at:
- Allegheny County Department of Corrections
- Allegheny County Office of Probation
- Butler County Juvenile Court Services
- Butler County Sheriff Department
- City of Pittsburgh Police Department (Major Crimes)
- Renewal, Inc.
- Moon Township Police Department
- The Bradley Center, Inc.
- The Robert Moore Center for Juvenile Justice
Point Park prepares students for entry-level positions as professionals in more than 50 career fields related to criminal justice. These career choices are essential to the functioning of a democratic society because they: prevent crime; protect life and property; uphold citizens' rights; safeguard civil rights; enforce laws; and maintain social order. Criminal justice graduates can pursue various career opportunities at the federal, state, county, city and township levels, such as:
- State and Local Policing
- Federal Law Enforcement
- Judicial System