Faculty & Staff  |  Current Students

News | Calendar | Directory | Library | Give

School of Arts and Sciences

FAQ: Master's in Criminal Justice Administration

What is the title of the degree?

Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration

What is the total number of credit hours required, and how long will it take to complete the program?

The 30 credits needed to earn the M.S. degree can be completed in three semesters (one calendar year).

Can I attend part-time?

The majority of our students enroll on a full-time basis, but part-time attendance is permitted upon approval of the program director. Part-time students will not be able to complete the program in one year.

What grade must I maintain in the program?

A minimum of a B average (3.0 grade point average).

What is the format of the program?

Some of the classes run in the traditional 15-week format while others run in seven-week sessions. Students attend classes as a cohort on Saturdays and take a full-time load of nine to 12 credits per semester. This format allows students to complete their master’s degree in only three semesters.

Where/when are classes held?  Are they offered during the week?

All classes are held at our downtown campus on Saturdays only. Since our program is tailored to working adults, Saturday classes are our preferred method of delivery. Classes are held in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

When do classes start?

We accept new enrollments for this program in both the fall and spring semesters. The fall semester starts in late August and the spring semester in early January. We do not start new students in the summer term.

How do I register? 

When you have been accepted, you will be mailed registration information. Students can register online or via a paper form. Since you are part of a cohort and all students are taking the same classes, registration is a relatively simple process.
Your class schedule is predetermined until your third (final) semester. In that semester, you are able to choose one of two options: (1) Thesis or (2) Master’s Capstone Seminar in Criminal Justice.

Is this program fully approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

Yes. Final approval, as per 22 Pa. Code sec. 42.47(c), was granted on April 25, 2005. A copy of the approval letter may be inspected in our office during business hours.

How can I obtain more information about the program?

Twice a year (in summer and fall), the University holds a graduate open house dinner on campus where applicants for all of our graduate programs can meet current students, faculty and admissions personnel in a relaxed atmosphere. Contact the Graduate and Adult Enrollment Office at 412-392-3808 to see when the next dinner is scheduled or to set up an appointment with an admissions counselor to discuss the program in more detail.

Could I visit classes before I enroll in order to observe?

Yes. Please contact Graduate and Adult Enrollment at 412-392-3908 in order to reserve a seat for your classroom visit.

How do I apply?

Use the online graduate application. The fee is waived for online applicants.  When your application is received by the Office of Graduate and Adult Enrollment, you will be notified in writing of the materials necessary to complete your application.

What is required for admission?

Students should have a minimum QPA of 2.75 in their undergraduate work, with 3.0 in the undergraduate major. Applicants with lower QPAs may be admitted on the basis of relevant professional achievement, exceptional standardized test scores or other unique qualifications. Students should have successfully completed research methods and quantitative methods classes.

In addition to having official transcripts sent from all previous institutions, you also must submit:

  • A current resume 
  • A 500-word essay explaining the applicant's motivation for seeking graduate education, professional experience and career goals
  • Two letters of recommendation -- one preferably from a current/former professor addressing your writing and critical thinking skills and the other from a current/former employer addressing your motivation and seriousness of purpose for graduate work 

The resume and statement may be emailed to Graduate and Adult Enrollment at ptenroll@pointpark.edu or faxed to 412-392-6164. Other materials should be mailed to:

       Point Park University
       Graduate and Adult Enrollment office
       201 Wood Street
       Pittsburgh, PA  15222
       ATTN: Lynn Ribar

I applied some time ago but haven’t received a decision. What should I do?

Applications are held as pending until all materials are received. Often letters of recommendation are the last items to be received. Please call 412-392-3908 to check on the status of your application or to see what materials are missing.

I attended graduate school at another institution. Do you accept transfer credits?

Yes, if the course work is relevant to the criminal justice administration program. You may be able to transfer up to six applicable graduate credits, provided those credits carry a grade of “B” or above. The program director will decide whether graduate credits are applicable after reviewing transcripts and course descriptions from the other institution.

How can I find out what credits you will accept?

You should apply through our website and have your official transcripts sent to our office. When you are contacted by an admissions counselor, please request to have your graduate transfer credits evaluated if you believe they are relevant to our program.

Can life experience and/or attendance at a police academy be counted for graduate transfer credits?

No. But previous successful life experience and/or attendance at training academies are considered important factors for admission purposes.

What does the program cost?

You will be charged per credit. Visit the tuition costs page for the current graduate tuition rate.

Is financial aid available?

Yes.  Point Park offers several forms of aid for graduate students.

  • Unlike many schools, Point Park offers need-based institutional grants for graduate study.
  • Beginning with the spring 2012 semester, new students will be eligible for merit scholarships if they have cumulative QPA of 3.25 or higher.
  • Graduate students are eligible to borrow funds to help finance their education.

By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you will receive consideration for all forms of aid. The fastest way to apply is to go to the FAFSA website.  Use Point Park’s school code—003357—to have your information sent to our financial aid office. You will be packaged for aid as soon as you have been accepted into the program. 

Note that if your financial aid is complete and you will be receiving a refund, you can charge your books against the anticipated refund. The cost of your books will be deducted from your refund, and you will not have to pay out-of-pocket for your books.

Are graduate assistantships available?

It depends on funding. However, at least one assistantship is usually available on a competitive basis in each academic year. All applicants will be notified when assistantships become available.  Students should also check the “Graduate Assistantships” link on the careers page of the Point Park website on a regular basis for the latest openings in all University departments.

Are there any other types of scholarships?

In addition to the graduate merit scholarship referenced above, there are a variety of scholarships currently available for students attending graduate schools in the United States. Students are encouraged to research scholarship opportunities for which they may be eligible.

Also, there are annual opportunities for graduate students to obtain travel assistance for presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Please see the website for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences for further details.

My employer provides tuition reimbursement. Do I still have to pay tuition in advance?

No. Each semester you can complete the Employer Reimbursed Tuition Agreement to defer any portion of your tuition that will be reimbursed. The form can be completed online via PointWeb, our student information portal, or by contacting our Student Accounts office. Once you have completed the form and paid the $45 processing fee, your tuition will be deferred until the end of the semester. You are still responsible for any portion of tuition that is not reimbursed by your employer; you may apply for financial aid to cover that cost.

I am a graduate of Point Park. Do I get any breaks on tuition?

Yes! You will automatically receive an alumni discount of $80/credit. Please note that if you are also eligible for the Graduate Merit Scholarship, you will receive the scholarship instead of the alumni discount, as the scholarship is a higher value award.

What are my options for parking?

There are parking garages on either side of the university—one on Third Avenue and one on the Boulevard of the Allies. They (and most downtown garages) offer a flat rate on Saturdays.

More questions? 

Please contact the Graduate and Adult Enrollment Office at 412-392-3908 or ptenroll@pointpark.edu.