Point Park University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Point Park University
Immersed in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park University offers a career-focused education...

Point Park University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Point Park University is a private university with a strong liberal arts tradition. Point Park’s Downtown Pittsburgh location, experienced faculty, and career-focused approach to education provide endless internship and job opportunities for more than 4,100 students.


Point Park faculty bring academic and professional work experience into the classroom. They know what it takes to run a business, conduct research, manage a newsroom, assess a crime scene or direct a stage production. Their industry connections bring influential guest speakers to campus and open doors for Point Park students.


Point Park’s Career Development Center works with individual students throughout their entire college career to develop professional skills, build a network, and successfully search for internships and jobs. The center also houses the cooperative education program, which connects students with corporate partners for paid, full-time employment in their major as part of their work toward their degrees.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,140 undergraduate students
84% of undergrad students are full time
43% male 57% female
24% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
139 full-time faculty
316 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
76% of first year students live on campus
32% of all students live on campus

School Location

Pittsburgh is a vibrant, opportunity-filled city that has it all. Within a few blocks surrounding campus, Point Park students have easy access to some of the nation’s leading companies, world-class artists and performers, professional sports venues and virtually every other form of entertainment. Our Downtown Pittsburgh neighborhood offers pristine parks, riverfront trails, and hundreds of shops and restaurants. It’s a place where more than 140,000 people come to work each day and where more than 7,000 people (including 1,000 Point Park students) live. It’s a dynamic city center that makes a dynamic college experience possible.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences x
Common Intellectual Experiences x
Learning Communities x
Writing-Intensive Courses x
Collaborative Assignments and Projects x
Undergraduate Research x
Diversity/Global Learning x
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning x
Internships/Coops/Practicums x
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience x

Retention Fall 2015

73% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

58% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 4%
Hispanic/Latino 3%
Black or African American 15%
White 71%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


Point Park University fields 17 varsity sports teams as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), competing in the River States Conference. Point Park offers athletic scholarships.

School Nickname: Pioneers
Mascot: Bison (Black Diamond II)
Colors: Green & Gold

More Distinctions

  • Ranked #3 on OnStage’s list of the Top 10 BFA Dance Programs in the Country for 2016-2017

  • #8 on Playbill.com’s list of the Top Colleges Currently Represented on Broadway

  • Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Education

  • Programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering technology are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ABET, www.abet.org). See the Point Park University page on ABET's website.

  • Multiple undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting, human resource management, information technology & management, and other fields of business management are accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education.

  • Programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and to the Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance.

  • Programs leading to certification in all education programs are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Study Abroad

There’s no better way to become a societally aware, global citizen than by experiencing different cultures firsthand. Point Park partners with Regent’s University London and the American University of Rome in order to guarantee students inspiring European experiences. For the same tuition cost of attending school in Pittsburgh, students who enroll in University-sponsored study abroad programs can fulfill their degree requirements within the rich cultural environments of England and Italy’s bustling capital cities.

In addition to the programs offered directly through Point Park, students have the option to study in other international locations through independent study abroad programs. The staff at the Student Center make it easy to coordinate with external programs so that every student may travel to the destinations of their dreams. Better yet, they work to ensure that courses taken with these programs count as transfer credit to each student’s transcripts.

Some academic departments offer shorter, three-week trips during the summer in which students travel as part of a single class. These quick trips are fully immersive, giving students a reason to register excitedly for summer classes. Because these journeys are arranged by the classes’ professors themselves, students are guaranteed to get the most out of how each destination can enrich their course-specific material.

Cocurricular Transcript

Experiential learning is a priority at Point Park. The extra effort to excel should be properly acknowledged and rewarded, so Point Park tracks out-of-classroom activities with the Cocurricular Transcript. The CCT is an official university record of all hands-on learning experiences in which a student participates throughout their college career. Through the Office of Student Engagement, students report all their additional activities and construct a transcript that showcases their well-rounded lifestyles. All internships, honors, and student leadership positions are highlighted and verified by the university, making the CCT a valuable addition to their résumés. Point Park encourages the pursuit of passion, and it is through the CCT that students’ voluntary acts of service and scholarship are recognized.

Core Curriculum

Students are most likely to thrive when they are able to understand a wide variety of perspectives. They must be able to think critically, work collaboratively, and articulate their ideas. With the foundation of Point Park’s core curriculum, they are sure to develop skills that make them stand out.

The courses of the core curriculum bolster students’ abilities to communicate clearly and effectively. They teach how to read and evaluate high-level material from a vast range of media, exposing students to the political and cultural issues that span across the globe. By the time students have completed their core requirements, they are all prepared to apply creative thought to every situation they encounter.

Components of the core curriculum include a first-year seminar, an oral communication class, two writing-intensive courses, and a series of critical-thinking and knowledge-application courses. Such classes prepare all students to approach their individual majors with a variety of perspectives that altogether make the most out of the academic experience.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries x
Choral groups  
Concert band  
Dance x
Drama/theater x
International Student Organization x
Jazz band  
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles  
Musical theater x
Pep band  
Radio station x
Student government x
Student newspaper x
Student-run film society x
Symphony orchestra  
Television station x

University 101

Every new Point Park student is immediately welcomed into the University and its surrounding city through the fully immersive UNIV 101 Course. This course, aptly titled “City-University Life,” equips those who are new to the urban college lifestyle with everything they need to thrive in Pittsburgh.

Not only does UNIV 101 teach students how to read, think, and organize like the advanced scholars they are, but it also provides them a tightly knit group of friends who are going through the same college transition. They bond as they go on class excursions throughout the city of Pittsburgh, familiarizing themselves with the city and making a home for themselves among their peers. Through off-campus field trips around Pittsburgh, on-campus projects and events, and guest lectures from local speakers, UNIV 101 constructs a comfortable college environment with a display of all the best that Point Park has to offer.

Involved Professors

Professors bring their academic and professional work experience into the classroom and are personally invested in student success, as they get to know each of their students by name. With a low student-to-faculty ratio, Point Park classes average a mere 15 to 20 students each. Small groups make it easier for students to get a hands-on education in interactive classroom settings.

The relationships between students and faculty are deep. Professors act as personal mentors, giving individual attention and career tips to their students. It is impossible to get lost among the crowd at Point Park, and so every student gets the most out of what professional guidance their esteemed professors have to offer.


Arts/fine arts x
Computer literacy x
English (including composition) x
Foreign languages x
History x
Humanities x
Mathematics x
Philosophy x
Sciences (biological or physical) x
Social science x


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 284 523 271 14 3 3 0 1098

Student Organizations

College isn’t all about academics; it’s about discovering new passions and deepening old ones. It’s about making meaningful friends and great memories alike. Through the student clubs and organizations at Point Park, every student can find their niche on campus. Student groups bring life to the University, uniting people by way of their shared hobbies. Active involvement in co- and extracurricular activities like these are shown to make students more satisfied with their college experience and, therefore, more successful.

Student organizations are ordered into five main categories: Academic, Governing Boards, Interest-Based, Service, and University-Sponsored Student Media. While a vast range of interests are already accounted for within the many clubs on campus, students who feel that something may be missing may are encouraged to create their own. To help these groups thrive, the Office of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) readily provides resources and aids group funding.

Campus Housing

Point Park is home to five residence halls that make living in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh as safe, comfortable, and convenient as possible. These options keep students close to their friends and classes, all without the pesky expenses that come with commuting from an off-campus space.

Residence Educators, or REs, are mature, responsible, upper-level students who care about the comfort of their on-campus peers. As residents of Point Park housing, themselves, REs are nearby and available to provide support whenever help is needed. They aim to serve, lending a helping hand to residents who may need advice throughout their transition into college and beyond.

On-campus residents not only have their own peer mentors available at any time throughout the day or night, but they are also invited to a slew of events within their residence halls. Housing activities can range from community service projects, pizza parties, and mystery tours to secret destinations throughout Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Playhouse

Point Park University owns and operates three theaters that accompany its Conservatory of Performing Arts. Known collectively as the Pittsburgh Playhouse, these theaters host 18 major productions and up to 235 performances each year. Its venues are open for many Point Park students to watch or participate in phenomenal performances, all of which are popular among the Pittsburgh community. A new, state-of-the-art Pittsburgh Playhouse is scheduled to open on campus in 2018.

Academic Village

The Academic Village Initiative is an ongoing project that is constantly transforming the experience of Point Park University students and enriching the lives of Pittsburgh residents. Throughout several blocks of the city, the Academic Village is a spirited, environmentally conscious addition to downtown Pittsburgh that includes projects for an urban park, a multipurpose Student and Convocation Center, a new performance space for the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and more. These developments form a collective hub for fun and intellectually stimulating life in the city.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  


Other: Living Learning Communities 

Career Development

Thanks to its location in the heart of Pittsburgh, Point Park University is able to connect its students directly to neighboring companies for extraordinary internship and job opportunities. The hands-on experiences that internships provide help students build their résumés and excel early on in their postgraduate careers.

Living in the middle of the city already gives Point Park students a professional edge, but the staff at the Career Development Center take their access to success a step further by aiding in the job search, reviewing and editing résumés and cover letters, and training for job interviews. Students are guaranteed to find career experience that complements their academic and professional pursuits.

Center for Student Success

The Center for Student Success assigns each student a success coordinator and faculty advisor in order to ensure a smooth four-year graduation process. With a commitment to the “Pathways to Success,” the Center helps guide students to finish their course requirements in a timely manner and utilize the school’s resources for future, postgraduate achievements. Advisors want everyone to succeed, and so they are always available to help students find a successful, healthy work-life balance.

Staff at the Center for Student Success are eager lend a helping hand to students in any phase of their college career. Whether a student has yet to decide their major or if they are looking to concentrate on a different area of study, the Center faculty are trained to talk through and explore Point Park’s academic programs with them.

Honors Program

Students in the Honors Program take leadership development to the next level. For their excellence in academics, they have the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills by serving their fellow Point Park peers and the urban community around them. Not only do they get to act as mentors and leaders in other organizations, but they also arrange multiple community service projects throughout the year. These projects are life changing for both the volunteers and the people they serve, as they contribute to a great cause all while building experience that looks great on résumés.


Admissions Fall 2015

4,021 Total Applicants
2,836 Total Admissions
595 Total Freshmen Enrollment

70.53% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes 

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 560
SAT Math 430 530
SAT Writing  430  430
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 19 25
ACT Math 17 24
ACT English 18 27
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $13,890
Fees $1,250
Total $15,140
Room and Board (on campus) $10,840
Estimated Total On Campus $25,980


Average Financial Aid Packages

$24,320 First year students
$16,708 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown

67.3% on average, the percentage of need that was met
14% of financial need students that had need fully met

$16,708 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$5,454 Average need-based loan