In choosing a school for professional training, a serious student should learn a bit of the school's history. Only then will he or she have sufficient information for making the right decision. In the case of Point Park University, it's important to know that this institution began in 1933 as a training school for those interested in business.
In the next couple of decades the school attracted as many as 800 students, growth which made relocation necessary. When the school first occupied the building on Wood Street in Pittsburgh it became known as Point Park Junior College. (The name comes from a state park located within city limits.) Further growth made it necessary to acquire facilities formerly known as The Pittsburgh Playhouse.
Just six years after the school became a junior college it achieved another milestone - becoming Point Park College. This allowed the school to confer bachelor-level degrees.
Graduate-degree programs in mass communication and journalism were added in the early 1980s.
Point Park reached university status in 2003 and currently serves more than 4,000 students (full-time and part-time). Several different programs are offered under the Point Park banner.
For many years the school served students in the Journalism and Mass Communication department. This program changed its name in 2009, becoming the School of Communication. More than 500 students now study in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Major investment in studio facilities has attracted top students to a quality degree program.
Bachelor degrees are now offered in:
Students may also pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography. A master's degree is also offered in Journalism and Mass Communication. Facilities for these programs include active newsrooms, darkrooms for both B&W and color and a digital photography laboratory.
Internships and work/study programs are also offered, with some of the city's major companies taking part. Students may have the opportunity to work with such business leaders as Associated Press, Heinz U.S.A., Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Pirates and numerous television/radio stations.
According to the university Website, students also learn by working with on-campus media such as:
Staff members and administrators make a concerted effort to keep tuition costs low so that all students are able to take advantage of the great opportunities at Point Park University.
The school makes
"every effort to provide grants, scholarships and financial aid options to every student who needs them."
"92 percent of Point Park students receive some form of financial aid."
Students living outside of Pennsylvania and outside the United States will be pleased to learn that there is no tuition differential for non-Pennsylvania residents. Tuition is about $23,000 per year (two full-time semesters). Per-credit tuition is $650. Basic residence costs range from $4,000 to $7,000 per year. A variety of dining-plan programs are offered as well.
Most students report that the education provided is worth the somewhat "pricey" tuition. Others comment on the urban location and the need to get used to using public transportation and the available shuttle services. For those living in an apartment or other private quarters this means planning for a bit of extra travel time.
Those who have not visited the campus should understand from the beginning that this is a city-based university. Students won't experience the open spaces of some large universities that own a lot of real estate. But instruction in specialty areas such as photography and journalism earn high marks from current and former students.
All things considered, Point Park University seems to offer solid programs for students aiming toward a career in photography, photojournalism and mass communications. More information is available in the Contact Details box below:
Point Park University
201 Wood Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
General Information: (412) 391-4100
Admissions: (800) 321-0129
Adult and Graduate Enrollment: (412) 392-3808