Point Park University

point park university

Point Park University

Point Park University, a private institution nestled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has a history tracing back to its establishment in 1960. Over the decades, the university has evolved into a hub for academic excellence, offering a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. At the same time, it’s renowned for its vibrant campus life and proactive contributions to the community.

A Walk Through History

The Early Days

Point Park University’s roots go back to the 1930s, when it was a one-room business training college with a modest student body of 50. Founded by the dynamic duo of Dorothy Finkelhor and her husband L. Herbert Finkelhor, it was a pioneering step at the time for a woman to establish such an institution. Over the years, the institution grew, adding more programs and expanding its reach.

The Journey from College to University

In 1960, the institution transitioned into Point Park Junior College, incorporating more comprehensive two-year programs in various disciplines and moving to its current location in Downtown Pittsburgh. Five years later, the institution gained the status of a four-year college and was renamed Point Park College. This period witnessed the introduction of dance and theatre programs, laying the groundwork for the current Conservatory of Performing Arts.

point park university

A Period of Growth and Transformation

In the late 1990s, the institution came under the leadership of Katherine Henderson, who initiated a strategic plan to revive the institution. Under her guidance, the institution expanded its student body and improved its financial standing. By 2004, the college was officially renamed Point Park University to reflect the breadth of its graduate programs.

Academics at Point Park University

Point Park University offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across five schools: School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication, School of Education, and Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Campus Life

Point Park University’s campus, situated just half a mile from Point State Park, offers a unique blend of urban and academic environments. Despite being scattered among non-school structures, the campus has a vertical layout that creates a cohesive academic atmosphere.

Department of Public Safety

The campus’s safety is overseen by the Point Park University Department of Public Safety, which provides patrol and crime prevention services to the university community.

Student Engagement

point park university

The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as the representative student government of Point Park University. It comprises both an Executive Cabinet and a Legislative Body. The university also hosts a campus radio station, WPPJ, serving as a training ground for students interested in professional broadcasting.


point park university

Point Park University’s athletic teams, known as the Pioneers, compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily in the River States Conference.

Noteworthy Alumni

Point Park University’s alumni have made significant contributions across various fields. Some of the distinguished alumni include Tony Award-winning choreographer Rob Ashford, Sudanese-American author and activist Panther Bior, and TV actress and Daytime Emmy Award nominee Melina Kanakaredes.

International Summer Dance Alumni

The university’s International Summer Dance program has produced successful performers like Broadway actress and dancer Josefina Scaglione.

With its rich history, diverse academic offerings, and vibrant campus life, Point Park University continues to be a beacon of learning in the heart of Pittsburgh. It’s not just a place to earn a degree but a platform to grow, explore, and prepare for a successful future.

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