Private Investigations

Earn your Certificate in Professional Private Investigations

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Work with educators and field experts while earning the Certificate in Professional Private Investigations from PDI of the University of North Texas. This exciting program prepares students to enter the field of private investigations.

Every program is taught by professional faculty, attorneys and practitioners in the field. This curriculum offers over 200 hours of instruction broken down into 10 classes, including special topics. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a Certificate in Professional Private Investigations from PDI and be automatically eligible to sit for the licensing PI exam in Texas. (after meeting all other PSB licensing requirements)

Features of the Private Investigations Program

Both the BLENDED and ONLINE programs share many benefits such as

  • 200 hours of instruction
  • Taught by seasoned experts
  • All-inclusive tuition

The Blended program is some Fridays from 6-9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and some online over a 6-month period.  Tuition is $3,895.

The ONLINE program, which allows you to work each week at your convenience in the comfort of your own home, is conducted over a 33-week period. An externship is required to be completed while taking the online course. Tuition is $4,295.

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Financial Assistance

If you have any questions, please contact Tami Russell at 940.565.3353 or trussell@pdi.org.

Attend a Free Information Session

View Online Session

Get all your questions answered at a free information session about the PI Program. Find out more about the private investigations field, the outlook for the profession and more about PDI’s certificate program with no obligation to register.

Qualifications for Becoming a PI

A person may be eligible to sit for the licensing exam, provided he/ she meets one of the following five criteria:

  • 3 consecutive years as an investigator
  • A bachelors degree in criminal justice
  • A bachelors degree with 6 months of investigative experience
  • An Associates degree with 12 months of investigative experience
  • Completion of a specialized course that's taught in affiliation with an accredited University in Texas and features at least 200 hours of instruction in investigative techniques, ethics and statutes related to the industry.
For more details on the qualifications, view the Texas Administrative Code

Meet the Instructors

Dr. Scott H Belshaw, Ph.D.,

Program Executive Director
Dr. Belshaw holds a Ph.D. in Juvenile Criminal Justice and is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas. He owned a private investigations firm licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. His primary investigative experience is in criminal investigations. He is an expert in the field of criminal mitigation and investigations.

Karen Hewitt

Ms. Hewitt is a UNT graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and is a Texas Licensed Private Investigator. She spend years as a criminal investigator and as a staff investigator with a civil law firm. She graduated from East Texas Police Academy and has her Basic and Intermediate Peace Officer certificates. She served as President and Chairman of the Board of Texas Association of Licensed Investigators, is a member of the Public Affairs and Community Service board of UNT. She obtained the distinction of Texas Certified Investigator.

Reynaldo Ramirez, Jr., BBA, MBA, JD.

QL TT University of Oxford - Ox Brooks 

Mr. Ramirez has taught law, as an adjunct law professor, at Texas Southern University's law school for several years. In the past 15 years of academic instruction, he has published numerous law review articles, and presented papers for peer review. He is the author of the "Texas Traffic Ticket Dismissal" book, currently available through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. One of his academic articles was recently cited by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in a published state decision regarding effective assistance of counsel. With regards to criminal law, he has been a Chief Prosecutor, a Chief Public Defender in Webb County, as well as Chief of the Harris County Public Defenders Mental Health Division. With regards to civil and business matters, he has held the position of corporate counsel for the Texas Mexican Railway, as well as other transportation and fortune 500 companies. He has also represented investigatory and security entities, during his extensive legal career. He currently practices civil and criminal law in Houston, Texas and holds the position of chief counsel to the Mexican American Sheriffs Association in Harris County, Texas.

Robert Wall

Mr. Wall has a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas.  He is a lecturer at the University of North Texas and was formerly an adjunct instructor at Tarrant County College.  He is also a retired police officer with more than 28 years service with the Grapevine and Haltom City Police Departments.  His law enforcement experience includes investigations, crime scene search, traffic investigation and reconstruction.  He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Criminology at the University of Texas-Dallas.