Private Investigations

Celebrating Our 11th Year of PI Classes. See Why This Program Might Be Right For You!

Earn your Certificate in Professional Private Investigations

View Details | Register Now | View Brochure

What You Need To Know Now!

Starts Mar 26 and ends Nov 13, 2022. Class is online with multiple Zoom meetings.  Click any link above for full details, registration info or to view a comprehensive brochure.  Or call Program Director Tami Russell at 940.783.7270, email is

About the Private Investigation Certificate Program

Work with educators and field experts – including Executive Director Dr. Scott Belshaw, 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 over 33 weeks, including special topics. The program is exclusively online.  Call for complete details.

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

  • 200 hours of instruction
  • Taught by seasoned experts
  • All-inclusive tuition is only $4,595

Questions About the Program or About Financial Assistance?

If you have any questions, please contact Tami Russell at 940.783.7270 or

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 of investigation related experience
  • A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or related course of study
  • A bachelors degree with twelve (12) months of investigation related experience
  • An associate’s degree in criminal justice or related course of study, with twenty-four (24) months of investigation related experience
  • A specialized course of study directly designed for and related to the private investigation profession, taught and presented through affiliation with a four (4) year college or university accredited and recognized by the State of Texas.  This course of study must be endorsed by the four (4) year college or university’s department of criminal justice program and include a departmental faculty member(s) on its instructional faculty.  This course of study must consist of a minimum of two hundred (200) instructional hours including coverage of ethics, the Act, and this chapter; or
  • Other combinations of education and investigation related experience may be substituted for the above at the discretion of the department or its designated representative.  The degrees referenced in subsection (a) of this section must be affiliated with a college of university recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or other accreditation organization recognized by the State of Texas.

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.

Mr. Ramirez, QL TT University of Oxford, Ox Brooks, 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 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.

Steve Tapper

Steve Tapper is Manager and President of Hewitt & Cowden Investigations.  A native of San Diego, CA., Steve has more than 23 years experience as a licensed Private Investigator in California and Texas.  He has an Associate’s Degree in the Administration of Justice from Grossmont College, San Diego, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Military Police Academy in Fort McClelland, AL.  He served in the Military Police at Fort Sill, OK.  He has a business management background as well as experience in surveillance, videotaping, domestic, criminal defense, child custody, insurance fraud, sexual and physical abuse, lost and missing persons, asset search and missing heirs.  He is a member of Texas Association of Private Investigators.


Read About Ongoing Project From Director Dr. Scott Belshaw


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