Private Investigator
Penn Foster

Program Details

Interested students are encouraged to participate in Penn Foster’s Private Investigator program and earn a Diploma. This specialized course curriculum contains eight Instruction Sets of material to be completed. Students start the program by learning how to perform private investigations and use the information they find.

Students study Supreme Court cases related to private investigation, and also laws affecting the work of private investigators. The students learn the importance of both verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Students learn about running an investigation business, such as record keeping, billing, and administrative procedures.

The students are taught how to prepare reports and use the Internet in investigations. Students practice using online computer databases and learning classifications of investigative information resources. Students learn how to access public records and perform background checks. Students complete a course in surveillance where they learn how to use photographic and recording equipment to log information. The students learn about the equipment used by private investigators and how to work with the court system, preparing to be a witness and providing a testimony. Other skills learned include interview and truth-verification techniques and fingerprint and handwriting analysis.

Students who are interested in the profession of Private Investigator may apply on the Penn Foster website by filling out an online application.


This program requires a minimum of 8th grade education.

School Accreditation Statement

Penn Foster Accreditation and Licenses

  • Penn Foster Career School and Penn Foster High School are regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. And, nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Penn Foster Career School and Penn Foster High School are licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools.
  • Penn Foster College is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postseconday Education.

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