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M.S.Ed. Child Psychology

Child looking up against backdrop of books

Enhance your understanding of advocacy and make a difference in children's lives.

Program Info

The M.S.Ed. in Child Psychology program will prepare you to pursue a rewarding career as an educational advocate for children. This 30-credit program includes curriculum to enhance paraprofessional mental health services provided to children in community and school settings. While the Child Psychology degree does not lead to the professional practice of school psychology, other options to advance your career are available to you through this program.

Students in the Child Psychology program who hold certain certificates through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) can meet Autism Endorsement criteria through the selection of electives.

Students of the Child Psychology program can also meet the Pennsylvania Behavior Specialist License criteria. Child Psychology students can take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Exam preparation course sequence.
As a Behavioral Specialist you can:

  • Develop and implement functional behavior intervention plans for identified students.
  • Establish intervention plans for the purpose of providing safe and effective environments for individuals with challenging behaviors.
  • Become an expert in coordinating child abuse and neglect cases while complying with mandated reporting requirements.
  • Become a leader in the protocols of the Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for students with disabilities.

Also, graduates of the 30-credit Master's of Science in Education in Child Psychology program have the option to apply for the School of Education's Psy.D. School Psychology and Ph.D. School Psychology programs. The first 30 credits of these doctoral programs consists of the M.S.Ed. Child Psychology curriculum. Depending on eligibility, applicants who are accepted into one of these doctoral programs, who have completed the M.S.Ed. Child Psychology program at Duquesne, and who are within the Statute of Limitations, might be able have the 30 credits from their M.S.Ed. Child Psychology program transferred to their doctoral degree.

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester Admission: August 1
  • Spring Semester Admission: December 1 
  • Summer Semester Admission: May 1.

Admission Materials

Undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts, showing an overall 3.0 minimum GPA - or - a minimum 3.0 GPA across the most recent 48 credits.

Send official transcripts to:



School of Education
Office of Graduate Admissions
Duquesne University
214 Canevin Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

International Applicants

Duquesne University requires submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores for all non-native English-speaking applicants.

Score Requirements
The University requires the following minimum scores in each area to be considered for admission: TOEFL minimum of 80 (iBT - internet based) with no sub-score less than 17, or 550 on the paper-based test; IELTS minimum score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.5 for Reading, 5.5 for Writing, 5.5 for Speaking, and 6.0 for Listening. Have these scores ready to insert into the online application.

Additionally, the English as a Second Language program conducts a review of each matriculated student upon arrival to determine individual needs for English instruction to support success in their chosen degree program.

Visit International Admissions for additional information and requirements.

When all of the above are ready, all applicants to the University must complete Duquesne University's Online Application

Each application will then be reviewed to determine if minimum GPA standards have been met. Admissions decisions are mailed to applicants.

Tuition and Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future. Join one of the nation's top-tier universities with the best value, considering cost and academic quality, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. At Duquesne, you'll become part of a community of nearly 9,500 students studying at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

In addition to graduate tuition rates, graduate students may also incur fees for administrative services, room, and meals, if applicable. At Duquesne University, we believe that financing your education is a partnership between the student and the university. As part of that partnership, The School of Education offers financial assistance in many forms including:

  • University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive applications.
  • Current full-time lay teachers of pre-K through high school or school administrators in a Roman Catholic school in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg, or Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses pursuing a non-doctoral degree or certificate in the School of Education may be eligible to receive a 60% tuition award. This Lay Teacher award does not apply to the doctoral programs. Only one Duquesne University degree may be earned under this reduced tuition program. The Catholic School Lay Teacher & Administrator Award Form details information pertaining to this award.

For further assistance, please contact the Duquesne University Office of Financial Aid.


Kara McGoey

Kara McGoey, Ph.D.

Program Director
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

209A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4105
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Kara McGoey (Ph.D., School Psychology, Lehigh University, 1998) is currently a Professor of School Psychology at Duquesne University where she teaches courses on behavioral assessment and intervention, child and adolescent development and early childhood assessment and intervention. Her research interests include translating scientifically sound interventions into the school setting to improve the social-emotional functioning of children, reducing the barriers to intervention fidelity, and preschool mental health.

Laura Crothers

Laura Crothers, Ed.D.

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research
Fr. Martin A. Hehir Endowed Chair
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

409C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1409
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Laura Crothers (Ed.D., School Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2001) is a professor in the School Psychology program in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education, and holds the Rev. Martin A. Hehir, C.S.Sp. Endowed Chair in Scholarly Excellence. Dr. Crothers is a former school psychologist who conducts research on childhood bullying, and particularly, regarding indirect bullying in children and adolescents.

Tammy Hughes

Tammy Hughes, Ph.D.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

102C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5191
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Tammy Hughes (Ph.D., School Psychology, Arizona State University, 2000) is a Professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education at Duquesne University. She is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist. Her writing is in the area of emotional dysregulation and conduct problems in children. Her clinical experience includes assessment, counseling and consultation services in alternative education and juvenile justice settings focusing on parent‐school‐interagency treatment planning and integrity monitoring.

Elizabeth McCallum

Elizabeth McCallum, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

102B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1874
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Elizabeth McCallum (Ph.D., School Psychology, University of Tennessee, 2006) is an Associate Professor in the School Psychology Program at Duquesne University. Her areas of research interest include academic interventions and accommodations, behavior interventions, and empirically validating mobile applications aimed at increasing children's academic and behavioral skills.

Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Associate Provost
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

106B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5081
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Jeff Miller (Ph.D., School Psychology, Arizona State University, 1995) has been the Associate Provost for Administration since 2012. He continues to serve as a Professor of School Psychology and previously served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the School of Education. He was a practicing school psychologist (1995-1998). Dr. Miller is a board certified school psychologist, fellow of the American Psychological Association, licensed psychologist, and a certified school psychologist. Research foci are the translation of neuropsychological knowledge to improve teaching and learning and professional issues in school psychology.

Susan Rattan

Susan Rattan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G9A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4477
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Susan Rattan Susan Rattan (Ph.D., School Psychology, University of Connecticut, 2008) is an assistant professor of School Psychology. Her teaching and research interests include academic assessment, language development, vocabulary instruction in the early grades, learning disabilities, and multi-tiered systems of support. She has worked on several projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences that have resulted in peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous national and international presentations.

Yadira Sánchez

Yadira Sánchez, Psy.D.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G3A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1078
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Yadira Sánchez Psy.D. (licensed psychologist) is a graduate of the APA accredited Clinical Psychology program (minor in Forensic Psychology) from the Universidad Carlos Albizu in San Juan, Puerto Rico and credentialed in gifted and talented from UCONN. She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School Psychology program. Dr. Sánchez primary responsibilities include teaching and the clinical supervision of practicum and internship experiences. She has also served in various national and local associations boards such as APA, NASP, Coalition for Psychology in School and Education, Puerto Rico School Psychology Association, Association of Latino Professionals for America (Pittsburgh Chapter) and school boards. She serves on the editorial board for Magination Press and reviewer for the Journal of School Psychology. Her clinical interests address issues of cultural diversity, female relational aggression, gifted and twice exceptional students. Dr. Sánchez was recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists for effective advocacy on behalf of children and the profession.

Ara Schmitt

Ara Schmitt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G3B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1057
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Ara Schmitt (Ph.D., School Psychology Illinois State University, 2001) completed his doctoral internship and post-doctoral residency at Phoenix Children's Hospital, and then worked for several years as a school psychologist within Tempe (AZ) Union High School District. Dr. Schmitt's research interests include the neuropsychological assessment/intervention of learning problems and pediatric chronic illnesses, cognitive styles associated with childhood bullying, and professional issues in school psychology.