M.S. Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling

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Gain practical knowledge to help heal and foster relationships for children and families.

Program Info

This CACREP accredited program prepares graduates for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) which is essential for employment in the mental health field and private practice. Students may complete the Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling program within 2 years or also have the option of completing the program on a part-time basis. Students have the option of taking classes in the early evening and late afternoon. Graduates of the program are very successful in obtaining employment in mental health settings, working as out- and in-patient therapists, mobile therapists, substance abuse counselors, etc.

Strengths of the 60-credit Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling program include:

  • Accreditation: Accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Some states require graduation from a CACREP accredited program to obtain Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC)
  • Tuition Award: Students receive a 15% tuition award for taking 6 credits per semester
  • Licensure and Certification: Graduates of the Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling program satisfy the academic requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) and for National Counseling Certification (NCC). The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program does not meet the academic requirements for Licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), but with the LPC graduates of the program are able to provide marriage, couple, and family counseling, and many agencies prefer the LPC to the LMFT
  • Time to Degree: Earning your Master's degree in Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling can be completed within two (2) years by taking 9-12 credits per semester
  • Full-time and Part-time options: Students have the option to complete the program on a full-, half-, or part-time basis if desired
  • No Pre-requisites: This program accepts students with Bachelor's degrees in a variety of areas. There are no undergraduate pre-requisites, other than having a Bachelor's degree
  • Integrated Approach: Students learn a variety of theoretical approaches to promoting therapeutic change
  • Variety of Fieldwork Options: Students have the opportunity to experience a variety of mental health agencies for fieldwork
  • Large Alumni Base: As a graduate of this program, you will be amongst more than 1,200 graduate who serve as leaders in the mental health profession
  • Skill Development: Students learn to understand conflict as it relates to the family unit and learn to assist families and couples navigating those interactions. Students also learn to assist with issues such as anger management, self-esteem, and grief, and learn to create collaborative treatment plans for care.

Graduates may obtain employment in or work as:

  • Community mental health centers
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers
  • Career counseling centers
  • Mobile therapists
  • Family based mental health therapists
  • Outpatient therapists
  • Behavioral specialists consultants (BSC)
  • Probation/parole officers.

The stimulating curriculum is designed to include experiential learning, self-reflection papers, case study analysis, and group activities. Nearly all of the courses are taught in a traditional rather than a distance education format.

Counselor Education Program Objectives

The educational experiences of Duquesne's Counselor Education program:

  • Are grounded in theories of wellness, holism and development
  • Involve community engagement and are informed by an understanding of systemic context and multicultural theory
  • Focus on the core elements of an effective helping relationship
  • Emphasize self-awareness, personal development, and experiential learning.

Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling Graduate Statistics

Statistics 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Number of Graduates 8 7 7 4 2 3
Completion Rate 90% 90% 90% 80% NA 100%
LPC Examination Pass Rate 88% 100% 89% 100% NA 100%
Job Placement Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
For additional information and statistics, please see the Annual Report.


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Admission

Admission Requirements

  • 3.0 GPA*
  • Bachelor’s Degree- All majors welcomed to apply

*Applicants are customarily expected to have a 3.0 grade point average, based on a four-point scale, in their undergraduate work. However, exceptions may be granted on a limited basis, in which there is substantial additional evidence of a student's academic competency.

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Application Materials

Fall 2022 application deadline: February 1, 2022.

Once each of the below materials is submitted, select candidates will be invited to an interview.

An on-campus interview is scheduled for Thursday, February 17. Due to the volume of applications received and seats available, applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Upon applying to the university, applicants will be prompted to submit their supporting materials in their applicant portal. Applicants can track the progress of their application materials in their applicant portal.

  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Graduate education essay
    • The essay is limited to 250 words
    • Prompt: Discuss your professional plans upon acquiring a master's degree in counseling
  • Two (2) Recommendations
    • Names and email addresses of recommenders are needed
    • Recommender will receive an email prompting the recommender to upload their recommendation for the applicant
    • Recommendations must be from individuals who can speak about the applicant’s academic/professional abilities (i.e. faculty/supervisor recommendations)
    • Note: Family, friends, and professional colleagues are not acceptable references
  • Official transcripts
    • Submit transcripts to one of the following:

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

      Electronic:
      soegrad@duq.edu
    • International transcripts
      • If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo
    • Please see International Applicants section

International Applicants - Additional Application Steps

English Proficiency Requirements:

Duquesne University requires submission of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo English Test (DET) scores for all non-native English-speaking applicants who attended a university outside of the United States.

Score Requirements:

The University requires the following minimum scores* for general admission consideration:

  • TOEFL (iBT) 80
  • IELTS 6.5**
  • Duolingo English Test 105

Transcript Credential Evaluation:

If your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees are from an institution located outside of the United States, you must use a transcript credential evaluation service to obtain a course-by-course report. The official reports must be sent directly to Duquesne University from the organization you order through and will qualify as official transcripts. Please review our Transcript Credential Evaluation Directions.

Visit International Admissions for additional information and requirements.


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Tuition & 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, 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 application
  • Tuition Award: Students receive a 15% tuition award for taking 6 credits per semester
  • 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.

Federal government financial aid options:

In addition to awards and scholarships, you may be eligible for financial aid with the federal government. The federal government has loan options that can cover education and living costs. Loan forgiveness options are also available for those working inside and outside of the classroom, these include:

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

For further assistance, please contact FedLoan Servicing.


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Faculty

Jered Kolbert

Jered Kolbert, Ph.D.

Program Co-Director, Counselor Education
Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

110D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4471
kolbertj@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Jered Kolbert (Ph.D. Counseling, College of William and Mary, ‘98) has served as Counselor Education program director since 2012. He has worked as a school counselor, marriage, couple and family counselor, and he is in private practice as a licensed professional counselor (LPC). He has authored many journal articles and co-authored 3 books. Dr. Kolbert's primary research interests are bullying and relational aggression.


Yih-Hsing Liu

Yih-Hsing Liu, Ph.D.

Program Co-Director, Counselor Education
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

106A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4026
liuy1239@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Yih-Hsing Liu (Ph.D., Counseling and Counselor Education, Syracuse University, '16) joined the faculty of Counselor Education in 2015. Dr. Liu practiced psychotherapy in Syracuse, New York (2011-2014), and was a registered psychiatric nurse at Taipei City Hospital in Taiwan (1999-2004). Dr. Liu’s research and clinical interests fall under the broad category of trauma-informed care, integrative medicine, clinical discourse analysis, and critical multiculturalism.


David Delmonico

David Delmonico, Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

110C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4032
delmonico@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

David Delmonico (Ph.D., Counselor Education, Kent State University, '97) is a professor specializing in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Delmonico teaches classes on addictions, sexuality, and foundational courses in mental health counseling. His research interests include cybersex compulsivity, cyber-offense behavior, and the overlap between psychology and technology.


Debra Hyatt-Burkhart

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart, Ph.D.

Interim Department Chair
Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

410D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5711
hyattburkhartd@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart (Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, Counselor Education and Supervision, Duquesne University, '11) is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education. She currently serves as the Director of Program Practices for the Counselor Education program. Dr. Hyatt-Burkhart coordinates the fieldwork component of the masters program and teaches courses in both the masters and doctoral level counseling programs. Her clinical practice of nearly 30 years informs her teaching and enables her to bring real-world examples and issues into the classroom. Dr. Hyatt-Burkhart's research focuses on positive approaches to and experiences in the treatment and supervision of trauma, as well as upon practice issues. A few examples of her work can be found in the Journal of Loss & Trauma, The Family Journal, Counseling Today, and The Encyclopedia of Marriage, Family, & Couples Counseling.


Matthew Joseph

Matthew Joseph, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

103B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6110
josephm4@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Matthew Joseph (Ph.D., Psychological Studies in Education, Stanford University, '09) is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education. He teaches graduate-level coursework in lifespan development, career development, and research design. Previously Dr. Joseph worked as an academic advisor/career counselor in higher education as well as director of research for an educational non-profit. His research explores the development of purpose and meaning across the life span with a particular focus on emerging adults, as well as the roles of counselors and other educators in secondary and higher education toward promoting young people’s positive development.


Dr. Kathryn Linich

Kathryn Linich, Ph.D.

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

G9B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1871
linichk@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Kathryn Linich (Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision, University of South Carolina, '21) joined the faculty as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program in 2021. She has experience working with persons with disabilities adjust to life with a visual impairment (2015-2016), as well as working with children and families in an outpatient setting (2016-2021). Dr. Linich's research interests include grief counseling, grief education, wellness, and grief as a part of adjustment to an acquired disability or medical diagnosis.


Madeleine Stevens

Madeleine M. Stevens, Ph.D.

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

101 A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6112
stevensm5@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Madeleine M. Stevens (Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Ohio University, '21) is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education's Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education. She provides instruction in master's and doctoral level courses within the Counselor Education program, and began her work in July 2021. Dr. Stevens has worked as a licensed professional counselor in college counseling centers, private practices, and community mental health settings, and she has conducted both individual and group counseling via in-person and Telehealth services. Dr. Stevens has published several peer-reviewed articles in various publications, with a focus on professional counselor identity development, group work, and wellness in counseling. She uses a person-centered, culturally-sensitive approach in her clinical and instructional work. She also remains active in professional counseling organizations at the state, regional, and national level.


Waganesh Zeleke

Waganesh Zeleke, Ed.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

110E Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2465
zelekew@duq.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Waganesh Zeleke (Ed.D., LCPC,NCC. Counseling, University of Montana, '13) has served as an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education since 2013. Dr. Zeleke teaches primarily clinical mental health counseling courses to both Master’s and Doctoral level students in the Counseling program. Her research explores how culture and context shapes individuals mental health and wellbeing with a focus on autism, immigrant mental health, and international adoption.


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