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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

The Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program, which is composed of 60 credits, is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Graduates of the Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program satisfy the academic requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) and for National Counseling Certification (NCC). Some states require graduation from a CACREP accredited program to obtain Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC). 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 famility counseling, and many agencies prefer the LPC to the LMFT.

Graduates may obtain employment in or work as:

  • Community mental health centers
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers
  • Mobile therapists
  • Family Based Mental Health therapists
  • Outpatient therapists
  • Behavioral specialists consultants (BSC)

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. The stimulating curriculum is designed to include experiential learning, self-reflection papers, case study analysis, and group activities.

This program can be completed within two (2) years by taking 9-12 credits per semester. Students have the option to complete the program on a full-, half-, or part-time basis if desired. Classes typically range from 6-25 students and are conveniently held in the evenings allowing students to remain employed during the day. Students have the opportunity to experience a variety of mental health agencies for fieldwork. Nearly all of the courses are taught in a traditional rather than a distance education format.

The Duquesne University School of Education is committed to assisting our students financially. The School of Education offers all students pursuing a master's degree in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program a 25% tuition scholarship for semesters in which students complete 6 or more credits.


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
Number of Graduates 8 7 7 4
Completion Rate 90% 90% 90% 80%
LPC Examination Pass Rate 88% 100% 89% 100%
Job Placement Rate 100% 100% 100% 100%
For additional information and statistics, please see the Annual Report.
Admission Requirements

Application Materials

Upon submitting the university application applicants will be prompted to submit a resume and a graduate education essay. The graduate education essay is to be limited to 250 words and should concern the applicant's professional plans upon acquiring a master's degree in counseling.

Duquesne University Application

Official transcripts

Submit transcripts and if necessary, MATs and/or GREs (see Admissions Criteria below), to:

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



Application Deadline

Applications are accepted for fall semesters only. The application deadline to be considered for the fall semester is March 1.

Admission Criteria

There is no minimum GPA requirement for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and the Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling programs, however applicants whose GPA is less than a 3.0 on a 4-point scale for their last degree (bachelor's or master's) will have their transcripts reviewed by the School of Education. 

For the School Counseling and School Counseling for Certified Teachers programs, in accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the applicant's GPA must be at least 2.8 for their last 48 credits to be admitted to these programs.

Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements, and thus must submit either a score for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) are to submit the score where they also submit their official transcript(s) (identified above).

International Applicants - Additional Application Steps

Applicants who do not have a bachelor's or master's from a non-native English speaking nation are required to submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores.  The scores are submitted to Mrs. Beverly Sughrue, Counselor Education Program, Duquesne University, School of Education, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282.  The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program conducts a review of each matriculated student upon arrival to determine individual needs for English instruction to support success in his/her chosen degree program.

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.

Graduate tuition is $1,284 per credit. In addition to tuition, 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:

  • Tuition awards between 25-35%
  • 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.


Debra Hyatt-Burkhart

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart, Ph.D.

Program Co-Director
Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

410D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5711
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Debra Hyatt-Burkhart (Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, Counselor Education and Supervision, Duquesne University, 2011) 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.

Jered Kolbert

Jered Kolbert, Ph.D.

Program Co-Director
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

110D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4471
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.

William Casile

William Casile, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

101C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6112
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

William Casile (Ph.D., Counseling, University of Pittsburgh, 1980) I served as the Director of Undergraduate Special Education (92-98) and the Director of the Doctoral Program in Counselor Education & Supervision (04-07). My initial work in teaching and advocacy on behalf of people with significant life-challenges led me to my journey in counseling and supervision. I typically teach courses in group counseling and counseling techniques, and I particularly enjoy supervision. My research explores collaboration in the supervision and development of counselors in training, and I am curious about attaining wellness. If I am not traveling or planning a trip, I feel restless.

David Delmonico

David Delmonico, Ph.D.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

110C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4032
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

David Delmonico (Ph.D., Counselor Education, Kent State University, 1997) 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.

Jocelyn Gregoire

Jocelyn Gregoire, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

110F Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4442
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Fr. Jocelyn Gregoire , CSSp; GOSK; Ed.D; NCC; LPC; ACS is a Roman Catholic Spiritan priest of over 32 years and has been involved in the counseling field for many years. He is currently an assistant professor in the counseling department of the School of Education at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to his doctorate in Education, he holds two other graduate degrees. Through his expertise as a professional counselor, he has helped thousands of people across the world in their journeys toward personal growth and healing. He is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), and a member of numerous counseling associations. He has co-authored several articles in refereed journals in the area of sexual addiction and compulsivity, identity development, social justice, and spirituality, as well as two books in counseling.

Matthew Joseph

Matthew Joseph, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G9D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6110
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Matthew Joseph (Ph.D., Psychological Studies in Education, Stanford University, 2009) is an assistant 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.

Yih-Hsing Liu

Yih-Hsing Liu, Ph.D.

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

106A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4026
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Yih-Hsing Liu (Ph.D., Counseling and Counselor Education, Syracuse University, 2016) 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.

Waganesh Zeleke

Waganesh Zeleke, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

110E Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.2465
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Waganesh Zeleke (Ed.D., LCPC,NCC. Counseling, University of Montana, 2013) has served as an assistant 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 indviuduals mental health and wellbeing with a focus on autism, immigrant mental health, and international adoption.