M.S.Ed. School Counseling

School counselor speaking with student and smiling

Integrate your passion with the skills and knowledge needed to become a school counselor.

Program Info

This CACREP accredited program prepares graduates for school counseling certification, and licensure as a professional counselor (LPC) which is essential employment in the mental health field and private practice. Students may complete the Master's of Science in Education in School 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 are very successful in obtaining employment in school and mental health settings.

Strengths of the 60-credit School 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: The program meets the academic requirements in Pennsylvania (and most other states) for both School Counseling Certification, and Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC), which is essential for working in the mental health field
  • Level II Certification: This program satisfies the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) academic requirements for level II instructional (teacher) certification for persons with a level I instructional (teacher) certificate
  • Time to Degree: Earning your Master's degree in School 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
  • Small to Moderate Class Sizes: Classes typically range from 6-25 students and are conveniently held in the evenings allowing students to remain employed during the day
  • Variety of Fieldwork Options: Students have the opportunity to experience a variety of schools and mental health agencies for fieldwork
  • Large Alumni Base: As a graduate of this program, you will be amongst the 1200 alumni who are leaving an impression on the field of mental health as leaders and innovators.

Graduates may obtain employment as/in:

  • School counselors in public, private, charter, cyber, and alternative schools as well as in intermediate units
  • School-based therapists
  • University career, admissions, and advising offices
  • Mental health counseling positions (e.g., outpatient, in-home, family-based, etc.).

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.

School Counseling Graduate Statistics
Statistics 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Number of Graduates 24 12 16 25 16 19
Completion Rate 89% 90% 98% 78% NA 100%
Praxis II Exam Pass Rate 92% 88% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Job Placement Rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
For additional information and statistics, please see the Annual Report.

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Application Materials

Our 2021 Fall admissions are closed. Applications for Fall 2022 will open on July 1, 2021 and are reviewed late fall. Interviews begin in early Spring. Applications are accepted for fall semesters only.

Upon submitting the university application applicants will be prompted to submit a:

  • Resume/curriculum vitae 
  • Graduate education essay (limited to 250 words and should concern the applicant's professional plans upon acquiring a master's degree in counseling).

In the university application applicants will be asked to provide the contact information for two (2) recommenders, who will subsequently receive an email prompting the recommender to upload their recommendation for the applicant. Recommendations must be from individuals who can speak about your academic/professional abilities (i.e. faculty/supervisor). Family, friends, and professional colleagues are not acceptable references. Upon submitting a completed application, the counselor education program will contact applicants to arrange an interview.

Duquesne University Application

Official transcripts

Submit transcripts and if necessary, MATs 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



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.

Application Deadline

Applicants are encouraged to submit a completed application by March 1. Applications are only considered for fall semester entry to the program.

Admission Requirement

3.0 GPA*

*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.

**Note: In the case of GPA exceptions, we adhere to this State mandated requirement:

In accordance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), a school counseling applicant must have earned a grade point average (GPA) of at least a 2.8 for their last 48 credits. Upon receiving the applicant's transcripts, Duquesne university calculates the applicant's GPA, and notifies the applicant if the GPA is below 2.8. Those applicants who have earned at least a 2.8 but less than a 3.0 GPA for their last 48 credits, must submit either the GRE or MAT scores with their application.

International Applicants - Additional Application Steps


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 who attended a university outside of the United States.

Score Requirements
The University requires the following minimum scores in each area to be considered for admission. TOEFL: a minimum of 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT) with no sub-score less than 17, or 550 on the paper-based test 
IELTS: a minimum of 6.5 with no sub-score less than those listed for each area. Official TOEFL and IELTS scores must be submitted to Duquesne University using the University code 2196.

Minimum required sub scores:

Reading 17 6.5
Writing 17 5.5
Speaking 17 5.5
Listening 17 6.0

Additionally, 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 their chosen degree program

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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Jered Kolbert

Jered Kolbert, Ph.D.

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

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
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.

David Delmonico

David Delmonico, Ph.D.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, & 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.

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
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.

Matthew Joseph

Matthew Joseph, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

103B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.6110
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

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

Waganesh Zeleke

Waganesh Zeleke, Ed.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & 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 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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