M.S.Ed. Special Education - Cognitive, Behavior, Physical/Health Disabilities (CBP/HD)

Teacher at whiteboard instructing class

Learn to evoke every student's full potential and become an advocate for all learners.

Program Info

The philosophy of Duquesne University's Master's of Science in Education in Special Education - Cognitive, Behavior, and Physical/Health Disabilities program is one that acknowledges the dignity and uniqueness of an individual. This program molds teacher leaders who have academic and professional expertise that is enlightened by ethics to sensitively guide individuals with needs in the global society. Students can choose to specialize in grades PreK-8 or 7-12 Secondary programs. The graduate PreK-8 curriculum and 7-12 Secondary curriculum in special education is designed to facilitate your development of state-of-the-art competencies. Graduates are prepared to maximize the potential for achieving a meaningful quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Graduates can pursue fulfilling careers as:

  • Special Education teachers for students with cognitive, behavior, and/or physical/health disabilities in Grades PreK-12
  • Specialists in the areas of assessment, curriculum, instruction, learning, and behavior support
  • Professional advocates who develop collaborative partnerships.

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Admission Requirements

  • 3.0 GPA*
  • For admission to any graduate program in Special Education, applicants must have an instructional certification and meet the minimum GPA requirement (3.0) for their previous coursework as established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), although some exceptions may 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. 

Application Materials

  • Duquesne University Online Application
  • A statement of purpose demonstrating the applicant's Professionalism and Ethics, commitment to Academic Excellence, and commitment to Collaboration and Diversity -for the statement of purpose, the applicant should answer a set of questions framed around these themes.

Submit application materials to:

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



Applicants are also required to schedule an interview with Special Education faculty.Admission Process

All students will need to obtain the following clearances during their first semester of attendance:

Act 33 - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
Act 34 - Criminal Record Check
Act 114 - FBI Clearance
Act 126 - Mandated Reporter Training
TB test
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 who attended an university outside of the United States.

Applicants who have a prior degree(s) from a university outside the US will be required to obtain an official WES ICAP report of their transcripts for their application.

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

Minimum required subscores:

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

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.

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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, 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 application
  • 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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Temple Lovelace

Temple Lovelace, Ph.D.

Program Director, Special Education (Doctoral & BCBA programs)
Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

412B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4159
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Temple Lovelace (Ph.D., BCBA-D, Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis, The Ohio State University, 2008) is an associate professor in the department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education and the Program Director of Special Education (Doctoral & BCBA programs). Her research centers on the examination of the intersectionality of disability and race, with particular interest in creating innovative, culturally-sustaining interventions for students with emotional/behavioral disorders. In the last two years, she has secured close to $1 million in grants to support her research and the opening of the Equity X Innovation Lab which is located in the School of Education. Her local work is reflective in the following publications: Achieving Educational Equity for African American Students with and without Exceptionalities; Creating a Schoolwide Culture to Support Practitioner Research; Community-University Partnerships as Vehicles of Radical Leadership, Service and Activism; and, Experiences of African American Mothers of Sons with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Lessons for Improving Service Delivery.

Kinsey Wright

Kinsey Wright, Ed.S.

Program Director, Special Education (Master's programs)
Clinical Instructor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

103D Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.5714
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Kinsey Wright (Ed.S., Special Education, Purdue University, 2012) has been a clinical instructor of special education at Duquesne University since 2012, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses. She is a former high school special education teacher and maintains an active teaching license in Ohio. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she is involved in several ongoing research projects focused on technology based academic interventions for students with high incidence disabilities.

Bridget Green

Bridget Green, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

102A Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1852
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Bridget Green (Ed.D., Special Education with a foundation in neuroscience, George Washington University, 2013) is an assistant professor of Special Education in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education.  Her research focuses on understanding the needs of students who have disabilities transitioning into college and employment, transition assessment, and developing best practices to ensure students with and without disabilities have access to meaningful career-based assessments in the general education classroom.  Other interests include disability rights, accessibility for all, and self-advocacy for the disability community.

Ann Huang

Ann Huang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

110B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.1599
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Ann Huang (Ph.D., Applied Behavioral Analysis, Tennessee Technological University, 2007) research interests are mainly focused on assessments, education and interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Learning Disabilities, especially transition-aged adolescents with High-Functioning Autism/Asperger syndrome and Reading Disability. In addition to teaching both undergraduate- and graduate-level courses as well as chairing doctoral students’ dissertations, Dr. Huang also publishes in top-tier journals that have high impact factors and presents at both international and national professional conferences. Dr. Huang was also awarded more than 10 grants to support her research projects/activities. She is also serving as the associate editor for two top-tier journals in the world.

Apryl Poch

Apryl Poch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education

G9C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4478
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Apryl Poch (Ph.D., Special Education, University of Missouri, 2016) is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education. Dr. Poch is a former public high school Special Education/English teacher (2008-2012). Dr. Poch's research focuses on understanding the components of adolescent writing by modeling the components of the Simple View of Writing (i.e., transcription, text generation, memory, and self-regulatory executive functions), the dropout of students with disabilities, and teachers’ and students’ perceptions and beliefs about writing.

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