You may choose to live in one of the Pittsburgh neighborhoods surrounding Duquesne's campus. In doing so, you may find that living on your own comes with newly found opportunities and responsibilities. We remind students to always be responsible neighbors within their communities and to meet the Expectations of a Duquesne Student.

Off-Campus Commuter Guide

Additional Resources

If you're living off-campus—or thinking about making the move—and have questions about landlords, leases, roommates, neighbors and neighborhoods, safety, moving and more, we are here to help. See the articles in our Resources section, check out our Off-Campus Housing Guides, or reach out to our office.

Campus Residency Policy

You may start living off campus beginning your junior year. Per the Campus Residency Policy, students in their freshman or sophomore year are required to live on campus or at home with their parent/guardian(s).

City of Pittsburgh Code

Students who live off campus should be advised that according to City of Pittsburgh Code, no more than three unrelated individuals are permitted to reside together in one rental housing unit.

Updating Your Information in DORI

In order to be in compliance with federal regulations concerning student location, and to assure the efficient and effective delivery of important University communications, all students are responsible for maintaining current and accurate addresses, telephone numbers and emergency contact information at all times.

Students must regularly review and update their permanent and local (if applicable) addresses and phone numbers and must also report having moved temporarily to a location that would not be considered a local, commutable distance from campus nor would it constitute a permanent address change.

Students will be prompted at the beginning of each semester to log on to DORI and use Self-Service Banner to review and update address as well as emergency contact information. Any necessary changes must be made no later than the final date of registration for each term. Any subsequent changes must be made within 14 days of the actual change. Failure to do so will result in student conduct charges.

Up to four address types should be reviewed and updated by students and will be stored and maintained in the Banner Student System. These address types are:

  • Home - permanent residential address

  • Local - address of residence for your studies during the semester if not residing at HOME or in an on-campus RESIDENCE hall

  • Residential - address in one of the on-campus residence halls

  • Temporary - temporary relocation from HOME, LOCAL, or RESIDENTIAL address for your studies during the semester

Details regarding address updates can be found at Change of Personal Information Procedures.

Rental Listings Bulletin Board

An Off-Campus Housing Bulletin Board is located in the Commuter Lounge, Room 120 of the Duquesne Union. Individuals wishing to post available apartments or sublets are welcome to place flyers/handouts on this board. There is a 30-day limit for postings.


How many students can live together?

Students who live off campus should be advised that according to City of Pittsburgh code, no more than three unrelated individuals are permitted to reside together in one rental housing unit.

Roommate Expectations

It is important you take the time to find a roommate(s) that will make living in your new rental property as enjoyable as possible. Finding a compatible roommate(s) is equally as important as finding that perfect rental property.

Clear Expectations

Talk to your prospective roommate(s) and discuss each other's expectations regarding living together. Sign a roommate(s) agreement regarding topics and issues listed below:

Household Rules
  • Will there be specific quiet study hours?
  • Will everyone share the cost of food or shop individually and have a hands-off policy?
  • Who is responsible for washing dishes, throwing out the garbage, cleaning the rental unit, etc.?
  • Will overnight guests be permitted? If so, what are the stipulations?
  • What temperature should the thermostat be set at - winter and summer?
Discuss the Lease Terms

Regardless of whether or not you are living in the rental property all year round, you are responsible for paying your rent on time for the entire lease term. Make sure you and your roommate(s) are aware of one another's plans. You all should be in agreement on items such as:

Will each roommate be responsible for paying a share of the utilities, even if he/she is not residing in the property?

If a roommate wants to find a replacement for his/her room and the landlord permits this, is everyone comfortable with the arrangement?

Will the current roommates have a say in selecting the new/temporary roommate?

Paying Rent

Some landlords require rent to be paid with one check, so make sure to create an agreement on how and who will pay the rent each month.

Unforeseen Circumstances and Dealing with Household Conflict

You can't predict everything in life, but you can certainly plan for the future. For example, a roommate may run into financial difficulties and be forced to move out without paying rent. This may leave the financial burden on you and the remaining roommate(s). Therefore, it is best to decide how the household will deal with a situation such as this, to help resolve potential conflict in the future.

It's nearly impossible to discuss every scenario that may come up during the lease term, but you can generally outline resolution procedures to help if and when conflict arises. For example, you and your roommate(s) can establish house meetings and a voting system to resolve problems. If you need another person's prospective, you can contact Tim Lewis, Director of Commuter Affairs, at (412) 396-6660. He would be happy to talk with you.

Roommate Agreements

Living with another person(s) can be an incredible experience, but it can be trying at times, too. Issues can arise from important things like paying the rent on time, deciding who is going to clean and take out the garbage, and figuring out how groceries are going to be purchased. Living with others takes hard work and sometimes a great deal of patience. A roommate agreement can help you and your roommates navigate through common issues and make a big difference in maintaining healthy relationships between roommates.

When you sign a lease with other people, you become liable for each of your roommates' obligations to the landlord. If one roommate does something that violates the lease, it can have a negative impact upon all roommates.

You can find many sample roommate agreements by simply doing a Google search. You can also deign your own contract. It is recommend that you and your roommates complete a roommate agreement prior to moving in.

Use our Roommate Agreement template or create your own using any/all of the following:

  • How the rent will be paid?
  • Utilities, Cable & Internet: Whose name will they be in and how will they be paid?
  • Will individuals purchase their own food or will roommates do so as a group?
  • Are roommates permitted to eat another roommate's food?
  • Visitors/Guests: What are the expectations as far as guests? Overnight guests?
  • Noise & quiet times
  • Rules regarding gatherings or parties
  • Cleaning: Who is responsible, how often, etc.?
  • Household supplies
  • Alcohol use and smoking
  • How will things be handled or dealt with when problems do arise?

Have questions about creating a Roommate Agreement that best fits your situation? Contact our staff--we're happy to help.

Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

One of the things that makes Pittsburgh such a great city is its number of unique neighborhoods. The following sites offer more information about Pittsburgh's neighborhoods.

Grocery Stores

The following are grocery stores and other locations where groceries can be purchased throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Bikes throughout Pittsburgh

POGOH is Pittsburgh's newest bikeshare program.

Bike Safety Tips
  • Stay alert--don't use a cell phone or earphones while riding
  • Watch out for pedestrians and vehicles
  • Wear a helmet
  • Wear reflective clothing after dark
  • Follow motor vehicle regulations
  • Always lock your bike
  • Use bike lanes whenever possible
PA Bike Laws
  • No riding on sidewalks in business districts
  • Stop at red lights and stop signs
  • Ride with flow of traffic
  • A front headlight and rear reflectors are required during dawn, dusk and after dark
  • Bicycle Safety and Pennsylvania Laws

Things to Consider

Expenses and Extra Costs

A very important consideration when looking into off-campus housing is the cost of living. To determine the affordability of a rental unit, you will need to consider the following: rent, utilities (not covered in the rent), renter's insurance, parking, food and other living expenses.

Because living within your means is vital, utilize a budget to keep track of your money. When renting a property, utility costs are often not included in the rent cost. Utilities can vary a great deal based on the type of unit you are renting and the age of the building. If you contact the utility company they should be able to provide you with an estimate of monthly costs based upon the previous tenants. It is important that you budget extra money each month for electric, gas, cable, internet and water.


Pittsburgh has plenty of wonderful neighborhoods that offer resources and entertainment to suit everyone's tastes and interests. For example, we have students that live in the South Side, Uptown, Oakland and Mt. Washington as well as other neighborhoods all within a short walking distance, bus ride, or individual commute.

Talk to other students and individuals who live in the area. Often, they can be your best resource when trying to find an off-campus apartment.

Never live in an area where you feel unsafe.

Visit the area during various times of the day and night and on weekends to see what the area is like.

Choosing a Landlord

To learn more about a particular landlord, research by Googling the landlord/company name and talking to current tenants. Find out what their experience has been and ask questions such as:

  • Was the apartment/house ready to move in at the start of the lease term?
  • Was it easy to get in touch with the landlord?
  • Does the landlord make repairs in a timely fashion?
  • Is the landlord respectful and easy to work with?
  • Would you rent again from this landlord?
  • Do they have a rating with the Better Business Bureau?

Decoding Housing Advertisements

Abbreviations are frequently used when describing apartments to prospective renters. Since the price of many classified advertisements is determined by the number of words, using abbreviations allows realtors to give more information about their rental units in less space.

Common Abbreviations

Apt = Apartment
AC or a/c = Air Conditioning
Avail = Available
BA = Bathroom
BR = Bedroom
Dep Req = Security Deposit Required
DW = Dishwasher
Eff = Efficiency
F = Female
FP = Fireplace
Furn = Furnished
Grad = Graduate Student
HW = Hardwood Floors
Imm = Immediate
Inc = Included
M = Male
M/F = Male or Female
MW = Microwave
NS = Non-smoker
OBO = Or Best Offer
Occ = Occupancy
Part Furn = Partially Furnished
Prkg = Parking
Prof = Professional (non-student)
Pref = Preferred
Ref = References
Twnhse = Townhouse
Unfurn = Unfurnished
Util = Utilities
W/D = Washer and Dryer
W,E,G,C,P = Water, Electric, Gas, Cable, Phone
W/W = Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

How to Inspect a Property

Before signing a lease, thoroughly inspect the entire property. Below is a checklist to guide your inspection.

  • Create a checklist with your landlord.
  • Turn on all faucets/showerheads to make sure the hot/cold water works.
  • Flush all toilets to ensure they work properly.
  • Open windows to check the condition of their hardware and to make sure they aren't painted shut. Make sure to check that the screens are in good condition.
  • Bedroom windows should be large enough to escape through in case of a fire.
  • Make sure that all windows have locks in proper working condition.
  • Confirm there is a minimum of one smoke alarm per floor.
  • Inspect the walls, floors and carpet for moisture damage or mold.
  • Check the thermostat and make sure the heat and air conditioning work properly.
  • Make sure all exterior doors have appropriate, functioning and securely installed locks. If there is not a bolt or other security measure installed, ask the landlord or property manager to provide one.
  • Make sure there is a sufficient amount of outdoor lighting for your safety.
  • Check all appliances to make sure they work.
  • Check the basement for water or openings to the outside.
  • Talk to the current tenants to see if they have had any problems or issues with the property.

Security Safety Checklist

Please use this checklist to help you decide about the security/safety of the off-campus housing you are considering. Visit the neighborhood during the day and at night.

  • Are the buildings and grounds well maintained?
  • Are the grounds manicured?
  • Are common areas neat? Is trash lying around?
  • Are the entryways, sidewalks, and parking areas well lit? Are they visible from the street?
  • Are the residents' names (first and last) printed on the mailboxes?
  • Are the mailboxes lockable and in good condition?
  • Are the parking lots and surrounding streets free of abandoned cars?
  • Is available parking close to your door?
  • Is there room to park closer to your door at night and on weekends?
  • What kind of security is at the entrance?
  • Does your property door have a peephole?
  • Can police or passersby see the entryway?
  • It should be well lighted at night.
  • Are the doors and windows easily visible and not obscured by trees and bushes?
  • Are curtains, shades or blinds provided?
  • Do the doors and windows have sturdy locks?
  • The windows should also have key locks.
  • The door should have hinges on the inside, not the outside.
  • The door should have a deadbolt lock. Chain locks and knob locks are not sufficient.
  • The door should fit tightly in the frame. No more than 1/8" clearance

Security Deposit

What is a Security Deposit?

A required, yet refundable, payment to the landlord when the landlord and tenant sign the lease. It is usually the amount of one or two month's rent. When the lease ends, the landlord must return the security deposit if no violations of the lease have occurred. The landlord may keep part of the security deposit if there are any documented damaged to the property as outlined in the lease.

Tips to ensure you get your security deposit back:

  • Take pictures and videos of the entire property prior to moving in furniture.
  • Document everything from floor to ceiling.
  • Make a list of all repairs in writing and keep a copy for your records.

A security deposit is refundable within 30 days after your lease ends, as long as:

  • You are up-to-date on rent.
  • The property is returned in the same condition as it was received.
  • You have provided a forwarding address.

What to Expect When Signing a Lease

A lease is a contract by which one conveys real estate, equipment, or facilities for a specified term and for a specified rent. It is a legally binding document. Do not enter into one unless you are comfortable with all terms and conditions.

  • Although not all landlords have the same policies, typically renting requirements in the Pittsburgh area are somewhat consistent.
  • Everyone on the lease may be asked to fill out an application which typically has a cost associated with it. The landlord may also check your credit report.
  • Many landlords require student tenants to have a co-signer, often a parent/guardian.
  • Have all tenants and co-signers sign the lease and submit it at one time.
  • Once all documents have been signed, make sure each roommate has a copy of the lease. Be sure to keep a copy of the lease on the premises.
  • Save your copy of the lease. You may wish to provide a copy to your parents/guardians as well.

Renters Insurance

If you rent, your landlord's insurance policy provides coverage for the dwelling or building in unexpected circumstances like theft, fire, sewer backup, etc., but not your belongings.

Renters insurance protects your personal property. This means if your things are damaged due to a circumstance outlined in your policy, your insurer may pay actual cash value of the item or its replacement cost, depending on what kind of policy you choose.

Renters insurance does not necessarily protect you from all risks, so familiarize yourself with what's covered and what's not. For example, most renters insurance does not provide coverage for damage due to an earthquake.

Additionally, if your parents have a homeowner's policy, you can check their coverage to see if it extends to your belongings already, without purchasing renters insurance.

Signed a Lease, Preparing to Move - What's Next?

Moving into an apartment/house can be a very exciting time, as you'll have a new place to live and a new sense of freedom, as well as a different set of responsibilities. The Office of Commuter Affairs is here to assist you with this process.

To make sure your move is as smooth as possible:

Schedule a date and time to get the keys for your rental property.
Meet your landlord at your unit to get the keys so you are able to do a walk through before moving your furniture. During the walk through, take pictures or videos of the entire rental property, especially holes in the wall from pictures, carpet stains, dents in appliances, etc. You don't want to be charged for these damages when you move out.

Rent a moving truck.
Rent your truck in advance to ensure you have one for the day of your move.

Buy renters insurance.
Renters insurance provides coverage for lost or damaged items due to a fire, theft or vandalism to your rented property. It is an inexpensive way to safeguard your belongings.

Set up your utilities.
Talk with your landlord about what utilities are your responsibility and need to be set up in your name. This may include gas, water, electric, cable, internet, etc. Contact local companies ahead of time to get these services to your property by the time you move in. You may need the following to set up your utility accounts:

  • Rental address
  • Deposit fee
  • Proof of identity (driver's license, student ID, etc.)
  • Social Security Number or passport

Buy parking permits.
Be prepared by researching and, if necessary, purchasing the following in advance of your move:

Local parking permit for your neighborhood
Duquesne University parking permit
Duquesne University South Side Shuttle

Be a Respectful Neighbor

The following are suggestions to build a good relationship with your neighbors and foster a healthy community in which to live.

  • Know your neighbors: It's always a good idea to introduce yourself to your neighbors, and to create and maintain a positive relationship with them. Exchange cell phone numbers with them and let them know to contact you if they ever have any concerns.
  • Greet your neighbors: Demonstrate an interest in them. Make an effort to meet them and learn their names.
  • Get involved with your neighborhood: Be an active member of your community.
  • Lend a hand: Your neighbors will appreciate any help you offer, so look out for opportunities to lend a hand.
  • Keep noise to a reasonable level: Whether you like to host social gatherings, listen to loud music, or play video games, you should always be aware of the noise you are creating.
  • Maintain your property: Your neighbors care about the exterior of your home, and litter outside may make things seem "out of control." Make sure to keep your lawn and sidewalks clean and clear! Take pride in your residence.
  • Take out your trash: It's important to know when your trash pick-up days are so that your trash is out at the appropriate time. Also, make sure that your trash is placed in appropriate containers.
  • Be cautious when parking: Be considerate of your parking habits and avoid taking numerous parking spots, blocking sidewalks and driveways and always consider safety implications.
  • Watch your speed: Make sure to pay special attention to the children, elderly and pets in your neighborhood.
  • Keep drinking age in mind: If you are serving alcohol at your residence, ensure your guests are of legal drinking age. It is illegal to provide or serve alcohol to minors, and there are consequences for these acts.
  • Host friends, not parties: Large parties create noise, trash and parking problems that your neighbors may not appreciate. Keep your gatherings to a minimum and at appropriate times.
  • Take responsibility for your guests: While at your residence, your guests are your responsibility. Instruct them to respect your neighbors' property and the community.
  • Report suspicious activity: One thing your neighbors certainly value is the safety of their community. Therefore, if you see any suspicious activity in the area, it's always a smart idea to report it!
  • Respect local codes and ordinances: Be aware of any local codes and ordinances that may be in effect, as these were developed to protect you and your neighbor's rights.
  • Remember to represent Duquesne University: Lastly, it's essential to remember that even when you're away from campus, you are still a representative of the Duquesne University community. Being a respectful neighbor will ensure a positive experience for you, your neighborhood and the University.

Responsibilities as a Tenant

Moving into your own apartment is an exciting change that can be fun and rewarding if you are aware of your responsibilities as a tenant, roommate, neighbor, member of the community, and a Duquesne University student. Common sense and knowing your legal responsibilities will help you if a rental problem occurs. For the most part, landlords desire a positive relationship with their tenants.

Paying Rent

Paying your rent and paying it on time is important. The Office of Commuter Affairs suggests that you do not pay rent with cash unless you receive a written receipt indicating the month of rent, amount, date received, and signature of the landlord. This is your documentation if the payment comes into question in the future. Paying rent with a check or money order is preferred because it provides you with proof of payment. If you and your roommate(s) are required to submit only one check rather than individually, make sure to get everyone's share before the rent is due so that payment is not late and you do not incur late charges. Your rent should be paid up-to-date even if you are having a problem with your landlord.


Your rental unit must meet minimal construction, maintenance and safety standards of the City of Pittsburgh. Landlords are responsible for replacing or repairing items to keep the unit in a habitable condition. Tenants are responsible for contacting their landlord when a problem arises. If possible, follow up with an email, so you have proof of your request and the date the landlord was notified. Landlords are required to make the repair(s) within a reasonable length of time unless it's an emergency situation.

Housing Code Violations

If you feel your rental unit does not meet housing code requirements and are unable to resolve the issue with the landlord, you may need to wish to file a complaint with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspection and ask them to visit your unit for an inspection. If the unit does not meet legal standards, a notice and a timeline will be given to the landlord for correction of these requirements.

Rights and Responsibilities

The Office of Commuter Affairs provides this general information to assist students in understanding tenant and landlord responsibilities. You should not consider this as legal advice.

It is very important that students living off-campus are aware of their rights and responsibilities both as Duquesne University students and as members of their local community. The following links are provided for further information:

Trash Removal and Recycling

To find information regarding the City of Pittsburgh's trash removal and recycling as well as your collection day and/or schedule reminders, please visit:

  • Refuse - Weekly
  • Recycling - Every Other Week
  • Bulky Waste - Weekly (Limit Two Items per Week)
  • Yard Debris - Biannual

All trash/garbage must be tightly bagged before placing in cans and cans must have tight lids. If possible, cans should not be visible from the street.

Municipal waste and recyclables shall be placed for collection no earlier than 6 p.m. the day before collection and no later than 6 a.m. the day of collection. Containers shall be removed from collection site and stored no later than 10 p.m. on collection days.

Recycling is required by the City of Pittsburgh. Recyclable materials should be placed in either a blue bag or blue bin no bigger than 35 gallons and set out away from your refuse. For further information regarding residential recycling, please visit:

In the event that the tenant is out of compliance with City regulations governing trash storage, disposal, and recycling, then the City shall issue a citation.

Environmental Services has developed a program which will remind you of your trash and recycling days. It's free and easy to use, just follow these steps:

  • Visit
  • Enter your street address along with your zip code.
  • The trash, recycle and yard pick-up will then show up for your area.
  • Then choose the "Get Reminders" option in the upper left corner. There are several options to choose from. You should receive a confirmation text once you enter in your phone number.

Disposing of Bulk Items

Follow the City of Pittsburgh guidelines regarding the disposal of bulk waste:

Acceptable Items

Bulk waste includes common large and over-sized items, such as:

  • Sofas, Recliner Chairs, Tables
  • Box Springs, Mattresses, Dressers
  • Stoves, Washers, Dryers
  • Toilets, Hot Water Tanks
  • Windows, Cabinets
  • Fencing in bundles not exceeding 35 pounds or 5 feet in length
  • Visit: to determine if your bulk items can be picked up with your regular trash or if you need to schedule a special pick-up!

Bulk Waste may be set out curbside with your regularly scheduled refuse pick-up.

  • Limit two items per week
  • Place at curb no earlier than 7:00 p.m. on the night before collection and no later than 6:00 a.m. on the day of collection

Unacceptable Items

The City of Pittsburgh does not collect the following items curbside:

  • Televisions, Computers, Peripherals
  • Freon Appliances
  • Household Chemicals/Hazardous Wastes
  • Demolition and Construction Wastes
  • Batteries, Light Bulbs
  • Car and Automobile Parts, Tires

Be sure to visit our Materials Recovery Map to explore additional options for re-use, recycling or responsible disposal of various items.

Excessive Bulk Waste

Any excess material and other excessively large items above the two-item limit will not be collected unless special pickup arrangements have been made.

  • A minimum cost of $100 for each half-hour applies to special bulk pickups.
  • Personal checks or money orders only. Make checks payable to City of Pittsburgh Treasurer.
  • Call (412) 255-2773 to arrange for a special pickup.

Home Safety

General Safety Tips
  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times, even when you are home. Check to make sure your locks are working properly. Double check doors and windows before going to bed.
  • Do not leave your car keys or valuable items in the open where they would be easily found and stolen. Do not leave laptops, iPads or phone unattended even for a minute.
  • Do not invite strangers, or just casual acquaintances, into your home where they will have the opportunity to case your residence. Do not prop open doors. If you have scheduled a utility company appointment, ask for an ID or badge before allowing entry.
  • If you are home alone and believe someone has unlawfully entered your residence, call 911 immediately - tell the dispatcher your address and where you are located within the house. Yell out to the intruder, "I have called the police, you better leave!"
Tips to Consider if you will be leaving for Break
  • Take all trash out
  • Empty refrigerator
  • During cold months, leave the heat on enough so that no pipes freeze
  • Unplug any non-essential appliances
    Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secured
  • Close window blinds or curtains
  • Do not hide spare keys anywhere
  • Buy a timer that automatically turns on lights at a predetermined time or when there is motion
  • Take anything of value home with you. Do not leave valuables near windows or in plain sight.
  • Take pictures of valuables
  • Let permanent resident neighbors know you will be away for break and ask them to keep an eye on your apartment. You may want them to collect any mail you receive as well. It would be a good idea to provide them with your cell phone number in case they need to reach you.
  • You might want to consider stopping your mail while you are away. Please visit the following link for more details:

Personal Safety

Although there are many resources and services available to help support your safety, it is up to you to take necessary precautions to stay safe.

DU Alert Information

How does the system work?
In an emergency, the DU Alert system sends alerts to your mobile phone, and other designated contact methods, so you can receive these important messages. Notices about class cancellations and office closings due to weather will be sent via DU Alert and other methods.

When you are sent an alert, you must confirm that you received it. If you do not respond, the system will send a message to the next land-line phone number or an office phone, followed by an alert to your Duquesne e-mail address.

If you do not respond, the alerts will continue for about five cycles. Once you respond, it will stop.

How do I subscribe?
Current students can subscribe when they sign up for or change their MultiPass.

Please provide the number for your mobile device and an additional "land line" phone number. (Only one mobile phone number is accepted by the system.)

Add or change numbers even when you are not changing your MultiPass.

There is no charge. However, you are responsible for any charges from your phone company associated with receiving an alert voice or text message.

What if my phone number changes?
You can update your contact information when you change your MultiPass. You are responsible for making sure your contact information remains accurate. Duquesne will not update it from other University sources.

Will you share my cell phone number?
No. The contact data you provide will go only to the third party vendor that operates DU Alert. It will not be used to update any other Duquesne systems and will not be sold or disclosed to anyone else.

When required by law (e.g. in compliance with a subpoena or court order), your contact information may be disclosed.

When is my subscription deactivated?

  • When you leave the University.
  • If your University affiliation changes; you will not be notified.
  • If it has been determined (after due process) that you have intentionally abused or harmed the system.
Crime Prevention Unit

The Duquesne University Department of Public Safety offers a variety of ongoing programs designed to educate and sensitize members of the community to crime prevention and safety issues, particularly the recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the most effective protective measures. These are offered for Residence Hall groups, new student orientations, student interest groups and employee training programs.

The mission of the Crime Prevention Unit is to reduce the incidence of crimes against persons and property on the Duquesne University campus through public education. In an effort to promote community awareness, it is the desire of the Department of Public Safety to establish a working relationship with the Duquesne University community. We hope to accomplish this through making public education programs available to students, faculty and staff. The following programs are offered, and a description of each program can be found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Any individual or group interested in attending or scheduling a program is invited to contact Deputy Chief Lee Speer at (412) 396-4935 or speerFREEDUQUESNE.

  • Workplace Violence
  • Look Up, Walk Smart and Be Aware
  • Rape Awareness and Prevention
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Awareness
  • Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD)
  • Self-Defense Awareness and Familiarization Exchange Program (SAFE)
  • Traveling Alone Safety
  • Operation Identification
  • First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Vacation Safety
  • Child Safety & Child Safety Seat Inspection
  • Relationship Violence

Safety Tips

  • Never walk alone. However, if you must walk alone, have a plan and travel in lighted and well-traveled areas. If possible, wait and "tag along" with a group going your way. Avoid short cuts or remote areas. Be extra cautious at night.
  • Walk facing traffic. Be cautious of drivers that stop to talk. Use ride shares safely, match the ride license plate and driver name with App.
  • BE AWARE of your surroundings! Giving the appearance of not paying attention and not being alert is what offenders look for in a victim.
  • Always tell someone where you will be and what time you are going to return. Use the buddy system at parties and events.
  • Do not wear headphones while walking or jogging.
  • Do not read while walking or standing on the street.
  • If you feel you are being followed: cross the street, change directions, keep looking back.
  • Trust your instincts: If something "feels wrong", something probably is wrong.
  • If you find yourself in a situation with an assailant, do not be afraid to loudly call for help.
  • Keep doors and windows locked at all times; check to make sure your locks are working properly. Double check doors and windows before going to bed.
  • Do not leave your car keys or valuable items in the open where they would be easily found and stolen. Do not leave laptops, iPads or phones unattended, even for a minute.
  • Do not invite strangers, or just casual acquaintances, into your home where they will have the opportunity to case your residence. Do not prop open doors.
  • If you are home alone and believe someone has unlawfully entered your residence, call 911 immediately - tell the dispatcher your address and where you are located within the house. Yell out to the intruder, "I have called the police, you better leave!
  • Do NOT go onto rooftops! Doing so is NEVER a good idea.
  • Finally, as always, remember that if you see something, say something.

Fire Safety and Prevention

Campus Fire Safety Video from the U.S. Fire Administration

National Fire Protection Association - Fire Safety Tips

When residing off campus, follow these tips to prevent apartment/house fires. They can save your life!

  • If a fire breaks out, get out and stay out-call 911.
  • Have at least one working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your residence, preferably one in each sleeping area. It is the landlord's responsibility to provide operable smoke alarms (and possibly carbon monoxide detectors) in their rental properties. Tenants are responsible for the replacement of batteries as needed. Test alarms once per month, and change batteries each semester.
  • Always know two ways out, especially from bedrooms.
  • Keep items at least three feet from heat sources, including your furnace.
  • Don't grill on a porch or within 20 feet of a building.
  • Don't store gasoline or lighter fluid inside your residence.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher near your kitchen and know how to use it.
  • Make sure your extension cords or power strips are rated for the wattage of your products to be plugged in; do not run them through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors; if a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which leads to a fire hazard.
  • Don't overload electrical outlets.

Common Factors Relating to Fires

  • Missing or disabled smoke detectors.
  • Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption.
  • Careless disposal of smoking materials.
  • Upholstered furniture fires on decks and porches.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of residential fires.
  • Fire Fatalities were attributed to disabled smoke alarms, lack of sprinklers, electrical issues, careless disposal of trash, alcohol consumption and impaired judgement.

Reporting Non-Emergencies and Concerns - 311

The City of Pittsburgh has a Non-Emergency Response Center for concerns or questions known as 311. Learn more and download MyBurgh for Android & iOS.

Important Phone Numbers

  • On-Campus Emergency: (412) 396-COPS (2677)
    On-Campus Non-Emergency: (412) 396-6002
  • Duquesne University Weather Hotline: (412) 396-1700
  • Off-Campus Emergency: 911
  • Off-Campus Non-Emergency: 311 (City of Pittsburgh) or (412) 255-2621 (Outside City of Pittsburgh)
  • Allegheny County Health Department: (412) 687-224
  • Allegheny County Human Services: (412) 350-6897
  • Poison Information Center: 1 (800) 222-1222
  • City of Pittsburgh: Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections: (412) 255-2175
  • Neighborhood Legal Services Association: (412) 255-6700 or 1 (866) 761-6572
  • Title IX Coordinator & Director of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response: (412) 396-2560
  • Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR): 1 (866) 363-7273
  • City of Pittsburgh Police Departments - To fine the police department for your area visit:


When a tenant whose name is on a lease rents a room, a portion of property, or all of the property to another, it is referred to as subleasing (or subletting). The subtenant must pay rent and comply with the lease terms, but the principal tenant remains ultimately responsible for the lease.

Need someone to take over your lease for a period of time? Are you are certain your landlord permits subleasing? Remember that you may still be held responsible for the rent and/or potential property damage when subleasing your rental unit to someone else. To understand the implications of subleasing, be sure to check your lease and talk to your landlord for further information!

Donate and Help Others

Consider donating items that are in good condition. You may even be able to have these items picked up. For further information, please visit the following sites:

The Salvation Army

St. Vincent de Paul


Move Out Checklist

Check your lease for your move-out period notice.

Notify the landlord prior to the deadline, in writing, of your intent to stay or to move out after the lease term.

Be sure to pay your last month's rent.

You cannot substitute your last month's rent with the already-paid security deposit.

Clean the property thoroughly.

A thorough cleaning job includes removing all tacks, nails and tape from the walls. It also includes replacing any light bulbs that are burned out.

Document the condition of the property.

Once this has been completed-and, ideally, once you move your furniture out, complete a move-out checklist and take pictures/video ( just like you did when you moved in) to show in what condition you left the property. You also want to do a walk-through with the landlord, so that you can inspect the property together.

Cancel all utility, cable, internet, etc. accounts.

Ensure that you call all of your utility companies directly to schedule a date to disconnect all your utilities. Remember your bills have to be paid in full before you are permitted to close your accounts.

Return all keys.

You might want to have your landlord sign something indicating you returned all keys.

Provide your landlord with a forwarding address.

If you want your security deposit back, you must provide your landlord with a forwarding address.