Ph.D. Special Education

Become a leader in special education and advance your passion for providing quality environments for individuals with disabilities.

Program Info

The Ph.D. in Special Education degree is an 80-credit program that prepares global leaders in research and scholarly inquiry, and prepares graduates for professional careers in the field of special education. Our mission is to prepare skilled education professionals who will maximize the potential for achieving meaningful quality of life for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to the preparation of leaders distinguished not only by their academic and professional expertise, but also by their ethics and guided by consciences sensitive to the needs of global society. The doctoral curriculum is designed with an emphasis on early intervention and social justice. The program offers convenient options of full or part-time course loads. The program has summer courses and a couple of online courses. We offer the following course sequences in the Ph.D. Special Education program: Assessment/Learning with Certification, Assessment/Learning without Certification, Autism/Behavior with Certification, and Autism/Behavior without Certification.

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The application deadline is March 31 for the upcoming fall semester.

Admissions Requirements

  • 3.0 GPA*
  • Minimum of a bachelor's degree in education or related field.

*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

*Note - the specific program application is available in the applicant portal in the University application link above

Send official transcripts from accredited university/college to:


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

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores obtained within five years of application date

Three letters of recommendation from professional references

Letter of Intent


Admission Process

All candidates must complete an interview with special education faculty. Video-based interviews are available to international students and students outside of the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

Note: 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 & Aid

A Duquesne degree is an investment in your future and increases in value over time. 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. By making this investment in yourself, you will receive the highest level of academic quality from our highly regarded, diverse faculty who are at the forefront of the field of education. 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.

Financial aid and award opportunities are available:

  • 25% Tuition award 
  • Information about potential opportunities for program-based graduate assistantships is obtained in the application process through the Program 
  • University-offered graduate assistantships are available for competitive applications. For graduate assistantships offered by the School of Education, please contact the Program Director or Chair of the Department for your desired program.

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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Ann Huang

Ann Huang, Ph.D.

Program Director
Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and 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 the associate editor for two top-tier journals in the world.

Morgan Chitiyo

Morgan Chitiyo, Ph.D.

Department Chair
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

103C Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4036
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Morgan Chitiyo (Ph.D., Applied Behavior Analysis, Tennessee Technological University, 2005) is a professor of Special Education and currently serves as Department Chair for the Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education. He is also co-editor of the African Journal of Special and Inclusive Education, associate editor of the Journal of International Special Needs Education, and former editor of the Journal of the International Association of Special Education. His research interests include positive behavior supports, autism, and special education professional development. Dr. Chitiyo has been recognized for his work through awards such as the Outstanding McNair Scholars' Mentor, the School of Education Excellence in Scholarship award, the School of Education Excellence in Service award, and the President’s Award for Excellence in Service to the Mission.

Dr. Bridget Green

Bridget Green, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and 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.

Temple Lovelace

Temple Lovelace, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and 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. 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.

Justin Page

Justin Page, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education

G9B Canevin Hall
Phone: 412.396.4475
Curriculum Vitae
Full Profile

Justin Page (Ph.D., BCBA-D Special Education, The Ohio State University, 2013) recently joined the Special Education program. Dr. Page teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, embedding behavior analytic approaches to special education in his classes. His research involves the application of behavior analysis to increase physical activity in people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, reduce challenging behavior, and staff/teacher training on behavioral techniques.

Apryl Poch

Apryl Poch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and 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.

Kinsey Wright

Kinsey Wright, Ed.S.

Clinical Instructor
Department of Counseling, Psychology, and 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.

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