Perched above the city of Pittsburgh, which continues its image transformation from one of tall smoke stacks and steel mills to a modern technological center, Duquesne University might be considered a reflection of the city and its future.
Sprawled across 49 lush acres, Duquesne has become a role model for environmental consciousness, focusing on turning its campus green. The university won recognition from The Environmental Protection Agency two years in a row for purchasing more green electricity – electricity that comes from biomass, solar power, and wind, for example – than all of the schools in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Students from more than 79 countries and all 50 states have called the environmentally-conscious university their academic home at one time or another. In fact, Duquesne prides itself on its diverse student population and welcomes the differing viewpoints and life experiences its students bring.
Duquesne students celebrate the diversity among themselves throughout the academic year with university-sponsored events and symposiums, on topics ranging from disability awareness to Native American heritage. Students are invited and encouraged to get involved and have access to counseling, advocacy, workshops, and lectures through the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The university’s mission focuses heavily on having a positive impact on society, as is reflected in its mission statement: “Duquesne serves God by serving students – through commitment to excellence in liberal and professional education, through profound concern for moral and spiritual values, through the maintenance of an ecumenical atmosphere open to diversity, and through service to the Church, the community, the nation, and the world.”
In addition to a sprawling campus that features a Barnes & Noble, students have access to the city of Pittsburgh and its eclectic neighborhoods. Downtown is only a quick bike or car ride from the main campus, which sits next to The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Mercy Hospital, and the Pennsylvania transit system (PAT) offers bus service in and around the city and its suburbs.
As Pittsburgh continues to shed its image as a place for retirees and continues to cultivate its reputation as a cultural center, more young people and career professionals are flocking to the city. The South Side, the Strip District, Shadyside, and Oakland are all popular with students. Each offers restaurants, shops, bars, and cultural events on the weekends.
Sports fans can embrace the excitement of Steeler nation – the city and its people live and breathe the Steelers from training camp through post-season – and might want to catch the Penguins and the Pirates in action.
The world’s only Spiritan university, Duquesne is also a Catholic University that welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds, providing a rich educational experience for students from all walks of life. Class sizes are small, compared to large universities, with an average class size of 14 students.
Reverend Joseph Strub, with the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, founded the university in 1878 with the intent of offering first generation Americans, who were often poor, access to higher education. Known today for its diverse student population, Duquesne holds the distinction of being one of the first universities in the country to allow minorities and women.
Consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation, in 2011 Duquesne was named one of the 373 best colleges in the United States by The Princeton Review. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Duquesne offers more 75 undergraduate majors in 10 schools of study, and has master’s and doctoral programs in natural and environmental sciences, education, business, health sciences, law, leadership and professional advancement, liberal arts, music, pharmaceutical sciences, and pre-med.
Among Duquesne’s diverse majors are both the traditional and the new. Students can major in Classical Languages, Classical Latin, Classical Greek, or Classical Civilization. The school also offers a bachelor’s degree in digital media and in entrepreneurial studies, which helps students build the foundation they need to start and grow their own businesses.
Duquesne is also renowned for its School of Law. When it first opened more than 100 years ago, “twelve students—all working men" enrolled in night classes to learn “the fundamental principles of legal ethics, and of justice, rights and duties, at every point of view.” (Duquesne University Magazine)
Today, the Law School runs on the same principles and has gained national recognition by U.S. News and World Report for its legal researching and writing program. The school also publishes the Duquesne Law Review, and law students have access to The Center for Legal Information, the law school’s library.
Like many colleges and universities, Duquesne has also begun offering online degree programs that allows students to earn a bachelor’s, a master’s, or a doctoral degree completely online from anywhere in the world. Students can choose from degrees in one of the following disciplines: education, music, nursing, and leadership and professional advancement.
The Nursing Program, which has been named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, holds the distinction of offering the first 100 percent online doctoral program in nursing. The online nursing program offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) that will provide graduates with the credentials they need to work as a forensic nurse, a family nurse, or to teach nursing.
Doctoral students can earn a Doctor of Nursing or a PhD in Nursing. While the coursework for the doctoral programs can be completed online, students must travel to Pittsburgh periodically to be tested on their skills.
Duquesne also offers satellite campuses for MBA students, who can either earn their degree in Pittsburgh or at one of the university’s offsite campuses in Cranberry or Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission to Duquesne is fairly competitive, with an estimated 76 percent of applicants receiving acceptance letters. Close to 90 percent of accepted applicants ranked in the top tier of their graduating high school class.
Students are not required to complete an admission interview, although the university strongly suggests it when feasible. In addition to submitting relevant transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the applicable test scores (SAT and ACT for undergraduate admission, GRE for graduate admission, and LSAT for law school), students must write a personal essay, with a minimum of 300 words, describing their goals in attending Duquesne. Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to submit TOEFL scores.
Students who are only applying to Duquesne and are applying for the fall semester may opt for the early decision deadline. Accepted students then have until the end of the calendar year to secure their spot by paying a non-refundable deposit. The general application deadline is mid-summer.
Prospective students can either apply by downloading an application and printing it out or by completing the online application.
Applicants to the Music Program at Duquesne will be required to audition at the Mary Pappert School of Music. Auditions assess applicants’ knowledge of music theory, their performance skill level, and their “musicianship.” International students who cannot travel to Pittsburgh for an audition are required to audition by sending a DVD of a performance lasting 15 minutes.
Incoming freshmen to the physical therapy program must complete at least 40 hours of paid or unpaid service in a physical therapy-related environment before the start of the fall semester.
The majority of students at Duquesne, which is a private university, receive some sort of financial aid package. All students who intend to use financial aid to fund their schooling must fill out the FAFSA form and the university’s own financial aid form annually.
Students who have questions or concerns about the financial aid process can seek the help of experienced counselors at the Financial Aid Office.
All incoming students at Duquesne are automatically considered for an Admissions Academic Scholarship, including the Duquesne Academic Scholarship, the Laval Scholarship, and the ROTC Scholars Award. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and apply for financial aid annually to renew their scholarships.
In addition to federal and state grants, students who are full-time, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and have a financial need are eligible for the Duquesne Grant. The amount of the grant depends upon the student’s need.
Students may also use loans, such as Federal Student Loans, the Perkins Loan and the Parents Plus Loan. The Financial Aid Office can provide all of the information to help students make the best choices when deciding to apply for a student loan.
Student Financial Aid Details
Because Duquesne University is so centrally located in the city of Pittsburgh, within minutes of the suburbs, it caters to a large commuter student population. Less than half of the student body lives on campus.
Those who do live on campus live in what the university describes as “Living Learning Centers,” apartments that offer space for students to live, study, and socialize together. While men and women live in the same buildings, they are typically separated, often by floors. All freshmen and sophomores who do not live on campus are required, according to school rules, to live with either their parent(s) or a legal guardian.
Upperclassmen can live in Brottier Hall, which offers traditional apartment living with two-bedroom apartments featuring bathrooms with a shower and a tub and a dishwasher in the kitchen. Brottier Hall requires a year lease rather than for the traditional academic year. Other living learning centers offer single, double, triple, and quad rooms, which new students are assigned to, while returning students can participate in a room selection lottery.
Students on campus also have Wi-Fi access, which does not require them to have their own Internet service provider. The university offers a coverage map, so students know where the signal is the strongest. Residents at Duquesne can use the university’s LAN connection, as can commuters who bring their laptops with them to campus.
While Pittsburgh is literally Duquesne’s backyard, students will find as much to do on campus as off. The Duquesne Program Council plans and runs a variety of events on campus, including concerts, comedian performances, and film nights, often held at the AJ Palumbo Center, the home of the school’s basketball teams.
Students who want to get in or stay in shape can take advantage of The Power Center, which offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment and fitness classes, while The Health Service provides assistance to students who are sick or injured.
The UnionNite Spot is a popular hangout for students who want to take a break from studying. Open until 1 a.m., the UnionNite Spot caters to night owls and offers plenty of activities from ping-pong and skeeball to foosball and basketball machines. Students who prefer to just kick back and relax can enjoy free snacks and drinks. The popular hangout also hosts fun activities in the late evening, including bingo and movie nights.
With more than 160 student groups, including the Animal Welfare Club and Ski Club, there’s something for everyone at Duquesne. The school is home to 11 Greek fraternities while the women can pledge at one of seven sororities.
- Alpha Delta
- Alpha Tau Omega
- Alpha Phi Delta
- Delta Chi
- Tau Kappa Epsilon
- Gamma Phi
- Iota Phi Theta
- Sigma Alpha Epsilon
- Phi Kappa Theta
- Sigma Tau Gamma
- Sigma Nu
- Zeta Tau Alpha
- Alpha Gamma Delta
- Alpha Phi
- Alpha Sigma Tau
- Sigma Kappa
- Delta Zeta
- Alpha Sigma Tau
- Gamma Phi Beta
- Sigma Kappa
- Alpha Phi
- Zeta Tau Alpha
Student media keeps the campus informed of the latest events and news with the Duquesne Duke, the campus’s weekly paper; Duq-TV; and WDSR 97.7, the official radio station of the university.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Pittsburgh is world famous for being a sports city, and Duquesne carries on the tradition with its athletic programs. The Duquesne Dukes are represented by both men’s and women’s teams and boast the Duke as their mascot, a rather concerned looking fella in a top hat and bow tie and dressed in the school’s blue and red colors.
The Dukes football team is perhaps the most celebrated of all sports teams at Duquesne. Before moving to the NCAA Division 1 Atlantic 10 Conference, the Dukes played in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), winning conference championships each year from 2000 through 2007. The Dukes enjoyed a history-making 39 game winning streak that ran from December 1999 to October 2006 and won ECAC Bowl Classic games in both 1995 and 2003.
The Dukes women’s basketball team, on the other hand, set a record in the 2010-11 season with 24 wins, the most in team history. But, perhaps offering a glimpse into a winning future, the Dukes also secured their first post-season win ever.
Duquesne Dukes Men’s Teams:
- Track and field
Duquesne Dukes Women’s Teams:
- Track and field
In addition to competitive sports, Duquesne hosts intramural sports teams, including basketball, dodgeball, racquetball, volleyball, tennis, street hockey, kickball, soccer, and wiffleball.
Intramurals – teams are either men’s, women’s, or co-ed – allow students at all skill levels to participate and become involved on campus.