Center for Environmental Research & Education, Duquesne University

Center for Environmental Research & Education, Duquesne University

The Center for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) provides multidisciplinary education that prepares students for careers in current and emerging areas of environmental science, advancing the mission and vision of Duquesne University and the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

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Pittsburgh , PA USA
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Education for the Mind, Heart and Spirit

One of the nation's top Catholic universities , Duquesne University provides a well-rounded education that will challenge you academically while nourishing your spiritual and ethical development. Founded more than 130 years ago by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Duquesne University is the only Spiritan  institution of higher education in the United States. This means we share in the Spiritans' values and are deeply committed to:

  • Educational excellence
  • Moral and spiritual values
  • An ecumenical atmosphere open to diversity
  • Service to the Church, the community, the nation and the world

Top-Notch Academics with a Personal Touch

At Duquesne University, you'll learn from teacher-scholars who provide an excellent classroom experience and also produce some of the most important research in their fields. In fact, the Chronicle of Higher Education ranked us No. 16 among 61 small research universities that were rated according to an index measuring faculty productivity.

You'll benefit from a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an academic experience hallmarked by personal attention from an award-winning faculty. In fact, almost half of all classes have 20 or fewer students, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities for direct interaction with your professors.

The Perfect Fit

How do you know if you'll fit in here at Duquesne? The happiest and most successful Duquesne students are those who want more than a degree. Our students want to expand their academic knowledge and skills while also learning more about themselves and making a difference in the community and the world around us.

Duquesne University was founded in 1878 by a group of Catholic missionaries also known as the Spiritans.  From humble beginnings as a school for the children of Pittsburgh's poor immigrants, Duquesne today is an educational and economic powerhouse comprising ten schools of study that serve more than 10,000 students.

Some of the University's historic milestones* include:

  • Duquesne was founded on Oct. 1, 1878, as Pittsburgh Catholic College by the Rev. Joseph Strub and the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. The College's 40 students and six faculty members held classes in rented space above a bakery on Wylie Avenue, in Pittsburgh's Hill District.
  • Duquesne's original 'Old Main' building was constructed in 1885, as a result of the University's growth. This five-story red brick landmark was, for years, the highest point on the Pittsburgh skyline. It is still actively used as the administrative building on campus.
  • On May 27, 1911, the name was changed to Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost. The university's first professional school, the School of Law, was also established this year.
  • Over the next three decades, Duquesne established five additional schools: Business, Pharmacy, Music, Education, and Nursing.
  • Assumption Hall opened in 1950 as the first student dormitory.
  • Between 1950 and 1980, the University underwent a period of development as College Hall, Mellon Hall, Rockwell Hall, the School of Music, the library and the Student Union were constructed. Additionally, four more dormitories were built to accommodate the influx of new students to the University.
  • During the 1980s the School of Law was expanded and construction began on the A. J. Palumbo Center.
  • Between 1990 and 2001, the University opened its first new schools in 50 years: the John G. Rangos Sr. School of Health Sciences, the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences; and the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement.  New spaces for classrooms, offices and residence halls; parking garages and the Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field were also developed.
  • In January 2008 Duquesne expanded its footprint onto Forbes Avenue with the dedication of the Power Center. This new five-story building, named for Duquesne's first president, Spiritan Fr. William Patrick Power, includes an 80,000 sq. ft. fitness center, banquet facilities, retail shops, restaurant and a Barnes and Noble bookstore.
  • In 2010, Duquesne began construction on a new 12-story Des Places Residence Hall for junior, senior, graduate and law students. The University also purchased an eight-story academic building at 600 Fifth Avenue and dedicated it as Libermann Hall. The purchase of Libermann Hall doubled the size of the University's classroom space.

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a Catholic university founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritans, and sustained through a partnership of laity and religious.

Duquesne serves God by serving students through:

  • Commitment to excellence in liberal and professional education
  • Profound concern for moral and spiritual values
  • Maintaining an ecumenical atmosphere open to diversity
  • Service to the Church, the community, the nation, and the world
  • Attentiveness to global concerns

About the Division of Mission and Identity

Under the direction of the Division of Mission of Identity, the Center for Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the Center for Spiritan Studies and Spiritan Campus Ministry encourage students, faculty and staff to see their work as part of a larger effort to serve the common good. Through campus-wide collaboration we work to integrate the Spiritan mission of the University into all aspects of campus life as seamlessly as possible.


As a Catholic and Spiritan University, Duquesne prides itself on being mission-centered and mission-driven.  The extent to which mission informs and enlivens every aspect of University life is noteworthy at Duquesne. And it is the privilege of the Office of Mission and Identity to animate and cultivate these efforts throughout the entire university community.

As you search these pages on Mission and Identity, it is my hope that you will begin to experience the spirit of vitality and life that lies at the heart of the university and its purpose.  Beneath the formal programs, retreats, lectures, and workshops lies a spirited dedication to the vision and goals of the founders of Duquesne; to build an enterprise of service to God through serving students.  At the core of the university is its religious identity, not a static legacy but a vibrant spirit, a living alliance with the Holy Spirit to Whom the University is dedicated.

Through the resources provided by the Office of Mission and Identity, may you find that vibrant Spirit alive at Duquesne today!

-- Fr. James McCloskey, C.S.Sp., Vice President for Mission and Identity

Our Mission

Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit is a Catholic University, founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, the Spiritans, and sustained through a partnership of laity and religious. 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.

Connecting undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to conduct powerful research is a priority among Duquesne faculty members. Duquesne is among the top research institutions in Pittsburgh, contributing to and tapping the critical mass of knowledge shared among public and private universities and many willing corporate and community partners, from Fortune 500 corporations to neighborhood nonprofits.

The Duquesne difference in research is that each faculty member is expected to be a great teacher as well as an outstanding scholar. Because of this close connection with students, faculty are committed to guiding students through research that will impact the world around us, whether on campus in the high-tech Center for Excellence in Mass Spectrometry , in community-based research with neighbors in the Hill District and Hazelwood   or as far away as Africa.

So research at Duquesne happens in all 10 schools, including the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Business, as well as the sciences and health sciences, as you might expect. More than $6 million is captured annually in funding from many sources, including:

  • The National Institutes of Health
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The National Science Foundation
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Knight Foundation.

Well-established and well-recognized

  • One of only seven U.S. Catholic universities with high research activity
  • No. 16 among the nation’s top small doctoral research universities
  • The Bayer School’s doctoral program in chemistry is one of the top 100 in the U.S. and among the top 35 in diversity.

Student opportunities in areas from liberal arts to sciences—with deeper purpose Undergraduates, graduates and post-docs partner with faculty in hundreds of projects, such as:

  • Issues of resettling refugees
  • Studying political redistricting
  • Composing music
  • Determining young children’s coping strategies
  • Examining national energy security
  • Designing compounds that attack cancer tumors
  • Creating environmentally friendly businesses and people-friendly nursing initiatives
  • Developing diamond-like semi-conductors.

Duquesne’s mission of service is embedded in research that focuses on:

  • Economic development through collaborations such as the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone, Urban Innovation 21 and the Pittsburgh Wealth Building Initiative
  • Spin-off companies that create jobs and opportunities
  • Patents that make new technologies more widely available.   

Of course, the University meets or exceeds research compliance requirements.

Through environmental research, a sustainability-infused business curriculum and community involvement, Duquesne serves as a laboratory where experiments and discoveries produce a better future for generations to come.

Sustainability is intrinsic to Duquesne University’s mission — a charge that encompasses what our Spiritan sponsors call the “integrity of creation,” a profound respect for God’s gift of the world. One of the many ways that the University advances this mission is through responsible stewardship of natural resources.

Duquesne’s progressive efforts to achieve, maintain and advance high environmental standards began decades ago. We remain committed to sustainable principles in the ongoing management and development of our campus.