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University of Pittsburgh    
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 24, 2024
2023-2024 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Urban Education, PhD

*PhD students admitted prior to Fall 2023 are elgibile to follow these revised requirements to qualify for graduation.*

The PhD program in Urban Education prepares scholars who conduct critical research in K-16 urban education understanding, engagement, and application of theories of law, policy, and the social and cultural contexts of education. Doctoral students have the opportunity to specialize in critical quantitative and qualitative methodologies, ranging from evaluation to ethnography. The program is built with a transdisciplinary, experiential, inquiry-focused curriculum that prepares scholars to address the multifaceted issues in urban education alongside the insurgent and self-determined educational praxes of communities and peoples. The Urban Education program prepares students research careers in both academic and non-academic institutions. 

Students collaborate with mentor scholars to develop rigorous thinking and methodological tools to examine the structure of urban education in relation to broader sociopolitical and economic processes that shape schooling and learning. The program centers Black and Indigenous knowledge traditions across multitudinous curricula, including credit-bearing coursework, research collaborations, writing groups, and symposia. Located in what is known as the City of Pittsburgh, the program draws upon its affiliated Center for Urban Education and its local relationships with community residents while building connections with social actors across the country and around the world.

For additional degree requirement information, refer to the School of Education section on Doctoral Degree Requirements.


Elective credits include approved transfer credits and approved additional credits to achieve 90 total credits for the PhD degree. 

Supervised Research (6 credits)

Writing Workshops (Year 2 through completion; 1 credit/semester for 6-8 credits)


    The Writing Workshops provide students with an opportunity to get feedback on manuscripts and milestone documents. The group commits to reading drafts in advance of bi-weekly meetings and provides constructive feedback.

Field Placement/Teaching Practicum (2 courses, 6 credits)


    Two semesters spent in supervised field placement in areas relevant to the Urban Education PhD Program. Potential sites for field placement include local non-profit institutions, RAND Corporation (through application through their summer internship program), and the Center for Urban Education. Students may also fulfill one semester in a field placement and one spent developing instructional skills for teaching at the university level (as an instructor or co-instructor with a faculty member) or developing a course under the supervision of a faculty member (e.g., an on-line course in an area relevant to Urban Education).

Total Credits: 90

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