Urban Education Studies

Take your place as a scholar leader in urban education

As one of the premier urban education studies Ph.D. programs in the United States, we focus on the study of the complex social systems that interact in urban environments to shape the lives and learning of students, educators, and urban communities themselves.

As a student in this program you will develop a keen understanding of the many assets in the urban environment and the challenges urban schools and communities face, including:

  • Responding to ethnic, racial, linguistic, income, sexual orientation, and cultural diversity
  • Coping with the effects of economic cycles
  • Keeping up with the changing goals and policy demands made on P–20 schools

Program goals

Upon graduation, you will have a critical understanding of the sociological and educational issues within urban education, the surrounding urban environment, the larger society, and the interactions among them.

You will have also developed a critical understanding of research and research methodologies.

Preparing scholar leaders who advocate for urban education

Our goal is to fill you with a passion for urban advocacy and activism in service of equity, diversity, and social justice. You will understand the importance of being deeply engaged with the urban community, especially with those groups that have experienced historical exclusion and marginalization.

You will also value the strengths and assets of diverse cultures and communities within the larger urban environment—and be prepared to fight to preserve them.

Why choose the IU School of Education at IUPUI?

We are located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. This makes us uniquely suited to preparing educational researchers and leaders capable of working in complex urban environments.

Furthermore, our faculty members have a strong commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice as key values driving their research, teaching, and service within the university and within the urban community. Many have extensive engagements with various Indianapolis schools and organizations. 

Career opportunities for graduates

This degree paves the way for a broad range of career choices.

You may choose to become a  professor or professional staff member at a university. You could pursue a leadership position within traditional or charter schools. You could even start your own school. 

And those are only a few of the possibilities. You could also advocate for change from within a state or federal education agency. You could spend your career as a researcher within the urban education field. You could even take charge of a community organizations or the education efforts of a major corporation.

The knowledge and skills you'll earn here will stand you in good stead no matter what your career goals are.

Start your journey toward leadership