2003 - 2005 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Urban Education, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15                           [December 15 for international applicants]

Applications are evaluated together at the deadline.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: At least two of the letters of recommendation should be obtained from faculty and other academicians familiar with the applicant's academic competence; the other letter may come from a professional familiar with the applicant's professional achievements.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

No specific coursework is required for admission.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A master's degree is not required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required for admission to graduate study at Temple University.  For admission to the Urban Education degree program, a bachelor's degree in the discipline or a related discipline is not required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals is taken very seriously in reviewing applications. It should include a rationale for enrolling in the program, with specific attention given to how the program fits your needs and goals; a summary of relevant work, volunteer, and life experience; and a description of your particular research, intellectual, and applied interests.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. The Admissions Committee reviews each application holistically. Generally, scores should be at or above the 50th percentile, especially for GRE verbal scores. Exceptions are sometimes made for applicants who have outstanding professional achievements.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based or 230 computer-based. Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based or 250 on the computer-based examination must pass an English skills course or successfully pass the SPEAK test during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University.


All Ph.D. applicants who make the first cut are invited to interview with the Admissions Committee. The chair of the Admissions Committee schedules the interview.


A resume is required.

Advanced Standing:

Students who enter the Ph.D. program with an appropriate master's degree are awarded 30 credits toward the 72 credits of coursework required for the Ph.D. The maximum number of advanced standing credits awarded is 30.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 36

Required Courses:

Doctoral students must complete five foundational courses in urban education:

Geography and Urban Studies 410: Modern Urban Analysis

Urban Education 500: Issues in Urban Education

Urban Education 600: Theories in Urban Education

Urban Education 650: Historical Context of Urban Education

Urban Education 810: Research Practicum

In addition to the doctoral core of 15 s.h., students are required to take 39 s.h. in Urban Education courses that include a research design course, quantitative methods courses that include multivariate analyses, and a qualitative methods course. Also required are 18 s.h. of electives and a minimum of 6 s.h. of Dissertation Research.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Preliminary Examinations:

The Urban Education program requires doctoral students to take two comprehensive exams. Both exams are written, and each is divided into three areas: Application, Theory, and Methodology. The exam period is 10 days for each exam, and the exam is graded by at least three Urban Education faculty members.

Part I is designed to test the student's general knowledge of urban education as a field of study.  It is to be taken after the student has accumulated between 18 and 24 credits. Part I is offered twice a year: immediately prior to the Fall semester, and immediately prior to the Spring semester. Students decide whether or not they are ready to sit for the exam in consultation with their advisor. Students then inform the program coordinator they will be taking the exam. It is a 10-day take-home exam.

Part II is designed to test the student's area of expertise.  It should be taken after the student has completed all coursework. This exam is individualized and is developed by two faculty members chosen by the student in consultation with her/his advisor. The exam can be taken at any time that is convenient for both the student and the Examination Committee. It is typically a 10-day take-home exam with three questions.

All program faculty participate in writing the questions for the preliminary exam. Part I of the exam is reviewed by all standing Urban Education faculty. Part II is reviewed by the two-member Examination Committee.  An item on either exam may be scored "outstanding," "satisfactory," or "fail."  As a group, the faculty review the student's scores and determine the final rating for her/his examination.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research. Minimally, the proposal should contain: (a) context and background surrounding a particular research problem; (b) a survey and review of literature which, though it may not be exhaustive, is at least sufficient to provide the reader with enough information to understand why the research is being conducted; (c) a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem; and (d) a proposed timeline to complete the dissertation. The Dissertation Advisory Committee must initially approve the student's proposal. In addition, all proposals from students in the College of Education must be approved by the College's Proposal Review Committee.


The Dissertation is an original piece of scholarship that makes a contribution to the field of Urban Education.

The Dissertation Advisory Committee consists of a minimum of three graduate faculty members. One member must be from the Urban Education program. Other members, including the chair, may be drawn from the list of affiliated faculty members across the university. The Dissertation Advisory Committee oversees all aspects of the student's dissertation, from the proposal to the oral defense. Complete details about the entire dissertation process are available in the College of Education Dissertation Handbook, which is available in the Office of Student Services.

To change the Dissertation Advisor, the student must consult with the program coordinator. To change a member, the student must consult with her/his advisor.

The Dissertation Examining Committee consists of the three members of the Advisory Committee, plus two additional faculty members. One of these additional faculty members must be from a program area outside of Urban Education. In addition, the College's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies will assign one of the members of the Dissertation Examining Committee. The role of the Dissertation Examining Committee is to evaluate the student's dissertation and oral defense. The Committee will vote to pass or fail the dissertation at the conclusion of the oral defense. The outcome of the defense is determined by a majority vote.

Students who are preparing to defend their dissertation must confirm a date and time with the Dissertation Examining Committee. Notification of this date and time must then be submitted on the appropriate College form to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies no less than three weeks prior to the oral defense. This notification will then be sent to the Graduate School and posted in the Office of Student Services.

The announcement of the oral defense will be sent to the Graduate School by the Associate Dean no less than 10 working days prior to the defense. A copy of this announcement will be sent to each member of the Dissertation Examining Committee and posted on the bulletin board in the Office of Student Services.


Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Urban Education
248 Ritter Hall (003-00)
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Dr. Novella Keith


Program Coordinator:

Dr. Novella Keith


Graduate Chairperson:

Dr. Novella Keith



Dr. Kathleen Shaw


About the Program

The Urban Education program is an interdisciplinary program with a social justice orientation. It emphasizes the complexity of the relationships between urban schools and the political, economic, and historic factors that affect urban life more broadly. The Ph.D. program emphasizes strong research and analytical skills.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:

Main Campus

Some courses are offered at the Fort Washington, Harrisburg, and Center City campuses.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester) through classes offered after 4:30 p.m.

Department Information:

Urban Education
248 Ritter Hall (003-00)
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

The Urban Education program is both interdisciplinary and inter-college and takes advantage of the particular strengths of different schools/colleges and departments at Temple. Program faculty include those with full-time assignments in Urban Education, as well as affiliated faculty whose assignments are in other departments, such as African American Studies, Anthropology, Communication Sciences, Educational Administration, Educational Psychology, English, Geography and Urban Studies, History, Political Science, Social Administration, Sociology, Teacher Education, TESOL (English as Second Language), and Women's Studies. Affiliated faculty participate in the program's Advisory Board and other committees and work with students on independent studies and research projects.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



The College of Education was ranked 15th by the U.S. News & World Report  in 2000. No rankings are available for Urban Education programs.


The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Areas of Specialization:

Full-time program faculty specialize in urban educational policy and reform, school-community collaboration, transition to college, class and race issues, and the history and social context of urban education. Affiliated faculty specialize in areas such as community-based research, urban studies, community mediation, writing instruction, African American families and youth, multicultural education, sociology of education, race relations, gender issues in administration, and higher education. For students interested in other areas of specialization, the program develops special links with appropriate faculty across the university.

Job Placement:

Ph.D. graduates find jobs in academe, urban school districts, non-profit policy-oriented and research organizations, and program development and evaluation. Half of current Ph.D. graduates hold university teaching or research positions, and the other half hold administrative positions in urban school districts.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may not take any course higher than 600 level. If admitted to the degree program, up to 9 credits of coursework may be applied toward the degree.

Financing Opportunities

Teaching Assistants (TAs) may assist faculty in their research and instruction. TAs may teach a recitation section of an undergraduate course. Applicants must obtain and submit an application form to the department chair by March 1 of the year preceding the academic year of assistantship.

Updated 12.5.05