2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Urban Education, Ph.D.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline. If applicant seeks fellowship consideration, the application must be submitted by January 5.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

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, although most students enter the Ph.D. program having already completed a master’s degree in a related discipline.

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.  Students who have completed a master’s program before applying can receive credit for their master’s only if it is in a related discipline.

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. Exceptions are sometimes made for applicants who have outstanding professional achievements.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


All Ph.D. applicants who make the first cut are interviewed by the Admissions Committee. An on-campus interview is preferred, but a telephone interview is also possible.  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: 42

Beyond the bachelor's degree, students are required to complete 72 credits, including a doctoral core of 15 s.h. Students who receive 30 s.h. credits for their master’s degree also complete 18 s.h. of electives.  Students entering without master’s credits fulfill both master’s and doctoral program requirements.  All students follow an individualized courseload that is carefully designed with their advisor. 

Required Courses:

Five foundational courses in urban education:

Geography and Urban Studies 8011: Modern Urban Analysis (or    equivalent)

Urban Education 5501: Issues in Urban Education

Urban Education 5565: Historical Context of Urban Education

Urban Education 8602: Theories in Urban Education

Urban Education 9991: Research Practicum

A minimum of 3 research methods courses that include:

Intermediate statistics

Qualitative methods

Additional course in either quantitative or qualitative methods

A minimum of 6 s.h. of Dissertation Research

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

Students are required to complete a take-home comprehensive exam.  The exam, which is written over a 10-day period, is designed to test the student's general knowledge of Urban Education as a field of study and is divided into three areas:  Application, Theory, and Methodology.  Students are advised to take the exam after they have completed all required core courses, including most research methods requirements, and have accumulated between 21 and 30 post-master’s credits. The exam is offered twice a year.

Dissertation Proposal:

The dissertation proposal demonstrates the student's knowledge of and ability to conduct the proposed research.  Prior to final approval by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, students must pass an oral proposal defense.


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

The Doctoral 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 Doctoral 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.

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



Dr. Joseph DuCette

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 program is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers related to urban educational settings.  It addresses the needs of school-based educators as well as other professionals involved in community-based education and other non-school-based educational activities. Students gain a broad knowledge of issues in urban education with an emphasis on the integration of theory and practice and a commitment to equity and social justice. The Ph.D. program emphasizes strong research and analytical skills.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location:


Some elective courses are offered at the Ambler, 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.  Doctoral students are strongly encouraged, however, to study full-time for at least one year.

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 intercollegiate, taking 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:

Students may participate in a summer abroad program sponsored by Urban Education faculty that involves a month-long stay in a non-tourist area of Jamaica.  The major emphasis of this program, which carries 3 or 6 credits, is international service learning and community development.


Not applicable.


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

Areas of Specialization:

Full-time program faculty specialize in class and race issues; historical, sociological, and anthropological foundations of urban education; quantitative research methods; risk and resilience; school-community collaboration; transition to college; urban educational policy and reform; and youth culture. Affiliated faculty specialize in areas such as African American families and youth, community mediation, community-based research, gender issues in administration, higher education, multicultural education, race relations, sociology of education, urban studies, and writing instruction. 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.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may not take any course higher than the 6000 level. If admitted to the degree program, up to 9 credits of coursework may be applied toward the degree.

Financing Opportunities

Assistantships are only available for full-time students, with priority usually given to doctoral students. Upon admission to the program, interested students should contact their advisor and inquire about opportunities as Teaching or Research Assistants. The program places students in a variety of positions across the university.

Updated 4.17.09