An online master's degree designed for educators, policymakers, and social justice advocates who are committed to ending inequities in education.

This online master’s in Urban Education is designed for those who may already be working full-time in an educational setting, the program is organized around issues of equity, social justice, and anti-racism  -- as well as research-based frameworks of teaching and learning. This innovative degree marks the first entirely online degree offering at Penn GSE.

What Sets Us Apart

10 Asynchronous and Synchronous Courses
1st Penn GSE’s first Online M.S.Ed.
  Tailored for working professionals committed to issues of equity in urban education

About the Program

The Urban Education (Online) program provides the solid academic training and professional mentoring necessary to create effective teachers, researchers, educators, and community advocates who are interested in the distinct needs of children and families in high-need contexts.

Application deadline
Priority Deadline - February 15, 2023; rolling admission thereafter as space permits
Entry term(s)
Fall
Course requirements
10 courses
Typical course load

Year 1 - Fall: 3 courses; Spring: 3 courses
Year 2 - Fall: 2 courses; Spring: 2 courses

Duration of program
2 years
Culminating experience

Master’s capstone research thesis

Schedule
  • Online
Programs for Working Professionals
Overview

Coursework and experiences in the Urban Education (Online) program are guided by the following principles and commitments:

  • Promoting anti-racist and social justice teaching and learning.
  • Taking an asset-based approach to local communities and the stakeholders in them.
  • Engaging in the study of educational racism and inequity in urban areas.
  • Exploring the dynamic interactions among schools, communities, and governments as well as the competing forces of human agency and structural oppression.
  • Fostering an inquiry-oriented approach to urban education based on cycles of reflection, planning, and action.
  • Teaching our students to use research and practice-based approaches to teaching, learning, and leading.
  • Supporting our students in the application of culturally sustaining pedagogies.
  • Promoting a racially literate approach to urban education.
  • Contributing to the end of educational inequity, especially in urban communities.
  • Positioning teachers as intellectual leaders and innovators in the field of education.

While individuals interested in this master’s degree do not need to have a full-time job, the courses are designed to accommodate working professionals.

Program Highlights

Penn GSE offers an Ivy League environment that supports both practical knowledge building and high-quality research. Our alumni are recognized as some of the most influential education leaders, and our distinguished professors are pioneers in their fields.

Expert Faculty Committed to Equity in Education

Equity in education is the guiding principle of the program. Penn GSE's renowned faculty members wholeheartedly embrace equity in education and work with our students to engage in a critical understanding of how structural forces impact students and schooling experiences.

Inquiry and Reflection

Inquiry and reflection are important at Penn GSE, and they permeate the Urban Education (Online) program. Students will engage in an applied research project based on principles of inquiry and reflection as they complete their master’s thesis.

Focus on Student Engagement and Relationships

The program emphasizes the centrality of student engagement in education and strong teacher-student relationships. While students are required to learn certain prescribed material, we believe that teachers (and schools) are obligated to hear children’s voices and to enhance their interests, motivation, and participation.  

Curriculum

Coursework and experiences in the Urban Education program are guided by a commitment to anti-racist and social justice teaching and learning. Our faculty use research and practice-based approaches in their instruction.

You will learn to take an asset-based approach to local communities and the stakeholders in them and how to take an inquiry-orientated approach to urban education based on cycles of reflection, planning, and action.

Foundational courses explore the dynamic interactions among schools, communities, and governments  -- as well as the competing forces of human agency and structural oppression.

Our programs of study leverage inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving to prepare our students to become skilled educators, leaders, policymakers, community advocates, and researchers.

The Urban Education (Online), M.S.Ed. was previously named the Urban Teaching Residency, M.S.Ed. program. For information on courses and requirements, visit the Urban Teaching Residency M.S.Ed. program in the University Catalog

Schedule

An Ivy League Education - Online

Our schedule is designed with working professionals in mind.

Our courses meet online, asynchronously and synchronously, with the option of taking some classes in-person. Our master’s program can be completed in just two years.

Penn GSE Urban Education (Online), M.S.Ed. Program, Programs of Study for 2022-2024

Master's (M.S.Ed.) with Concentration in Urban Education (no certification): 10 Graduate Course Credits (2 years)**

Year 1

Fall Semester

Contemporary Issues in Urban Education 

1.0 CU

Intensive, One Month Fall Course 

2 evenings a week, one month only (September); online or in-person 

School and Society 

1.0 CU

 

1 evening a week; Oct-Jan; online 

Outside of the Schoolbox 

1.0 CU

 

Synchronous & Asynchronous; Oct-Jan

Spring Semester

Racial Literacy 

1.0 CU

Intensive, One Month Fall Course 

2 evenings a week, online; synchronous (January) 

Politics of School Reform 

1.0 CU 

 

1 evening a week; online or hybrid; February-May 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

1.0 CU

 

1 evening a week; online, February-May 

Year 2

Fall Semester

Research Seminar 

1.0 CU

Preparation for completion of the Master's thesis

1 evening a week, online or in-person, Sept-Dec

M.S.Ed. Elective Course (500 and above)

1.0 CU

Note: Courses outside of UTR are more expensive (UTR courses are identified by using EDTF)

Depends on course

Spring Semester

Urban Education Capstone Writing Seminar 

1.0 CU

Master's Thesis Completed

1 evening a week, online or in-person, Jan-May 

M.S.Ed. Elective Course and above)

1.0 CU

 

Depends on course

Course catalog of UTR master's courses

 

Penn GSE Catalog (must be 500 or above)

**This program can be completed fully online.

Our Faculty

Our expert faculty inspire our students to make applications between theory and practice, prepare them for their roles as leaders in urban education, and help them explore ways to apply their foundational knowledge to pursue careers in education related fields and beyond.

Penn GSE Faculty Alesha Gayle
Senior Fellow
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Ed Brockenbrough
Associate Professor and Calvin Bland Fellow
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Nicole Mittenfelner Carl
Director, Urban Teaching Residency Program
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Heather Hopkins
Director of Special Education
Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Charlotte E. Jacobs
Director, Independent School Teaching Residency
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Penn GSE Faculty Janine Remillard
Professor
Ph.D., Michigan State University

Our Graduates

Alumni of the Urban Education (Online) program are working as teachers, leaders, researchers, and policymakers who are committed to ending educational inequality and making an excellent education a reality for all children.

Alumni Careers

  • 7th Grade Co-Teacher and Case Manager, Young Scholars Charter School, Philadelphia 
  • Academy Leader, Global Leadership Academy Charter School West, Philadelphia
  • Assistant Principal, Saint Francis Catholic High School, Sacramento, CA 
  • Assistant Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia
  • Community Coordinator, Trenton Public Schools
  • Director of Special Education, Mastery Charter, Camden
  • English Teacher, Frankford High School, School District of Philadelphia
  • Mathematics Curriculum Developer, School District of Philadelphia
  • Middle School Learning Support Teacher and Gifted Liaison, Southwark School, School District of Philadelphia
  • Policy Advisor, Mayor 's Office, Philadelphia
  • Principal, People for People Charter School
  • Researcher, University of Pennsylvania

Admissions & Financial Aid

Please visit our Admissions and Financial Aid pages for specific information on the application requirements, as well as information on tuition, fees, financial aid, scholarships, and fellowships.

Contact Information

Contact us if you have any questions about the program.

Office of Admissions and
Financial Aid

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6415
admissions@gse.upenn.edu
finaid@gse.upenn.edu

Program Contact

Roshonda Scipio
Program Coordinator
rscipio@gse.upenn.edu

Please view information from our Admissions and Financial Aid Office for specific information on the cost of this program.

Penn GSE is committed to making your graduate education affordable, and we offer generous scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships.