Graduate Certificate: Urban Education


Learn more about the graduate certificate in Urban Education.

About the Certificate

The graduate certificate in Urban Education helps students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in collaborative education-focused work with diverse groups of people in urban settings. Students develop a broad understanding of urban schools and communities, with a particular emphasis on the social, economic, political and historic factors that shape urban schooling. They also learn to create connections between theory and practice and to move beyond stories of urban school “failure” to analysis of successful policies and approaches.

Students in the Urban Education certificate program seek to provide services in the areas of community development, education, health, youth and advocacy. The program attracts individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, including educators, parents, community leaders and activists. Through the certificate, students gain knowledge and skills in:

  • the history of urban education;
  • race, class and schools;
  • education policy;
  • current trends in school reform; and
  • theory, practice and program development related to creating and sustaining partnerships between schools, agencies and communities.

Time Limit for Certificate Completion: 2 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The graduate certificate can be completed on a part-time basis. NOTE: International students may not be eligible to apply for a student visa based on admission to the certificate program. Please contact the Office of Enrollment Management for more information.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:
Applications are accepted for the Fall, Spring and Summer terms and are reviewed on a rolling basis.

APPLY ONLINE to this certificate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: Outline your interest in seeking a graduate certificate with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Certificate Requirements

Number of Credits Required to Complete the Certificate: 12

Required Courses:

Core Courses
URBE 5401Policy and Practice in Urban Education3
URBE 5516School-Community Partnerships in Urban Settings3
Select two from the following:6
The Urban Environment
Urban Schools
The Origins of Urban Education
Reforming City Schools
Total Credit Hours12

GPA Required to be Awarded the Certificate: 3.0 minimum


Certificate Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Policy, Organizational and Leadership Studies

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management