Urban Education Studies

Take your place as a scholar leader in urban education

As a highly unique urban education studies Ph.D. program in the United States, with a faculty that is over 60% faculty of color and doctoral cohorts that average more than 60% students of color, we focus on an in-depth understanding of the complex assets and inequities within the urban education environment.

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, disability, and cultural assets and inequities within formal and informal education settings and the urban context
  • Understanding the nature of schooling and the communities they serve
  • Interrogating the complex educational policy and political environment in which urban schools exist

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, research methodologies, and research theories and will have the foundation for becoming a scholar-activist.

Preparing scholar-activist leaders who advocate for urban education

Our goal is to empower and cultivate your 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 as a scholar-activist, 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 work to preserve them.

Why choose the IU School of Education at IU Indianapolis?

We are located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. This makes us uniquely suited to preparing educational researchers, scholar-activists, 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 area schools, organizations, and communities.

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 organization or the education efforts of a major corporation or a church.

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

Start your journey toward leadership