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"... the program has developed a strong foundation. It has very high quality faculty who are happy with their work; numerous and strong applications from potential students; a diverse and lively student body; an emerging alumni base employed in academic positions at CUNY and in other universities; substantial positive word of mouth, and an administrative structure that is supportive, proactive and able to manage conflict. These are important strengths..."
(External Evaluation Team Report, 2009)
According to the Graduate Center 2014 Doctoral Student Experience Survey:
96.2% of students were satisfied with the program, overall.
94.4% of students would recommend Urban Education to
others considering doctoral studies in this field.
Time to Degree
For students completing the PhD Program in Urban Education between
the years 2007-08 and 2013-14
the median time to their degree was 5.5 years.
There were no significant differences among
women (5.4 yrs), men (5.7 yrs), or
underrepresented minority students (5.1 yrs.).


The Ph.D. Program in Urban Education is designed to prepare leaders in educational research and policy analysis who have a broad understanding of the complex issues facing urban education. The unique focus of this program is at the intersection of two principal research agendas: 1) research on issues of curriculum and instruction in urban schools, and 2) policy analysis research on broader social, political, and economic issues that determine the context of urban education.

Graduates are prepared to take on a wide variety of important roles in urban education: research and teaching in universities, including teacher education programs; research and leadership positions in urban school districts and in state and federal government agencies; policy analysis positions for private foundations; and staff positions with legislators and legislative committees.

Below is a video of our students and faculty discussing the program:

Ph.D. Program in Urban Education from GC Videography Fellows on Vimeo.

Our Program

Four core courses are required of all Urban Education students. To ensure that students achieve a high level of disciplinary sophistication within at least one professional specialization, further coursework is concentrated within one of three studies specializations. View a sample timeline to degree.

Interdisciplinary Approach

The intellectual challenges of investigating the processes and practices of urban education as a social and cultural institution require the broad intellectual base and diverse critical perspectives that only an integrated program of studies across a wide range of specialist disciplines can provide. The intellectual resources of the Graduate Center enable students in this program to draw on elective courses and research faculty in many relevant partner disciplines, including History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, and Political Science, as well as more broadly on expertise in the humanities, mathematics and computer science, and the natural sciences, when appropriate to their interests.

Urban City, Urban Learning

The program provides students with a unique access to and understanding of the New York City public schools, the nation's largest system of urban public education. The many teacher education and educational outreach programs of the CUNY colleges have long-established relationships with the city's diverse schools and districts. Through research mentoring, internship, and teaching fellowship arrangements for doctoral students at all the participating CUNY colleges, the Ph.D. program works to connect conceptual perspectives with the realities of urban schools and school systems.

Open House Event:
This event will be held on November 7th at the CUNY Graduate Center:
365 5th Avenue New York, NY
Rooms C 201 - 205, 6 PM - 9 PM
Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP to Matt at

 *REMEMBER that all applications are due by January 1st   
   2017.  Please make sure you have scheduled your GRE's in
   advance to ensure the ADMISSIONS OFFICE receives them
   by the deadline.


Executive Officer

Anthony Picciano

Executive Officer, Professor
Hunter College, West Building

Phone: 212-817-8281

Assistant Program Officer

Christine Saieh

Assistant Program Officer
The Graduate Center

Phone: 212-817-8282