The crisis in American education continues to confound major sectors of American life. National attention has engaged various constituencies -- non-profit business organizations, local, state and federal governments, teachers' unions, and universities -- in trying to understand and improve public education. At Penn, students and faculty have become deeply involved in local schools through community service, research, teaching, and coursework.

In response to student interest in community and education issues, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education sponsor an interdisciplinary minor in Urban Education. This seven course undergraduate minor offers students a unique opportunity to bridge learning between the classroom and community, and features:

  • Academically based community service in local schools
  • Deeper understanding of the complex factors affecting urban education
  • Field-based research in an area of interest
  • Hands-on opportunity to investigate a career in education
  • Credit toward Pennsylvania teacher certification requirements

The minor is open to undergraduates in all disciplines. Students choose from among three concentrations depending on interest in pursuing urban teaching certification immediately or developing a strong foundation the issues of urban schools: Urban Education Minor: Policy, Research, and Practice; Elementary /Middle Years Education; or Secondary Education; Students in all three concentrations take two core courses. The additional five requirements vary depending on the concentration. Note that education (EDUC) courses will be counted towards your 4-course limit on classes taken outside of the School of Arts and Sciences. Please plan accordingly.

Policy, Research, and Practice minors may submatriculate into Master’s programs in the Graduate School of Education, and after admission, count two courses taken as an undergraduate toward the Master’s Degree. The allowed courses vary by program, so meeting with the advisor is necessary.


For additional information about the Urban Education Minor please contact the program advisor:

NancyLee Bergey
Teacher Education Program
Graduate School of Education
3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216
215-573-4026 nancylee@gse.upenn.edu