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The Ph.D. in Urban Education Studies prepares leaders in educational research who are knowledgeable about educational needs in diverse urban contexts and skilled in critical research related to urban education. The Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI is uniquely situated to prepare educational researchers capable of working in complex urban environments where collaboration and partnerships are fundamental. The Urban Education Studies program is designed to foster collaboration among faculty and students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds, thus providing the opportunity to develop relevant and impactful research agendas. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are prepared for leadership positions in research and teaching at major universities and institutes.

The Urban Education Studies Ph.D. focuses on the study of the complex social systems that interact in urban environments to shape the lives and learning of students and educators. The program aims at developing professionals with a keen understanding of the challenges high-poverty schools face in responding to ethnic, racial, linguistic, and cultural diversity, the effects of economic cycles of boom and bust, and the changing goals and policy demands made on P-20 schools. The Urban Education Studies Ph.D. develops activist orientations to collaborative research that support schools and partnerships, creates new knowledge and unique community-based solutions, and accommodates a range of individual interests, including teacher education, traditional curriculum disciplines in urban contexts, critical social theory and cultural studies of education.

During their first semester of study, all Ph.D. in Urban Education Studies students enroll in a seminar in urban education, a research methods seminar, and a course related to their proposed minor. The program requires a total of fifteen credit hours of quantitative and qualitative research methods to lay the foundation for collaborative, community-based inquiry.  

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