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Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, (Ph.D.) - Urban Education Specialization

This program leads to a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership with a specialization in Minority and Urban Education. The Minority and Urban Education specialization is designed to provide doctoral students with a broad base of knowledge about the education of disadvantaged populations, including students, families, and communities, particularly in urban areas. Courses address issues such as the social and political contexts of urban schools, practices and policies that govern urban schooling, and the education of ethnic, racial, cultural, and linguistic minorities in all settings. To that end, the specialization provides an explicit focus on the broad scope of issues confronting minority students in urban and other contexts. The field of Minority and Urban Education necessarily incorporates perspectives from a variety of fields such as sociology, urban planning, history, political science, education policy and leadership, as well as science, mathematics, and literacy. As such, students are encouraged to develop a program of study that includes courses in related areas. Students are prepared to work as university professors, researchers, education leaders, curriculum specialists, researchers and teacher educators in schools and in urban school districts with large disadvantaged minority populations. 

Graduate Admissions Information

Select an area of interest from the various offerings in the College of Education to determine the admission requirements and deadlines.  If you are unsure of your area of interest you may request information by submitting an Inquiry Form. We accept both full-time and part-time doctoral students.

Applicants who wish to apply to the Ph.D. program with specialization in the Minority and Urban Education select Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) as their “Intended Program of Study”. 

Interested applicants with academic and/or professional experience with urban public schools or racially/ethnically minoritized and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations is desirable. 

Please refer to the Guide to Applying  for instructions on how to apply for graduate admission. If you have questions or concerns, we ask you to first review our list of  Frequently Asked Questions. International applicants should visit the International admissions webpage for additional information.

For questions about the application process, or to check on the completion of your application, please contact Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at (301) 405-3118 or

INFORMATION SESSION about our Ph.D. and M.A. programs will be held on October 13, 2023, by zoom. Please email Kay Moon ( to receive updates.

For questions related to the admissions process, prospective students  

For academic advising on the Ph.D. in Minority and Urban Education, please contact Dr. Tara Brown at

For advising information contact  Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator, at


Financial assistance for graduate study is generally divided into two categories: 

  • Merit-Based Assistance Need-Based Assistance  
    • Fellowships and Scholarships Loans  
    • Graduate Assistantships 

For more details about the various types of financial assistance offered by the campus please visit the Office of Student Financial Aid 

There are also a number of fellowships and scholarships offered through the College of Education, the University, and through external sources which may provide tuition support and/or living allowance. Students must apply for these awards on their own, but the links that follow provide valuable information on searching for fellowships and scholarships. 

For more information concerning fellowships and scholarships, please visit: 

The College of Education's Scholarships webpage

The University's Scholarships webpage

Graduate School Student Fellowships and Awards webpage

The doctoral curriculum typically requires at least three years of graduate study beyond the master’s degree.   Most students admitted to the doctoral program already have a master’s degree. If a student does not have a master’s degree, an advisor develops an individualized plan that aligns master’s level and doctoral level coursework for the student.   

Students are expected to integrate into the campus scholarly community and to be available on a full-time basis. 

Integrated Department Core 

All new TLPL Ph.D. students join a two-course sequence (6 semester hours) in foundations of inquiry and practice with students specializing in other programs in the department, including EPL.

  • TLPL 794: Foundations of Educational Inquiry I ("Core I")
  • TLPL 795: Foundations of Educational Inquiry II ("Core II")

Specialization Core 

Students take four courses (12 semester hours) as the specialization core in Minority and Urban Education. Approximately eight additional courses (24 semester hours) are selected in consultation with the advisor. These courses generally take the form of seminars and may include doctoral-level courses in other departments.  

Intermediate and Advanced Methods 

Students are required to take at least 12 credit hours of research methods courses, including one qualitative and one quantitative methods course. Students may take research methods courses in TLPL, Human Development and Quantitative Methods (HDQM), or other academic departments. 

Graduate Education Program Requirements


For questions related to the admissions process, contact  Kay Moon, TLPL Graduate Coordinator,

For Program-specific questions, students may contact Dr. Tara Brown at



Deadlines vary by degree and program. Please visit the TLPL Admissions Deadlines page for more information


Graduate students in the College of Education are responsible for meeting University and the Graduate School policy, and for meeting Program requirements.  See the Graduate Catalog and Graduate Policies governing graduate education at the University of Maryland. The schedule adjustment policy is available from the Office of the Registrar and provides information on adding and dropping courses, penalties, and refund schedules. 



Graduate students are required to submit various forms at specific points in the program and as part of the degree clearance process.  Please refer to Steps Toward Graduation to determine the steps and forms that are required.  To access forms used by graduate students visit Graduate Studies Forms in Student Services.