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University of Pennsylvania

Graduate School of Education

Philadelphia, PA


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University of Pennsylvania


Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), currently ranked 6th in the nation, is home to a world-class faculty and diverse students from across the globe. The school prepares national leaders in education research, as well as dedicated, innovative teachers and administrators. The school is notably entrepreneurial, launching innovative degree programs for practicing professionals, unique partnerships with local educators, and the first-ever business plan competition devoted exclusively to educational products and programs.

In addition to offering nearly 30 degree programs and 5 degree options, Penn GSE offers students the opportunity to work with over 30 in-house centers and initiatives that produce cutting-edge research and translate that research to practice. Faculty members and students focus on the challenges of urban education, the opportunities of international education, issues of race and equity, and qualitative and quantitative research that informs policy and practice.

GSE Research Accomplishments

Penn GSE is one of the nation's premiere research education schools. The school has long been recognized for its strengths in research on teaching and learning, the cultural contexts of education, language education, qualitative research methods, and practitioner inquiry. In recent years, those strengths have deepened to include national leadership in policy research, urban education, developmental psychology, and quantitative and multi-method inquiry. As examples, the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) which is dedicated to promoting the public purposes of higher education in fostering open, equitable, and democratic societies.; the Center on Minority Serving Institutions at Penn serves as a repository for research, data, best practices, emerging innovations and ideas on and within MSIs, and the Penn Child Research Center develops social and scientific policy to promote the educational and psychological well-being of children.

The Ph.D. in Education

GSE offers an intensive, theory-based Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree for students pursuing careers in scholarship at the university level. Courses offer hands-on experience and practical skills through mentoring, research assistantships, and service-based placements. Ph.D. students can specialize in one of 8 subfields: education, culture, and society; education policy; educational linguistics; higher education; interdisciplinary studies in human development; quantitative methods; reading/writing/literacy; and teaching, learning, and teacher education.

The Ed.D. for Leaders in Education

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is designed for students pursuing senior leadership positions in education. Courses and research opportunities engage students in a variety of educational fields including policy, consulting, K-12 leadership, and postsecondary education. The Ed.D. is offered in educational leadership; higher education; reading/writing/literacy; and teaching, learning, and teacher education. Students already working at senior levels in their organizations may choose to pursue the Penn CLO Executive Doctoral Program, the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, or the Executive Doctoral Program in Higher Education Management.

Master's Degrees in Education

GSE offers over 20 master's level programs to educators interested in developing extensive foundational knowledge and professional preparation in a broad range of positions. The Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) degree is offered in the following fields: counseling and mental health services; education, culture, and society; education entrepreneurship; education policy; higher education; interdisciplinary studies in human development; intercultural communication; international educational development; language and literacy; learning sciences and technologies; Penn residency master's in teaching program; reading/writing/literacy (reading specialist certification); school leadership; urban teacher education program; teacher education; teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL); Teach For America (TFA) urban teacher; and teaching, learning, and leadership.

GSE also offers a medical educator's program, a chief learning officer program, a reading specialist certification, and an executive master's program in professional school counseling.

The Master of Philosophy in Education (M.Phil.Ed.), which is designed for students who already hold master's degrees but want to expand their skills, is offered in 2 concentrations: professional counseling and mental health services, and quantitative methods. A Master of Science (M.S.) in statistics, measurement, assessment, and research technology (SMART) degree program is also available.

Urban Education at GSE

Urban Education is a central interest of research and practice at GSE. Located in the heart of West Philadelphia, the school engages deeply in local, urban communities through projects like the Penn Alexander School and the Penn Partnership Schools that put research into practice to improve educational outcomes for urban students. The Penn GSE Teacher Education Program places every single student-teacher in Philadelphia schools.

Faculty in Education

Penn GSE's world-class professors are leading the conversation about critical issues in education. As a relatively small school of education with a standing faculty of 38 members, the school has an outsize impact on education policy and practice on a global scale.

For a full list of all Penn GSE faculty members, including associated faculty members, please visit

Financial Aid Opportunities for GSE Graduate Students

The Graduate School of Education is committed to making education affordable through generous scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships. All traditional, full-time Ph.D. and Ed.D. students receive fellowships, and 75% of incoming students receive merit-aid. Our Ph.D. students are fully funded.

For more information on financial aid and additional scholarships available, please visit

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)
Master of Philosophy (M Phil)
Doctor of Education (Ed D)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Science in Education (MS Ed)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 559
Doctoral Degrees 77

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? Yes
Terminal master's degree available? Yes


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 5.97%
Black or African American 15.34%
White or Caucasian 40%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 7.3%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.07%
Two or more races 3.17%
Unknown 1.25%


Male (29%)
Female (70%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 73
Part-time - 45
Male (67)
Female (51)

Location & Contact

Address 3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
United States
Contact Dr. Pam Grossman
Phone: 215-898-7014
Fax: 215-746-6884