Department of Education

Urban Education Policy A.M.

Our immersive 12-month degree in urban education policy equips students with the essential skills they need to fight for more equitable urban schools at the policy level.

Reforming systems. Transforming lives.

Now more than ever, urban schools need policy analysts and leaders who can improve students’ opportunities and outcomes. The yearlong program in urban education policy prepares students to become education change agents who can lead the fight.

Over the course of a year, UEP students complete an independent research project, take rigorous courses, and gain community experience through internships with Brown’s community partners. Through this integration of research, theory, and practice, students learn how urban education policy works, how decisions are made, how to measure policy consequences, and how to make an impact.

Together in a cohort setting, students learn the perspectives and tools of school governance, policy redesign, data analysis, diversity and inclusion, community building, and economic analysis, applying each to the complex context of urban education systems. 

The cross-disciplinary UEP program prepares students for a variety of professional careers and can also act as a springboard for advanced study involving policy analysis, planning and development in urban public education. 

Applications for the 2021-2022 Academic Year will open in September 2020. 


average cohort size

2 out of 3

students receive financial support


student: faculty ratio

Why we’re different

From its focus on urban schools to its practice-based curriculum, the UEP program distinguishes itself in several ways.

  • Small, tight-knit cohort
    Students collaborate closely throughout their time at Brown, working together to solve problems in complex, high-need school systems.
  • Nine months of hands-on experience
    Students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and engage in the Providence community. Some students intern with institutes, while others choose to intern with local municipal offices, state agencies or non-profit organizations. 
  • Focus on racial and economic inequality in schools
    Our recently revised UEP curriculum pays special attention to race, class, community and inequality in the context of urban education, exploring the unique opportunities and challenges faced by schools in America’s cities.
  • Integration of theory and practice
    Students’ internships in Providence coincide with academic courses — guided by experienced practitioners — that build relevant knowledge and skills. Forging connections between the classroom and the meeting room allows students to connect theory to practice in deep and meaningful ways.
  • World-class faculty
    Education Week has ranked several Brown faculty members among the most influential scholars shaping educational policy and practice today.  
  • Cross-campus collaboration
    Collaborations with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs and other academic departments at Brown augment the program's practical and interdisciplinary aspects. 

How It All Works


Heather Johnson's Urban Education Policy experience at Brown

Alumni Spotlight: Breaking down barriers in Washington’s public schools

Zaneta Han UEP’09 has played a crucial role in removing barriers to a good education for underserved students in Washington, D.C.

Both inside and outside the classroom, students receive top-notch preparation for careers in policy, research or consulting.
UEP graduates can apply to serve in a three-year, full-time position within a public sector education organization or non-profit entity in Providence’s urban core. Any loan debt that fellows have accrued while in the UEP program will be canceled. Applications for the Urban Education Fellows program are now open and due January 27, 2020.

Important Dates

The 2020-21 academic year begins in June and conclude the following May for UEP students. The application deadline for students who wish to be eligible for merit-based scholarships has passed. If applying to the program following January 15, 2020, applicants will not be eligible for merit-based scholarships

  • September 15, 2019: Application available
  • January 15, 2020: Final application deadline for those who wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships
  • March 15, 2020: Final Application Deadline for those who do not wish to be considered for merit-based scholarships

Apply Now! Next Deadline: March 15, 2020

We seek candidates for admission to the Urban Education Policy master's program who combine an interest in education policy issues with a high motivation to be successful in a rigorous and fast-paced master's program.