The Penn GSE & Teach For America program is evolving into the Urban Teaching Residency Master’s & Certification Program in 2017-2018. In addition to TFA corps members, the program is now also open to educators working in schools who wish to pursue a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.). Students may now choose certifications in elementary, middle year, or secondary grades, content area specializations, and an additional special education certification.

With a focus on urban teaching, the program is ideal for educators who:

  • Are deeply committed to ending educational inequality
  • Desire to build the knowledge and skills to make an excellent education a reality for all children
  • Seek solid academic training and professional mentoring
  • Want to be part of a dynamic, Ivy League university community.

The program began as a partnership of Penn GSE, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Teach For America Greater Philadelphia Region. In the 2017 expansion, the Urban Teaching Residency Program opens to support working educators, in addition to the TFA Corps Members.


As partners with the School District of Philadelphia, we wholeheartedly embrace equity in education and strive to work with our teacher-students to increase opportunities for urban students.


In keeping with the orientation of Penn’s Graduate School of Education, inquiry and reflection permeate the Urban Teaching Residency Program. Reflection and inquiry are used to examine ways in which teachers and students become communities of learners within and beyond school walls.


We are committed to a broad understanding of education. We also consider the less visible, but nonetheless powerful, forces that shape the education system within a wide variety of perspective courses. At all levels, we honor the controversies and disagreements that characterize civic engagement. 


For educators, a focus on the child is unswervingly central. We appreciate that there are many kinds of children, as there are many kinds of teachers. Just as there is no one way to teach, so is there no one way to learn. Within this diversity, however, we emphasize the centrality of student engagement in education and strong teacher-student relationships. While students are required to learn certain prescribed material, teachers (and schools) are obligated to hear children’s voices, to enhance their interests, motivation, and participation.  

Penn GSE and the University of Pennsylvania

At Penn GSE, students will find an Ivy League environment that supports both practical knowledge building and high-quality research. Our alumni are recognized as some of the world’s most influential education leaders, and our distinguished professors are pioneers in their fields.