College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Racial justice in urban schooling minor

The racial justice in urban schooling minor is designed for students interested in the intersections of race, social class, language status, gender or sexual orientation, and how those impact educational equity and social justice. Students learn to recognize educational practices that marginalize students who are diverse in terms of their race, class, language or gender status, and how to support educational equity through alternative approaches. Students will reimagine teaching materials and techniques that hold the possibility for a more equitable and just society.

The racial justice in urban schooling minor supports students’ exploration of their interest in graduate studies in education or activism on educational issues. This undergraduate minor will appeal to students who are deeply interested in education as a social issue, whether or not they want to become a classroom teacher.

Quote from Nhia Chang

By learning about minoritized cultures, engaging in service-learning, and exploring the relationship between community, family, and students, I hope it can advance my understanding and skill in providing a welcoming, inclusive, and competent learning environment for all students.

Nhia Chang Elementary Education major, 2023

About this program


This minor coursework will critique contemporary commentary on urban education and support students whose educational interest is in the intersections of race, social class, language status, gender or sexual orientation.

The minor consists of two required core courses and three elective courses. Each core and strand class develop an intersectional approach to racial justice in urban education.

Core curriculum and instruction courses:

  • Issues in urban education
  • Culture power and education

Additional strand/elective courses:

  • One course (3 credits) in a designated race, class, or language strand
  • One required course (3 credits) (from an approved list) in gender or ethnic studies
  • One additional elective in a complementary area such as pedagogy, policy and leadership, urban studies, Native American studies, African American studies, Chicano studies, gender studies, youth studies, or family social science

See the detailed curriculum and approved electives in the course catalog.

Educational experience

Students who complete this minor will be able to evaluate ways in which school experiences can either perpetuate social inequalities or reduce them, and gain a deeper understanding of urban schools as complex institutions.

Key experiences include:

  • learning about minoritized cultures and histories through an ethnic studies class
  • studying culturally-responsive approaches to teaching
  • completing a service-learning activity in partnership with a school to create a digital story about educational issues.
  • exploring the relationships among home, community, and school cultures for students of color that impact educational practices and provide insights into student experience and classroom contexts.

Career paths

Students who combine this minor with an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, sciences, or ethnic studies will position themselves for graduate work in teacher education, educational policy, sociopolitical analysis of education, and engagement with educational issues as informed citizens. For students considering a career in the classroom, the racial justice in urban schooling minor opens space for students to complete some remaining prerequisites and to explore their interest in teaching.

How to apply

    Admissions information

    Application deadlines

    • August 1 priority deadline for Fall enrollment
    • December 15 priority deadline for Spring enrollment
    • April 15 priority deadline for Summer enrollment

    Students must be enrolled at the University of Minnesota and hold at least a 2.0 GPA to enroll in the program.

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    Vichet Chhuon Vichet Chhuon

    My research has broadly focused on the experiences of immigrant youth and students of color to understand how school institutions might better help them realize their promise.

    Vichet Chhuon
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