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Frequently Asked Questions

Program Prerequisite Questions

No, we do not require a major (or minor) in your teaching subject. However, we do want to see that you have strong content knowledge in your subject. This means if you are applying for the single subject program, we will want to see that you have taken a number of courses in your subject area and done well in those courses.

No, not necessarily. If you are applying to the single subject program, we do want to see that you have significant understanding of the subject you are applying to. However, this does not require that you major in the subject. Some students have a minor in the subject area while others have taken a number of courses as undergraduates or graduates. If you feel you have a strong understanding of the subject area, but this is not reflected on your application please be in touch with us. We can offer you feedback.

We do not require subject matter competence for applicants to the multiple subject credential. In this case, we are reviewing the whole application without any specific subject matter requirement.

Yes. For STEP admissions there is no specific experience (or minimum required hours) necessary to apply. All we require is that applicants have meaningful experience working with youth in some capacity – this could certainly be a camp counselor, but also a church group leader, group tutor, teaching assistant, etc.

Not at all. Every year we have a number of students in this category and they fare just as well as others who have completed undergraduate or graduate degrees.

No, we do not have a minimum GPA requirement. Our admissions review is holistic and we consider all aspects of a student’s application.

General Programmatic Questions

Currently STEP offers teaching credentials in:

  • Multiple subject -- Elementary education with optional Spanish bilingual authorization.
  • Single subject -- Secondary education in the following subject areas:
    • Teaching of English
    • Teaching of History/Social Science
    • Teaching of Math
    • Teaching of Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Earth Science)
    • Teaching of World Languages (French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish)

No, applicants can only apply to one subject area.

Yes, STEP leads to a Master of Arts in Education and a preliminary single subject or multiple subject teaching credential.

No. STEP only offers the combined MA/Credential degree.

STEP does not allow for course transfer. All admitted students must ultimately complete all required courses as outlined by the program.

STEP is a summer start program. The new cohort will begin on Monday June 20, 2016.

No, STEP only has one class per year and all students in the cohort begin at the same time, which is the summer term.

STEP is a 12-month teacher preparation program. Admitted teacher candidates will begin the program on Monday, June 20, 2016 with a week of orientation and will start their summer school placements the following Monday, June 27 2016. Teacher candidates will be in the program for four quarters: summer 2015-2016 and fall, winter and spring 2016-2017. Teacher candidates will complete the program in the middle of June 2017. During this time, teacher candidates will spend about 20 hour per week in their school placements and will be full-time graduate students at Stanford.

The size of the STEP class varies slightly from year to year. For the current STEP Class of 2016, we have 22 students in the multiple subject (Elementary cohort) and 71 students in the single subject (Secondary cohort). The total size of the class is 93 students.

STEP is a fast paced and intense program; this makes taking on a job difficult. Students are encouraged to maintain a healthy balance between the program and their lives outside the program and a job inevitably impacts one or the other. For this reason, we do not encourage students to work.

No. Unfortunately, we do not grant deferrals under any circumstances.

Application Requirement Questions

The Stanford Graduate Application is now open. To begin your application follow this link

Applications are due on January 12, 2016. Decisions will be released no later than March 1, 2016 and admitted students will reply to the admission offer by April 15, 2016.

No, we only have one admission cycle per year. Prospective candidates can apply anytime between now and January 12, 2016 when the application closes. All files will be reviewed after the January 12, 2016 deadline.

On the online the application, the correct term for the 2017 cohort is summer 2015-16. Due to our summer start term, the summer quarter falls into the 2015-16 academic year.

While we encourage candidates to take the test early, there is no penalty for taking it after the suggested date (November 30). So long as the GRE is taken by the application deadline (January 12, 2016), scores will be reviewed and applications will be considered complete.

Yes, peace of mind! Also, if anything is missing from your application, we can contact you with enough time. Aside from that, so long as your application is completed by the deadline, we will review it with all other applications.

To apply to STEP, start by choosing EDUCATION-MA as your program. Then designate summer 2015-2016 as your start term. If applying to the multiple subjects program, select “Elementary Education” as your specialization. If applying to the single subject program, select “Teaching of (subject)” as your specialization.

The STEP Essay and Statement of Purpose are similar in that both serve to tell program staff and reviewers your reason for applying to the program. The difference between the two is that the STEP Essay prompts students with specific questions related to the program. The STEP Essay is required for admissions purposes and the Statement of Purpose is optional. The STEP admissions committee does not encourage students to submit the Statement of Purpose.

The transcript summary outlines all undergraduate courses take by subject area. The transcript summary is an application requirement and should be uploaded with your online application before submission. To view an example, visit: (scroll to the bottom of the page).

On the online application, there is a section for “additional documents,” which you can use to upload pdf copies of your score reports.

No. The application and all required documents must be submitted online.

The entire application is completed online including letters of recommendation. When you start your application, you will need to enter recommender information which will include an email. Once you complete this step, your recommender will receive an email with submission instructions. Please notice that you do not have to wait to submit your application to enter your recommender information. In fact, we encourage you to do this as soon as you have confirmed your recommenders in order to give them as much time as possible to submit their letters on your behalf.