Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education (CTE)

Program Requirements

Each MA candidate will work closely with a faculty advisor to develop an individualized program of study that reflects the student's particular interests. As students in this program are not part of a cohort taking courses together, they must be able to work independently, under an advisor's supervision, in order to complete program requirements based on current course offerings. It is both the advisor's and the student's responsibility to make sure that each student successfully completes a coherent program of study and research that advances the student's professional goals.

Students have the opportunity to develop specializations around particular subject matters or areas (e.g., English, literacy, mathematics, science, history) depending upon their interests and their advisor's areas of expertise. These specializations are negotiated individually with the faculty advisor and are contingent upon course offerings and directed reading/research opportunities. Students can take courses across the Graduate School of Education and the university at large. In addition to coursework, students conduct a final project that will allow them to focus in depth on a particular area of interest.

Students must complete at least 45 units at Stanford to receive the Master's degree in CTE. The following constraints are placed on those 45 units:

  • All courses must be at or above the 100 level – courses numbered below 100 do not count toward the MA degree.
  • At least 23 units must be at or above the 200 level (EDUC 180 or 190 count toward this requirement).
  • At least 27 units must be from courses offered by the Graduate School of Education (EDUC units).
  • At least 15 units must be taken for a letter grade (as opposed to Credit/No Credit).
  • A 3.0 GPA must be maintained for all courses applied to the master's degree.
  • Students must enroll in a minimum of 11 units during Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters, and cannot exceed 18 units in any quarter.
  • English for Foreign Students (EFSLANG 600 level) and Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (ATHLETIC) courses cannot be applied towards the master's degree.
  • See the "Coterminal Degree" section for unit requirements applying to students admitted through the coterminal degree program.

Breadth Requirements

Students are required to complete courses fulfilling the 2 breadth requirements: Behavioral & Social Sciences and Normative Studies. See below for a list of pre-approved courses.

Research Methods

Students must take at least one course in this category, both courses are recommended. Please consult with your advisor as soon as possible.

*In Autumn and Winter quarter, CTE students have second enrollment priority for EDUC 200B. Please see the Enrollment in Methodology Courses section of the MA Handbook for more information.


Units for the Master's project/thesis can be taken through EDUC 180 "Directed Reading"; EDUC 190 "Directed Research"; or EDUC 185 "Master's Thesis". Students can enroll in 1-3 units of independent study units during Autumn quarter and 1-5 units during Winter and Spring quarters.

Please note that the university deadline to turn in your project/thesis and Thesis Submission Form to your advisor is Wednesday, June 7 at noon. Your advisor may set an earlier deadline. If you would like your final project/thesis to be bound and catalogued in the Cubberley Library, a few additional steps need to be taken: (1) update the signature and title page available from the MA Programs Officer; (2) obtain your advisor's signature; (3) print out a copy of your final project/thesis; and (4) submit it to the Cubberley library.

2021-22 Pre-Approved Courses Meeting the Breadth Requirements

Note: Other courses may be taken to fulfill these requirements. Your advisor will need to approve any course substitutions and notify the MA Programs Officer via email. All course information is subject to change. Please consult ExploreCourses and Axess for the most updated course offering and scheduling information. 

Behavioral and Social Sciences

A minimum of 1 course is required. Anthropology, Economics, Politics of Education, Psychology, and Sociology

Normative Studies

A minimum of 1 course is required. Philosophy, Aesthetics, and History of Education