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Applying to STEP

The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) is a nationally renowned 12-month full time program preparing future teacher leaders at the elementary and secondary levels. STEP integrates a high quality academic program with a well-supported, yearlong classroom placement.

The online application for the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) will open in late September. The deadline to submit an application will be January 10, 2020 (11:59pm PST).

Please note, requirements for coterms differ slightly from outside applicants so make sure to review the coterminal application requirements page. For additional questions or concerns contact Viviana Alcazar.

Application Requirements

The STEP application process gives applicants the opportunity to display their full range of experience, education, and enthusiasm for teaching. We carefully review and consider every application.

Start Application

For the 2021 cohort, select "Summer 2019-2020" as the start term. Choose a specialization or subject area within STEP. Choose "Elementary Education" or "Teaching of …" to select a Secondary subject area.

Application Form

The application process is conducted entirely online through the Office of Graduate Admissions. Please complete and submit Stanford's graduate online application.

Applicants for the STEP Class of 2021 will start  the program during the summer quarter of 2020, which is part of Stanford's 2019-20 academic year.

Choose a specialization or subject area within STEP. Choose "Elementary Education" or "Teaching of …" to select a Secondary subject area.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $125 is required with the submission of the online application. Please visit Graduate Admissions for information on fee waiver eligibility and process.

STEP Essay

Respond to the prompt below about your educational background, interest in teaching, and views on role of education.

To complete the STEP application, applicants must write a STEP-specific essay responding to the prompt below.

STEP Essay

  • Describe your educational background, experience working with youth, and interest in teaching.
  • Specify your interest in teaching a particular subject matter area at the secondary level (STEP Secondary, Single-Subject program) or your interest in teaching at the elementary level (STEP Elementary, Multiple-Subject program).
  • In addition, explain your views on the role of education in society and your reasons for wanting to enter the teaching profession. Indicate how your strengths, skills, and experiences might contribute to the STEP community.

Your essay should be should be single-spaced, about 750-1250 words and a maximum of three pages in length. Submit it electronically with the online application by uploading it into the personal statement section.

There is an option in the application to write a second essay- Personal Statement- however, this is not required and STEP strongly discourages applicants to do this task.


Required of all applicants and should be uploaded following the essay.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation.

  • The letters of recommendation should speak to an applicant’s commitment to the profession, character, work ethic, academic ability, and general fit for STEP. Instructors, supervisors and colleagues who have observed an applicant’s work with youth are often good choices for writing letters of recommendation.
  • The online application will prompt applicants to identify and provide email addresses for their recommenders.
  • Applicants should notify recommenders that they will receive an email prompting them to submit their recommendation online.
  • Stanford GSE cannot accept mailed, emailed or faxed recommendations.

Upload unofficial or official electronic transcripts as a PDF.

Unofficial or official transcripts must be uploaded as a PDF document. Transcripts that are mailed, emailed or faxed will not be accepted. Transcripts should be submitted for any institution the applicant has attended for at least one year.

Transcripts from Foreign Institutions: If an institution provides a transcript in a language other than English, applicants must also submit a translation of the transcript that is either provided by the institution or a certified translator.

Upon admission, admitted students will be required to submit official transcripts by mail. If you studied abroad, and the coursework and grades are reflected on the transcript from a home institution, it is not necessary to submit original transcripts from the study abroad institution.

Transcript Summary

In a separate document summarize all college course work in the format indicated below. Include any courses in which you are currently enrolled or plan to take before STEP.

In a separate document, applicants must summarize all college course work following the format below. Include any courses in which you are currently enrolled or plan to take before enrolling in STEP. This summary does not replace official transcripts.

Please group courses under the following headings as shown in the sample below:

  1. English
  2. Fine Arts (art, drama, music, etc.)
  3. Foreign Languages, grouped by language
  4. Humanities (philosophy, religion, speech, etc.)
  5. Mathematics
  6. Natural Sciences (biological and physical sciences)
  7. Social Science (history, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography)
  8. Other (business, education, physical education, etc.)

Student’s Name – Transcript Summary


Year Dept & Course No. Title Institution Units Grade
Fall 2014 ENG 116 History of Drama & Theater I UCSD 4 A-
Spring 2014 ENG 105Q Poetry UCSD 4 B
Spring 2014 ENG 185 Critical Reading and Writing UCSD 4 A-
Fall 2015 ENG 289W Caribbean Literature UCSD 4 B+
Spring 2015 ENG 263W Discourse Analysis UCSD 4 A-
Fall 2015 ENG 258W Studies in Lit to 1900 UCSD 4 B+
Spring 2015 ENG 257W Southern Literature UCSD 4 B-
Fall 2016 ENG 230W Romanticism UCSD 4 B-
Fall 2016 ENG 255W Brit Lit Before 1660 UCSD 4 B+
Spring 2016 AMST 285W Literature and the Bible UCSD 4 A-
Fall 2016 AAS 282 Women Writers UCSD 3 A-

Fine Arts

Year Dept & Course No. Title Institution Units Grade
Fall 2014 ART 205 Drawing and Painting UCSD 4 A-

Foreign Languages

Year Dept & Course No. Title Institution Units Grade
Fall 2014 SPAN 101 Elementary Spanish I UCSD 4 B+
Spring 2015 SPAN 102 Elementary Spanish II UCSD 4 B-
STEP Supplemental Form

Fill out the STEP supplemental application included in the online application.

The STEP supplemental application is required of all applicants. If interested in receiving a STEP fellowship, applicants should also complete the fellowship section found on the supplemental form in the online admissions application.

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Testing Requirements

Register and take required tests.

Elementary Secondary


Common Application Requirement Questions.

View FAQ

STEP, the Graduate School of Education & Stanford University are committed to preparing teachers from wide-ranging, diverse backgrounds. With that commitment in mind, we are offering application fee waivers to first-generation college graduates who are in financial need. Additionally, applicants to the World Languages program are eligible for the fee waiver.

To be considered for the waiver, applicants must complete the fee waiver survey. Applicants need to indicate their commitment to applying to STEP and describe their eligibility in a short paragraph. We have a limited number of fee waivers to allocate this year. We will offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible applicants.

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