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Testing Requirements - Secondary (Single Subject)

Requirement Who How to Fulfill Deadline


All applicants

EXEMPT: Students who have completed an undergraduate subject matter verification program approved by CCTC.

CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers)
For CSET test dates and locations visit

*Applicants might be able to meet this requirement via coursework. 

For more information see this link

Encouraged to take prior to application date but no later than March 31, 2022. 

Basic Skills Requirement

All applicants

There are many ways to fulfill this requirement. Please review the requirements to see what option is best for you.

Some options include:
•Qualifying ACT, SAT, or AP scores
•CBEST Passing Score

More information on meeting this requirement

*Applicants might be able to meet this requirement via coursework or a combination of coursework and tests.

For more information see this link

Applicants currently residing in California must meet this requirement no later than application deadline. 

Applicants currently residing outside of California must meet this requirement no later than end of August of their STEP year. 


International applicants

EXEMPT: International applicants who completed a 4 year bachelor’s degree or 2 year masters in the US or at an institution where English is the main language

Register at

Use Stanford Institution code: 4704 (no dept. code is required)

For more information, visit the Grad Admissions FAQs

Take TOEFL no earlier than 18 months prior to deadline and no later than the application deadline. 

Subject Matter Competence – STEP SECONDARY

STEP Single Subject Candidates** must demonstrate subject matter competence in one of the following two ways:

Option 1: California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET)

The CSET is the primary way to verify your subject knowledge. CSET exams are offered as a computer based test, year round, Monday through Saturday in California and across the country

Admitted students must pass a minimum of two CSET subtests in their intended teaching subject to begin the program in June. Therefore, STEP Secondary applicants should plan on taking at least two subsets of the CSET test no later than March 31, 2022. Advanced registration is required. 

We strongly encourage applicants to take the CSET before applying to STEP. Applications will be reviewed if candidates have not taken the exams or have not received their results by the application deadline. If you have previously passed any of the exams, include a score report with your application.

Admitted students must ultimately pass all subtests by January of their program year. 

STEP Secondary Program CSET Test CSET Subsets
Mathematics Mathematics Subset I (test code 211)
Subset II (test code 212)
Subset III (test code 213)
English English Subset I (test code 105)
Subset II (test code 106)
Subset III (test code 107)
Subset IV (test code 108)
Social Sciences Social Sciences Subset I (test code 114)
Subset II (test code 115)
Subset III (test code 116)
Biology Science Subset I (test code 215)
Subset II – Life Sciences (test code 217)
Chemistry Science Subset I (test code 215)
Subset II – Chemistry (test code 218)
Earth Sciences Science Subset I (test code 215)
Subset II – Earth and Space Sciences (test code 219)
Physics Science Subset I (test code 215)
Subset II – Physics (test code 220)
French French Subset I (test code 148)
Subset II (test code 149)
Subset III (test code 150)
Spanish Spanish Subset I (test code 145)
Subset II (test code 146)
Subset III (test code 147)
Mandarin Mandarin Subset I (test code 163)
Subset II (test code 164)
Subset III (test code 165)

CSET Stanford reporting code: 582

Please visit California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET) page for information on test date locations, registering for the exam and test preparation materials.

Option 2: Subject Matter Program

Certain California institutions have been approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) to offer subject matter programs (essentially, specialized majors) that meet state requirements for subject matter competence, in lieu of the approved exams. This program verifies you have completed the coursework (undergraduate or graduate level) that the university feels is critical to a solid subject matter understanding. If you are completing/have completed one of these approved subject matter programs, contact the teacher education department at your institution for an evaluation of your coursework.

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