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Secondary Program Information

STEP is a full-time, 12-month program that combines theory and practice throughout. Teacher candidates gain classroom experience during the day. In the afternoon, they attend courses, including a weekly seminar designed to foster community and support their growth as educators.

Coursework and field work are designed to prepare graduates to meet the practical and intellectual challenges of the teaching profession, to serve the needs of diverse students, and to take leadership roles in schools and communities.

Teacher explaining something to students

Secondary overview

The STEP secondary program offers highly-focused instruction interwoven with hands-on teaching experience, sustained mentoring, and personalized advising. STEP recognizes the integration of many areas of knowledge that underlie effective teaching. The program provides multiple opportunities for observing, planning, and practicing diverse pedagogical approaches in specific clinical contexts.

STEP secondary candidates are admitted into the program in the specific subject area in which they wish to be credentialed: English, History-Social Science, Math, Science, or World Languages.  

Secondary curriculum and coursework

STEP secondary teacher candidates take a minimum of 45 units distributed over four quarters and leading to a master’s in education and a preliminary California single subject teaching credential. Distribution of units is determined by course schedule, accreditation requirements, and a specially designed tuition plan.

Secondary candidates attend the curriculum and instruction class sequence for their credential subject area. Candidates have the option to take one to five elective units in education or in their academic subject area.

Sample secondary course progression

To learn more about course content, view the syllabi below.

Secondary clinical work

The purpose of student teaching concurrent with coursework is to allow teacher candidates to construct bridges between theory and practice. Candidates spend time observing and practicing different approaches to teaching and learning and develop relationships with students, school faculty, and families.

Cooperating teachers and placement school sites are chosen based on guiding principles of equitable practices and high quality teaching and mentorship. Placements align with the STEP curriculum and support the candidates’ growth and development as novice teachers.

Examples of secondary placements

This map shows examples of schools that have served as placement school sites for STEP secondary teacher candidates. Filter down using the map's sidebar.

Secondary handbook

For more detail on academic and clinical work, please view the current year STEP secondary handbook.

Student Voices

Hear from our students about why they chose to do their teacher education at Stanford, what their learning journey has been like, and what advice they would give to future STEP students.

See more Student Voices

What you need to know

Admission requirements

To learn more about requirements for admission to STEP, please visit the Application Requirements page on the admissions website.

Financing your education

To learn more about the cost of the program and options for financial support, please visit Financing STEP on the admissions website.

Contact admissions

For more information on the application process, contact STEP Student Services Officer and Credential Analyst Michaela Ruiz at To attend STEP admissions webinars (May-November), visit the admissions event page.

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