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Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs FAQ

No. However, undergraduates can earn a minor and/or honors degree in education to complement major fields of study. 

This answer is more complex. The most straightforward response goes like this: the GSE is a graduate school offering masters and doctoral degrees across the field of education. Like our colleagues in the schools of medicine, law, engineering, and business, we believe that what we do in the field of education is crucial, complex, challenging—that it demands graduate-level education. There are also political and historical answers to this question, which are explored in depth in our education policy, history, and sociology courses. 

Students taking courses in the GSE can expect a well-designed, rigorous, graduate-level learning experience. Undergraduates study alongside masters and doctoral students in courses taught by GSE professors. Our courses are often taught once a week in 2–3 hour blocks; reading, writing, and participation expectations are set at a graduate level. Many GSE courses teach education as an applied social science and design experiences for students in school learning environments. 

We’re glad you asked this question. Now is a great time to exercise your education muscles. UP@GSE oversees education opportunities for undergraduates in the forms of fellowships, research assistantships, internships, and public service opportunities with our partners in EdCareers, the GSE Student Guild, and the Haas Center for Public Service.

  • Teaching in public, private, and charter preK through high schools
  • Attending graduate school in law, medicine, engineering, and humanities and sciences
  • Serving in education internships 
  • Participating in public service programs
  • Working for nonprofits
  • Competing in the NFL and training for the Olympics

This is the GSE’s annual commencement ceremony for undergraduate students graduating with a minor or honors degree in education. During this special celebration, we confer graduates with light blue honor cords (education’s academic color) to be worn with their commencement regalia. The Honor Cord ceremony is traditionally held the Friday morning prior to Commencement Sunday. 

Teaching in public schools in the United States requires a teaching credential. In the state of California, as in most states, a teaching credential requires units of study at the graduate level, as well as supervised hours of student teaching, to apply for licensure. 

The GSE believes that teaching is a profession that demands thoughtful and rigorous preparation. The Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) is a competitive one-year teacher preparation program that results in a teaching credential and a master’s degree in education. 

Beyond STEP, a wide variety of teacher preparation programs throughout the country—public universities, private universities, small and large programs, urban and rural, programs specializing in particular subject areas and age groups, on-line, graduate, coterminal, and residential programs. Some offer a teaching credential, while others, like STEP, offer a teaching credential and a masters degree. 

Yes. Recently the United States has seen a growth in teaching internships, such as Teach For America, Urban Teacher, and City Year. These programs typically place college graduates in high-need learning environments, offering mentoring or support concurrently with the teaching assignment. Not all of these programs are designed to prepare professional teachers; instead, some offer a limited post–bachelor’s education experience before entering a separate field. 

Yes. Stanford undergraduates are welcome in GSE courses with 100- and 200-level numbers, and, with professor permission, are able to take a select number of 300-level courses. Undergraduates seeking recommendations on which courses would best align with their interests and career goals may schedule an office hours appointment with Jennifer Wolf.

GSE faculty and research centers offer a variety of research opportunities for undergraduates. Interested undergraduates may search and apply for research positions here.

The GSE offers courses that are designed specifically to help Stanford undergraduates explore the teaching profession:

  1. EDUC 101/Introduction to Teaching and Learning is an introductory course to the field of education.
  2. EDUC 104/Introduction to the Profession of Teaching is a collaboration between STEP and SPREES, and places students in local elementary and high school classrooms to observe the practice of teaching. 
  3. EDUC 171/Preschool Counts: Engaging Young Children in Math provides background in early childhood development and a learning, and experience engaging preschoolers in math. 
  4. EDUC103a/ Tutoring: Seeing a Child Through Literacy gives students experience tutoring young children in reading.

UP@GSE enjoys working with both the GSE Graduate Student Guild and the Stanford Pre-Education Society (SPREES), a student-led undergraduate organization. Also, the GSE is proud to sponsor Education and Society Theme House, or EAST House. You are invited to apply to live in EAST House, or to join EAST House Fridays for an education-themed lunch course, EDUC100a,b,c.

Yes. Currently, Stanford offers 7 majors with concentrations in subfields such as Education, Learning and Cognition. UP@GSE serves students in these majors by recommending classes that will satisfy and complement major requirements and offering academic and professional advising. 

  • GSE students, including undergraduates, are part of the larger GSE community. As such, they receive emails about events happening within the community.
  • Access to EdCareers database and staff resources
  • Access to the McConnell Lounge 
  • Invitations to our GSE annual events, such as the Cubberley Lecture

Co-terminal enrollment is defined and managed uniquely in the GSE. Our masters programs are highly competitive and take very limited numbers of Stanford undergraduate applicants. Additionally, our masters programs are cohort designed, and often course work is restricted to the year of graduate study. Because the GSE is a professional graduate school, our masters programs are designed for applicants with professional and work experience.  

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