Accelerated Teaching Credential for Undergraduate Science Majors

The goal of Science Teacher Education Program (STEP) is to accelerate the timeline for highly qualified UCLA undergraduate science majors to become secondary-level science teachers in public urban schools. At the conclusion of the STEP Program, students will receive both their preliminary Teaching Credential and Masters in Education. The program begins in the senior year of undergraduate study, includes the summer after graduation, plus one year of graduate enrollment while teaching at a local public school.

(This is a program for current, undergraduate students at UCLA; if you have already graduated from UCLA or another institution, please see the UCLA Graduate School of Education for other options.)

Highlights of the Program

The STEP program allows students to combine the last year of their undergraduate studies with the first year of their credential studies. Several of the upper division courses required for the credential can also be applied toward the minimum number of college-required upper division electives (but not upper division electives required for your major). To be involved in the STEP program during your Senior (last) year, it is highly recommended that you have no more than 4 classes required to complete your undergraduate degree.

Through STEP, you will enroll in UCLA's Teacher Education Program, offered through the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. The Teacher Education Program (TEP) has a Social Justice agenda. The program is committed to developing highly qualified teachers who are caring advocates for children, who possess subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skill, and who take social and political action to press for justice in urban school communities.

Students in the program are grouped into one cohort which meets regularly throughout the two years. Interaction with other students in the cohort, the cohort's TEP Faculty Advisor, and other program faculty provide strong support as students are introduced to and transition into a career in secondary science teaching.

Students accepted into the program will be awarded a $2,000 completion scholarship for the summer session between completing the undergraduate degree and entering graduate school. STEP students are also eligible to apply for a NSF Noyce Scholarship/Forgivable Loan (up to $16,500) for their Senior year. 

The STEP program also enables students to earn a full time salary while teaching full time in Los Angeles urban schools during the academic year immediately following their bachelor's degree, while working towards the masters degree.


Program Requirements:

Students applying to the Science Teacher Education Program should have a 3.0 GPA. You must be graduating at the end of Spring Quarter 2025.


Basic Skills Requirement:  Applicants must fulfill the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR), as required by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) is composed of Reading, Writing, and Math and must be met for admission to all credential programs. See the UCLA TEP information page for ways to fulfill this requirement. For example, you may take and pass the CBEST exam or submit SAT, ACT, or AP test scores that exceed certain minimum scores


Subject-Matter Competency Requirement: Applicants must demonstrate that they are proficient in the subject matter area of their intended credential before clinical practice, as required by California Education Code. AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) has expanded how candidates may demonstrate subject matter proficiency. As of August 2022, there are five ways to satisfy subject-matter competency in the state of California. Please see the UCLA TEP information page for ways to fulfill this requirement. For example, you may demonstrate competency via degree, exam, or coursework.

If you are planning to demonstrate subject matter proficiency via degree, please confirm that you are eligible for this option prior to applying by contacting Emma Hipolito at You should verify that your specific major qualifies as a STEP student.

If you will be demonstrating subject matter competency via CSET exams, you will need to take both sections of the CSET (Science Subtests I & II) for your area of concentration.

For CSET, you will need to take:
Science Subtest I: General Science (215)

And ONE of the following subtests:
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences (217)
Science Subtest II: Chemistry (218)
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences (219)
Science Subtest II: Physics (220)


**Both the basic skills and the subject-matter competency requirements must be completed by September 1, 2024 at the very latest or you will not be able to participate in the program in Fall 2024. This means that CBEST or CSET exams must be passed by September 1, 2024, so we encourage you to take the tests early.


As part of your application, please email a copy of any score reports or proof of registration for tests to For SAT, ACT, or AP test scores to be used in lieu of the CBEST, please email with a copy of your score report(s). See State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing “Basic Skills Requirement” for equivalent scores needed to satisfy the requirement.


Before Applying:

It is highly advised that potential students contact Professor Arlene Russell, to further discuss this program (STEP). We will meet with students as early as their 1st year to begin creating an education plan that would make them eligible for STEP.

If you are interested in attending an online information session, see UCLA Teacher Education Program website here for dates and registration links.


To Apply:

To participate in the STEP program during your senior year (last year), you should apply during the Fall Quarter of your junior year (year prior to your last year).

The application deadline for the 2024-25 academic year is December 1, 2023.

A completed application consists of the online application with essay, three (3) letters of recommendation, unofficial UCLA transcript, and the scores reports or proof of registration for all CSET and CBEST or equivalents tests that you wish to include as part of your application.

Group Interview

As part of the application process, you will attend a group interview on one of the following days:

Saturday, January 6, 2024; either 9-1 or 1-5
Saturday, January 20, 2024; either 9-1 or 1-5

During the interview, you will convene with other applicants to discuss an issue pertinent to K-12 urban schooling and social justice.

You will select one of these dates and times in the online application. The Graduate School of Education will confirm your interview time and loation after you apply.

NSF Noyce Scholarship

Within the online application, you will be able to apply for an NSF Noyce Scholarship/Forgivable Loan. The Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is designed to increase the number and quality of science and math teachers who are prepared to teach in high-need schools throughout the country. 

Scholarship/Forgivable Loans are available up to $16,500 for your Senior year. 

There are two key requirements for this forgivable loan: (1) that you are a citizen or permanent resident and (2) that you work for two years in a school district that has at least one school that meets specific high-need criteria--exactly the kind of school that the UCLA program works with. The first-year of the service requirement is your resident year in graduate school. During this year you will be working in one of our partner schools, all of which meet the high-need requirements. You do not need to stay in this school for the second year, although most of our students do, so long as the school you go to is in a district where one of the schools in that district meets the "high-need" requirement described in the agreement. These districts are easy to find everywhere in the country. 

As a Noyce Scholarship recipient, you will be required to attend a four-week pre-credential summer program beginning in August 2023 (exact dates to be determined). During the first week, you will attend professional development seminars at UCLA, followed by three weeks of observation and participation at one of the Graduate School of Education's partner schools. Details to be confirmed in Winter/Spring Quarter. Noyce Scholarship recipients who participate in the pre-credential program will be awarded an additional $1,500 scholarship.

For more information about the Noyce Scholarship, please contact Emma Hipolito at


Online Application - due December 1, 2023



Additional Materials - due December 1, 2023

In addition to the online application, you will need to submit three (3) letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, and, if applicable, CBEST (or equivalent) and CSET scores or proof of registration, to the UCLA Cal Teach office. At least one letter should address your academic potential, and another letter address your teaching experience/potential. Your recommenders should email a pdf copy of their letter directly to

The unofficial transcript, CBEST, CSET, SAT, ACT, or AP scores or proof of registration should be emailed to

Unofficial UCLA transcripts can be obtained through Transfer students should also submit unofficial transcript(s) from their transfer institution(s).

All application materials (online application, three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcript(s), CSET score reports/proof of registration, and CBEST or equivalent score reports/proof of registration) are due by December 1, 2023.



After submission, your application will be reviewed by the Graduate School of Education. You should be contacted by the Graduate School of Education to confirm your interview time. (You will be given a choice of date and times in the online application). All STEP applicants will be interviewed as part of the application process, but occasionally the actual interview dates or times will differ from those stated in the application. For questions related to the interview date and time, please contact Emma Hipolito, Director UCLA Teacher Education Program, at Notification of acceptance will be sent by US mail by the Graduate School of Education towards the end of March. The Cal Teach office does not review or make decisions regarding admission to the program. 


Once accepted (for planning purposes only*):

In order to begin student teaching during the Winter quarter of your first year in the program (i.e. senior/last year as undergraduate), you will need to provide proof of completion of the following requirements:

1) Certificate of Clearance (COC) - details and forms will be provided by Graduate School of Education

2) TB Test - must be within 6 months of start of student teaching (varies by school, could be within 30 days)

3) US Constitution requirement - You may either take an online exam or pass an approved college-level course. The UCLA approved courses are Hist 13A, Hist 13B, Hist 13C, Hist 143A, Hist 143B, or Pol Sci 40. *The CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing will not accept AP credit for this requirement. Please check directly with Graduate School of Education to confirm how to satisfy this requirement for your particular situation, and to confirm the most up-to-date UCLA course list.

HIST 13A History of the US and its Colonial Origins (formerly HIST 7A)

HIST 13B History of the US and its Colonial Origins (formerly HIST 7B)

HIST 13C History of the US and its Colonial Origins (formerly HIST 7C)

HIST 143A Constitutional History of the United States: Origins and Development of Constitutionalism in U.S. (formerly HIST 151A)

HIST 143B Constitutional History of the United States: Constitutionalism since Civil War (formerly HIST 151B)

POLS 40 Introduction to American Politics (formerly POLS1)


4) Infant, Child, & Adult Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification - options include courses offered by UCLA SWC or American Red Cross

5) CBEST Passing Score Report or equivalent - CBEST must be passed prior to September 1, 2023 at the very latest, or you will not be able to participate in the program beginning Fall 2023.

6) CSET Passing Score Report or 100% Subject Matter Waiver - CSETs must be passed prior to September 1, 2023 at the very latest, or you will not be able to participate in the program beginning Fall 2023.

All of the above must be submitted during Fall Quarter of your first year by the deadlines provided by the Graduate School of Education (typically by December). For more specific and updated information about these requirements, please contact Imelda Nava, TEP Faculty Advisor at

*Disclaimer: you should verify all requirements directly with the Graduate School of Education; this "once accepted" list is intended to provide information to aid your planning only.


Courses to be taken during program (may vary by year):

See overview of TEP program (you will be completing the equivalent of the UCLA Two-Year Graduate Program)

See course descriptions


First year (Novice year) - to be completed as undergraduate:

Fall Quarter:

ED 320A (Secondary Content and Literacy Methods) - 3 units

ED 330A (Field: Observation and Participation) - 3 units

ED 360A (Novice Seminar) - 2 units

ED 405A (Teaching in Urban Schools - Community) - 2 units

ED 406 (Social Foundations) - 3 units

ED 413A Spanish Authorization (optional) - 2 units


Winter Quarter:

ED 320B (Secondary Content and Literacy Methods) - 3 units

ED 330B (Field: Student Teaching Preparation) - 4-8 units

ED 360B  (Novice Seminar) - 2 units

ED 405B (Teaching in Urban Schools - Identity) - 2 units

ED 127* - Ed Psych (equivalent to ED 407) - 5 units

ED 413B Spanish Authorization (optional) - 3 units


Spring Quarter:

ED 330C (Field: Student Teaching) - 4-8 units

ED 360C (Novice Seminar) - 2 units

ED 405C (Teaching in Urban Schools - Families) - 2 units

ED 305 Health Law - 2 units

ED 466 Tech & Ed - 4 units

ED 413C Spanish Authorization (optional) - 3 units


***Towards the end of your novice year, you will complete a final edTPA to fulfill the credential requirements for the state of California.  The edTPA requires students to complete Teaching Events during which they document and analyze their own teaching practices.


Summer following graduation:

ED 425 Special Education - 3 units

ED 409 Language Acquisition - 3 units


Graduate year - Resident

Second-year students, refered to as residents, assume paid teaching positions in partner school districts and complete an inquiry-based research project in which they examine and reflect on their own classroom practices to complete their M.Ed. requirements.  They receive continued support from their Faculty Advisors during a weekly Resident Seminar and begin the inquiry process with the support of their peers and Advisors.  Students receive their M.Ed. after completing their research project in which they connect theoretical perspectives and methodologies that reflect their beliefs about teaching and learning in their own classrooms and the relationship between practice and student achievement.


*Disclaimer: you should verify all requirements directly with the Graduate School of Education; this course list is intended to provide information to aid your planning and give you an idea about what to expect only. Specific course requirements, their exact sequence, and number of units, may vary from year to year. For further information about these requirements, please contact Imelda Nava, TEP Faculty Advisor at