Science Teacher Education Program (STEP)

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.

(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 upper division elective requirements 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 become eligible to apply for up to $18,000 in forgivable loans (exact amount varies by year, currently available through 2016-17, requires two years teaching in a high needs school after acquiring credential) and will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship for the summer session between your undergraduate degree and entering graduate school. Applicants with financial need (who have submitted a FAFSA for 2016-17 school year) are encouraged to apply for a California Teach S-STEM scholarship which provides up to five quarters of support beginning Winter 2017 through Spring 2018. Awards are up to $7,000 for Winter/Spring 2017, and up to $10,000 for 2017-18. Application deadline for S-STEM is November 1, 2016. As part of your application, you may also apply for additional Graduate School of Education Scholarships ranging from $1,000 - $17,000.

The STEP program also enables students to earn a full time salary (about $45,000) 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 2018.

Required Exams:

You must pass the CBEST exam (or equivalent based upon SAT, ACT or AP test scores) and the CSET exams (Subtests I, II, & III).  A passing score is not required for application submission.  However, all exams must be taken by test deadline of January 7, 2017 in order for your application to be considered complete. We recommend that you register early for the tests as some of the local testing sites may fill up.

For the CBEST, you must have either taken the exam and provide your score report, OR show proof of registration for the CBEST exam with a confirmed test date on or before January 7, 2017. Please email a copy of score report or proof of registration to The December 3, 2016 test date is latest exam date if taking paper-based testing. 

For SAT, ACT, or AP test scores to be used in lieu of the CBEST, please email with a copy of your score report. See State of California Commission on Teaching Credentialing “Basic Skills Requirement” for equivalent scores needed to satisfy the requirement.

All applicants to STEP must take all three sections of the CSET (Subtests I, II, III) for your area of concentration. You must have either taken the exams and provide your score reports, OR show proof of registration for the CSET exams with confirmed test dates on or before January 7, 2016. Please email a copy of score reports or proof of registration to

Exception: If you are taking Science Education 100SL in Winter Quarter 2017, then you may take one of the three CSET exams during Winter Quarter, as part of that course.

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.

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 2017-18 academic year is December 1, 2016.

As part of the application process, you will attend a two-hour group interview to be held on one of the following days at Moore Hall:

Saturday, January 7, 2017 (9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:00-3:00 p.m.)
Saturday, January 21, 2017 (9:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:00-3:00 p.m.)


A pdf version of the application for 2016-17 is available for download here (for your information only; do not submit this application).

In addition to the online application, you will need to submit three (3) letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, and CBEST (or equivalent) and CSET scores to the UCLA California Teach office. At least one letter should address your academic potential, and another letter address your teaching experience/potential. The address is as follows:

Attn: Janice Daniel (c/o UCLA California Teach) 
University of California, Los Angeles 
Department of Chemistry 
607 Charles E. Young Dr. East 
1037 Young Hall 
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569

Your recommenders should provide a sealed envelope with their signature over the seal, or may email a pdf copy of their letter directly to The unofficial transcript, CBEST, CSET, SAT, ACT, or AP scores may be emailed to



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 chosen 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 will differ from those stated in the application. For questions related to the interview date and time, please contact Chiara Paz, Credential Counselor 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

3) US Constitution requirement - You may either take an online exam or pass an approved college-level course (approved UCLA courses are Hist 13A/B/C, Hist 151A/B, 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 satisty this requirement for your particular situation.

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, 2017 at the very latest, or you will not be able to participate in the program beginning Fall 2017.

6) CSET Passing Score Report or 100% Subject Matter Waiver - CSETs must be passed prior to September 1, 2017 at the very latest, or you will not be able to participate in the program beginning Fall 2017.

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 Chiara Paz, Credential Counselor 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.