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October 11, 2024

Social justice-focused teachers start here

The Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) is an intensive one-year Master in Teaching and certification program in secondary math, science, social studies, English or a world language. We prepare graduates to affirm and support middle or high school students from myriad identities through the lens of educational justice.

At STEP, you’ll receive expert mentorship and engage in extensive fieldwork. This cohort-based program starts in spring quarter and finishes with full-time student teaching in late winter, just as hiring season begins. Our students often work as long- or short-term substitute teachers in the spring or add on additional endorsements in teaching English Language Learners and Computer Science Education.

What you'll learn

You will learn how to use evidence-based strategies and provide equitable and effective opportunities through the features that set our program apart:

  • Focus on issues of justice and equity, with particular emphasis on supporting adolescent students of all identities
  • Focus on issues related to culturally sustaining pedagogy and leveraging healthy relationships with students
  • Fieldwork at a school in the greater Seattle region, undertaken concurrently with on-campus courses each quarter

After graduation

Our graduates will go on to teach in Washington schools and beyond. Many students use the foundations they learn in STEP to prepare themselves for further educational journeys and administrative roles within schools and organizations.

What's next? After graduating from STEP and teaching for a few years, you might want to add one of our leadership programs to your career timeline.

Let's connect

We're excited that you're interested in our program! By joining our mailing list, you can receive updates on info sessions, deadlines, financial aid and more!

Connect with us


    STEP is an intensive, year-long program that blends coursework with field-based learning. For coursework, your cohort will follow a course sequence together at the UW Seattle campus. You will also spend time in secondary school classrooms. As the program advances, your fieldwork will increase from more theory heavy coursework to co-teaching and then full-time student teaching.

    Cohorts take the same course sequence together. The following is a sample schedule and is subject to change.

    Spring quarter (18 credits, 30 field hours)
    • EDTEP 560:  Teaching for Learning I (3cr)
    • EDTEP 562:  Adolescent Development I (2cr)
    • EDTEP 580/582/584/586/588 Content-Area Methods I (Math, Sci, SS, LA, or WL) (5cr)
    • EDTEP 566:  Creating Classrooms for all Students (2cr)
    • EDTEP 564: Working in Schools (2cr)
    • EDTEP 591: Mediated Field Experience (4 cr)
      • One day/week with a coach (approx 30 hours)
    Summer quarter (18 credits, 60 field hours)
    • EDTEP 575: Working with English Language Learners & Literacy Across the Curriculum (4cr)
    • EDTEP 551: Multicultural Education (3cr)
    • EDTEP 571: Topics & Tensions In Education (4cr)
    • EDC&I 494: Issues of Abuse (1 cr) 
    • EDC&I 555D: Understanding Tribal History & Sovereignty: Implications for Teachers (3 cr)
    • EDTEP 592:  Integrated placement (3 cr)
    Autumn quarter (16 credits, 250 field hours)
    • EDTEP 573:  Assessment in Secondary Education (4cr)
    • EDTEP 566:  Creating Classrooms for all Students (2cr)
    • EDTEP 581/583/585/587/589: Content-Area Methods II (Math, Sci, SS, LA, or WL) (3cr)
    • EDTEP 564: Working in Schools (3cr)
    • EDTEP 593: Full-time placement (5cr)
      • Varies between 3 and 5 days depending on month
    Winter quarter (18 credits, 350 field hours)
    • EDTEP 561: Teaching for Learning II (2cr)
    • EDTEP 563:  Adolescent Development II (2cr)
    • EDC&I 485: Technology Workshop (2 cr)
    • EDTEP 564 Working in Schools (1 cr)
    • Capstone Project (1 cr)
    • EDTEP 601:  Full-time student teaching (10 cr)

    We require STEP students to have a subject area endorsement before beginning the program (see the admission section for more information). We also provide the option to add a specialized endorsement to your teaching certificate! During the program, you will have the opportunity to complete additional coursework and earn a specialization.

    Multilingual Learners (MLL) Endorsement

    This endorsement requires courses and practicum, along with the WEST-E test. This is structured as a 5th quarter that takes place during summer quarter, after you earn your M.I.T.

    Computer Science Endorsement

    We have partnered with the Information School and the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering to create this endorsement for STEP students. This is structured as a 5th quarter program that takes place in spring quarter, after you complete the 1-year STEP program. Visit the STEP CS website for details.

    Field-based learning is a core component of STEP, offering significant work experience in school settings each quarter.

    • Spring quarter involves one day a week in a middle school classroom.
    • Summer quarter includes a three week practicum focused on curriculum development
    • Autumn quarter marks the start of student teaching in public schools, following a co-teaching model, 3-5 days a week
    • Winter quarter involves full-time student teaching

    Admission requirements and process

      Before beginning the application process, we recommend joining our mailing list, attending an information session and downloading the application checklist. This will help us get to know you and make sure you have all the information and materials you need to get started on your application!

      Have questions? Send us an email and we'll help you through the requirements!

      Degree from an accredited institution

      Your degree can be in-process at the time of your application but must be completed before the program starts.

      Unofficial transcript(s) with minimum 3.0 GPA
      • Include one from each institution from which you've earned a degree and one from every institution you have attended in the previous 5 years.
      • Your transcripts must include your name, coursework and degree (if completed).
      • If you are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will request an official transcript from your most recent degree earned.

      The UW Graduate School requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or 3.0 for your most recent 90 graded quarter credits (60 semester credits). However, we review your application holistically; if your GPA is below 3.0, contact us at uwteach@uw.edu for advice on how to strengthen your overall application.

      Letters of recommendation

      Recommendations should detail academic potential, leadership, collaboration, and adaptability.  Applicants will list a minimum of 2 recommenders in the online application.  Recommenders will receive a link to submit their letter online.


      Resume should include work, educational, and volunteer experience including honors, scholarships (i.e. Dean's list), and awards.

      Statement of Purpose

      Successful Secondary Teacher Education Program applicants demonstrate strong knowledge of subject matter content knowledge, a passion for teaching traditionally underserved populations, and an interest in issues of social justice.  Draw upon your personal experiences and qualities to explain your interest in becoming a teacher.  Explain your views on the role of education in society and your reasons for wanting to enter the teaching profession.

      Describe how your educational background and educational experience working with youth have influenced your interest in teaching.  Indicate how your talents, skills, and experiences might contribute to the STEP community (may include: diverse cultural experiences, family background, extracurricular activities, accomplishments, career goals, life and work experiences, obstacles you have overcome, special talents).

      Indicate why STEP is a good fit for your goals. Your statement will be read by the Admissions Committee that includes university faculty and staff, school administrators, and teachers with whom you may be placed for internships.

      Personal History Statement (Optional)

      While optional, you can add to your application by submitting a personal history statement. This statement should address your intellectual growth and development, inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Speak to topics like:

      • Educational, cultural and economic opportunities and disadvantages you've experienced
      • Ways these experiences affected the development of your special interests, career plans and future goals.

      Statements should be no longer than two pages long, and while there are no standard formatting requirements, we encourage double-spaced text with a legible font.

      Basic skills test

      You must include basic skills test scores with your application.

      Most applicants take the Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) for their basic skills test. In lieu of WEST-B, you may also use reading, writing and math subtest scores from the following:

      • Praxis I
      • CBEST
      • ACT
        • Older scores that do not include a writing subtest can be used for reading and math, but must be supplemented with a new writing test
        • Call 319-337-1270 to order your ACT score report, to request that your scores be sent to University of Washington, Seattle (code 4484)
      • SAT
        • Older scores that do not include a writing subtest can be used for reading and math, but must be supplemented with a new writing test
        • Call 866-756-7346 and ask that your scores be sent to University of Washington, Seattle (code 4854)

      You can upload your score report when completing your application. Official scores are only needed if you don’t have a score report or if you haven’t previously submitted scores to UW as an undergraduate.

      Learn more about substituting WEST-B scores

      Endorsement evaluation

      Endorsement courses do not need to be completed at the time of your application but must be completed prior to the start of the program.

      Washington state requires all secondary teacher candidates to have an approved endorsement in an academic subject that is taught in Washington state schools.

      Download the MIT Endorsement Evaluation form and contact the academic advisor in your endorsement subject to have your transcripts evaluated for content requirements. A minimum grade of 2.0 is required for each course to be used toward an endorsement (unless set higher by the department). The links below will provide details on endorsement requirements:

      Early evaluation is recommended in case additional coursework is needed.

      WEST-E or NES: Content knowledge test

      These tests are not required at the time of application but must be passed in order to proceed with full-time student teaching.

      WEST-E and NES are state-required content knowledge tests in your specific subject area.

      • History and social studies candidate must pass the WEST-E
      • All other candidate must pass the NES test that is appropriate to their endorsement

      Visit the WEST website for details

      ACTFL: World language applications only

      This is not required at the time of application but must be passed before beginning the program.

      Advanced Low must be achieved on both the oral and written ACTFL exams in your target language.

      Visit the ACTFL website for registration information

      Have questions? Send us an email and we'll help you through the requirements!

      1. Gather all required documents
      2. Visit the Graduate School website
      3. Log into your account or create a new profile if you are a first-time applicant
      4. Complete all steps in application process and upload your documents
      5. Pay the nonrefundable $90 application fee
        • You may request a fee waiver during the application process
      6. Submit your application

      Step 1: Application processing
      Your application materials will be verified, assessed and checked into the application database. You may log into your online application status page to view items that have been received, or not received. Most items are manually checked in and verified. Although they will be listed as “received” with any online submission, we will be adjusting this status as we verify receipt of your materials within 5 business days of the application deadline.

      Step 2: Completion status is emailed
      Within 5 business days of the application deadline, you will also receive an email notification that your application is complete or incomplete. If your file is incomplete, you will have limited time to get any missing materials turned in to your file before your application is reviewed.

      Step 3: Committee review process
      After the processing period ends, your application will be sent to the committee for review. You will receive an email notification once this has happened. The committee plans to hold remote interviews starting in mid-November. Further information will be sent if you are selected for an interview.

      Step 4: Decision
      The Teacher Education committee plans to notify applicants about final status by mid-December.

      We value and welcoming applications from international students! If you are applying from outside the United States, there are additional requirements and application materials.

      Prior degree requirements
      • At minimum, you must have the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree (a four-year degree from an institution of recognized standing)
      • Evaluation of your degree will be based on:
        • The national system of education in the foreign country
        • The type of institution
        • The field of study and level of studies completed
      • International transcripts must be submitted in the original language.
      • Your transcript should include date of graduation and title of the awarded academic degree
      • If your transcript is not in English, you must also provide a certified English translation
      • You do not need to have your transcript evaluated for the degree by an agency
      English language proficiency

      Per UW Graduate School policy, you must submit a demonstration of English language proficiency if your native language is not English and you did not earn a degree in one of the following countries:

      • United States
      • United Kingdom
      • Australia
      • Bahamas
      • Canada
      • Ireland
      • Jamaica
      • New Zealand
      • Singapore
      • South Africa
      • Trinidad and Tobago

      The following tests are accepted if the test was taken fewer than two years ago:

      • TOEFL
        • Minimum score: 80
        • Recommended score: 92+
        • The UW's 4-digit code is 4854
      • IELTS
        • You must request from the center where you took the test that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system (E-TRF) to the following address:
          • University of Washington All Campuses, Organisation ID 365, Undergrad & Graduate Admis, Box 355850, Seattle, WA, 98105, United States of America
        • Minimum score: 6.5
        • Recommended score: 7.0+
        • School information for submission:
          University of Washington, All Campuses
          Undergraduate & Graduate Admission
          Box 355850
          Seattle, WA 98195
      • Duolingo
        • Minimum score: 105
        • Recommended score: 125+
        • Follow the instructions on the Duolingo website to submit your scores
      Financial ability

      If apply and are offered admission to UW, you will need to submit a statement of financial ability.

      Costs and funding

        We are a tuition-based program. Estimated tuition rates are based on your residency: 

        • Washington state residents: $6,327 per quarter
        • Out-of-state students: $11,430 per quarter

        Estimates are subject to change and may differ due to course load and summer quarter enrollment. Estimates include building fees, technology fees, U-Pass, etc. Additional program-specific fees are not included in this estimate.

        View the UW tuition dashboard →
        Visit the Office of Planning & Budgeting →

        Federal financial aid is available for students. Visit the UW Financial Aid website for information and resources. You can also apply for a number scholarships that are specific for students in the STEP program.

        The CoE Teacher Preparation Office will provide scholarship application materials directly to MIT students
        This fund supports students in our teacher education programs who are experiencing a life circumstance that has created an unanticipated financial emergency.

        Program Director

        Associate Teaching Professor

        Program Faculty

        Associate Professor
        Associate Teaching Professor
        Associate Teaching Professor
        Assistant Professor
        Associate Professor

        Program Affiliated Faculty

        Teaching Associate
        Teaching Associate

        Program Staff

        Assistant Director, Certification Management & Enrollment Support
        Recruitment and Support Specialist, Teacher Education