Frequently Asked Questions

General Program

What is STEP?

The three-week summer component of STEP consists of one week of orientation, advising and registration. During the remaining two weeks, students attend classes in study skills and either writing or mathematics. Students are placed in classes based upon their Analytical Writing Placement Exam and the math placement exams. There are evening programs that orient students and inform them about a variety of campus issues. There are social activities like dances, ice cream socials, a barbecue, and a talent show. The program is comprehensive and residential. That is, the students live together in the residence halls and get an excellent taste of what life during the academic year will be like. STEP also offers counseling as well as academic advising with faculty and peer advisors. The program helps students refresh their skills and get started in the right courses.

What are STEP dates?

** Summer STEP 2018 will be from August 11th - September 1.

How much does STEP cost?

STEP is free to attend. The program will pay for your room and board, meals in the Dining Commons, and the book that is required reading for classes. Any personal expenses such as meals out, personal items, and activities outside of the STEP program will be funded by the student.

Can I participate in both Orientation and STEP?

No. Students that participate in STEP will not be eligible to participate in Orientation. STEP will serve as an orientation to the UC Davis campus. If you decide to apply for STEP, please decline any invitation to participate in the Campus Orientation Program.

How do I apply for STEP?
If you have been invited to apply for STEP, you should visit your MyAdmissions page to submit your Statement of Intent to Register and complete the STEP application. If you are an EOP student and were not invited to apply to STEP, you can contact the EOP Office at (530) 752-9366 and you will receive instructions on how to apply. Applying to STEP, however, does not automatically admit you in to STEP. If you were not accepted as an EOP student and think that you are eligible, please feel free to contact the Admissions Office at (530) 752-2971.
When is the deadline to apply for STEP?

The deadline to apply for STEP is May 1. Students can apply for the program after they have submitted their Statement of Intent to Register.

Who gets invited to apply for STEP?

Most of the students who are invited to apply for STEP have either applied for and been given EOP (Educational Opportunity Program) status or have participated in one or more of the recognized UC outreach programs like Upward Bound or the Early Academic Outreach Program. Students that are former foster youth are also invited to apply.

I was not invited to apply for STEP, but I believe that I am eligible. What can I do?

If you believe that you are eligible to apply for STEP but did not receive an invitation you may submit an EOP appeal form by visiting The EOP Office will check to see if you are eligible to be an EOP student, in which case you will be invited to apply for STEP (provided this is done prior to the May 1 deadline). 

How many people apply to be a part of STEP?

Every year the number of STEP applicants changes. Please note: We do not have a waitlist nor do we accept letters of recommendation or references.

When and how will I be notified whether I’ve been accepted into the STEP program?

We notify all students via UC Davis email by mid June. If you have not been accepted into STEP, our letter will instruct you how to sign up for Orientation.

Can students starting in the Winter Quarter attend STEP?

No. STEP is only for students who will be starting as freshman in the Fall Quarter.

Should I wait until I find out if I qualify for Financial Aid to apply to participate in STEP?

No. You should apply to be in STEP immediately. Applications received after May 1 will not be considered. 

Is STEP a remedial program?

No. Students will be attending writing or math classes and a study skills course designed to prepare them to be successful in their college-level courses.

What does the Health Card cover?

The Health Card gives STEP students access to the Student Health and Wellness Center on campus during business hours.

Can STEM students participate in STEP?

Absolutely! All students are required to satisfy the Entry Level Writing Requirement regardless of their major. This includes STEM students. Writing for the sciences is extremely important and more employers are looking to hire STEM majors who are strong in writing. Additionally, a small group of STEM students will have an opportunity to participate in a math cohort.

I was not accepted into STEP, is there an appeals process or a waitlist?

Unfortunately, there is no appeals process or waitlist for STEP. We encourage you to register for campus Orientation. 

I was invited to apply for STEP, but would like to sign up for regular Orientation. Is that possible?

If you apply and are selected to participate, STEP would serve as your orientation to campus. However, if you are unable to attend and would like to sign up for regular orientation, you can simply decline your invitation in MyAdmissions. You will be able to register for Orientation after you decline the STEP invitation. 

I applied for STEP, but will not be able to attend anymore. How do I cancel my application?

If you send an email to and include your name, student ID number and the reason you would like to cancel your application, you will be released to sign up for campus Orientation. 

I submitted my application before I was finished. Can you reopen it?

You can send an email to and include your information and request to resubmit your application. You will still need to resubmit by the May 1 deadline to be considered for the program.

How are students selected to participate in STEP?

More students apply for STEP than can be accommodated, so we focus on identifying students that have not satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement expected of incoming students. We assess AWPE scores (if taken), SAT Scores, first generation and foster youth status, along with a number of other variables including major to determine each student's level of need.

Prior to Attending Summer STEP

What do I need to do to confirm my participation in STEP?

To confirm that you are planning to attend STEP, you need to send an email to Please include your first and last name, student ID and indicate that you plan to attend STEP. The confirmation deadline is July 1.

Is there anything I need to do in preparation for STEP?

If you have confirmed your participation in STEP, you should have received an email outlining what you need to do prior to arriving for STEP. If you have not received this message, check your UC Davis email, junk and spam folders in case it was filtered out. If you still cannot find it, email as soon as possible. 

How do I update information I submitted on the STEP forms?

If you need to update information you provided on the STEP forms, send an email to Please include your first and last name, student ID, and the updated information. 

Attending Summer STEP

Is there transportation from the Sacramento airport to campus?

Yes. You will need to submit a Travel Form. However, transportation back to the airport or train station at the conclusion of Opening Day and at the conclusion of STEP is the responsibility of each family and student. The city of Davis website has information on local transportation options.

What do I need to bring for STEP?

Students who are accepted into the program will receive an email with instructions directing them to a list of items they can bring for STEP. Here is a pdf with the packing list. You can also access this list by logging in to Guidebook for STEP. Students will not be provided access to Guidebook until August. 

Can I bring my car to STEP?

STEP students may bring a car to campus during the program and must obtain a parking permit through the Transportation and Parking Services department (TAPS). Please keep in mind that freshmen living in the residence halls during the academic year are not allowed to have a car on campus. Contact TAPS at (530) 752-8277.

Can I bring my bike to STEP?

Yes. While bikes are helpful transportation to have during STEP, they are not mandatory. If you do bring a bike to campus you must register it with the Transportation and Parking Services department (TAPS). The cost of a new bicycle license is $12 and it is valid for up to 3 years.

Where can I purchase a bike in Davis if I need or want to?

You can purchase or rent a bike from the Bike Barn on campus. There are also several other bike shops Downtown within walking distance of campus. There is a Target Store that is about a 15 minute drive from campus. Please note: You should also purchase a bike lock to secure your bike when you park it around campus, as well as a bike light and a helmet for bike safety.

Should I bring my computer to STEP?

Yes. You will have a number of homework assignments that will require computer access. Instructions on how to register your computer once you are at STEP will be provided to you. Students will also have access to computer labs around campus and in the dorms. However, access to these services may be limited. Please note: it is the responsibility of the student to make sure that their valuables are protected.

If I have a job, will I be able to work during STEP?

No. STEP is a full-time program. All the classes, and a large number of the scheduled activities, are mandatory. You will not have time to work during STEP.

Am I allowed to visit home on weekends?

No. Students are required to stay for STEP on the weekends. A variety of events will take place on the weekends.

Do we have any days off while in STEP?
No. Students are not allowed to go home during the program.

STEP Housing

Where do STEP students live?

STEP students live together in the residence halls on campus with EOP Peer Advising Counselors (PACs), usually students in their junior or senior year at UC Davis, who serve as Resident Advisers for STEP students. At the end of STEP, students will check out of the dorms and return home for the week between the end of STEP and the beginning of Fall Quarter.

Can I live off campus during STEP?
No. All students live in the residence halls during STEP. There are no commuters.
Will my dorm during STEP be the same dorm I stay in for the school year?

No. Students live in different residence halls during STEP than they do during the academic year. Students will need to move out of their STEP residence hall when STEP is over. Please note: You are responsible for making you own housing arrangements for Fall Quarter.

What if I can’t go home between the end of STEP and the start of the Fall Quarter?

There is interim housing available through the Conference Housing Office. Please contact (530) 752-8000. (Note: There are additional fees for this interim housing.)

Will I have a roommate during STEP?

During STEP most students will have at least one other person living in the room with them. If you need special accommodations, please email the STEP office at

Summer STEP Academics

My Summer Orientation time would be before STEP. Will I still be able to register for the classes that I want if I have to wait until STEP to do it?

Seats are reserved in many classes for STEP students. Also, for the first four quarters at UC Davis, STEP students have priority registration, which means that they are allowed to register for classes sooner than other freshmen and sophomores. While there is never a guarantee that students will get into all of the classes for which they register, chances are good that STEP students will have spots available to them.

Will I receive academic credits for participating in STEP?

No, you do not receive academic credits for participating in STEP.

What classes will I take during STEP?

STEP students take classes in either writing or math. Students also take an Understanding University Expectations course to develop the skills needed to achieve success during their college career.

How can I prepare for the math and chemistry placement tests?

At the end of STEP classes there will be a trigonometry review in case a re-take of the placement exam is necessary. There are also materials on the math department website that you can review and two online practice exams for math.

Can I participate in both the writing and math cohort during STEP?

No. You will be able to participate in either the writing or math cohort, but not both. If you are interested in the math cohort, be sure to indicate that your application. Indicating interest does not guarantee that you will be selected for the math cohort.

STEP Academic Year

Am I still part of STEP during the academic Year?

Yes. Once you are in STEP you become part of the STEP legacy. 

Do I need to join a cohort during the academic Year?

Students who are in the College of Engineering or College of Biological Sciences will be contacted by their college to be part of their cohort. Students in other colleges are expected to take part of a Career Discovery Cohort or a STEP First-year Aggie Connection. 

Am I expected to visit the STEP advisor?

No. You are not expected to visit the STEP advisor, but it is highly encouraged. The STEP advisor offers students academic advising, social support, financial support, and personal development. 

Am I expected to attend all STEP events?

No. The events are optional for STEP students during the academic year. We do encourage you to attend at least one event, to see your fellow STEPpers and learn about life lessons. 

My account has been charged with a STEP fee. Do I need to pay it?

STEP is free. During the fall quarter you will see a charge on your student account for your participation for summer STEP, but you do not need to pay that. Your account will be credited for the same amount, meaning the charge and credit will equal zero.

Can I utilize individual tutoring?

Yes. As long as the STEP office has approved the tutoring request, then you should be able to utilize the individual tutoring. Courses that are permitted for individual tutoring are: Workload courses for English and Math, Chemistry, and other pre-approved courses by the STEP director. 

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