Frequently Asked Questions - Admissions


I'm interested in becoming a teacher how do I get started?
The School of Education, Education Services Center holds information/advising sessions twice a month. Please refer to the advising schedule. This is the first step in learning about the programs and the details you need right now. No reservations are required.  Please call 760-750-4277 to request additional program information. Application filing periods are listed in Program Brochures.

How do I apply to the Pre-requisites for the Teacher Education program?
Entering a program in the School of Education is a Two-Step Process.  Details are found under How To Apply.

How many university/college transcripts should I order?
Two sets of official (unopened) transcripts are needed. One set should accompany your paper application to the School of Education.  One set should be sent directly to the CSUSM Office of Admissions from every college/university attended, even if it was just one course taken years ago. We cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to include each institution when ordering transcripts. You will not be fully admitted to the university or be able to register for courses until all transcripts are submitted and reviewed.
*If you do not yet have a transcript with your degree posted, please submit an official transcript for your work completed to date and provide an official transcript when degree is posted. It is not necessary to submit transcripts for courses taken at CSUSM.

Which programs begin Fall semester and when is the application filing period?
Multiple Subject Credential Program (Part-Time/Full-Time ) 
Middle Level Credential Program (Full-Time)
Single Subject Credential Program (Full-Time)
Special Education Intern Programs (Part-Time)
Special Education Programs for individuals with a basic credential (Part-Time)
Master of Arts in Education
Application filing period: mid January through mid March

Does CSU San Marcos offer a combined Credential/Master's Program?
Beginning Summer 2008, nine (9) units of CSUSM School of Education credential program coursework will apply towards the Master of Arts in Education.  This will allow a smooth transition for teacher candidates who wish to obtain their MA before working as a full time teacher.

Does CSU San Marcos offer Advanced Credential Programs?
Yes, CSU San Marcos does offer some advanced credential options within the Master's Program. We currently make available the opportunity to receive a Preliminary Administrative Services Credential, a Reading Certificate and/or a Reading and Language Arts Specialist Credential, and a Level I and Level II Special Education Credential. The coursework required for the Advanced Credential may also count towards a Master of Arts in Education.

Where do I submit my completed applications for a teacher education program?
The University application is submitted on line through CSU Mentor.  The School of Education application can be submitted by mail or in person to the School of Education, Education Services Center.  See How to Apply for specifics.

Which programs are available for individuals without a basic credential?
The multiple subject, middle level, single subject, concurrent multiple subject/special education, concurrent intern and the concurrent single subject/special education programs. The BCLAD: Spanish Emphasis is available with all basic credential programs.

Which programs are available for individuals with a basic credential? 
The Master of Arts in Education, the Reading Certificate and Credential, Special Education programs for individuals with a basic credential, Administrative Services Credential, and the CTEL program, which leads to the CLAD Certificate.

Can I take equivalent courses to CSUSM's prerequisite courses at another university or community college?
The School of Education does not maintain a list of equivalencies for credential program prerequisite coursework taken at other institutions.  Please follow the procedure below to petition for prerequisite coursework substitutions.

Gather together supporting documents:

  • Copy of course description and syllabus.  Course must be less than five years old.
  • Copy of transcript showing successful completion of course (at least a grade of C+)

Submit complete packet to the Education Services Center (waiver form, copy of course description & syllabus, copy of transcript).  Once packet is received it is forwarded to the appropriate faculty member for review.  Once decision is received back in the Education Services Center, student will receive notification by email.

Are there exams I must take before applying for the credential program?
You need to take the following exams prior to admission to a program:

  • Basic Skills Requirement- All credential program candidates must meet the Basic Skills Requirement.  Please review individual program brochures for Basic Skills Requirement specifics for that program.
  • Subject Matter Competency - Single Subject credential program students must obtain certification to teach departmentally in a subject area.  There are two options currently available:
    1.  State-Approved examinations in a single subject content area.  Refer to Table 1 of the Single Subject Program brochure for information on CSET Single Subject Examinations.  Please call 760-750-4277 for further information.
    2.  Completion of a commission-approved subject matter preparation program.  Currently, CSUSM offers a waiver preparation program in Mathematics and History.
  • All other program candidates must pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects prior to admission to the program.  Please note:  Conditional admission will be considered on a limited basis, however, state program standards prohibit Advanced Clinical Practice (student teaching) until CSET: Multiple Subjects is passed.

What is the required grade point average for admission to the Teacher Education program?
A student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.67 to be accepted into credential programs offered. If you do not have the required 2.67 GPA, conditional admission will be considered on a limited basis.

Where do I sign up for an interview?
Once you pass the initial paper screening, you will be notified by letter or e-mail as to the procedure to sign-up for an interview.

When and how do I apply for a Certificate of Clearance?
Prospective students should apply as soon as possible, unless you already hold a valid Emergency Permit or basic teaching credential. To find out how to apply, review the Certificate of Clearance form.  NOTE: You will not be placed in a clinical practice experience until you have verification of fingerprint clearance.

How and when do I know what my schedule is going to be?
The School of Education admits candidates using the cohort model. When you are admitted to a credential program, you are assigned to a cohort and you take all your course work with that cohort. After admission, you will be notified of registration procedures and an orientation meeting, where you will be given your cohort assignment and registration information for your first semester. For each subsequent semester you are in the credential program, you can access the class schedule on the School of Education website and register for the course work for your cohort. Your cohort number will remain the same throughout your credential program.

Can I work during the credential program?
It is highly suggested that work hours be limited during full-time credential programs. The full-time programs require enrollment in approximately 17-19 post baccalaureate units each semester. The programs are very demanding of your time and your professional career is dependent on your success. Please check with Financial Aid for scholarship opportunities and loan eligibility information. If you are working full-time, please consider a part-time or evening program. The part-time or evening program classes are offered in the evenings and on the weekends for your convenience. Please keep in mind, however, clinical practice (student teaching) must be completed during the day.