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Teacher Credential Programs

Thank you for your interest in our credential programs. All our credential programs start in the Fall. The application period for starting a teacher credential program in the Fall of 2024 is now open. The application deadline for our teacher credential programs is March 1, 2024. Our credential programs are post-baccalaurate programs, meaning you must have obtained your bachelor's degree by the time you start your credential program in the Fall. 

Have questions? To learn more about our programs and the application process:

Participate in our Teacher Credential Program Information Sessions

Applications for Fall 2024 Start 
Program Application Open Application

Multiple Subject Credential Program (Elementary Education) 
Admission Requirements and Program Description

October 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024 Apply!
Application Instructions

Single Subject Credential Program (High School) 
Admission Requirements and Program Description

October 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024 Apply!
Application Instructions

 Middle Level Credential Program (Middle School) 
Admission Requirements and Program Description

October 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024 Apply!
Application Instructions

Education Specialist & Elementary Education Program (Education Specialist Concurrent Program - for those who do not hold prior credentials)
Admission Requirements and Program Description

October 1, 2023 - March 1, 2024 Apply!
Application Instructions
Special Education (Education Specialist Add-On Program - for those who do hold prior credentials)
Admission Requirements and Program Description
October 1, 2023 - May 15, 2024

Apply!

Application Instructions

Admission Requirements

You can apply for the credential program even if you have not met these admission requirements. However, you must complete these admission requirements by the time you start your credential program in the Fall. Those who are missing one or more of the following requirements will receive a "conditional" acceptance to the credential programs. 

  • Earn Your Bachelors Degree

    You must have earned your bachelor's degree before you start your credential program in the Fall. If you are currently an undergraduate students, you can apply for the credential program in the Spring before graduation.

    Learn more about the CSUSM undergraduate pathways to our teacher credential program

  • Meet the Basic Skills Requirement

    All teacher credential applicants must satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement in order to begin a credential program. While it is possible to apply for admission without yet having met the Basic Skills requirement, applicants cannot be fully admitted until this requirement is met.

    Applicants have multiple ways to meet the Basic Skills Requirement:

    CSUSM Basic Skills Coursework/Exam Verification Option: 

    California Assembly Bill 130 allows verification of the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR) based on coursework in English and Math

      • A 3-unit semester or 4-unit quarter course passed with a grade of B- or better, Pass, or Credit from a regionally accredited college or university taken for degree applicable credit may be considered for verification. Each section of the proficiency areas must be met to receive verification.
      • Courses that qualify for each area:
          • Reading Proficiency: a course in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis.
          • Writing Proficiency: a course in composition, English, rhetoric, written communication, or writing.
          • Mathematics Proficiency: a course in algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics.
      • The following types of coursework are not acceptable:
          • Professional development or continuing education 
          • In-service training or workshops 
          • Courses where credits do not apply towards the requirements for an Associate's degree, baccalaureate degree, or higher degree
      • AB 130 also allows for a combination of coursework and exam scores:
          • A combination of tests and 3-unit semester classes in a reading, writing or math area. For example, coursework in reading and math and the writing test.
      • For more detailed information on these individual options, please consult the following information: CTC Basic Skills Requirement (CL-667).

    All applicants are highly encouraged to request a Basic Skills Requirement Evaluation Request as soon as you know you will be applying to one of our programs.

    Applicants using the CBEST to meet the Basic Skills Requirement are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to CBEST score release dates when signing up for the assessments. CSUSM must receive passing scores before candidates can be fully admitted, and if passing scores are not received prior to the annual deadline set by College Services, candidates will not be allowed to begin the program. Contact College Services cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about  Basic Skills requirement deadlines.

  • Meet the Subject Matter Competency Requirement

    All applicants interested in a teaching credential in California must demonstrate knowledge in their chosen subject matter prior to beginning a credential program. This requirement is called “Subject Matter Competency.” While it is possible to be conditionally admitted to our teacher credential programs without yet having met Subject Matter Competency, we highly recommend applicants meet the subject matter competency requirement for the program they are applying as soon as possible. You cannot start the credential program without meeting the subject matter competency requirement. 

    • Multiple Subjects (Elementary) and Education Specialist Concurrent Program Subject Matter Competency Requirement

      There are multiple ways for applicants to meet Subject Matter Competency for the Multiple Subject (Elementary) or Education Specialist Concurrent programs, which are detailed below:

      1. Completion of a Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved subject matter preparation program. Currently, CSUSM offers a subject matter preparation program in Liberal Studies that meets Subject Matter Competency for Multiple Subject and Concurrent Program applicants. In addition, you can search for other CTC approved subject matter preparation programs.
      2. Passing the Multiple Subject CSET Examinations.

      Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to CSET score release dates when signing up for the assessments. CSUSM must receive passing scores before candidates can be fully admitted, and if passing scores are not received prior to the annual deadline set by College Services, candidates will not be allowed to begin the program. Contact College Services cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about CSET and Basic Skills deadlines.

      1. Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. Modifiers are permitted for Liberal Studies majors, for example: Liberal Studies: Urban Education would still satisfy Subject Matter Competency for the Multiple Subject and Special Education Concurrent programs. 
      2. Through a combination of the methods described in clauses (1), (2), and (3) in whole or in part. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. 

      Please review CSET Test Preparation Resources compiled by the School of Education.

    • Middle Level Program (Middle School) Subject Matter Competency Requirement

      Applicants can meet Subject Matter Competency for the Middle Level program (Middle School) by first demonstrating competence in a core content area (required for admission to the program) and second by demonstrating multiple subject competence (can be completed before, during, or after the program).More information is detailed below:

        1. Completion of a Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved subject matter preparation program in English, Math, Social Science or Science. OR  passing the Single Subject CSET Examination(s) in a core content area: 

      2. Completion of a Bachelors degree in Liberal Studies from a four-year university OR passing the Multiple Subject CSET exam.

      Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to CSET score release dates when signing up for the assessments. CSUSM must receive passing scores before candidates can be fully admitted, and if passing scores are not received prior to the annual deadline set by College Services, candidates will not be allowed to begin the program. Contact College Services cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about CSET and Basic Skills deadlines.

      1. Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. 
      2. Completion of a Bachelor’s degree specifically conferred in the subject area of focus. A chart that lists degrees that meet Subject Matter Competency for each of the subjects listed above.
      3. Through a combination of the methods described in clauses (1), (2), and (3) in whole or in part. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. 

      Please review CSET Test Preparation Resources compiled by the School of Education.

    • Single Subject Program (Middle or High) Subject Matter Competency Requirement

      The Single Subject Program weighs Subject Matter Competency heavily during the admissions process, so applicants are encouraged to meet this requirement prior to applying.

      There are multiple ways for applicants to meet Subject Matter Competency for the Single Subject program (Middle or High School), which are detailed below:

      1. Completion of a Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved subject matter preparation program. Currently, CSUSM offers subject matter preparation programs for Math and Social Science. In addition, you can search for other CTC approved subject matter preparation programs.
      2. Passing the Single Subject CSET Examination(s) in the relevant content area(s). Currently, CSUSM credentials candidates in the following Single Subjects:

       Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to CSET score release dates when signing up for the assessments. CSUSM must receive passing scores before candidates can be fully admitted, and if passing scores are not received prior to the annual deadline set by College Services, candidates will not be allowed to begin the program. Contact College Services cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about CSET and Basic Skills deadlines.

      1. Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. 
      2. Completion of a Bachelor’s degree specifically conferred in the subject area of focus. A chart that lists degrees that meet Subject Matter Competency for each of the subjects listed above.
      3. Through a combination of the methods described in clauses (1), (2), and (3) in whole or in part. Contact College Services at cehhs-ss@csusm.edu for information about requesting an evaluation. 

      Please review CSET Test Preparation Resources compiled by the School of Education.


     

  • Take the Prerequisite Courses

    The California State University's 45-hours of field experience requirement prior to entering a credential program is divided across the three prerequisite courses. There are no waivers for prerequisite courses because our prerequisite courses are intentionally designed to work together to prepare and help all students develop the knowledge, skills, and experience that are necessary to apply for the teaching credential program.

    You can apply for the credential programs even if you have not taken the prerequisite courses. However, you must complete the prerequisite courses by the time you start your credential program in the Fall.

    The School of Education offers prerequisite courses during the academic year and summer both on the state side and through Extended Learning. For availability and more information, please check Extended Learning

    You must receive "C+" or above in prerequisite course work to be considered for the credential programs. 

    If you are a CSUSM undergraduate student, we recommend taking these courses as part of your course work during your junior or senior year. 

    EDUC 350  Foundations of Teaching as a Profession

    This course offers an orientation to careers in K-12 education that focuses on teaching and schooling from multiple perspectives. Sociological, philosophical, and historical foundations of education are addressed. Readings and interactions with local educators will promote an understanding of the richness and the complexity of teaching as a career in a diverse society. Minimum of fifteen (15) hours of field work in K-12 educational settings required. Certificate of clearance and TB Risk assessment required prior to engaging field experience hours. 

    EDUC 364  The Role of Cultural Diversity in Schooling

    This is a service learning course. Explores cultural and linguistic diversity as critical variables in educational equity for all students. Includes intensive theoretical and practical articulation of culture and cultural pluralism; educational issues of race, class, gender, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation and exceptionality; social, structural, programmatic and curricular issues, and effective teaching for diverse populations. Minimum of fifteen (15) hours of fieldwork in K-12 educational settings required. Certificate of Clearance and TB Risk assessment required prior to engaging field experience hours. 

    EDUC 364 and SLP 364 are cross-listed for university credit (students may not receive credit for both), but SLP 364 does not satisfy the CSUSM School of Education prerequisite requirement. Students who completed SLP 364 must still take EDUC 364. EDUC 364 meets the CSUSM DEI (DEu) graduation requirement.

    EDUC 422 Teaching, Learning, and Technology

    This is a service learning course. Focuses on developing knowledge and skills using technology for teaching and learning within the broader context of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) education through fifteen (15) hours of field experience with children in K-12 educational settings. Certificate of Clearance and TB Risk assessment required prior to engaging field experience hours.

  • Obtain Certificate of Clearance

    A Certificate of Clearance (COC) is issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Title 5 regulations require that an application for a Certificate of Clearance be filed to determine whether or not a candidate meets the state standards for character and fitness to teach in California’s public schools. A Certificate of Clearance is valid for five years. 

    Obtaining a Certificate of Clearance (CoC) is a two-step process that involves: (1) completing the fingerprinting process at an agency that provides fingerprinting services, and, (2) applying for a Certificate of Clearance online through CTC’s website. You can read about the process of how to obtain your CoC on the CTC website. 

    Please follow the steps outlined below to obtain your Certificate of Clearance: 

    Step 1. Completing the Fingerprinting (also called Live Scan) Process: 

    1. Download and fill out the 41-LS form 
    2. Print 3 copies of the 41-LS form and take it with you to the fingerprinting service agency.  
    3. Take the 41-LS forms to an agency providing fingerprinting services. You can find an agency near you by going to: https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/locations. Once you select your preferred county, you will be directed to a page with the list of all fingerprinting agency locations in that county. 

    The fingerprinting agency that is closest to the CSUSM campus is the San Diego County Office of Education location (255 Pico Avenue, Room 102, San Marcos, CA. 92069) at the North County Regional Education Center. To find the location information for the San Diego County Office of Education, enter the ‘San Diego County Office of Education’ in the ‘Search’ box at the top of the list of agencies. This should bring up two locations for the San Diego County Office of Education, one of which is the address provided above. 

    Note: Acceptable forms of payment will vary across different agencies. 

    Step 2: Applying for a Certificate of Clearance:

    Once you have completed your fingerprinting (Step 1), your fingerprints will be transmitted electronically to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for clearance. For Step 2, please follow the instructions below: 


    1. Go to: the CTC site  
    2. Click: ‘Submit Your Application Online’ (This page is going to take you to a login page)
    3. If you do not have an account for the CTC online system, you need to click ‘Create Educator Account’ and follow the instructions. If you already have an account then enter your UserID and Password. 
    4. Once you are logged into the CTC online system, you need to complete your ‘Educator Profile.’ 
    5. On ‘Educator Profile’, select ‘Create New’ under ‘Apply for a Certificate of Clearance or Activity Supervisor Clearance Certificate’ and follow the instructions to complete your application. At the end of the application, you will be asked to submit payment using a credit card.        

    IMPORTANT: It takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks for CTC to issue a Certificate of Clearance in your online account. Once it is issued, you can access your Certificate of Clearance by logging back into your account. 

  • Obtain TB Risk Assessment

    All applicants for the credential programs must submit a TB Risk Assessment. Your medical provider must complete the Certificate of Completion for Tuberculosis (TB) Risk Assessment Form which you keep for your records. To obtain the TB Risk Assessment, you need to contact a medical/health care provider. You can make an appointment with your primary care doctor (if you have one) --  or the CSUSM Health Center, which is free of charge for matriculated students (there is a fee for Extended Learning students). You will submit the Tuberculin (TB) Risk Assessment Confirmation Form for application and admission. 


Co-Requisite Requirements

The co-requisite requirements listed below must be met before you can complete a teacher credential program. Although you can be admitted to a credential program even if you have not yet met these co-requisite requirements, we highly recommend that applicants complete as many of the co-requisite requirements before they apply to a credential program. If you are an undergraduate student, we recommend you incorporate the courses below in your lower division education courses.

  • U.S. Constitution Requirement

    All credential candidates must show knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. This requirement can be met in two ways: (1) coursework, or (2) examination. 

    1. Coursework:
      • CSU graduates automatically meet the U.S. Constitution requirement.
      • CSUSM Courses: HIST 130or HIST 330 or HIST 335 or PSCI 100
      • Palomar College Courses: History 101 or Political Science 101
      • Mira Costa College Courses: History 110 or History 145 or Political Science 102
    1. Examination:

    You can test out of this requirement by taking either of these two exams: U.S. Constitution Exam or U.S. Constitution Preparation Course and Examination

  • Health Education Course

    All credential candidates must take a course that includes the following content: nutrition, physiological and sociological effects of abuse of alcohol, narcotics, drugs, and use of tobacco.

  • CPR Certification

    All credential candidates must obtain CPR Certification that covers Infant, Child, and Adult CPR. Must be valid during enrollment in a Teacher Credential Program.


Application and Admission Process

All applicants for the credential programs must apply through Cal State Apply website before the application deadline.

Step 1. Apply for the teacher credential program of your choice. With your application, you will be asked to submit the following: 

      • Two (2) letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the your work in the field of education.
      • A copy of official transcripts from all colleges attended, unless you are a CSUSM student (Please note that GPA requirement for admission to the credential programs is 2.5)
      • A TB Risk Assessment (If available at time of submitting application, see additional information above)
      • A Certificate of Clearance (If available at the time of submitting application, see additional information above)
      • Subject Matter Competence which can be met through a degree in the approproate discipline, CSET scores or a combination of the two (If available at the time of submitting application, see additional information above)
      • Basic Skills Requirement Documentation which can be met through coursework, the CBEST test or a combination of the two (If available at the time of submitting application, see additional information above)

Step 2. Once you complete and submit your application, the admission committee for each credential program will review your materials and then will schedule interviews with you to further assess your fit for the programs.

Step 3. You will receive an admission decision letter shortly after your interview. If you are missing one or more of the admission requirements, you will receive a "conditional acceptance" to the credential program, and will be required to fullfill the admission requirements before you start your credential program.   

  • Disclaimers

    California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time. 

    The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C). 

    California State University San Marcos is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Campus that is strongly committed to promoting diversity in all areas of the campus community. We consider qualified applicants for admission to our programs without regard to age, physical or mental disability, gender or sex, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or religious creed, sexual orientation, and veteran or military status.


Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid 

Tuition and fees for the credential programs are set by the CSUSM, and vary based on state residency and program. For current rates, please visit Student Financial Services page. 

There are many types of financial aid—including grants, loans, and scholarships.  You may even be eligible for aid that you didn't know you qualified for.  A Financial Aid staff member can help you to understand what kinds of aid are availalbe, as well as explain how the financial aid process works.

Visit CSUSM Financial Aid to contact a staff member to help figure out which type of aid will work best for you. Also, explore the Scholarships & Grants page on the SOE website. 

Transfer Credit

Students who wish to transfer in courses from other institutions may do so if the program faculty assesses that the course content is aligned with  the program student learning outcomes. Program faculty will consider up to 9 units of graduate-level coursework that a student has successfully completed at another institution. Transfer credit evaluations take place once an applicant has received an admission offer.