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Preliminary Credential (Multiple and Single Subject), Program Application

Learn how to apply to the Preliminary Credential Program (Multiple and Single Subject).

Important Dates for Fall 2020

Item Due Date
1. Cal State Apply application
(opens October 1 each year)
February 1, 2020
 2Transcripts due  April 1, 2020


Steps to Apply

Follow the steps below to apply to the Preliminary Credential (Multiple and Single Subject) Program.  Multiple Subject credentials are for those who want to teach all subjects in elementary school (K-6).  Single Subject credentials are for those who want to teach one subject at a time in middle or high school classrooms:

  • You must first apply to the California State University via Cal State Apply for the program you are interested in.
  • Then, request official transcripts.

1. Cal State Apply

For assistance, see Tips on Completing the Cal State Apply University Application

Go to Cal State Apply (CSU application) -- Apply Now

Photo of young woman with an open book sitting outdoors on a campus talking on cell phone with the words Cal State Apply.


Items Needed to Complete the Cal State Apply Application

Please gather the items below and have them ready to upload to the Cal State Apply application in the Program Materials box/quadrant:

You must hold a Bachelor’s degree or be finishing a Bachelor’s degree program to apply to the credential program.  More information

Please have your official transcripts sent to SDSU after you submit your Cal State Apply application.  If you send them in before you submit the application, they will take longer to process.

In addition to official Bachelor's Degree transcripts, please download unofficial transcripts (or scan a paper transcript) for the main institution where your degree was earned and be prepared to upload it to the Program Materials section of Cal State Apply. This is in addition to, not a substitution for, having official transcripts sent to SDSU Graduate Admissions office. All applicants, including SDSU undergraduates, must submit unofficial degree transcripts, even if degree is in process, for faculty to review.

The SDSU Credential Programs require one of the following:

  • 2.67 GPA Cumulative Overall
  • 2.75 GPA in your last 60 semester/90 quarter units

If you do not meet these criteria, click here for more information.

There are several ways to meet the Basic Skills requirement for the credential program at SDSU.  The most common way is passing the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

Please plan to take the exams early.  We are requesting passing scores for CBEST by March 1, 2020 for Fall 2020 applications.  If you are applying close to the deadline, please take the exam as soon as possible.

Use this link for other ways to complete this requirement

Subject Matter Competency can be met one of 2 ways:

If you need to take the CSET, please plan to take it early in the application process.  We are requesting that applicants take the CSET exam by March 1, 2020 for Fall 2020 applications.  If you are applying close to the deadline, please take the exam as soon as possible.

These courses must be completed with a C or better prior to starting the credential program.  They can be completed the summer right before the credential program starts.

  •  ED 451: Introduction to Multicultural Education (3 units)
  • TE 280: Health Education for Teachers (1 unit)
  • Math 210: Mathematics for Elementary Teachers (3 units) (multiple subject only)
  • SPED 450: Classroom Adaptations for Special Populations (3 units) or 500: Human Exceptionality (3 units)

Use this link for approved local equivalents and the petition form.

Art applicants have 4 additional required pre-requisites: Art 385, Art 386A and B, and Art 387.  These will be offered at SDSU in Spring 2020 and must be completed prior to starting the credential program. 

If you are not in the San Diego area (or the  Spring 2020 semester has already started) and need these courses, please email Melanie Falkenberg for an alternative course.

Candidates must verify their personal and professional fitness for service in public schools through a state and federal review (a background check).  This clearance is granted through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

Candidates must be granted either a Certificate of Clearance or an Emergency 30-day Substitute Teaching Permit prior to start of the Teacher Credential Program

Use this link for more information on how to obtain these clearances

All candidates must successfully complete a volunteer or paid observation and participation in a “regular” classroom (not a Special Ed class or after school program) in a public California school within the past 7 years. The purpose is to get you into a classroom to see what a “day in the life of a teacher” is really about.

This requirement must be COMPLETE and may NOT be in progress when you submit your credential program application (unless being completed as a course during the Spring semester).

Use this link for more information on the ways to complete these hours

Verification of a negative TB test (verification of no presence or active case of TB through PPD or Mantoux test), must be valid and on file throughout the credential program.
  • TB tests are valid for 4 years and can be taken at SDSU Student Health Services (for students currently enrolled at SDSU) or through any public health clinic, HMO, or private physician.
  • If you receive a positive skin test, then you will need to provide proof that your TB is not active by a doctor’s note or x-ray results.
  • In lieu of these items a "Risk Assessment" signed by a medical professional can be submitted.  This also must be completed within the past 4 years.
  • You will need to upload proof of negative TB test to the Cal State Apply application.

Please note that after admission to SDSU, SDSU Student Health Services will require you to provide immunization and TB records to them directly.  We do not share this information with them.

A $25 application fee is required to process your credential program application.

If you are a current/former SDSU student and have a red ID:

You must pay this fee through the SDSU WebPortal.

  1. Log into SDSU WebPortal.
  2. Select Student Account Services.
  3. Select Make Payment (in the top red menu bar).
  4. Select College of Education Fee Menu.
  5. Select Credential Application Fee.
  6. Click on Add to Basket button to proceed with checkout and payment.


If you are a new applicant and do not yet have an SDSU Red ID:

To be able to log into the WebPortal you must first complete and submit the Cal State Apply application  by uploading a document that states, "I will pay this fee as soon as I am able to".  

Within a couple days of submitting your Cal State Apply application, you should receive an email from SDSU Graduate Admissions with your Red ID (SDSU identification number) and directions on how to log into WebPortal. Please wait an additional 2-3 days (to be sure you have been added to our systems) and then follow the directions above.  Please have the receipt sent directly to you first and then forward the receipt to [email protected]

If you are applying close to the deadline, please submit your Cal State Apply application by uploading a document that states, "I will pay this fee as soon as I am able to".  Once you are assigned a red ID, please wait 2-3 days and then follow the directions above. Please have the receipt sent directly to you first and then forward the receipt to [email protected]

For your application to move forward in processing and faculty evaluation, this fee MUST be paid by March 15, 2020

This form is only required from applicants applying to the Single Subject Teaching credential.
Please download the form below and complete it with the subject courses you have taken for the Single Subject credential you are pursuing.  For example, if you are pursuing a Math teaching credential, please list any Math classes you took at a community college and/or University during your undergraduate career.  If you are pursuing a Social Science teaching credential, then please include any college courses you took that you believe is incorporated in Social Science--which could include History, Geography, Economics...

This document will be shared with faculty and cohort leaders within our program as well as professionals at the school site where you will be placed for student teaching.

Please upload the completed form as a Program Application form in the Cal State Apply application, Program Materials quadrant/box, Documents tab.

Download the form here: Documentation for Student Teaching

In the Program Materials section of the Cal State Apply application you will be asked to upload a one-page response for each of the following prompts (double spaced preferred):

Multiple Subject Prompts: 

  1. How have your educational background and life experiences prepared you to teach multiple subjects? 
  2. We have all had challenges in a work or academic setting. Describe one of these situations and how you responded to it.

Single Subject Prompts: 

  1. How have your educational background and life experiences prepared you to teach the specific discipline/subject for which you will earn a credential and why are you passionate about teaching that subject?
  2. We have all had challenges in a work or academic setting. Describe one of these situations and how you responded to it.


prompt #1 revised June 2018 

Identify at least 2 people to serve as references.

In the recommendation section of your application, you will be prompted to provide the name and e-mail address of the references. The application system will e-mail your references and request that they submit a recommendation on your behalf.

It is the applicants' responsibility to follow up with each reference to be sure that the letters are submitted in a timely manner.  Letters should be submitted by the application deadline, so please make your requests early to allow time for your recommenders to complete this for you.

Use this link to learn more about the letters of recommendation

You need to upload a link (URL address) to a personal video, no longer than 2 minutes in length, responding to the following prompts: 
  1. What is a strength you bring to teaching and what do you anticipate will be a challenge for you? 
  2. What are some experiences you have had related to teaching or in your subject area, and how did these help prepare you for the teacher credential program? 

You may choose to get creative in your video, but please be sure to answer the questions.  Your answer to the questions is more important than being creative.  The preference of the faculty is that you would appear in the video.

For the application, you will need to upload your video to YouTube  or you could choose to add it to your Google Drive and use the shareable link to provide in your application.  Please make sure the link you share in your application is public or shareable so the faculty will be able to view this in your application.  Please copy and paste the video link to a document to upload in the Documents tab for the Program Materials section in Cal State Apply.

Important Information about Credential requirements:

  • These items need to be completed prior to admission to SDSU's Credential program. Some items may be in progress when you submit your application, but all (with exception of the pre-req classes and your degree) MUST be complete BEFORE you can be offered admission. 
  • Please maintain all your original documents as you may need to submit these again to Districts for student teaching and/or employment.

2. Request official transcripts

Request that your official transcripts be sent to SDSU, following instructions on our Submit Test Scores and Transcripts page. 

If you attended SDSU for your undergraduate degree, you can skip this step--we have this information already on file.

3. Interviews or Meet and Greet Opportunities

Last year only Meet and Greet opportunities were offered in lieu of the interview process.  These sessions are available to have questions answered by faculty who teach in the program.  They offer face to face and online access for those who may live outside of San Diego.  The dates for these sessions are:

Due to staffing issues, the Meet and Greets will not be held today.  We will post the recordings from the February Meet and Greets for you to review (see below) and you can follow up through email with any questions.

Thanks for understanding.


Topic: FA 2020 Multiple Subject Credential Program Meet & Greet
Start Time : Feb 10, 2020 12:40 PM

Meeting Recording:

Slides shared at the Multiple Subject meeting available here


Topic: FA 2020 Single Subject Credential Program Meet & Greet
Start Time : Feb 10, 2020 02:02 PM

Meeting Recording:

Slides shared at the Single Subject meeting available here


Exit requirements

Please be aware that there are additional exit requirements which you must fulfill to earn your credential.  These must be completed by the time you finish the credential program.