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Preliminary Credential - Bilingual (Multiple and Single Subject), Program Application

Learn how to apply to the Preliminary Credential - Bilingual 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 
2. Transcripts due April 1, 2020

Steps to Apply

Follow the steps below to apply to the Preliminary Bilingual 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.

Note: The application process is the same if you are applying to the Bilingual Multiple Subject credential for Spanish or Mandarin.  The only difference is the Language CSET exam you would take--which is listed below under Language and Cultural Competency.

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

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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:

Please note that these same requirements are required of applicants to our face to face program and our online program.

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 transcripts for faculty to review.

All credential candidates must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a bachelor’s degree program.

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 500: Human Exceptionality (3 units) or SPED 450: Classroom Adaptations for Special Populations (3 units)
  • DLE 515: Multilingual Education (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 (basically 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 verify their Spanish language and cultural competency for entrance to the Bilingual Credential program.

You can do this in one of 2 ways:

  1. By Taking DLE 416 (take the correct section with focus on Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin language)

  2. By passing the CSET LOTE exams:
    • in Spanish, subtest 3 and 5
    • in Arabic, subtest 2 and 5
    • in Mandarin, subtest 3 and 5

Use this link for more information on how to complete this requirement

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 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.
  • You will need to upload proof of negative TB test to the Cal State Apply application.

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. You can then follow the directions above and email 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 follow the directions above and email 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

You will be asked in the Program materials section of Cal State Apply to address both of the following prompts in a double-spaced, typewritten response. The preferred length is 2-page response in 12-point font for each prompt:

  1. Goals and Philosophy Essay: Please write an essay in English covering such areas as your professional development as an educator, the kind of skills you feel are necessary to be an effective bilingual teacher and your perceived type of support needed to accomplish the above. You may also wish to cover the importance of the language and culture children bring to school and its role in any further academic development.
  2. Autobiographical Essay in Spanish: This essay will help the school administrators and the University supervisor to become better acquainted with you. Your essay should be written in Spanish and include:
    • Personal information relative to your birthplace, elementary schooling, interests, hobbies, etc.
    • Experiences you have had with school-aged children that have helped you gain insight into childhood growth and development and into school procedures and operations, and
    • A brief statement indicating the reasons why you are interested in teaching and why you have the potential for becoming an excellent teacher.

Both essays must be uploaded to the application as separate PDF documents.

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

In the Program Materials section of Cal State Apply to upload a document with a video link, no longer than 2 minutes in length. Please select and respond to 2 of the 3 questions below. We invite you to respond to one of the questions in Spanish.

  1. What is something you wish you had experienced as a student in school that you are committed to providing for your future students?

¿Qué experiencia desearía haber tenido como estudiante en una escuela que se compromete a proveer a sus futuros estudiantes?

  1. As an educator, talk about your view of diversity as it pertains to respect for children and adults of various cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, social classes, political beliefs, genders, religious beliefs and disabilities.

Como educador/a, hable acerca de su punto de vista sobre la diversidad como pertenece al respeto hacia niños y adultos de diferentes culturas, etnicidades, orientaciones sexuales, clases sociales, creencias políticas, géneros, creencias religiosas, y discapacidades.

  1. How would you rate your Spanish language level? (Ex. Intermediate, Advanced, etc.) What differences do you notice between your speaking and writing abilities?

¿Qué nivel daría usted a su español? (Intermedio, avanzado, etc.) ¿Cuáles diferencias nota usted entre sus habilidades orales y escritas?

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.

 If applying to the Mandarin program, please submit a video in English only.

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 can be in progress when you are applying (like pre-reqs and your degree), but all exams and the Clearance MUST be complete BEFORE 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.

3. Interviews

Group interviews will be held in April.

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.