Preliminary Credential in Early Childhood Special Education
How to Apply
Preliminary Credentials: In California this is the FIRST credential you can earn. If you want to be a teacher and do not hold a credential, then apply to a preliminary program. The preliminary Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) credential allows you to work with disabled children ages birth through 5 years old.
Important Dates for Fall 2023
|1. Cal State Apply application
(opens October 1 each year)
|February 1, 2023|
|2. Official transcripts due||March 1, 2023|
For this program, you are NOT required to complete the additional Interfolio program application. Instead, applicants must complete the Cal State Apply application and follow the directions below:
1. Submit Cal State Apply Application
Program Materials Needed for Cal State Apply
The credential items below will be asked about by questions and/or uploads in the Program Materials box/quadrant of the Cal State Apply application. Please start preparing to apply by getting these materials ready.
START EARLY: Most of our applicants tell us they spend approximately 3 months or more on the following 4 requirements.
- Prerequisite Courses (SPED version)
- Basic Skills Requirement
- Subject Matter Competency (ECSE version)
- Certificate of Clearance or Emergency Teaching Permit
- Unofficial transcripts
- Bachelor's Degree
- GPA Requirement
- Personal Narrative (SPED version)
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Credential Application fee (currently $25)
- Negative TB test results
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. Wait to Request Official Transcripts
Please wait to request these official transcripts until after you have submitted the Cal State Apply application, then request that your official transcripts be sent to SDSU, following instructions at Submitting Your Transcripts. If you send them in before you submit the application, they will take longer to process.
If you attended SDSU for your undergraduate degree, you can skip this step—we have this information already on file.
3. Explore Financial Aid Opportunities
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
Get in Touch
Ask a specific question or request additional information by filling in the form below.
Download the,SPED Early Childhoood Credential Checklist (PDF). This checklist includes the same basic information that is covered in advising sessions.