Preliminary Credential in Extensive Support Needs 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 Extensive Support Needs Special Education credential allows you to work with disabled children and adults requiring extensive support needs from age 5 through 22.

Important Dates for Fall 2023

Admission to the credential program is for fall semester only. There is no spring admission cycle.
Item Deadline
1. Cal State Apply application
(opens October 1 each year)
February 1, 2023*
2. Official transcripts due March 1, 2023

*If you have missed the February 1st deadline, the program will not appear in Cal State Apply. However, you will still have the opportunity to apply until April 1st. Please contact the COE Admissions Analyst, Stephanie Kearney, [email protected], for a Cal State Apply invitation code. You can use the code to access the program you want to apply to. You must submit your application no later than April 1st for it to be accepted. Please contact Stephanie Kearney with any questions.

1. Submit Cal State Apply Application

Get help and tips on how to complete the Cal State Apply application.

Cal State ApplY - Opens Oct. 1


2. Submit Program Materials Through Interfolio

Program Materials Needed for Interfolio

The credential items below will be asked about by questions and/or uploads in Interfolio.  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.

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.

Go to Program Application

3. 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.

4. Explore Financial Aid Opportunities

Financial Aid & Scholarships has up-to-date information about external scholarships and grants specific to credential students. The College of Education maintains this list in coordination with the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

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.

SDSU Credential Programs Interest List


All Teaching Credential Advising is done through the Office for Student Success in the College of Education. Visit OSS Advising for information about the credential program or admissions process.

Advising Checklists

Download the SPED Extensive Support Needs Credential Checklist (PDF). This checklist includes the same basic information that is covered in advising sessions.