Preliminary Credential in Extensive Support Needs Special Education

How to Apply

If you are applying for the Fall 2025 semester, please check back in September for updated application dates. The application opens October 1st each year for fall start.

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 Spring 2025

Note, information below is subject to change. Please continue to monitor this website for updates.
Item Deadline
1. Cal State Apply application
(opens August 1 each year)
August 31, 2024
2. Official transcripts due September 15, 2024

1. Submit Cal State Apply Application

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

Cal State Apply - Opens Aug. 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 - Opens Aug. 1

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.


Visit Graduate Program Advising for information about the credential program, admissions process, and who to contact.

Advising Checklists

The Advising Checklist includes the same basic information that is covered in advising sessions.