Become a Teacher

Stand-Alone Credential Program

4-year Undergraduate Major Plus 1-year Credential

The stand-alone credential pathway typically requires 5 years and involves earning a bachelor's degree (including general education and major coursework) and completing credential prerequisites; this generally takes 4 years. Then you must complete a credential program that includes credential coursework and student teaching; this can be completed in two to three semesters.

Infographic of 5-year credential pathways

Teaching Credential Subject Areas

Elementary School Teaching

  • Multiple Subjects (K–6)
  • Multiple Subjects (K–6) - Bilingual

Middle/High School Teaching

  • Single Subject - Bilingual
  • Single Subject (English)
  • Single Subject (Mathematics)
  • Single Subject (Science)
  • Single Subject (Social Science)
  • Single Subject (Art)
  • Single Subject (Music)
  • Single Subject (Physical Education)
  • Single Subject (Theater)

Special Education

  • Early Childhood Specialization
  • Mild to Moderate Support Needs Specialization
  • Extensive Support Needs Specialization

Who is the credential pathway for?

  • Those who already hold a bachelor's degree (or higher)
  • Those who are in their last two years of undergraduate studies
  • Those who may have realized later in their higher education career that teaching is their calling

Hear Directly from Our Graduates

Lenelle Wylie
Joe Garland
Sofia De La Garza
Sarah Latoski with special education student

Next Steps: Info & Advising

View Virtual Info Session


Meet with an Advisor

Visit College of Education Graduate Program Advising to find a credential advisor in your subject area.

How to Apply

Visit College of Education Admissions to learn about prerequisite courses, exams and deadlines for the CSU and program applications.

General Questions

For general questions about teaching pathways, contact [email protected].


Professional Licensure and Certification

California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student to meet California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students enrolled in a California State University program who are planning to pursue  licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C). I

Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from the Office for Student Success ([email protected]).

Certification Exam Pass Rates

View information about SDSU's teacher certification exam pass rates for the California, Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA), and the Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA).