Single Subject Teaching Credential

Total units required for Credential: 37-45

Program Description

The Single Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to provide instruction in the subject named on the credential in departmentalized classrooms and embeds the English Learner Authorization (ELA), which prepares candidates to work with second language learners.  In reality, almost all junior and senior high school teachers hold the single subject credential. Single Subject Teaching Credentials can be obtained in the following teaching areas:

  •  Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English/Language Arts
  • French
  • Geoscience
  • General Science
  • German
  • Health Science
  • Home Economics
  • Mathematics (Foundational Level and Full)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Social Science (History)

The Single Subject Program is a post-baccalaureate program organized so that candidates complete the program in two semesters. Each semester candidates complete a set of field experiences or student teaching activities and take a full-time complement of courses. Candidates are placed in an urban partner school typically for the entire academic year, where they have the opportunity to fully engage in the life of the school and forge meaningful relationships with their mentor teachers and with groups of students. Coursework in the program follows an innovative spiral schedule, where courses are taught in 8 week modules, with content aligned to meet the needs of the candidates as they take on increasing responsibilities in their host classrooms for instructional planning, teaching and adjunct teacher duties (e.g., student mentoring/support, parent meetings, support for extracurricular activities, etc.).

Becoming an effective teacher for an urban setting, including a foundation in social justice and equity, is the focus of all activities, tasks and learning in our single subject teacher preparation program.  We do offer two specialized pathways: one focuses on the content, skills and experiences related to Linked Learning/Career Pathway programs in partner high schools and the other is for candidates with bilingual skills in Spanish or Hmong. Interest in the bilingual authorization is ascertained during the admissions process, and we survey all admitted candidates for interest in the Linked Learning/Career Pathway cohort.

For more information about the Single Subject Credential, visit --Commission on Teacher Credentialing Single Subject link--. There is currently a two-semester program available. Please visit the Teaching Credentials website for sequence of courses, time commitment, and other information.

Career Pathways Certificate

Within the Single Subject (Secondary) Teaching Credential program, candidates have the option to pursue a Career Pathways Certificate and can indicate upon admission into the program their desire to pursue the certificate.  The Career Pathways Certificate prepares candidates to teach in Career Pathways; these are specialized programs in high schools designed to prepare middle and high school secondary students for both college and career in themed small learning communities connected to the 15 Major California Industries.  Numerous high schools in the Sacramento Region offer Career Pathways.  Candidates admitted into the certificate program will take the same courses as other Single Subject candidates, but will enroll in the Career Pathways Linked Learning sections.  In addition, they will complete an additional two-unit work-based learning field experience course.  At the end of the program, candidates will be recommended for a Single Subject teaching credential and will receive the Career Pathways Certificate.

Preliminary Teaching Credentials

As new regulations become mandated by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and the California Department of Education, requirements for meeting subject matter competency and/or requirements for all preliminary credential programs will be changed to comply with the new requirements. The preliminary credential program is legislated according to the SB 2042 (Preliminary) Credential requirements. For further information, please contact the Academic and Program Services Office in Eureka Hall 401, (916) 278-6639.

Preliminary Teaching Credential Requirements

Completion of the Preliminary Teaching Credential requires that the candidate:

  • hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in a field other than professional education from a regionally accredited college or university;
  • complete an approved program of teacher preparation, including student teaching;
  • for an Education Specialist – Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe credential, if the plan is to teach Special Education at the elementary school level, complete either an approved subject matter program or pass the approved subject-matter examination (CSET: California Subject Examination for Teachers, Multiple Subject, Subtests I, II and III);
  • for an Education Specialist – Mild/Moderate or Moderate/Severe credential, if the plan is to teach Special Education at the secondary school level, complete either an approved subject matter program in one of the core academic subject areas or pass an approved subject-matter examination in a core academic subject area (CSET: California Subject Examination for Teachers);
  • for a Multiple Subject credential, pass the approved subject-matter examination (CSET: California Subject Examination for Teachers, Multiple Subject, Subtests I, II and III);
  • for Single Subject, complete either an approved subject matter program or pass the approved subject-matter examination (CSET) in the appropriate teaching area;
  • for Single Subject, complete an approved course in the teaching of reading;
  • for Multiple Subject, complete an approved course in the teaching of reading and pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) exam;
  • pass a college-level course or examination on the U.S. Constitution; and
  • demonstrate California Basic Educational Skills (see subsection below on options available).

Teaching Credentials offers a variety of pathways for completing the Preliminary Credential programs depending on the program:

  • a one-year (two-semester) program;
  • a three-semester program;
  • a two-year (four-semester) program – Education Specialist programs only; part-time options are available which will increase time to program completion

Field experience and student teaching are integral parts of the program leading to Preliminary Credentials. In both the Multiple Subject and Single Subject Teacher Preparation programs, candidates move through the program in cohorts. Full-time Education Specialist candidates follow a tightly-sequenced series of courses.  In all teacher preparation programs, candidates complete fieldwork in public schools. All candidates will have experience working with children or youth from a broad range of cultural, ethnic, economic and special learning needs backgrounds.

Program Admission Requirements at a Glance

  1. Experiences related to working with children or youth

  2. References (2)

  3. Essay

  4. Official Transcripts from every college/university attended

  5. Writing Proficiency

  6. Basic Skills Competence (i.e., pass the CBEST)

  7. Subject Matter Competence (i.e., pass the CSET)

  8. Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.67 overall or 2.75 in last 60 semester or 90 quarter units

  9. Complete Credential Prerequisite Courses: EDUC 170EDUC 100AEDUC 100BHLSC 136, and KINS 172 (MS only – equivalent workshop can be taken during the program)

  10. Complete the Mandatory Interview

Applications Required at a Glance

  • Teaching credentials Supplemental Program Application
  • CSU Graduate School Application
  • Certificate of Clearance Application (and fingerprint clearance through CTC)

Admission Requirements – General Information Only

Experiences Related to Working with Children or Youth (paid and/or volunteer)

minimum of 45 hours of experience (closer to 100+ hours if you want to be competitive) with diverse populations is required to be considered for program admission.  Possible field experiences can include:  classroom instructional aide, tutoring, afterschool program, Peace Corps, camp counseling, child/youth recreation programs, coaching, group-home counseling, church school teaching, etc.  Your responses will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Recency: Experience needs to be recent – at least within 1-2 years of the application period.  You can list all experiences gained on the supplemental application, but regency is key.
  • Settings: Majority of your experiences should be in appropriate settings/schools (ideally public schools) with culturally, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse students of the age group (i.e., elementary school, high school, etc.) or population (i.e., special needs population) you plan to teach. You will list the diversity of your experiences on the supplemental application.
  • Supervision: Has the verifiable experience been gained under supervision? If so, you will need to list names of your supervisors on the supplemental application.


Applicants submit two reference forms (included in the supplemental application).  Letters of recommendation will not be accepted in lieu of reference forms.  Only reference forms submitted in sealed envelopes will be accepted It is recommended that one of the references be from a person who has observed the applicant’s academic competence (current or former instructor) and the other reference from a person who has observed the applicant working with children or youth.  NOTE:  References from family members will not be accepted.


Discuss a critical, current issue in teaching/education and the relationship of this issue to your motivation to become a teacher in a typed, two-page, double-spaced essay.  NOTE: This prompt is subject to change.


Applicants must provide official, sealed transcripts from every community college/college/university attended, even if only ONE class was completed.  Sacramento State students and Sacramento State graduates are exempt, unless coursework was completed at another college after you graduated.

Writing Proficiency

Satisfying writing proficiency is a program admission requirement.  This requirement may be met in one of the following ways:

  1. Pass the entire CBEST (must pass the writing portion with a minimum of 37 points); or
  2. Pass the CSET: Writing Skills Test (Multiple Subject applicants only); or

  3. Meet the graduation writing requirement (GWAR) at any CSU campus; or

  4. Successfully complete an upper-division advanced English composition course, with a “B” grade or better.

Basic Skills Requirement (BSR)

Satisfying the basic skills requirement is a program admission requirement.  Select one of the following options to meet this requirement.  For detailed information visit the CTC website.

  1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) – all sections must be taken and passed

  2. Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP)English and Math sections(tests completed in high school)

  3. Pass the CSU English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Math (ELM) Test (For more information, visit the Testing Center website)

  4. Pass the CSET: Writing Skills Test (available to Multiple Subject applicants only)

  5. Pass a basic skills examination from another state

Register online at the CTC Exams website.  Take exams no later than February for FALL admission consideration.

Subject Matter Competence (SMC)

Applicants are required to meet SMC to be considered for admission:

Special Education: Applicants holding one of the following types of credentials, may have met the subject matter competency requirement: five-year preliminary, clear, professional clear, or life credential in the following authorizations: Multiple Subject, Single Subject, Standard Elementary, Standard Secondary, General Elementary, or General Secondary.  Applicants who do not hold one of the types of credentials listed above can meet SMC through one of the following options:

  • CSET for Multiple Subjects option or
  • Single Subject option (see requirements below)

Multiple Subject: All applicants must satisfy SMC by passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects subtests I, II, and III.  NOTE: CSET passing scores on all three (3) subtests are required for admission consideration.  Take exams no later than February for FALL admission consideration. Register for tests online at:

Single Subject: Applicants may satisfy SMC in ONE of two ways, either (1) by examination or (2) by completing an approved undergraduate program of subject matter coursework.

  1. Examination(s) Take and pass the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) in your subject area.  Be sure to take all required subtests in your teaching area.   NOTE: CSET passing scores on all subtests are required for admission consideration.  Take exams no later than February for FALL admission consideration.  Register for tests online at:
  2. Coursework Complete a California Commission-approved undergraduate academic subject matter preparation (SMP) program from an accredited California college/university.
SMP Coursework Options
  • The Sacramento State Subject Matter Program (SMP) is a California approved baccalaureate program that prepares individuals for teaching.  Sac State students completing a SMP must meet with an approved advisor as soon as possible in order to complete the Subject Matter Competence Verification Form.  For a listing of faculty advisors visit the Teaching Credentials website.
  • Non-Sacramento State applicants who completed an approved SMP on a California campus other than Sacramento State must submit verification of completion of the SMP on letterhead stationery of your school, signed by the approved evaluator, instead of using the Subject Matter Competence Verification Form.  Check with your College’s Credentials office for the approved evaluator.

Grade Point Average (GPA) Required

In order to be considered for admission to a Teaching Credential Program, applicants must have attained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.67 in all baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate course work (if completed) OR a GPA of at least 2.75 in the last 60 semester or 90 quarter units attempted.

Pre-requisite Credential Courses – to be completed PRIOR to starting the credential programs:
EDUC 100AEducating Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings2
EDUC 100BEducating Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings Lab1
EDUC 170Bilingual Education: Introduction to Educating English Learners3
HLSC 136School Health Education2
KINS 172Movement Education 13

List of equivalent courses, visit the Teaching Credentials website


All applicants must participate in a one-hour group interview as part of the screening process.  After the supplemental program application is received by the Department, applicants are notified by email of the interview process and dates. 

Applications Required

CSU Graduate School Application for the University:

Applicants not currently attending Sacramento State, Sacramento State graduating seniors, and Sacramento State students completing a master’s degree or second bachelor’s degree MUST apply for admission to graduate school through the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) by completing and submitting the CSU application on-line. 

  Transcripts:  Applicants who did not graduate from Sacramento State must submit one (1) set of sealed, official transcripts from ALL community colleges/colleges/universities attended, even if only ONE class was completed.  If you have questions about the University graduate school application process, please contact the OGS at (916) 278-6470.

  Foreign degrees Transcripts from applicants with degrees from outside of the United States must review the information/instructions on the Office of Graduate Studies website

 NOTE:  Foreign transcripts and other supporting documents are usually due much earlier than University and department application deadlines.

Teaching Credentials Program Supplemental Application:

All applicants must submit a supplemental program application packet that includes:  a list of experiences related to teaching/working with children/youth, an essay, two completed & sealed reference forms, writing proficiency verification, subject matter competency verification, and basic skills requirement verification (CBEST or other approved verification).  Beginning in OCTOBER every year, the supplemental program applications with instructions/current requirements are available on the College of Education website.  Credential programs only begin in FALL semesters.  Complete supplemental applications and all supporting documents must be submitted to the Teaching Credentials by February.  The exact submission deadline date is posted once applications are available on the website.

Certificate of Clearance (COC/Fingerprint Clearance): 

ALL applicants must submit verification of having been issued a clearance by the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) before they will be allowed to officially start the credential program. 

  • Applicants who have already been issued a clearance/permit/credential must submit a printout from the CTC website showing the issuance date of a valid CA 30-day emergency permit, a valid CA Child Development Associate/Center permit, a valid CA credential, or a valid Certificate of Clearance.

  • Applicants who have NOT been issued a clearance/permit/credential must apply for the Certificate of Clearance on the CTC website as well as complete the Live Scan fingerprinting process. Tips for completing the online application and Live Scan process can be found on the CTC website.  Proof of applying for the clearance and completing the Live Scan process MUST be submitted with the supplemental credential program application packet.  Include as proof the following: a copy of the ‘Payment Receipt’ page from the on-line COC application AND a copy of your completed and scanned Live Scan form.

  • Once your clearance is issued, you will receive an email from the CTC.  Print this email and submit it with your supplemental program application packet.  Or, if the email is received after you have submitted your application, submit the email directly to the Teaching Credentials Department in Eureka Hall - 401.

EXCEPTION – it is not necessary to apply for the Certificate of Clearance if you can verify you hold a valid California certificate or credential such as an emergency permit for substitute teaching, Pre-intern certificate, PPS credential, Child Development Associate or Supervisor Permit, Adult Vocational Education credential OR if you are applying for a Special Education credential program, verify a valid Multiple or Single Subject credential.

NOTE: If you answered “YES” to any of the Personal and Professional Fitness questions on the Certificate of Clearance application, you will need to obtain the official arrest record and court paperwork regarding each incident.  Refer to the CTC website for the instructions, forms, and where to submit all additional paperwork.  If you have arrests and/or convictions on your record, once you submit the additional paperwork/documentation to the CTC, the processing of your clearance application can take six months or longer.  This means you may not be eligible to start the credential program if your clearance is not issued before the program begins.  If you have any questions, contact the CTC directly via email.

Additional Information

Verification of Bachelor's Degree

ALL applicants must obtain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university in the United States in order to be eligible for a credential.  Proof can be obtained through official transcripts and listed as “Degree(s) Awarded” with the date the degree was awarded.  To find out if your college/university is regionally accredited by one of the accrediting agencies approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), visit the CTC website.

Foreign Transcript Evaluation

Individuals who have completed college or university course work at an institution in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete evaluation of foreign transcripts, degrees1, and other relevant documents prior to applying for a teaching credential program.  This evaluation is required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).  It is recommended that credential program applicants have their documents evaluated by WES, since both the University Office of Graduate Studies and the Commission will accept the WES evaluation.  Applicants should select the WES INTERNATIONAL CREDENTIAL ADVANTAGE PACKAGE (ICAP) Course by Course Evaluation. For additional information on foreign transcript evaluations please visit the CTC website.

Verification of completing the United States Constitution Requirement

California Education Code, Section 44335, requires all candidates for Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Education Specialist credentials to demonstrate knowledge of the United States Constitution by completing a college-level course with a “C” or equivalent grade or better, or pass a college-level examination in the subject, or verify AP exam credit for American History or American Government/Politics. While this is not a program admission requirement, this requirement must be completed before the credential can be granted at the end of the credential program. Most CSU graduates have met this requirement.

Additional Information for All Admitted Credential Candidates

  • Continued Enrollment: Continued enrollment in a Preliminary Credential Program is contingent upon the candidates maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in all professional education courses. If incomplete grades or grades of "D", "F", and "NC" (No Credit) are received in professional education courses, the candidate must withdraw from the program unless a specific exception has been approved by the Credential Appeals Committee.
  • Delays: Candidates who have to delay progress in a Preliminary Credential Program file a "Program Delay Petition" in the Teaching Credentials Office. A student returning after a delay may be accommodated on a space available basis. Any student on academic probation is subject to automatic disqualification as a Credential candidate.

Appeal Process: A student who has been formally admitted to the program has the right to appeal to the Credential Appeals Committee about any policy affecting program continuation. Appeals petitions and assistance are available in the Teaching Credentials Office

Bilingual Authorization (BA)

The BA is a specialized authorization that authorizes the credential holder to provide instruction in the primary language to candidates with limited English proficiency. This option is available concurrently for all credential candidates with oral and written fluency as well as cultural/historical knowledge of the target group (Spanish or Hmong).  Candidates can complete additional requirements to add the Bilingual Authorization in Spanish or Hmong.  For additional information on the BA option, contact the College of Education Equity Coordinator, Karina Figueroa-Ramirez, for an advising appointment to review your transcripts.

Prerequisite Requirements

Prerequisite Coursework (8 Units)
Educating Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings
Educating Students with Disabilities in Inclusive Settings Lab
EDUC 170Bilingual Education: Introduction to Educating English Learners3
HLSC 136School Health Education2
Total Units8

Program Requirements

Program Coursework (37 Units)
EDSS 279AMethod and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, A1.5
EDSS 279BMethods and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, B1.5
EDSS 300Teaching Performance Assessment-Single Subjects1
EDSS 364ATheoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Lecture1.5
EDSS 364BTheoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Workshop1.5
EDSS 364CAdvanced Theoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Lecture1.5
EDSS 364DAdvanced Theoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Workshop1.5
EDSS 365AFundamentals of Teaching, Lecture1.5
EDSS 365BTheoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Workshop1.5
EDSS 365CAdvanced Fundamentals of Teaching, Lecture1.5
EDSS 365DAdvanced Fundamentals of Teaching, Workshop1.5
EDSS 366ASingle Subject Seminar, A3
EDSS 366BSingle Subject Seminar, B3
EDSS 368Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools1
EDSS 3731
EDSS 384AInstruction and Assessment of Academic Literacy, A1.5
EDSS 384BInstruction and Assessment of Academic Literacy, B1.5
EDSS 474AField Experiences in Secondary Schools3
EDSS 474BStudent Teaching in Secondary Schools4
Several single subject methods classes split into 1.5 segments (A/B). The exception is KINS 380 and KINS 381 that are both 1.5 unit courses but have different course numbers. Candidates take on 2-course series from the following list of content methods courses:3
Methods in English Education, A
Methods in English Education, B
Methods in World Language Education, A
Methods in World Language Education, B
Methods in Mathematics Education, A
Methods in Mathematics Education, B
Methods in History/Social Science Education, A
Methods in History/Social Science Education, B
Methods in Science Education, A
Methods in Science Education, B
KINS 380
KINS 381
Methods of Teaching Elementary Physical Education
Methods of Teaching Secondary Physical Education
Other single subject methods courses remain 3 units. Candidates in these subject areas take one course from the following list of content methods courses in accordance with their subject area:
MUSC 178Vocal Literature and Materials (Grades 4-12)
or MUSC 179 Instrumental Literature and Materials
ART 135Overview of Secondary Art Education
or ART 133 Art Education for Children
FACS 299
Total Units37

Note: An undergraduate blended program leading to a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics is also available. For further information about the Mathematics Blended Program, contact: Dr. Elaine Kasimatis.

Career Pathways Certificate

EDSS 364ETheoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Workshop-Linked Learning1.5
EDSS 364FTheoretical Foundations of Teaching in a Multicultural Democratic Society, Workshop-Linked Learning1.5
EDSS 365EFundamentals of Teaching, Workshop - Linked Learning1.5
EDSS 365FFundamentals of Teaching, Workshop - Linked Learning1.5
EDSS 279AMethod and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, A1.5
EDSS 279BMethods and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, B1.5
EDSS 373AEducational Technology Lab I1
EDSS 366CSingle Subject Seminar, C3
EDSS 366DSingle Subject Seminar, D3
EDSS 440Work-Based Learning Field Experience2
Total Units18