Single Subject Teaching Credential

Total Units for Completion of Credential: 43

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. 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, American Sign Language, Biology, Chemistry, Dance1, English/Language Arts, French, Geoscience, General Science, German, Health Science, Home Economics, Mathematics (Foundational Level and Full), Music, Physical Education, Physics, History/Social Science, Spanish, and Theatre1.

The candidates complete a program that requires full-time student status, with field experience and student teaching requirements in Sacramento Area districts as well as full-time coursework requirements. 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 the single subject teacher preparation program. We 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.

The program is offered in a hybrid format: a blend of in-person courses and a limited number of online courses.

At successful completion of all program requirements, the student can be recommended to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for the Credential. 

1Programs in Theatre and Dance are awaiting approval from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing; contact an advisor or the department office for more information (916) 278-6639 or

Career Pathways Certificate

Within the Single Subject 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.

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 program candidates with oral and written fluency as well as cultural/historical knowledge of the target group (currently approved languages include Spanish or Hmong; other languages are in the process of being approved). 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 for an advising appointment to review your transcripts.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) establishes admissions requirements for all preliminary teaching credential programs and the CSU Chancellor's Office further specifies admissions requirements. The requirements listed below are subject to change, based on actions of these two governing bodies. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Academic and Program Services Office in Eureka Hall 401, (916) 278-6639, an advisor in the Student Success Center, or the program website for the most current admissions requirements.

Program Admission Requirements

  1. A Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university; students who obtained a bachelor’s degree outside of the US must follow the direction on the Applicants with Foreign Documents website.
  2. Minimum of 45 hours of experience related to working with children or youth in a K-12 classroom or equivalent is recommended.
  3. Submit two references: one from a person who has observed the applicant’s academic competence (current or former instructor) and the other from a person who has observed the applicant working with children or youth. NOTE: References from family members will not be accepted.
  4. Submit a graduate writing sample.
  5. Satisfy writing proficiency by meeting the Basic Skills Requirement.
  6. Satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement. For more detailed information, visit the CTC website.  Example of ways to satisfy Basic Skills Competence include:
    1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
    2. Pass the CSET Multiple Subjects plus Writing Skills examination
    3. Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) or the CSU Placement Examinations
    4. Achieve qualifying score on the SAT or ACT (see the CTC website)
    5. Score a 3 or above on specific AP examinations (see the CTC website)
    6. Earn a grade of "B-" or better in specific college or university courses as detailed on the CTC website.
    7. Applicants can “Mix and Match” options, as detailed on the CTC website.
  7. Satisfy the Subject Matter Competence requirement. For more detailed information, visit the CTC website. Examples of ways to demonstrate subject matter competence: take and pass all subtests of any Single Subject CSET examination, complete a subject matter program, complete an approved undergraduate major as detailed on the CTC website, earn a grade of C- or higher in specific college or university courses that cover the required subject matter, or mix and match CSET subtests with coursework as detailed on the Teaching Credentials Application webpage.
  8. Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5 overall or 2.75 in last 60 semester or 90 quarter units as evidenced from official transcripts from every college/university attended.
  9. Complete Credential Prerequisite Courses : EDUC 170EDUC 100AEDUC 100BPUBH 136. List of equivalent coursework is located on the Teaching Credentials website.
  10. Certificate of Clearance (COC) security clearance issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing: evidence of submitting the COC application and fingerprints must be submitted at application.
  11. Participate in a Mandatory Interview.

Detailed descriptions of all admissions requirements are contained in the program’s application instructions, which are available on the Teaching Credentials Application website.

Admission Procedures

All applicants, including Sacramento State graduates, must submit an application through Cal State Apply.

Additional Information

Certificate of Clearance (COC/Fingerprint Clearance)

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

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 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 instructions, forms, and where to submit all additional paperwork. If you have any questions, contact the CTC directly via email.

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. More information can be found by contacting pre-credential advisors in the College of Education Student Success Center.

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, degrees, and other relevant documents prior to applying for a teaching credential program. This evaluation is required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). 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 and the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Continuation in Credential Coursework

Continued Enrollment: Continued enrollment in the Single Subject Teaching Credential Program is contingent upon 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. Any student on academic probation is subject to automatic disqualification unless approved by the Credential Appeals Committee to continue.

Grade Requirement for the Credential: Any grade below C- in a required credential course must be retaken in order to meet credential requirements.

Delays: Candidates who have to delay progress in the Single Subject Teaching Credential Program will file a "Program Delay Petition" in the Teaching Credentials Office. A student returning after a delay may be accommodated on a space available basis. Candidates must return and complete the program within the seven-year limit for graduate programs.

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, except for those policies set by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing or state education code. Appeals petitions and assistance are available in the Teaching Credentials Office.


Admission into programs leading to licensure does not guarantee that students will obtain a license. Licensure requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure requirements.

Single Subject Credential Courses (43 units)

EDSS 264Critical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education-Secondary3
or EDSS 264L Critical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education-Secondary (Linked Learning)
EDSS 265Advanced Fundamentals of Teaching2
or EDSS 265L Advanced Fundamentals of Teaching- Linked Learning
EDSS 266Advanced Single Subject Seminar2
or EDSS 266L Advanced Single Subject Seminar, L
EDSS 279AMethod and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, A1.5
EDSS 279BMethods and Materials for Teaching Secondary English Learners, B1.5
EDSP 293Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms3
EDSS 365Fundamentals of Teaching3
or EDSS 365L Fundamentals of Teaching- Linked Learning
EDSS 366Single Subject Seminar3
or EDSS 366L Single Subject Seminar, L
EDSS 373AEducational Technology Lab I1
EDSS 373BEducational Technology Lab II1
or EDSS 373L Educational Technology Lab II- Linked Learning
EDSS 384AInstruction and Assessment of Academic Literacy, A1.5
EDSS 384BInstruction and Assessment of Academic Literacy, B1.5
EDSS 364Advanced Critical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education- Secondary2
or EDSS 364L Advanced Critical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education- Secondary Linked Learning
Select one of the following3
Overview of Secondary Art Education
Methods in American Sign Language (ASL) Education
Special Problems
Foreign Languages in the Secondary School
Methods in English Education, A
Methods in English 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
Methods of Teaching Elementary Physical Education
Methods of Teaching Secondary Physical Education
Vocal Literature and Materials (Grades 4-12)
EDSS 474AField Experiences in Secondary Schools6
EDSS 474BStudent Teaching in Secondary Schools8
or EDSS 474C Intern Teaching in Secondary Schools

Career Pathways Certificate (18 units)

EDSS 264LCritical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education-Secondary (Linked Learning)3
EDSS 364LAdvanced Critical Multiculturalism for Racial/Social Justice Education- Secondary Linked Learning2
EDSS 365LFundamentals of Teaching- Linked Learning3
EDSS 265LAdvanced Fundamentals of Teaching- Linked Learning2
EDSS 373LEducational Technology Lab II- Linked Learning1
EDSS 366LSingle Subject Seminar, L3
EDSS 266LAdvanced Single Subject Seminar, L2
EDSS 440Work-Based Learning Field Experience2