Jun 10, 2023  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

How to Become a Teacher

A California teaching credential is a license to teach in California public schools. A single subject credential is primarily for those who intend to teach in a designated subject area at the secondary (high school) or middle school level. A multiple subject credential is primarily for those intending to teach multiple subjects in the elementary or middle school level. The Education Specialist Credential is for individuals who want to become special educators.

A description of the different options is outlined on these pages. The process, requirements, and application materials are described in detail on each program’s website.

Preparation and Tests

Credential Undergraduate Preparation Tests Postbaccalaureate Preparation
Pre-School Consult Child and Adolescent Development department None None
Elementary (K-8) Preparation to teach in any K-8 grade in one of the following programs is strongly recommended-Child and Adolescent Development, Creative Arts, Environmental Studies, Liberal Studies, Natural Science, or Social Science CBEST, CSET for Multiple Subject Multiple Subject Credential program
High School Complete a Single Subject Matter Preparation program or pass CSET CBEST Single Subject Credential program
Special Education Complete a Multiple or Single Subject Matter Preparation program and/or demonstrate subject matter competence by CSET CBEST Consult Special Education department
Bilingual/ESL Authorization (Grades K-12)   CBEST, CSET and Language Proficiency and CSET LOTE III Test in Spanish Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program with Bilingual Authorization
College Complete a major in the subject that you want to teach Consult major department PhD (or MA/MS for some community colleges)

Becoming an Elementary School Teacher

  1. Seek Subject Matter Preparation 
    As an undergraduate student consider one of the following programs to strengthen your preparation: 
  2. Apply for Admission to the Multiple Subject Credential  Program
    • Applications to the Credential Program are accepted for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
    • Requirements include:
    • Admission to Graduate Studies at San José State University
    • Grade point average (GPA) of approximately 2.75 (see advisor)
    • Passing score on California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)
    • Pre-professional experience in a K-8 public school setting is a requirement for admission to the Multiple Subject Credential Program. This requirement can be met either through fieldwork hours completed as part of a college course, experience in a K-8 classroom, or a combination of the above. Experience observing/assisting or teaching in a Title 1 or “low performing” school is encouraged. Experience in a private school setting or at the preschool level cannot be included as part of 50-hour minimum for pre-professional experience.
    • Passing score on California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subject Tests.
    • Completion of Multiple Subject Credential Program Department Application.
  3. Complete a professional Preparation Program leading to the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential .
    Program pathways include Bilingual Authorization, Flexible, Concurrent, Teacher Educator, Middle Level Emphasis and Critical Research Academy.

    The following requirements apply to all of the above pathways:


Becoming a Secondary School Teacher

  1. Complete a Single Subject Matter Preparation Program
    Programs with asterisks (*) are majors that are fully compliant with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. Students in other majors may have to take the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET). See your department advisor for your particular course of study.
Major Credential
Art Art
Biology* Science: Biological Sciences
Chemistry* Science: Chemistry
Earth Science* Science: Geosciences
Economics Social Science
English* English
French World Language: French
Geography Social Science
History Social Science
Japanese World Language: Japanese
Journalism English
Kinesiology Kinesiology
Mandarin World Language: Mandarin
Mathematics* Mathematics
Meteorology* Science: Physics
Music Music
Physical Education Kinesiology
Physics* Science: Physics
Political Science Social Science
Social Sciences Social Science
Spanish World Language: Spanish
Speech Communication English
Theatre Arts English

Students who have completed or wish to complete another major may consult with the teacher preparation advisor from one of the listed programs to determine possible equivalence to Single Subject Matter Competency.

  1. Apply for Admission to the Single Subject Credential  Program
    Applications to the Credential Program are accepted for both Fall and Spring semesters. Visit the program website at www.sjsu.edu/teachered for information on how to apply. Please note that the process of meeting application requirements can take several months to complete, so plan ahead.
  2. Complete a Professional Preparation Program leading to a single subject credential. Requirements include:

    Non-renewable, valid for a maximum of five years.

Becoming a Special Education Teacher

  1. Apply for admission to the Education Specialist Preliminary Teaching Credential: Early Childhood Special Education Credential Education Specialist: Mild/Moderate Disabilities Credential Education Specialist: Moderate/Severe Disabilities Credential . Requirements include:
  2. Complete a Professional Preparation Program leading to the Educational Specialist Credential
    To be endorsed for the credential, the following requirements apply to all options:

    • Satisfied all course requirements for the credential option (see Special Education  section of the Catalog).
    • Grades of “B” or better in all credential courses/GPA of 3.0
    • Proof of competence in Reading Instruction by passing the RICA, unless having a valid California Multiple Subject Credential  or Single Subject Credential .
    • Satisfactory Dispositions Evaluations

    • To be endorsed for the credential, the following requirements apply to all options:
    • Candidates must hold a valid Preliminary Education Specialist Credential .
    • Candidates must apply to the university and department for the Clear Induction Program and complete an Induction program of studies.
    • Complete a program of studies and experiences (see Special Education  section of Catalog).
    • Professional portfolio demonstrating advanced knowledge and skills.
    • Grades of “B” or better in all courses for credential.