How to Apply | Single Subject Credential Program

  • Alumni Irene Castillon

"What the educator does in teaching is make it possible for the students to become themselves" - Paulo Friere

Potential candidate: We are excited for you to take this next step in your educational journey and apply to enroll in our teacher preparation program! The SJSU Single Subject Credential Program is known for effectively preparing transformative educators at the secondary education level in the San Jose region and beyond. See PayScale ranks SJSU education majors #7 in the nation for salary potential.


New Opportunities for Single Subject Credential Program!

  • Master's in Teaching (MAT):
    Single Subject Candidates can now earn a Master's in Teaching (MAT)  as part of their Credential Program. (Candidates still apply to the Credential Program first). Single Subject Candidates can still complete their credential along with the MAT within three full time semesters. (The MAT and optional Credential-only Pathways are the same length).
  • Bilingual Authorization:
    Bilingual Single Subject Candidates who wish to be able to teach in their Subject Area through the language of Spanish can also apply to earn a Bilingual Authorization (Spanish) during their Single Subject Credential Program. Learn more about the Critical Bilingual Authorization Program here.

Other Concurrent Program Options:

  • Master's in Science Education:
    Science Candidates are encouraged to seek information about a Master's in Science Education--provided concurrently through the Science Education Department--Science Candidates still apply to the Credential Program (rather than Masters/Graduate Program). See Science Education for more details.



Application Updates

Summer/Fall 2021 applicants

We understand that COVID-19 is impacting potential applicants’ ability to complete some of our normal admission requirements. We will update you on all requirements through this web page as we have further information. It is important to note that even if a requirement is waived or deferred, it strengthens your application to complete or show progress toward completing that requirement.

  • Updates as of 9/8/2020 to the Pre-Professional Hours and Certificate of Clearance requirements are detailed below.
  • Updates as of 9/18/2020 to the CBEST and CSET requirements are detailed below.
  • Click here for a one page summary of current requirements. Further information about each requirement is detailed on this "How to Apply" webpage.

For questions about current requirements, please contact our Single Subject Credential Program Coordinator Paula Oakes at or contact the Teacher Education Department at  We are happy to work with you on admissions.



Overview of Eligibility and Application Requirements


To ensure the quality of our program and compliance with California standards, qualified candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree with at least a 2.75 grade point average.  GPA for admission to the university is calculated by the last 60 semester units or by the last 90 quarter units taken or your cumulative GPA, whichever is higher.

Note: International coursework may require additional steps of evaluation. See Graduate admission for more details (include hyperlink) (This requirement also reflects that during the program, you must maintain a B average or better to remain in good standing, and you will need a B average to be able to apply for your credential at the end of the program.).


You will also need to submit the following materials as part of your application:

  1. An official, sealed transcript from each college you have attended
  2. Verification of meeting the Basic Skills requirement (CBEST or equivalent)  (Covid Flexibility--see below)
  3. Completed Certificate of Clearance
  4. 1-page resume
  5. Verification of your completed 45 hours of Pre-Professional Experience
  6. Verification of CSET subject matter competency or Teacher Ed Approved Subject Matter Preparation Program Form (Covid Flexibility--see below)
  7. Two letters of recommendation
  8. 1-page cover letter (optional, unless you are applying for the Yearlong Residency Program, Critical Bilingual Authorization Pathway (CBAP), or Internship Program)



  • Our Deadlines webpage will help you identify when you need to submit your application materials to SJSU via CalState Apply and to our Teacher Education Department.
  • Admissions to this program occur on a semi-rolling basis, so it is in your best interest to apply as soon as you are prepared to.
  • You should begin to schedule your CBEST and CSET exams as soon as you know you will be applying to this program. It can take time to prepare, receive your results, and retake if necessary.
  • See below for required steps prior to application review. Note: each step may have a number of components.


Step 1 | Attend an Applicant Information Session & Meet with Your Subject Area Advisor


  1. RSVP and attend an Applicant Information Session. These sessions provide an overview of the program, address questions and introduce you to advisors and potential future classmates.
  2. Contact your Subject Area Advisor to schedule an appointment to complete the following requirements. The process and availability for each advisor will vary.

 Subject Area Advisor Meeting:

  1. Evaluation of Subject Matter Competency (SMC) 
    • You will have your transcripts evaluated to determine which CSET exams you need to pass, if any.  If you do not have SMC via coursework, you have the option of either taking the additional required coursework or earning passing scores on the required CSET exams in your subject area.
    • Your advisor will forward your SMC Report to the Department of Teacher Education.  This required document must be signed by your Subject Area Advisor in order to be admitted into the credential program.

  2. Writing task
    • You will complete a timed writing task that addresses a specific prompt. This writing sample is reviewed by Teacher Education as part of your application materials.  If you need to retake the writing task, you will be notified by email.  The writing section of the CBEST does not fulfill this requirement.
  3. Interview
    • The interview assesses your dispositions toward the teaching profession and also screens for English oral language proficiency. Be prepared to discuss relevant experience, qualities, and interest in education. If your English oral language proficiency is not at the mid-level advanced as defined by the ACTFL you may be called in for further screening.  
    • NOTE: The English Education Department interviews are held only once each semester: in Fall, the first Friday in November; in Spring, the second Friday of March.


Step 2 | Create Your SJSU Application via CalState Apply


Tip: As you go through the application process, keep copies of everything you submit for your entrance application.  You will need your documents when you apply for your preliminary credential after completing the program.

  1. Create your application
    • Go to the Cal State Apply website, select the term you are applying for at the top of the page, and create your account.
    • NOTE: Apply for the Single Subject Credential Program in CalState Apply -- do not apply for Educ/Curriculum & Instruction.
      • While our traditional credential now includes an option to earn Master's in Teaching (MAT) alongside the credential (same program length), ALL applicants choose and apply to the Single Subject Credential Program Option in Graduate Admissions. In other words, all applicants must begin in the Credential Program. Selecting another program may delay your application.
    • When searching for Graduate programs at San Jose State University, only enter San Jose in the search field (Do not enter SJSU, San Jose State, or San Jose State University ...just enter San Jose. Otherwise our programs will not populate.).
    • If you're unable to find the semester you desire to apply for, and you know the deadline hasn't passed, go to the CalState Apply home page. Then scroll down and click on the "Select a Term to Apply For" drop-down menu. You should see all of the available semesters in that drop-down menu. Choose your desired semester and click Apply. That will take you to your application. If you click on the "Submit Application" tab at the top of your application, it will confirm which semester you're applying for.
    • For any questions about the "Personal Information," “Academic History," and "Supporting Information" sections and the "Home" tab of the "Program Materials" section of the Cal State Apply application portal, please contact Graduate Admissions by email (preferred) at or by phone at 408-283-7500.
    • For any questions regarding the "Program Materials" section (with the exception of the "Home" tab) of the CalState Apply application portal, please read the Program Materials section below or contact us at

  2. Submit your transcripts
    • Official transcripts are required and must be sent to Graduate Admissions.
      • It is preferred that you submit your transcripts after receiving your SJSU ID, account, and email address. Look for an email from SJSU (confirming that your application has been received) approximately 1 week after your CalState Apply online application is submitted. Once you receive that confirmation email, you will get an SJSU ID number and access to your MySJSU account and email.
      • If your university offers official electronic transcripts, we will accept this method of delivery. If your university requires an email address to send an official, electronic transcript, the recipient address is:
      • All mailed transcripts must be sealed and unopened to be accepted as official documents.
        • Transcripts sent by mail should be sent to:
          Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
          San Jose State University
          One Washington Square
          San Jose, CA 95192-0017
    • SJSU students do not have to submit SJSU transcripts with your application.
    • International Applicants: Please also visit the SJSU Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations’ International Steps to Admission webpage for further instructions. If you have any questions regarding these instructions, please contact SJSU Graduate Admissions.


Step 3 | Upload Your Program Materials to Your CalState Apply Application for the SJSU Teacher Education Department


In CalState Apply Under "Program Materials" submit the following:

  • Note: Keep your copies! Application documents are also required at the end of your successful completion of the program in order to apply for your preliminary credential.


  1. Verification of meeting the Basic Skills requirement

    COVID Flexibility for Spring/Summer/Fall 2021 Applicants: We stongly recommend completing this requirement by the point of admission, but you do have the option to defer meeting this requirement until you apply for your Preliminary Credential after completing the program. You will not be able to apply for your Preliminary Credential without this requirement. If you have not completely fulfilled this requirement already, please fill out the COVID-19 Exceptions Form (read/follow instructions on form).

  2. Certificate of Clearance (COC)
    There are 3 steps to obtaining your Certificate of Clearance (CoC). Do not wait until the last minute to request this item, as it can take weeks for the CTC to issue.

    • (COC) Step 1 | Live Scan Service
    • (COC) Step 2 | Certificate of Clearance Application
      • After you’ve completed your Live Scan, complete and submit the CTC Online Application for the Certificate of Clearance (CoC).  The $50 fee for a CoC application is payable by credit card only.
      • When requirements for issuance of the CoC are completed an email will be sent informing the individual that the document has been granted and can be viewed in 48 hours on the CTC website.
    • (COC) Step 3 | Upload a PDF of the granted Certificate of Clearance to your Cal State Apply application or submit the COVID Exceptions Form if you are unable to complete the Live Scan due to COVID-19.

    • Note: An emergency sub permit may be submitted in lieu of the Certificate of Clearance, as long as you ensure the department always has a current, valid copy.

    • District-Level Fingerprint Clearance:  In addition to the required Certificate of Clearance, some school districts also require a district-level clearance prior to student teaching.  Candidates should arrange an appointment with the participating district’s Human Resources Department at least 10 working days before the start of the field placement student-teaching experience to ensure district-level fingerprint clearance is completed.  Candidates may not begin their field placement without having both CCTC and, if required, district-level clearance.

  3. Your Resume
    • Prepare a one-page resume that details your college-level academic, employment, and volunteer experiences. For each position you held, highlight the duties you performed and any accomplishments you achieved. Uploa Editd your resume as a PDF.

  4. Verification of your Pre-Professional Work Experience

    COVID Flexibility for Spring 2021 Applicants: This requirement has been temporarily waived by the CSU Office of the Chancellor. However, we ask you to submit any hours that you have completed. If you have zero hours, upload the COVID Exceptions Form.

    --Any explanation of your work with an interest in work with middle school, high school or other youth is helpful to the review process.

    • Complete a minimum of 45 observation hours of "Pre-Professional Experience" and upload a completed/signed Pre Professional Experience form [pdf] to your Cal State Apply application.
    • Pre-Professional Experience in a public middle or high school during the regular school day schedule is a requirement for admission.  You may contact any California public elementary school school and let them know that you are applying to the SJSU Single Subject Credential Program and need to complete your 45 observation hours of Pre-Professional Experience.  You should observe classes in the subject area you want your credential in.  Twenty of the 45 observation hours may be from other experience with youth, such as: a summer school class at a California public middle school or high school (preferably in the subject area you are seeking a credential in), tutoring, camp counselor position, private school experience, etc.
    • You may also document coursework that included work with secondary youth.
    • If you need assistance with finding a placement to complete these hours, please contact the SJSU Lurie College of Education Student Success Center.

  5. Subject Matter Competency (CSETs or Teacher Prep Program)
    COVID Flexibility for Spring/Summer/Fall 2021 Applicants: If you are meeting this requirement via CSETs, we stongly recommend completing this requirement by the point of admission, but you do have the option to defer meeting this requirement until you apply for your Preliminary Credential after completing the program. You will not be able to apply for your Preliminary Credential without this requirement. If you have not completely fulfilled this requirement already, please fill out the COVID-19 Exceptions Form (read/follow instructions on form).

    • CSET Subject Tests | PDF verifications of your passing scores for all of your CSET subtests must be submitted at the time of application, even if you have already submitted them to your subject area advisor.  The list of CSET subtests is available on the CTC website.  Visit our Test Preparation Resources webpage for several free resources to prepare for passing various CSET exams.
    • Your Subject Area Advisor will identify the method of demonstration. While the advisor will send a copy to teacher education, you will need a copy of your approved teacher waiver program or CSETS. SJSU Lurie College of Education Credential Services can validate waiver programs from other universities.
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation 
    Tips: Be sure to use an early submission deadline for your letters of recommendation.  You will want them to be available as soon as your file is reviewed so the the earlier the deadline you use, the better.  In your message to your recommenders, include the name of the program you are applying for at San Jose State University - Single Subject Teaching Program - as well as the name of the Single Subject Credential Program Coordinator - Paula Oakes.
    • This step is located in the “Recommendations” tab of the “Program Materials” section of your online application.
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation are needed for the department application.  These letters must be from people in a supervisory role who have known you in a professional or educational setting.  Letters must speak to your ability to work with people, experience with youth, your work ethic, your intellectual capabilities, or other characteristics pertinent to teaching.
    • You can submit your application after requesting recommendations.  Once you submit your Cal State Apply application, however, you cannot go back and request more recommendations. Recommendations which are requested from within CalStateApply will be connected to your application once they come in. Additional or alternate letters can be emailed as a Word or PDF attachment directly to the Teacher Education Department to Recommendation letters are an essential component of your application.

  7. Cover Letter
    • If you are applying to the Bilingual Authorization Pathway (BAP), Internship Program, or the Yearlong Residency Program, (which begins during the summer term), please write a 1-page, single spaced cover letter that outlines your teaching and related experiences and skills that you believe make you a good candidate.  Upload a PDF copy to your Cal State Apply application. Other applicants are welcome to submit a cover letter but are not required to.


Next Step | Admissions Decision


Congratulations - if you completed the above steps, you have successfully applied for our SJSU Single Subject Credential Program!  After your application has been reviewed by the SJSU Office of Graduate Admissions, which may take a few weeks, and the Department of Teacher Education, you will receive an email regarding your application status and any next steps. Some candidates are asked in for interviews with Teacher Education depending on their application status or program. You can check the status of your Cal State Apply application by logging into your MySJSU account.