Single Subject Credential

Teaching high school mathematics in California requires a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. This is a 1-year post-baccalaureate program that is typically completed immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. California State University, Fullerton offers the only nationally accredited program in Orange County, and graduates of the CSUF Single Subject Credential in Mathematics program have been highly successful in their teaching careers. Please contact Dr. Alison Marzocchi at if you have questions remaining after reading these pages.  


Admission Requirements

In order to apply to the program, students must complete both of the following requirements:

(1) Subject Matter Preparation: Secondary teachers must be competent and knowledgeable in the subject(s) they teach. This competency may be documented in one of two ways:

(1a) Subject Matter Preparation Program (SMPP) coursework option. Also known as the “math major” option, candidates may demonstrate subject matter preparation by completing a series of coursework equivalent to earning a B.A. in Mathematics in the Teaching Concentration, or in another concentration with a Teaching cognate. This series of coursework is referred to as a Subject Matter Preparation Program Opens in new window . CSUF offers this option as do some other universities. 

(1b) CSET option. Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, or have a mathematics degree from a university that does not offer the SMPP, may demonstrate subject matter preparation by successfully passing the California Subject Exam for Teachers. Three subtests are required:

       (i) 110 Subtest I Mathematics Algebra; Number Theory

       (ii) 111 Subtest II Mathematics Geometry; Probability and Statistics

       (iii) 112 Subtest III Mathematics Calculus; History of Mathematics

More information is available at the California Educator Credentialing Examinations. Opens in new window

(2) Prerequisite Education Coursework. Secondary teachers must successfully complete a series of prerequisite education courses before entering the credential program. These courses are

       (2a) EDSC 310

       (2b) EDSC 320

       (2c) EDSC 330

       (2d) EDSC 340

       (2e) In addition, EDSC 304 and EDSC 410 may be taken before or during the credential program. However, it is highly recommended to complete all six EDSC courses BEFORE starting the credential program.

Additional information on applying to the program can be found at the College of Education credential program. Opens in new window


Credential Coursework

The credential program normally requires two semesters of coursework:

In the Extern Semester (First Semester), candidates complete 250 hours of fieldwork and are gradually inducted into the student teaching experience in an environment of collegiality and support. They become familiar with their master teachers and the characteristics, programs, and cultures of their school assignments. They also attend weekly seminars on general pedagogy (EDSC 440S) and content-specific methods (MAED 442). Throughout the program, candidatures develop skills and knowledge to meet the California Teaching Performance Expectations. They are observed at least six times by a University Supervisor and complete the Teaching Performance Assessments requirements.

In the Student Teaching Semester, (Second Semester) of the program, each student teacher takes full control of three classes per day for 18 weeks and has a conference and preparation period. During this semester, candidates attend a weekly content-specific seminar (449S), are again observed at least six times by their University Supervisor and complete additional Teaching Performance Assessment requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum mathematics that I need?
You must be Subject Matter Competent to enter the program. See Admission Requirements, above.

How long does it take to earn a credential?
The program takes one full year. During this year, it will be nearly impossible for you to hold a full time job because you will be in a classroom at least five hours a day in addition to having classes and homework at night.

Is there any financing available to me?
Here are four places to check for financial aid:

(1) CSU Paying for College website Opens in new window

(2) Teacher and Educator Preparation website Opens in new window

(3) CSUF Office of Financial Aid website Opens in new window  

(4) The Knowles Teacher Initiative website Opens in new window

When can I start the program? How do I apply?

We accept students for both the fall and spring semesters. The deadline for a fall start is February 15. The deadline for a spring start is September 25. All documentation must be turned in by that time to the Education Office. This means successful passage of CBEST as well as other materials needed. (For the application packet of mandated requirements, please attend an overview held in the Education College.) The SMPP must be near completion or at least two math CSETs must be completed.

What grade point average do I need to be accepted?
In order to be accepted to the program, you must have a 2.75 GPA both overall and also in the major courses. Exceptions to this rule are made only in extreme, rare cases.

What else do I need to be admitted to the university?
All inquiries about admissions to the university should be directed to admissions, not the mathematics department.

 Can I work at the school where I am student teaching?
The program at CSUF requires two semesters to complete.  Accepting a job during the first semester (going Professional Track) is not allowed unless you have already been teaching full time in a public school for at least one year.  Accepting a job during the second semester is sometimes permitted if your supervisor, both master teachers, and the credential coordinator agree individually and as a group that your first semester work is far above average.  This is determined on a case by case basis and is not always granted.

 I do not have all of the required courses.  Do I need to return to college?
If your major is fairly close to a mathematics major (see the list of required courses), an engineering degree for example, you may want to consider taking the state approved CSET exams instead of taking the courses required for the SMPP.  See Admissions Requirements, above.

For general information or questions about the overall CSUF Single Subject Credential Program please see the Secondary Education website. Opens in new window