Single Subject Credential

Teaching high school mathematics in California requires a Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. California State University, Fullerton offers a two-semester post-baccalaureate program to earn this credential. CSUF 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. After carefully reading this page, please contact the coordinator at if you have remaining questions. 


Application Process

There are many requirements for applying to the credential program. Applicants typically spend several months preparing their application materials. Please note the deadline to apply for a fall start is February 15 and for a spring start is September 25.

To clarify the application process, you should attend an Admissions Overview offered by the CSUF Department of Secondary Education. Visit the Credential Program Admissions siteOpens in new window for more information.


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 ProgramOpens in new window . CSUF offers this option as do some other universities. If you met the SMPP requirements at CSUF, please contact the program's coordinator at several weeks before the application deadline to schedule a SMPP verification meeting. If you met this option at a different university, please contact the mathematics department of that university. 

(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 credential applicants 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. Note that if you are pursuing the SMPP option for subject matter preparation (item 1a above), you must complete EDSC 304 before entering the credential program. Again, we strongly encourage all applicants to complete all six EDSC courses before starting the program.

Additional information on applying to the program and application requirements can be found at the Credential Program Admissions siteOpens in new window .


Credential Coursework

The credential program 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 mentor 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 (MAED 449S), are again observed at least six times by their University Supervisor and complete additional Teaching Performance Assessment requirements.



Please visit the Center for Careers in Teaching ( to book an appointment for advising on teaching careers, explore pathways to the teaching profession, and more. The Center for Careers in Teaching (CCT) provides the following services:

  • Comprehensive academic advisement for CSUF students pursuing a career in education who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree.
  • Academic counseling support to future teachers currently attending one of our partner community colleges and who plan to transfer to CSUF.
  • Information and resources to help students prepare for CSUF's Teaching Credential Programs.
  • Safe space to study, network, write a paper or just relax in between classes.


California State University, Fullerton
College of Education
SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Careers in Teaching
Education Classroom Building 379 (EC-379)
P.O. Box 6868
Fullerton, CA 92831-6868
Phone: (657) 278-7130
Campus Map and Directions

Main Center Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the minimum mathematics that I need?

A: You must be Subject Matter Competent to enter the program. See Admission Requirements, above.


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

A: 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.


Q: What grade point average do I need to be accepted? 

A: In order to be accepted to the program, you must have aminimum 2.67 cumulative GPA or 2.75 in the last 60 semester units. However, priority consideration is given to applicants with a minimum 2.75 overall GPA, 2.75 GPA in the last 60 semester units, and 2.75 GPA for mathematics courses. Exceptions to this are made in rare cases and we may ask for additional documentation.


Q: I was a math major at a university other than CSUF. Does my other university offer the SMPP option for subject matter preparation?

A: This is up to your other university. CSUF does not have this information. Please contact your other university. If your other university offers the SMPP option, you may use this for the subject matter preparation requirement to apply to the credential program at CSUF.


Q: Will another university’s credential program accept CSUF’s SMPP?

A: This is up to the other university. CSUF does not have this information. Please contact the other university.


Q: I was a math major at CSUF many years ago. Can I still complete a SMPP?

A: If the course numbers have not changed since you took the courses, we can verify your SMPP. If any course numbers have changed, you need to visit the mathematics department office in McCarthy 154 to determine course equivalencies before we can verify your SMPP.


Q: I do not fulfil the SMPP requirements but I do not like standardized tests. Can I go back to school and complete the SMPP rather than taking the CSETs?

A: You can but we rarely recommend this. If you are not within a few courses of fulfilling the SMPP requirements, it will typically take far less time and be far less expensive to pursue the CSET option.


Q: I have not attended school for a long time so it will be difficult for me to obtain recommendation letters from faculty. What can I do?

A: We are willing to work with you on this. Please try your best to secure three recommendations from people you have worked with in the field of education. Otherwise, consider requesting letters from bosses or supervisors, leaders in volunteer organizations, parents of children you have tutored, etc. Try to think of recommenders who can speak to your responsibility, motivation, and ability to work well with others (especially adolescents).


Q: I would like to add a math authorization to my existing credential. How do I do this?

A: Please visit the Credential Program Admissions siteOpens in new window for this information.


Q: Can I be paid to student teach (through a job or internship)?

A: We do not allow paid positions in the first semester. Accepting a job or internship during the second semester is sometimes permitted if your supervisor, mentor teacher, 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.


Q: Can I work during the credential program?

A: During the credential program, it is not possible to hold a full time job because you will be in a classroom at least five hours a day in addition to having classes, homework, grading, and planning at night and on the weekends. We also do not recommend part time employment. If you must work, we suggest limiting your work to 10 hours a week.


Q: Is there any financing available to me?

A: The Mathematics Department does not have specific information about financial aid. We recommend contacting the Office of Financial Aid.


Q: How can I earn a substitute teaching credential?

A: School districts set their own requirements for obtaining substitute teaching credentials. The mathematics department does not have this information. Please contact the school district in which you would like to substitute teach.


A: Can I become a middle school mathematics teacher with this credential?

A: Yes, by meeting the Subject Matter Preparation Requirements for the single subject mathematics credential (see above) and completing the credential program, you will be credentialed to teach kindergarten through twelfth grade mathematics. However, if you are especially interested in middle school mathematics, you should consider applying to the Foundational Level Mathematics single subject credential at CSUF. You will still earn the same credential, but your coursework and student teaching placement will emphasize middle school teaching rather than high school teaching.

Please contact Dr. Bridget Druken for more information.


Q: I am moving to another state. Will the other state honor my California teaching credential? OR I am moving from another state. Will California honor my teaching credential from the other state?

A: States set their own requirements for obtaining teaching credentials. The mathematics department does not have this information. Please contact the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the credentialing body for the other state to seek this information.


Q: How should I study for the CBEST or CSET? What courses should I take to prepare for the CBEST or CSET?

A: CSUF does not administer these exams. They are controlled by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Please visit California Commission on Teacher Credentialing resources to find these answers.


Q: What else do I need to be admitted to the university?

A: All inquiries about admission to the university should be directed to admissions, not the mathematics department.