To become a high school teacher in California you must obtain a Single Subject Teaching credential. This credential authorizes an individual to teach grades 8-12.
You can become a high school teacher through multiple pathways, however, specific majors might be recommended. For example, it is recommended that you major in Math if you want to teach Math. In the case of social science, there are a variety of majors to choose from because the social science subject matter preparation program can be efficiently combined with American Studies, Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science or Sociology. Students interested in teaching History, Economics, Geography or Government at the middle school or high school level should consider one of the abovementioned majors. Thus, depending on your educational and career goals, any major can be combined with the requirements for the appropriate credential. In addition, credential program requirements change often. So, the best advice for a future high school teacher is to meet with an advisor often. The advisors in the Center for Careers in Teaching will help you design a study plan that combines your major, general education, elective courses (if needed), subject matter competency and credential pre-requisites into one plan.
For the Single Subject Credential you will need to prove subject matter competency for the subject in which you plan to focus. Subject matter competency for the Single Subject credential program is determined by passing the CSET or completing a state-approved subject matter preparation program.
The Center for Careers in Teaching is not your only advising resource. We also recommend that you meet with your major advisor on a regular basis. If you are undeclared, meeting with the advisors in the Center for Careers in Teaching will suffice until you declare a major. They can also help you select a major that fits your educational and career goals.
GE Recommendations for future high school teachers.