Subject Matter Competency Requirement

In order to receive a teaching credential, you must prove you are knowledgeable in the subject you plan to teach. There are several options to meet the subject matter competency requirement:

OPTION 1: EARN A DEGREE IN THE SUBJECT YOU PLAN TO TEACH

If you earn a degree in the subject for which you plan to obtain a credential, you have met subject matter competency requirements. For example, if you complete a bachelor's degree in Math you have met subject matter competency for the Single Subject Credential in Math. For the Multiple Subject Credential program (for future elementary school teachers), a degree in Liberal Studies satifies subject matter competency. For the Education Specialist Credential, following these guidelines as they pertain to the Multiple Subject or Single Subject Credential programs would satisfy subject matter competency. 

OPTION 2: COMPLETE A STATE-APPROVED SUBJECT MATTER PREPARATION PROGRAM (SMPP)

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) approves university subject matter preparation programs (SMPP). Students can document subject matter competency by completing the requirements for these programs. Completing the requirements of such a program takes careful planning; in most instances, simply earning the bachelor’s degree in the subject does not automatically meet all of the requirements for the SMPP. Please note, Advance Placement (AP) credit may also be used to meet requirements on the SMPP. Please see one of our Advisors or a Subject Area Advisor for more information.

Below are the current CSUF state-approved preparation plans. If you do not see a subject listed, it is not offered at CSUF for that credential, thus the subject matter competency would have to be met using option 2 (unless a subject matter preparation program was completed at another institution with a state approved program). 

For CSUF Graduates only: After completing the subject matter preparation program, please contact the Subject Area Advisor to receive a final formal evaluation. You will submit the final evaluation with your credential program application as your proof of meeting subject matter competency.

Transfer Students: Some lower division coursework may be completed at the community college to meet subject matter preparation program requirements. The articulated courses for the English, Math and Social Sciences SMPPs are included below.

Articulated Courses for the CSUF English SMPPPDF File

Articulated Courses for the CSUF Math SMPPPDF File

Articulated Courses for the CSUF Social Sciences SMPPPDF File

OPTION 3: PASS THE STATE-APPROVED SUBJECT MATTER CSET EXAM

The CCTC offers subject matter exams for each subject in which a credential can be obtained. These are known as the California Subject Exams for Teachers, or CSET exams. If a subject matter preparation plan is not offered in the subject you wish to teach, you must pass the CSET exam(s) to prove subject matter competency. We recommend that undergraduates complete courses in the corresponding subject whenever possible as these will assist the student in preparing for the test. The exam option is also best for those students who decide later in their academic careers to become teachers and for whom the SMPP would require an excessive number of extra classes to complete.

OPTION 4: COMBINATION OF COURSEWORK AND EXAMS

Please check back for more information about this option.