Subject Matter Requirements

Subject Matter Competency acknowledges understanding of the subject one intends to teach.

Due to COVID-19 and test cancellations, students may be able to begin a credential program without completing these requirements. Regardless, these requirements must be met in order to receive a California teaching credential. Please refer to program admission websites for more details.

In order to receive a teaching credential, you must prove you are knowledgeable in the subject you plan to teach. There are 5 ways to meet the subject matter requirement.

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

Successful completion of a bachelor's degree or higher (master's or doctoral degree) from a regionally accredited college or university in the subject you plan to teach.

  • For single subject credentials, a major in one of the subject areas in which the state credentials candidates. For those who want to teach Social Sciences/History or P.E. the SMPP or CSET should be taken (see options below) as there are no approved majors for this option.
  • For multiple subject credentials, a liberal studies major or other interdisciplinary degree that includes coursework in the content areas (language studies, literature, math, science, social sciences, history, the arts, physical education and human development). Please note, the Child & Adolescent Studies major is not an approved major for this option.
  • For education specialist credentials, the options available for the single subject or the multiple subject credentials as noted above apply.

Please review our list of majorsPDF File to determine if your degree meets the subject matter requirement.

OPTION 2: COMPLETION OF COURSEWORK THAT ADDRESSES EACH DOMAIN OF THE SUBJECT MATTER

Complete the coursework as noted below for the subject in which you plan to earn a credential. Coursework evaluations are only available for current CSUF students, CSUF alumni or those applying to a CSUF credential program and have paid the credential application feeOpens in new window

Coursework option for Elementary Education pathwaysPDF File : this option can be used to satisfy the subject matter requirement for the Multiple Subject or Education Specialist Credentials.

Coursework option for the Social Science credentialPDF File : this option can be used to satisfy subject matter requirement for the Social Science Single Subject or Education Specialist Credentials

Coursework option for the Physical Education credentialPDF File : this option can be used to satisfy subject matter requirement for the Physical Education Single Subject or Education Specialist Credentials.

Additional subjects coming soon...

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

The California Subject Exams for Teachers, CSET exams, are available for each subject in which a credential can be obtained. If you are a current CSUF student and need to take the CSET exams, you have access free test prep resources.

OPTION 4: COMBINATION OF COURSEWORK AND CSET

Use a combination of options 2 and 3 above to meet subject matter requirements. For example, you may complete coursework to satisfy the domains measured in CSET subtests 1 and 3 of the multiple subjects CSET exams and obtain a passing score on CSET subtest 2 of the multiple subject CSET exam to meet the subject matter requirement for the multiple subject credential. 

OPTION 5: 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 requirement would have to be met using another option (unless a state-approved subject matter preparation program was completed at another institution). 

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.

ELEMENTARY (TK-8)PDF File

  • The Elementary Subject Matter Waiver program is for those majoring in Child and Adolescent Studies: Elementary School Settings Concentration. You must complete each of the courses as prescribed in the course list (includes general education, major courses and credential program pre-requisties).
  • For Transfer Students: You may be able to complete the lower division requirements for the Elementary Subject Matter waiver at your community college. Please review our equivalency chart for a list of courses at our regional Community Colleges.

EnglishPDF File  

Subject Area Advisors: 

English Department Advisors

The English credential used to also include the authorization to teach Theatre courses. Effective January 1, 2022 this will no longer be the case and a Theatre credential will be required to teach Theatre courses. If you would like to teach Theatre please make an appointment with one of our advisors to learn more about how to prepare for this new option. For assistance with the Theatre major preparation, please visit the Department of Theatre and Dance. Please note: teachers who hold an English credential or have started the English credential program prior to January 1, 2022 will still be able to teach Theatre courses if they hold an English credential.

Some lower division coursework may be completed at the community college to meet subject matter preparation program requirements.  Articulated Courses for the CSUF English SMPPPDF File

English Language DevelopmentPDF File Opens in new window  

Subject Area Advisors:

FrenchPDF File Opens in new window

Subject Area Advisors:

MathematicsPDF File Opens in new window

Subject Area Advisors: mathcredential@fullerton.edu 

  • Alison Marzocchi
  • Cherie Ichinose

Some lower division coursework may be completed at the community college to meet subject matter preparation program requirements.  Articulated Courses for the CSUF Math SMPPPDF File

Music - Choral TrackPDF File Opens in new window

Music - General TrackPDF File Opens in new window

Music - Instrumental TrackPDF File Opens in new window

Subject Area Advisors for all Music tracks:

Physical EducationPDF File

Subject Area Advisors:

The Physical Education credential used to also include the authorization to teach Dance courses. Effective January 1, 2022 this will no longer be the case and a Dance credential will be required to teach Dance courses. If you plan to teach Dance please make an appointment with one of our advisors to learn more about how to prepare for this new option. For assistance with the Dance major preparation, please contact Debra Noble in the Department of Theatre and Dance, dnoble@fullerton.edu.  Please note: teachers who hold a PE credential or have started the PE credential program prior to January 1, 2022 will still be able to teach Dance courses if they hold a PE credential.

Social SciencesPDF File Opens in new window

Subject Area Advisors:

Some lower division coursework may be completed at the community college to meet subject matter preparation program requirements.  Articulated Courses for the CSUF Social Sciences SMPPPDF File

SpanishPDF File Opens in new window

Subject Area Advisors: