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Secondary (Single Subject) Teaching Credential Guide

I have completed a teacher preparation program (or alternative program) outside of California, have been issued an out-of-state teaching credential, and wish to obtain certification in California at the Secondary level.



I have less than two years of out-of-state teaching experience.

An individual prepared out-of-state who has less than two years of out-of-state full-time teaching experience may qualify for a preliminary California teaching credential by documenting all of the following:

  1. Transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university

  2. Individuals may be issued a preliminary credential prior to satisfying the basic skills requirement but must meet the requirement within one year of their credential issue date. See Commission leaflet CL-667 [PDF], entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information.

  3. Comparable teaching credential (see Closely Related Single Subjects at the bottom of this page) earned in a state other than California based upon completion of a professional preparation program (or alternative program) in secondary education, including student teaching, taken at a regionally-accredited institution.

  4. Completed application [PDF] and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed LiveScan Receipt [PDF]. Out-of-state residents have the option of submitting two fingerprint cards in lieu of a LiveScan Receipt [PDF]. If submitting fingerprint cards, current fingerprint processing fees must accompany the application packet in addition to the application processing fee. Fingerprint cards may be ordered by sending an e-mail to credentials@ctc.ca.gov.

  5. Application processing fee [PDF]
There are additional requirements to qualify for the clear credential. If all requirements for the preliminary and clear credential are met with the initial application, the individual will be issued the clear credential and not the preliminary.

Individuals may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting an application [PDF] and processing fees [PDF] with documentation of all of the following:

  1. Meet subject-matter competence, (See Subject Matter Competence, at the bottom of this section) if not met with the issuance of the preliminary. Subject matter competence is required if the subject area listed on the out-of-state teaching credential is in a subject other than a closely related single subject. (see Closely Related Single Subjects at the bottom of this page)

  2. Verify completion of the professional-level requirement. (See Commission-approved Professional Teacher Induction Program) A professional teacher induction program is a program of situated learning for the preliminary credentialed teacher. A Verification of Induction Program Completion Form must be signed by the Induction Program director or designee.

  3. Earn an authorization to teach English learners by one of the following methods:

  1. Possess a Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate or Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) Certificate or a Certificate of Completion of Staff Development issued by the Commission

  2. Holders of an out-of-state teaching credential with an English learner authorization will need to earn a CLAD Certificate. If the application for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is submitted with evidence of the out-of-state English learner authorization, the credential will be issued with the English learner authorization and individuals will not be required to obtain a separate CLAD Certificate. A separate application and fee will not be required.
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I have two or more years of out-of-state teaching experience.

An individual prepared out-of-state who has two or more years of out-of-state full-time teaching experience may qualify for a preliminary California teaching credential by documenting all of the following:

  1. Transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university

  2. Individuals may be issued a preliminary credential prior to satisfying the basic skills requirement but must meet the requirement within one year of their credential issue date. See Commission leaflet CL-667 [PDF], entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information.

  3. Comparable teaching credential (see Closely Related Single Subjects at the bottom of this page) earned in a state other than California based upon completion of a professional preparation program (or alternative program) in secondary education, including student teaching, taken at a regionally-accredited institution.

  4. Verification of two years or more of out-of-state full-time teaching experience

  5. Original evaluations or photocopies of the teacher's performance for at least two years of teaching must be submitted
  • Experience must be full-time teaching; no part-time or a combination of teaching and other school employment will be accepted

  • All experience must be gained in regionally-accredited schools in states or U.S. Territory other than California

  • Teaching experience does not need to correspond with the type of certification requested and may be a combination of regular education and special education

  • Adult and vocational education experience is not acceptable

  • Teaching experience gained in California is not acceptable

  • Teaching experience must be verified by the superintendent, assistant superintendent, or director of personnel on official letterhead of the district or districts where the teacher was employed

  • Day-to-day substitute teaching experience is not acceptable
  1. Completed application [PDF] and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed LiveScan Receipt [PDF]. Out-of-state residents have the option of submitting two fingerprint cards in lieu of a LiveScan Receipt [PDF]. If submitting fingerprint cards, current fingerprint processing fees must accompany the application packet in addition to the application processing fee. Fingerprint cards may be ordered by sending an e-mail to credentials@ctc.ca.gov.

  2. Application processing fee [PDF]
There are additional requirements to qualify for the clear credential. If all requirements for the preliminary and clear credential are met with the initial application, the individual will be issued the clear credential and not the preliminary.

Individuals may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting an application [PDF] and processing fees [PDF] with documentation of all of the following:

  1. Meet subject-matter competence, (See Subject Matter Competence, at the bottom of this section) if not met with the issuance of the preliminary. Subject matter competence is required if the subject area listed on the out-of-state teaching credential is in a subject other than a closely related single subject. (see Closely Related Single Subjects at the bottom of this page)

  2. Complete the professional-level requirement by one of the following methods:
  1. 150 clock hours of professional activities, documented on Verification of Completion Form [PDF]

  2. A master's degree or higher or an equivalent number of units in a field related to the credential from a regionally-accredited university

  3. A bachelor's degree that consisted of a minimum of 150 semester units (or 225 quarter units). The course work must have been completed prior to receiving the bachelor's degree. See Coded Correspondence 00-0015 for additional information.
  1. Earn an authorization to teach English learners by one of the following methods:
  1. Possess a Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate or Bilingual, Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) Certificate or a Certificate of Completion of Staff Development issued by the Commission

  2. Holders of an out-of-state teaching credential with an English learner authorization will need to earn a CLAD Certificate. If the application for the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential is submitted with evidence of the out-of-state English learner authorization, the credential will be issued with the English learner authorization and individuals will not be required to obtain a separate CLAD Certificate. A separate application and fee will not be required.

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Closely Related Single Subjects
Applicants applying under Route 1 or Route 2 must have either an out-of-state credential in the subject area sought or in a closely related subject acceptable to the Commission. If the subject listed on the out-of-state credential does not appear within the list below, Commission staff will evaluate the individual's transcripts for subject matter competence by looking for 32 semester units in the subject area.

The academic majors for single subject credentials include the following:

Agriculture: agribusiness, animal science, agriculture mechanics, agriculture science, forestry, plant science, landscaping, crop science, dairy science, natural resources management, horticulture, or soil science

Art: art history, art appreciation or studio art

Business: accounting, business management, economics (business), business administration, finance, or marketing

English: composition, drama, journalism, speech, theatre arts, debate, forensics, or literature

Health Science: child development, foods, nutrition, health science, human sexuality, or public health

Home Economics: child development, foods, nutrition, interior design, or clothing

Industrial and Technology Education: photography, radio and television, industrial technology, computer education/science, or industrial design

Language Other than English: French, German, Spanish, or any language other than English, including American Sign Language

Mathematics: algebra, calculus, statistics, probability, or mathematics

Music: instrumental or vocal music

Physical Education: dance, kinesiology or physical education

Science: Biological Sciences: biology, marine biology, anatomy, ecology, environmental science, genetics, zoology, physiology, life science, or botany

Science: Chemistry: chemistry or biochemistry

Science: Geoscience: astronomy, earth science, ecology, oceanography, meteorology, or geology

Science: Physics: physics or thermodynamics

Social Science: anthropology, economics (social science), psychology, sociology, geography, government, political science, or history



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Subject Matter Competence
The out-of-state credential authorization must correspond to a California subject area in order for the Commission to issue a credential. If the credential is in a subject area that does not correspond with an area that may be listed on a California credential, the candidate must have completed 32 semester units of course work in the California subject area. If the subject matter course work has not been completed, a preliminary credential will be issued but the applicant will be required to meet California subject-matter requirements before the clear credential may be issued.

See Commission leaflet Verifying Subject Matter Competence for Single Subject Teaching Credentials [PDF] for more information.



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Updated April 14, 2010