Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Requirements for Teachers Prepared in California

The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in a self-contained classroom, such as the classrooms in most elementary schools, in grades preschool, K–12, or in classes organized primarily for adults. In addition, the holder of a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential may serve in a core or team teaching setting.

Teaching English Learners

The Multiple Subject Preliminary Teacher Preparation Program includes content for teaching English learners that authorizes the credential holder to provide instruction for English language development and specially designed academic instruction in English within the subject area and grade level authorization of the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

Requirements for the Preliminary Credential

The preliminary credential is issued for a maximum of five years. If requirements for the clear credential are not completed before the expiration of the preliminary, the holder will be unable to teach in California’s public schools with that credential until those requirements are met and the document is renewed.

Applicants must satisfy all of the following requirements for the Five-Year Preliminary Teaching Credential:

  1. Complete a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. 

  2. Verify subject matter competence by one of the following methods:
    1. Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject matter examination(s). Information regarding the appropriate subject matter examination(s), including passing scores and registration, can be found in Commission leaflet CL-674M, entitled Verifying Subject Matter Competence by Examination for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials.
    2. Complete a Commission-approved elementary subject-matter program or its equivalent and obtain verification of completion from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an accredited program.
    3. Successful completion of applicable coursework verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation. Coursework must be completed at a regionally-accredited institution and addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the Commission in the content areas of the Multiple Subject Credential.
    4. Complete a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university. For a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, the degree major must be in liberal studies or an interdisciplinary major that includes coursework in the content areas identified in subdivision (b) of California Education Code section 44282.
    5. Successful completion through a combination of coursework and examination options that meet or exceed the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the Commission in the content areas of the Multiple Subject Credential. Such mixing of the options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.

  3. Pass the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). Visit the Commission’s website or the Evaluation Systems, Pearson website at CTC Exams for more information.

  4. Complete a course (two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution or pass an examination given by a regionally-accredited college or university.

  5. Complete a Commission-approved multiple subject teacher preparation program, that includes satisfying the following requirements (content listed below must be addressed in the program but does not require specific standalone courses):
    1. Developing English Language Skills, including Reading, by completing comprehensive reading instruction that includes the following: the systematic study of phonemic awareness, phonics, and decoding; literature, language and comprehension; and diagnostic and early intervention techniques.
    2. Instruction in foundational and advanced computer technology that includes general and specialized skills in the use of computers and technology in educational settings.
    3. Instruction in Health Education, including, but not limited to, nutrition; the physiological and sociological effects of alcohol, narcotics, and drug abuse; the use of tobacco; and provide verification of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that covers infant, child, and adult CPR skills that meets the standards established by the American Heart Association or Red Cross.
    4. Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA)


  6. Obtain a formal recommendation for the credential by the program sponsor.

Note: The final issuance date for an initial Preliminary Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential based on Ryan program completion for California prepared teachers was January 1, 2012. The sunset date includes all routes for an extension by appeal.

Requirements for the Clear Credential

Individuals who complete a teacher preparation program and receive a five-year preliminary credential must earn a clear credential by completing one of the following options:

Option 1

Complete a Commission-approved Teacher Induction Program and submit their application for the clear credential through the Induction Program sponsor.

Note: The final issuance date for an initial Ryan Clear Multiple or Single Subject Teaching Credential for California, out-of-state and out-of-country prepared teachers was January 1, 2018. See Coded Correspondence 17-06 regarding options for individuals who did not obtain Ryan clear teaching credentials by January 1, 2018.

Option 2

Teachers who are certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in one of the qualifying subjects listed below after obtaining the California Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential will be issued a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

National Board Certification:
Early Childhood (ages 3 – 8)/Generalist
Middle Childhood (ages 7 – 12)/Generalist

Individuals applying for the clear credential under Option 2 may apply directly to the Commission by submitting an application by mail including all of the following:

  1. Photocopy of National Board Certification
  2. Completed application (form 41-4)
  3. Application processing fee

Private School Experience

Individuals who have three or more years teaching experience in a private school should refer to the information leaflet entitled Single Subject and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials – Requirements for Teachers with Private School Experience (CL-834) for information on additional ways to qualify.

California Education Code, Sections 44251, 44252, 44259, 44280, 44281, 44283, 44310, and 44335; and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 80413 and 80424.

CL-561C  July, 2018
Updated July 01, 2024