The Single Subject Teaching Credential authorizes the holder to teach the specific subject(s) named on the credential in departmentalized classes, such as those in most middle schools and high schools, in grades preschool, K–12, or in classes organized primarily for adults.
Teaching English Learners
The Single Subject Preliminary Credential 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 Single Subject Teaching Credential.
The statutory subjects available for Single Subject Teaching Credentials are as follows:
Biological Sciences (Specialized) 
Chemistry (Specialized) 
Foundational-Level General Science
Geosciences (Specialized) 
Industrial and Technology Education
Physics (Specialized) 
Science: Biological Sciences
World Language: English Language Development
World Languages-Languages other than English (specify)
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 renewed.
Applicants must satisfy all of the following requirements for the Five-Year Preliminary Teaching Credential:
- Complete a baccalaureate or higher degree, except in professional education, from a regionally accredited college or university.
- Satisfy the basic skills requirement. See Commission leaflet CL-667, entitled Basic Skills Requirement for additional information on acceptable scores and submitting score reports.
- Verify subject matter competence by one of the following methods:
- Achieve a passing score on the appropriate subject-matter examination(s). Information, including passing scores and registration, can be found in Commission leaflet CL-674S entitled Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination for Single Subject Teaching Credentials.
- Complete a Commission-approved 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 approved program.
- For Specialized Science subjects only, individuals may take and pass the appropriate subject matter examinations or obtain verification of completion of subject-matter course work from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Requirements and procedures may be found in Coded Correspondence 03-0010.
- 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 area of the Single Subject Credential.
- Complete a degree major from a regionally-accredited college or university in one of the statutory subjects available for a Single Subject Teaching Credential as listed above. Degree major must be in the subject area being sought.
- 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 area of the Single Subject Credential. Such mixing of options may only be done by candidates enrolled in a Commission-approved preparation program.
- 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.
- Complete a Commission-approved 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):
- 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.
- Instruction in foundational and advanced computer technology that includes general and specialized skills in the use of computers and technology in educational settings.
- 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.
- Obtain a formal recommendation for the credential by the program sponsor.
Note The last administration of the examinations in the Specialized Sciences was July 11, 2015. Applicants will have five years during which to use passing examination scores toward obtaining California certification. The last date to verify subject-matter equivalency. by coursework for any of the Specialized Sciences was July 11, 2015. See Coded Correspondence 14-09.
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 professional teacher preparation program and receive a five-year preliminary credential must earn a clear credential by completing one of the following options:
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 do not obtain Ryan clear teaching credentials by January 1, 2018.
Teachers who are certified by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) after obtaining the California Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential will be issued a Clear Teaching Credential in the subject area in which they have received national certification. (See Table 1)
Individuals applying for the clear credential under Option 2 may apply directly to the Commission for a clear teaching credential by submitting an application by mail including all of the following:
- Photocopy of National Board Certification.
- Completed application (form 41-4), and, if not previously submitted to the Commission, a completed Live Scan receipt (form 41-LS). Out-of-state residents must submit two fingerprint cards (FD-258) in lieu of a Live Scan receipt. If submitting fingerprint cards, current fingerprint processing fees must accompany the application packet.
- Application processing fee.
In addition, individuals may earn an additional credential or add a content subject area to a general education teaching credential based on National Board Certification. This is an option for individuals who earned their original Multiple or Single Subject Credentials, or equivalent previously issued general education teaching credentials, based on completion of a California, out-of-state, or outside the United States preparation program. See Credential Leaflet CL-621A for additional details.
Private School Experience
Individuals who have three or more years teaching experience in a private school should refer to the information leaflet titled Single Subject and Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials – Requirements for Teachers with Private School Experience (CL-834) for information on additional ways to qualify.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification
|National Board Certification||National Board Certification|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Art|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in English|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Industrial and Technology Education|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in World Languages (specify language)|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Health Science|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Mathematics|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education|
|Single Subject Teaching Credential |
Foundational-Level General Science
Science: Biological Sciences
|Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science|
Teachers holding National Board Certification in the area of Adolescence and Young Adulthood Certificate in Science will be issued a California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Foundational-Level General Science unless a specific subject pathway is identified. A specific California science authorization may be issued based upon.
- An out-of-state credential with a matching subject,
- A copy of the individual’s NBPTS “My Profile” status page report which indicates the specific science certificate specialty area in which National Board Certification was issued (a National Board score report will not meet this requirement), or
- Official (original) transcripts from a regionally-accredited college or university showing a bachelor’s or higher degree major or 32 semester units of coursework in the specific Science subject area.
The required documentation must be submitted with the photocopy of the individual’s National Board Certificate and all other supporting materials.
Reference: California Education Code, Sections 44251, 44252, 44257, 44259, 44280, 44281, 44282, 44283, 44310, and 44335; and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Sections 80413 and 80424.