California authorizes self-contained teaching, typically found in elementary schools, via the >Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential

Minimum Requirements

To qualify for this credential based on out-of-state preparation, you must submit the following minimum requirements:

  1. Application Form (41-4) and processing fee.
    See the application instructions to be sure the form is properly filled out.
  2. Official transcripts verifying your Bachelor's degree (and any additional higher degrees). The transcripts must be the original college issued documents, not photocopies, but they do not have to be sealed in the original envelope.
  3. A copy of your professional-level out-of-state teaching license authorizing elementary school teaching. Be sure to include a copy of the back of the document if the back has any licensing information or authorizations printed on it.
  4. Evidence of fingerprint processing. See Credential Leaflet CL-271 regarding fingerprint requirements.


Suggested for Submission

The following documentation is suggested, but not required, for initial certification. If you have any of the following additional information please include it with your application packet so that the Commission can clear you of future renewal requirements:

  1. A copy of an out-of-state examination that meets the requirements for the California Basic Skills Examination.
    See Credential Leaflet CL-667 for additional information, including examples of out-of-state examinations that meet this requirement.
    Note: An applicant who does not meet this requirement with their initial application will have one year to complete the Basic Skills Requirement. Failure to do so after one year will make them ineligible for California public school employment.
  2. If applicable, verification of two or more years of successful full-time out-of-state teaching experience.
    Experience verification must include an original letter from your out-of-state employer(s) AND two years of satisfactory performance evaluations. See the definitions for "Full-Time Teaching Experience" and "Satisfactory Performance Evaluations" on page 5 of Commission Leaflet CL-561 for detailed information on what your experience letters and evaluations MUST include.

California has a two-tier credential structure. A preliminary credential is the first document issued after an individual meets basic credential requirements. The preliminary credential is issued for a maximum of five years. A clear credential is issued when all credential requirements have been completed. 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.

Updated August 22, 2023