Demonstration of Subject Matter

California Education Code requires that all candidates for a teaching credential must demonstrate they are proficient in the subject matter area of their intended credential.  Recent action by the Governor and the Legislature on AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statutes of 2021) has expanded the ways in which candidates may demonstrate subject matter proficiency.  At this time, some aspects of the new law may be implemented while other aspects require regulatory approval by the Office of Administrative Law.  The information below describes the various options allowable by this new law.  Program Sponsor Alert 21-10 provides detail on what aspects are currently available for implementation and which aspects the Commission is seeking regulatory language.  To ensure timely implementation of this law, the Commission is seeking emergency regulations and will notify educator preparation programs when the regulations are approved.  

Candidates interested in taking advantage of the new options should contact their current or prospective program sponsor (college, university, or – for District Interns – employer).

Subject matter proficiency may be demonstrated through one of the following options:

1) Completion of a subject matter program approved by the commission.

2) Passage of a subject matter examination (the California Subject Examination for Teachers or CSET).

3) Successful completion of coursework at one or more regionally accredited institutions of higher education that addresses each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282, as verified by a Commission-approved program of professional preparation.  This option is only available at this time at institutions with Commission-approved subject matter preparation programs.  See PSA 21-10.

4) Successful completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with the following, as applicable:

  • For single subject credentials, a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates. 
  • For multiple subject credentials, a liberal studies major or other degree that includes coursework in the content areas pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44282.  See PSA 21-10.
  • For education specialist credentials, either a major in one of the subject areas in which the commission credentials candidates or a liberal studies or other major that includes coursework in the content areas pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 44282. See PSA 21-10. 

5) Through a combination of the methods described in clauses (1), (2), and (3) in whole or in part, has met or exceeded each of the domains of the subject matter requirements adopted by the commission in the content area of the credential pursuant to Section 44282 for multiple and single subject credentials, or pursuant to Section 44265 for education specialist credentials.  This option is only available at this time at institutions with Commission-approved subject matter preparation programs.  See PSA 21-10.

Materials to Assist Institutions in Implementing the Coursework and Combination CSET/Coursework Options for Determining Subject Matter Proficiency

Domains of the Subject Matter Requirements: This document contains descriptive information on each credential subject area of the content in each domain as developed by content experts and adopted by the Commission.  This document will be useful for educator preparation programs to determine if coursework taken by a candidate addresses the content in the subject matter domains.  This document will be a necessary tool for preparation programs to verify demonstration of subject matter through coursework or through the combination/coursework option.   

Subject Matter Domains and CSET Examination by Subtest: This document describes the organization of each subject matter examination for all credential areas and the domains assessed by each subtest.  This document will be necessary for preparation programs to use when determining whether candidates have satisfied the subject matter requirement through the combination of CSET and coursework.

Additional Resources

Who to Contact for Questions:

  • subjectmatterprogram@ctc.ca.gov- Subject matter program approval process.
  • credentials@ctc.ca.gov - Credential related questions.
    • Note: Please discuss your options with you educator preparation program, first.  Programs make the determination of whether and how you have met the subject matter requirement in accordance with the law and will be recommending you for the credential.
  • accreditation@ctc.ca.gov - Educator preparation program related questions.
Updated September 15, 2021