Important Dates

  Summer 2023
Cal State Apply Deadline February 1, 2023
SSTEP Application Deadline February 1, 2023 (Upload to Cal State Apply)
Professional Aptitude Interview TBD - February 2023
Basic Skills Completion May 1, 2023

Subject Matter Competency/CSET 


May 1, 2023
Start of program Summer Quarter - July 2023
End of program Spring Quarter - June 2024

Admission Requirements & How to Apply

Please Note: The Single Subject Credential Program only starts once per year in the summer term. All applicants must submit a Summer term application by the February 1st deadline and have their bachelor’s degree conferred prior to the program start in July.


  1. Bachelor’s degree in progress or completed from a regionally accredited institution. Must have a bachelor’s degree conferred prior to the program start in July.
  2. GPA - Cumulative higher education grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 for my last 90 quarter units (or 60 semester units) OR have a Higher Education cumulative GPA of 2.67. If below the required GPA for both categories, contact your program advisor as soon as possible.
  3. Meet with your Single Subject Content Advisor to verify completion of prerequisite courses:
    • An approved early field-experience course (e.g., EDUC 300 or SCM 300) to include 45 hours of fieldwork in a K-12 public school. Complete the Verification of Early Field Experience form with your content advisor.
    • ENGL 361: Reading Instruction in Adolescent Literature (English candidates only; offered at Cal Poly spring quarter only) If you are fulfilling this requirement via a course substitution, please complete the Approval of Course Substitution form with your content advisor.
  4. Verification of Subject Matter Competency – Individuals may satisfy the subject matter competency requirement by completing one of the following methods:
    • Commission-Approved Subject Matter Waiver Program
    • California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) - Successful passing of all the CSET subtests specific to your credential objective. See the Competency Requirements & Prep Resources page for more details. 
    • Holding a bachelor's or higher in an approved major - AB 130 expands the available options to allow candidates to meet the Subject Matter Requirement through successful completion of an academic major in the subject they will teach. See the Competency Requirements & Prep Resources page for more details. 

    • Coursework via a Cal Poly SMC Evaluation - AB 130 allows candidates to use qualifying coursework to meet the domains of CSET subtests. This option allows for some subtests to be met by coursework and some to be met by passing the CSET. For example, a candidate may meet Social Sciences CSET Subtest I with qualifying coursework, and meet Subtests II & III by passing the exams. 

      • Candidates are only eligible to request Cal Poly SMC Evaluations if they are affiliated with Cal Poly, including candidates who: 

        • Completed an undergraduate degree at Cal Poly and are applying to enroll in an Educator Preparation Program at Cal Poly*

        • Completed an undergraduate degree at another institution and are applying to enroll in an Educator Preparation Program at Cal Poly 

      • Cal Poly SMC Evaluations can be requested by emailing the SOE Credential Office at soe@calpoly.eduInclude the following information in your email: full first and last name, EMPL ID (if Cal Poly undergrad), degree-granting institution, the credential program of interest, and the Cal State Apply admission deadline for the quarter you are planning to submit an application for.

  5. Basic Skills Requirement - Individuals may satisfy the basic skills requirement by mixing and matching the following methods ensuring they meet the proficiency requirement in all three areas: reading, writing, and math. Candidates should submit a Basic Skills Evaluation Request Form for review to
    • California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
    • Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP - Mathematics and English)
    • Pass the CSU Placement Examinations (ELM and EPT),
    • ACT Scores (23 or higher in Mathematics and 22 or higher in English)
    • SAT Scores (prior to 2016 - 550 or higher in Mathematics and 500 or higher in Reading, after 2016 - 570 or higher in Mathematics and 560 or higher in Reading/Writing)
    • AP Scores
    • Coursework: Courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university for credit, passed with a grade of B- or better, be degree applicable, and be at least 3-semester units (or equivalent quarter units).
      • For reading proficiency: a course in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis.
      • For writing proficiency: a course in composition, English, rhetoric, written communication, or writing.
      • For mathematics proficiency: a course in algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics.
    • (See, Basic Skills Requirement for an explanation of options to meet BSR, also see AB-130 Coded Correspondence for additional information)
  6. Certificate of Clearance (COC) – Complete the two-step process* including LiveScan fingerprinting and COC application on the CTC website and ensure issuance of a Certificate of Clearance. *COC Instruction Sheet & LiveScan Form
  7. Two letters of recommendation - applicants will input the name and email address of two references who will complete a survey and upload a letter of recommendation
  8. Professional Aptitude Interview



  1. Complete the SSTEP Application in its entirety ensuring all requirements are fulfilled, all required signatures are present, and necessary attachments are gathered. Download the application and save it to your computer before completing it. 
  2. Submit a Graduate application to Cal Poly as "Credential Only" for summer term online via Cal State Apply by the February 1st deadline for a summer start. Visit the Cal State Apply Help Center for more information. Please note there is a $70 application fee for Cal State Apply.
  3. Upload the following requirements with the Cal State Apply application:
  • SSTEP application and necessary attachments as “Supplemental Materials.”
  • Issuance of Certificate of Clearance
  • Evidence of Subject Matter Competency 
  • Evidence of passing Basic Skills Requirement (BSR)
  • Name and email of 2 individuals to submit a letter of recommendation

    4. Send official transcripts by February 1st to the Cal Poly Admissions office directly from the degree-granting institution.

  • Instructions on how to submit your official transcripts
  • Cal Poly bachelor's degree holders do not need to provide transcripts
  • Transcripts verifying Community College and/or Graduate-level coursework should also be sent to Cal Poly Admissions

   5. Complete Professional Aptitude Interview (PAI) (Late February)

  • You will be contacted by your content advisor with your interview date and time.
  • Download the Professional Aptitude Interview Packet and submit the required documents to your content advisor at least 1 week prior to your interview. 

Find deadlines and information regarding prerequisites and requirements in the SSTEP Overview of Prerequisite Document.

Cal State Apply Q&A Sessions

These sessions are designed for those with in-progress Cal State Apply applications for the upcoming application cycle. This session will not cover general program info but is only offered for current applicants ready to hit submit on their application. 

Summer 2023 Single Subject - Application deadline is February 1, 2023

  • TBD

Related Content

School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407