Important Dates

Winter 2024 deadline
MSTEP Application October 1, 2023
Cal State Apply October 1, 2023
Basic Skills Requirement October 1, 2023
Subject Matter Competence/CSET  October 1, 2023
Program Start Winter Quarter - January 8, 2024
Program End Fall Quarter 
fall 2024 deadline
MSTEP Application March 1st, 2024
Cal State Apply March 1st, 2024
Basic Skills Requirement March 1st, 2024
Subject Matter Competence/CSET June 1st, 2024
Program Start Fall Quarter 
Program End Spring Quarter 


MSTEP Program Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

There are two applications to be admitted to the credential program: Cal State Apply and the Multiple Subject Teacher Education Preparation (MSTEP) application

For application assistance and clarification, attend a Multiple Subject Information Meeting.


  1. Bachelor’s degree in progress or completed from a regionally accredited institution
  2. GPA - Cumulative higher education grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 for my last 90 quarter units (or 60 semester units) OR I have a Higher Education cumulative GPA of 2.67. If below the required GPA for both categories, contact the Credential Office as soon as possible.
  3. Prerequisite Coursework (see below)
  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. 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 Multiple Subjects 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. *We are unable to accept requests from Cal Poly undergrads who are not attending a Cal Poly credential program. 

    • (See, AB-130 Coded Correspondence for additional information)
  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)
    • California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET)–Multiple Subject plus CSET–Writing
    • 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
    • Academic
    • Experience with children
  8. Professional Aptitude Interview (see MSTEP application)



Successful completion of the following courses is required for admission into the MSTEP program *:

  • EDUC 207 Children's Learning and Development in Educational Settings (4 units)
    • Study of theories and research about the development and learning of children and young adolescents within diverse backgrounds, and application to teaching in public school settings. Observations/interactions with children in school settings. 3 lectures, 1 activity. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance. Crosslisted as CD/EDUC 207.
      • Cal Poly Child Development majors meet this course requirement by degree.
  • EDUC 300  Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Public Education (3 units); or for Cal Poly LS Majors only, LS 230 Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom I  (2 units) and LS 250  Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom II  (2 units) 
    • Historical, philosophical, and social foundations of public education in relation to school curriculum, instruction, and dispositions of effective teachers. Structured observation and participation in K-12 public schools with attention to instructional practices for diverse learners. 2 lectures, 1 activity. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance.
  • EDUC 427  Theories, Methods, and Assessments of 1st and 2nd Language Acquisition in Schools (4 units)
    • Theories, methods, materials and assessment involved in the instruction of emergent bilingual students. Bilingual, transitional, and English only programs compared across a historical framework. Emphasis on an integrated language arts approach; theories of language acquisition. 3 seminars, 1 activity. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance.
  • EDUC 428  Foundations of K-8 Literacy Teaching and Learning in Schools with Diverse Populations (4 units)
    • Introduction of foundational topics in literacy teaching and learning in K-8 schools with diverse populations. Examination of concepts and theories underlying literacy learning and instruction, and relating research-based patterns of reading and writing development to features of the learner and learning environments. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance. 3 seminars, 1 activity.

Transfer coursework can be reviewed for approval as substitutions for the above prerequisite courses by completing the steps below. *

Prior to submitting your MSTEP application, complete the Request for Course Substitution form, and have each course approved by the Credential Office by emailing and providing the information below for review. If the course is approved by the Credential Office, upload the completed and signed form with your application packet.

Complete the form and provide the following supporting documents:

(1) An unofficial transcript** highlighting the course to be substituted; AND

(2) A copy of the course catalog description from the college you attended; AND

(3) A copy of your course syllabus

* Course substitutions are not guaranteed and requests can be denied if the transfer coursework does not meet the necessary requirements.

** For credential program courses, we will only consider substitutions if you received a grade of “C” or better.


* Prospective students may submit a Cal State Apply application for post-baccalaureate admission to the university to complete prerequisite courses. Prerequisite students will apply to the MSTEP program along with their Cal State Apply and will be conditionally admitted pending prerequisite course completion. 


Related Content

DEI in the Bailey College

Learn More

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