Single Subject Program Admission

ADMISSION DEADLINE:

Admit Quarter Application Deadline
Summer  February 1st

Note: The Single Subject Credential Program only starts once per year in the summer term. Bachelor’s degrees must be conferred prior to the program start in July.

The FAFSA application deadline for all program starts is June 30th. Single Subject candidates will need to submit the FAFSA for two academic years due to the Summer start. For more information about the FAFSA and Financial Aid, please reach out to the Cal Poly Financial Aid office at financialaid@calpoly.edu. 

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

1. Bachelor’s degree

Must be in progress or completed from a regionally accredited institution. Must have a bachelor’s degree conferred prior to the program start in July. Cal Poly students cannot take ANY undergraduate courses in the summer if they are starting the credential program in the summer.

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 25 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

Candidates are only required to utilize one of the following options to meet the Subject Matter Competency Requirement. 

 

Bachelor's Degree or Higher

AB 130 expanded 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. Utilize the table below to determine eligibility.

Single Subject Approved Degrees
-Agriculture -Art -Business

-Dance

-English -Health Science -Home Economics -Industrial & Tech Education
-Mathematics (including Statistics) -Music -Phys. Education -Science (including Biology, Chemistry, Geoscience or Earth and Space Science, and Physics)
-Social Science -Theater -World Languages  

Additions added June 30, 2023, in Program Sponsor Alert 24-03:

  1. For the single subject area World Language: English Language Development, an academic degree major in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

  2. For the single subject area of Home Economics, an academic degree major in family and consumer science.

  3. For the single subject area of Mathematics, an academic degree major in statistics.

  4. For the single subject area of Science: Biological Science, an academic degree major in biology, biological engineering, or biochemistry. PROGRAM SPONSOR ALERT 23-04: Approval of Regulations Regarding Demonstration of Subject Matter Competence Page 3

  5. For the single subject area of Science: Chemistry, an academic degree major in chemical engineering or biochemistry.

  6. For the single subject area of Science: Geoscience, an academic degree major in geology or earth science.

  7. For the single subject area of Science: Physics, an academic degree major in mechanical or structural engineering.

  8. For the single subject area of Science: Foundational-Level Science, an academic degree major in any type of engineering or any degree major offered by a college or university science department.

Please email soe@calpoly.edu if you would like additional clarification of approved degrees.

Coursework

AB 130 allows candidates to use qualifying coursework to meet the domains of the CSET subtests. Candidates can determine if they are eligible for this option by requesting a SMC Evaluation.

  • 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* OR,

    • 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.edu

*We are unable to accept requests from Cal Poly undergrads who are not attending a Cal Poly credential program. 

CSET Exams

Successful passing of all the CSET subtests specific to your credential objective

COntent area cset subtests
Agriculture Agriculture Subtests I (172), II (173) & III (174)
Biology

Science: Life Science Subtests I (215) & II (217)

(prior to 8/6/17 I (118), II (119) & III (120))

Chemistry

Science: Chemistry Subtests I (215) & II (218)

(prior to 8/6/17 I (118),

II (119) & III (121)

English English Subtests I (105), II (106), III (107) & IV (108)
Geosciences

Science: Earth & Space Sciences Subtests I (215) & II (219)

(prior to 8/6/17 I (118), II (119) & III (122)

Mathematics Mathematics Subtests I (211), II (212) & III (213)
Physics

Science: Physics Subtests I (215) & II (220)

(prior to 8/6/17 I (118), II (119) & III (123))

Social Science Social Science Subtests I (114), II (115) & III (116)
Spanish Spanish Subtests I (145), II (146) & III (147)

 

Find more information on the CTC Verification of Subject Matter Competence by Examination for Single Subject Candidates site. 

Visit our Subject Matter & Basic Skills Resources page for test prep suggestions!

Exams + Coursework

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 should start by requesting a SMC Evaluation of their coursework to determine which subtests they meet with coursework. The Credential Office will then provide them with instructions on which subtests the candidate needs to take.

  • 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* OR,

    • 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.edu.

*We are unable to accept requests from Cal Poly undergrads who are not attending a Cal Poly credential program. 

Subject Matter Preparation Program

Completion of a subject matter program approved by the commission.

Single subject content area Cal Poly Prep program offered?
Agriculture Yes - Agriculture
English Yes - English
Mathematics Yes - Mathematics
Music (Credential Not Offered @ Cal Poly) Yes - Music
Science No
Social Science Yes - Social Science
Spanish No 

 

We recommend reaching out to the Credential Advisors for support in determining how you will meet Subject Matter Competence. 

 

Credential Office Advising

Please email soe@calpoly.edu with questions.

Credential Office Advising Hours

Use Bookings* to schedule a virtual advising appointment.

 

*Alternate times are available by appointment; please email for additional times.

5. Basic Skills Requirement

A candidate’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education will serve as demonstration of basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics.

PROGRAM SPONSOR ALERT 24-07 - SUBJECT: BACHELOR’S DEGREE AS DEMONSTRATION OF BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT - 7/1/2024

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

 

 

HOW TO APPLY:

1. Complete the SSTEP Application
A completed SSTEP Application ensures 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
Submit a Graduate application to Cal Poly as "Credential Only" for the 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 required documentation
  • SSTEP application and necessary attachments as “Supplemental Materials.”
  • 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
Transcripts must be sent 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 Orientation
  • You will be contacted by your content advisor after applications close (Feb 1st) with an interview date and time. Interviews will occur following the orientation or a nearby date. 
  • Download the Professional Aptitude Interview Packet and submit the required documents to your content advisor at least 1 week prior to your interview. 

 

PROGRAM APPLICATION OFFICE HOURS

These office hours will be held on Zoom and are open to anyone
who would like support with credential applications. Pop in and
ask your questions without having to schedule an appointment.

 

Thursdays in January 2025 (9, 16, 23, & 30) 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

PROGRAM APPLICATION 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. 

 

Single Subject Summer 2025 - Application deadline is February 1, 2025

PREREQUISITE COURSES:

Work with your content advisor to determine whether you need to meet the following prerequisite course requirements.

Approved early field-experience course

(e.g., EDUC 300 or SCM 300 or approved substitution) to include 25 hours of fieldwork in a K-12 public school. Meet with your content advisor to discuss approved substitutions.

  • EDUC 300  Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Public Education (3 units)
    • Historical, philosophical, and social foundations of public education in relation to the 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.
  • SCM 300 Early Field Experience (4 units)
    • Historical, philosophical, and social foundations of public science and mathematics education. Public school curriculum and professional education dispositions. Structured observation and participation in K-12 public schools with attention to instructional practices for diverse learners. Credit/No Credit grading only. 2 lectures, 2 activities.

 

English candidates only: ENGL 361 - Reading Instruction in Adolescent Literature

(Offered at Cal Poly during 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.

  • ENGL 361 Reading Instruction for the Teaching of Young Adult Literature (5 units)
    • Analysis and evaluation of young adult literature appropriate for classroom instruction in grades 6-12. Special attention is paid to metacognitive strategies for making sense of text with an emphasis on pedagogical approaches. Twenty hours of fieldwork in secondary schools is required. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance. 4 lectures, 1 activity
Meet prerequisites through transfer coursework

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

Provide the following supporting documents via email to soe@calpoly.edu:

(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.

Related Content

DEI in the Bailey College

Learn More

School of Education
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
805.756.2126
soe@calpoly.edu