Important Dates

  Fall 2021 (Fall Entry Only)
Cal State Apply Application April 1, 2021
Supplemental Materials April 1, 2021
STEP Application July 1, 2021


Required Examinations for Special Education Program

Basic Skill Requirement

Special Education candidates can satisfy the basic skills requirement in one of four ways:

  1. California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)
  2. California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET)–Multiple Subject plus CSET–Writing.
  3. Pass the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP - Mathematics and English), OR
  4. Pass the CSU Placement Examinations (ELM and EPT)

(See, Basic Skills Requirement for explanation of options to meet BSR)

California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET)

CSET-Multiple Subject (CSET-MS) - All Education Specialist teacher candidates must satisfy subject matter competency by passing the CSET-MS. Passing scores on the 3 subsets (subtest I (101), subtest II (102), and subtest III (103)) are required by the end of the first week of fall quarter or before.

Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (RICA)

The purpose of the RICA is to ensure that California-trained candidates for Multiple Subject Teaching Credentials possess the knowledge and skills important for the provision of effective reading instruction to students. RICA must be attempted before the end of the Reading Methods course offered in Fall Quarter. Ultimately, the RICA must be passed prior to being eligible for recommendation in early June.

When to take these exams?

Applicants should plan to take their exam(s) as early as possible. To begin the program, the Basic Skills Requirement must be met. This requirement should be met by August 1st. Candidates (by State law) cannot be placed in EDUC 449 (Student Teaching) in Spring Quarter without having passed the Multiple Subject CSET.

To apply for a credential at the conclusion of the program, evidence of having passed The R.I.C.A. must be submitted to Cal Poly’s Credential Office. Candidates​ cannot be recommended for a credential without having passed the RICA.

If you have questions please contact the Credential Office at (805) 756-2126 or

Related Content

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