Single Subject Credential

Application Checklist   Pre-Admission Disclosure 

The Single Subject Program is housed under Curriculum Studies & Secondary Education (CSSE) and it prepares candidates for teaching in middle schools, junior high, and senior high schools. The Program has an annual cycle, which means that students can only be admitted to the Program in the Fall semester. The Single Subject Credential Program is a two-semester program. Students admitted for the fall semester, who successfully complete all coursework and their final student teaching, will be eligible for the credential in June. Students who wish to take longer than two semesters to complete the credential program may extend their program to four semesters. More information regarding the extended program may be obtained from the single subject program advisor. Visit the advising page

For more information, see the Student Teacher Handbook

The program aims toward two primary goals: (1) to develop the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective beginning teacher, and (2) to establish the professional understandings and attitudes for growth and development throughout a teaching career.  Coursework combined with the field experience in the program will prepare candidates to be:

  • Competent in basic classroom skills.
  • Knowledgeable and enthusiastic about students, learning, and teaching.
  • Respectful of and knowledgeable about cultural, linguistic, and learning diversity,
  • and informed about practices for teaching all students.
  • Continue their development as professional educators.

After completion of the Single Subject Credential Program, candidates will be recommended for the Preliminary California Single Subject Teaching Credential in a subject area. Successful completion of the program prepares candidates to teach in California’s culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Students can also apply to the Bilingual Added Authorization (Spanish) that can be added to a Single Subject Credential. 

Program Overview 

The single subject credential authorizes the holder to teach a particular subject in a school organized by academic disciplines, kindergarten through grade 12. Since most elementary schools are not departmentalized, this credential, in general, is appropriate for the middle school and high school teacher candidate (art, music,and physical education candidates may actually teach K-12). 

The Single Subject Credential Program is a two-semester program that begins in the fall semester only.

Credentials are offered in the following areas:

  • Art
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • World Language

Prerequisite Courses (6 units)

These courses must be satisfactorily completed prior to full program admission: 

  • EDUC 417 (3 units) School & Society 
  • EDSS 418 (3 units) Development in Adolescence & Emerging Adulthood  

Course Substitutions

If you wish to use an alternative courses as a prerequisite, you will need to complete the Request for Substitution form and submit to the School of Education.  One form is required per SSU course.  Transcripts and course descriptions must accompany this form. List for alternative courses can be found on the Prerequisite page

Program Structure (36 units)

The program consists of two stages/phases with total of 42 units including prerequisites.  Each phase normally corresponds to one academic semester. Phase I contains academic coursework together with 100 hours of fieldwork in local schools.  Phase II consists of an intensive student teaching assignment accompanied by a seminar with your fellow student teachers. 

In order to advance to Phase II you must complete all prerequisites and Phase I course requirements. 

Phase I (17 units)

  • EDSS 442 (3 units) Equity and Agency in Teaching and Learning
  • EDSS 443A (4 units) Creating Effective Learning Communities: Field Settings
  • EDSS 443B (3 units) Creating Effective Learning Communities: Seminar
  • EDSS 444 (1-4 units) Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • EDSS 446 (4 units) Language and Literacy Development in Secondary Classrooms

Phase II ( 19 units)

  • EDSS 458 (12 units) Student Teaching in Multicultural Settings
  • EDSS 459 (4 units) Seminar: Student Teaching in Multicultural Settings
  • EDSP 430 (3 units ) Introduction to Special Education
  • Successful completion of EdTPA Performance Assessment

Student Teacher Field Placements 

All field placements will be arranged by the Single Subject Program Placement Coordinator in conjunction with teachers and administrators in the local schools. For more information, visit the Student Teacher Field Placement page. 

Teaching Performance Assessment 

A teaching performance assessment (TPA) is required for all those seeking a single subject teaching credential in California. EdTPA is the teaching performance assessment used by the SSU Single Subject Program. This assessment is comprised of a teaching event that is an extended documentation of a segment of student teaching. It is the capstone performance assessment that integrates learning throughout the teacher education program. It includes samples of teaching that are videotaped and analyzed by the student. It is structured in sections corresponding to developing a context for learners, planning, teaching, assessing, academic language, and reflecting on teaching. A subject matter expert scores the teaching event. The teaching event takes place in Phase II (student teaching) of the program. All students must pass the EdTPA to receive a teaching credential.