Foundational Level General Science (FLGS) Subject Matter Preparation Program

The Sonoma State Foundational Level General Science Subject Matter Preparation Program allows those interested in teaching middle school science or high school general science to show subject matter competence by completing a series of courses (see list below) instead of taking the California Subject Examination for Teachers (or CSET) in Foundational Level General Science.

Course List

  • BIOL 130: Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics (4 units)
  • BIOL 131: Biological Diversity and Ecology (4 units)
  • CHEM 107: Physical Science for Teachers (3 units)
  • CHEM 115A: General Chemistry (5 units)
  • GEOL 107: Introduction to Earth Science (3 units)
  • GEOL 110: Natural Disasters (3 units)
  • ASTR 100: Descriptive Astronomy (3 units)
  • ​​PHYS 210A: General Physics (3 units)
  • PHYS 210B: General Physics (3 units)
  • SCI 220: Dream, Make, and Innovate (3 units)
  • EDSS 410: Fieldwork and Seminar in Science Teaching and Learning (3 units)

How do I Complete the FLGS Subject Matter Preparation Program?

Step 1: Contact the program advisor, Dr. Ed Lyon, at to set up an initial advising meeting and develop a plan for completing all required courses and/or verifying courses already taken.

Step 2: Complete courses and earn a “C” or better in each course. Note that some courses may only be offered once (Fall OR Spring) each year. You are encouraged to keep in contact with the program advisor for any questions or concerns as you take courses.

Step 3: Contact the program advisor to set up a meeting to review all courses taken and any course substitutions. Email and then bring to the meeting the following:

  • Completed FLGS Course Checklist
  • Unofficial Copy of your SSU Transcript (and of any other institutions if applicable)
  • Syllabi and any other supporting documents (e.g., assignments, letter from instructor) if you are requesting a course substitution.

Step 4: Once verified, your information will be sent to the School of Education Credentials Office, who will then send you a confirmation letter.

Step 5: Apply for the single subject credential program and use the confirmation letter to confirm that you have met the subject matter competence requirement.

Note: If you are interested in teaching high school Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth Science, then you can enter the program with a FLGS waiver, but will need to show subject matter competence in the specific subject to earn preliminary credential in that subject area.

The Sonoma State Foundational Level General Science Subject Matter Preparation Program was approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on August 5, 2021.

EDSS 410: Fieldwork and Seminar in Science Teaching and Learning (3 units)

To be offered in Summer 2024


  • interested in becoming a science teacher
  • interested in working with youth or adults in learning science (e.g., outdoor camps, teaching assistant)
  • earning a B.A. in Physical Sciences (Teaching Concentration) or completing the Foundational Level General Science (FLGS) Subject Matter Program (required course) 

WHAT WILL WE DO? In this course, we will explore various issues in science teaching and learning, such as “what science should be taught?” “how do we teach science?” and “how do we address equity and access for all students in science?” As part of the course, you will observe and interact with actual students in local middle or high schools – meeting part or all of the 45-hour observation requirement to apply to the teacher credentialing program. We will also engage in a weekly seminar to reflect on your observations as you make connections between your own experiences learning science and what it would mean to teach and learn science equitably. 

For more information contact:   

Dr. Ed Lyon, Associate Professor of Science Education at