Becoming an Elementary School Teacher

1. Seek Subject Matter Preparation

As an undergraduate student consider one of the following programs to strengthen your preparation. See catalog index for more information.

  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Creative Arts
  • Environmental Studies
  • Liberal Studies
  • Social Science

Each of the above majors has a teacher preparation option that was designed to provide you the opportunity to learn the content you will apply as you teach in grades K-8.

2. Apply for Admission to the Multiple Subject Credential Program

Applications to the Credential Program are accepted for Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.

Requirements include:

  • Admission to Graduate Studies at San José State University
  • Grade point average (GPA) of approximately 2.87 (see advisor)
  • Passing score on California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST)
  • Pre-professional experience in a K-8 public school setting is a requirement for admission to the Multiple Subject Credential Program. This requirement can be met either through fieldwork hours completed as part of a college course, experience in a K-8 classroom, or a combination of the above. Experience observing/assisting or teaching in a Title 1 or "low performing" school is encouraged. Experience in a private school setting or at the preschool level cannot be included as part of 50-hour minimum for pre-professional experience.
  • Passing score on California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subject Tests.
  • Completion of Multiple Subject Credential Program Department Application. (See advisement guide at

3. Complete a Professional Preparation Program Leading to the Preliminary Multiple Subject Credential

Program pathways include Bilingual Authorization, Flexible, Concurrent, Teacher Educator, Middle Level Emphasis and Critical Research Academy.

The following requirements apply to all of the above pathways.

Preliminary Credential

  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and program. Bachelor's degree must be granted on the same day or after university graduation.
  • Prerequisites: Certificate of Clearance for personal and professional fitness
  • Foundations: EdEl 102 and EdEl 103
  • Dual language: EdTE 162
  • Curriculum: EdEl 108A, 108B, 108C, and 108D
  • Student teaching: 143A (Beginning Student Teaching) and 143B (Advanced Student Teaching), including EdTE 246
  • In addition, before or during the program, students must take and pass the following courses or their equivalents:

-EDTE 190 Health Education for the Classroom Teacher

-EDSE 192A Including and Supporting Students

*Program completers must also take and pass -

  • The Reading Instruction Competence assessment (RICA)
  • The Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT)
  • Satisfaction of the U.S. Constitution requirement
  • Level I Technology requirement
  • CPR - Adult, Child, Infant

When ready, candidates should visit to review requirements for the Multiple Subject Credential application process.

Professional Clear Credential

Employed teachers need to continue professional development for the advanced credential following completion of the Preliminary Credential. To meet the requirements for the advanced teaching credential check with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) at