Credential Preparation

There are various options for earning a California teaching credential. Traditional university-based programs may offer a credential only (typically one academic year duration) or a combined credential/M.A. (one to two years, may include summers). There are also “intern” programs that are a) university-based b) district-based or c) affiliated with other programs, such as Teach for America. When deciding on a university-based program think about program variables such as strengths/nature of program, program timeline, price, location, etc. as well as entrance requirements.  

For detailed information about credential program options as well as test preparation resources, see the Cal Teach Credential Program Preparation Resources page! 


Checklist for MOST traditional university-based programs: 

  • Application form
  • Transcript(s) from all undergraduate (and graduate if applicable) work
  • A college or university course or equivalent experience that addresses the cultural and linguistic diversity found in the U.S. today
  • Pre-professional field experience: Documented field experience in a formal or informal educational setting with youth at the same age level which the candidate aspires to teach. Experiences such as as directed observation, substitute teaching, work in after-school programs, camp counseling, instructional aide etc. Typically 30-60 hours. Okay to request documentation from Cal Teach.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least two from university faculty who can address your academic merit/subject matter competency and at least one letter by a professional in the field who has observed your work with children or youth in the applicable age-group for the credential you are seeking. 
  • Testing
  • Statement of Purpose (essay)
  • Personal History (essay)
  • Academic Writing Sample
  • Résumé
  • Certificate of Clearance
  • TB test
  • US Constitution Requirement