California Teacher Certification Programs with School Options

There are more than 100 schools in California that offer teacher certification programs. Read an overview of ten of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition information and find out which school is the right one for you.

View 12 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Aspiring California teachers can prepare for certification and licensing by enrolling in credentialing programs at 4-year universities in the state. Many credentialing programs require taking courses and participating in field experiences that involve in-school observation and/or interaction. Additionally, many schools offer internship programs and add-on authorizations.

Career Requirements

To receive teacher certification in the state of California, individuals must seek the required teaching credentials. There are a variety of credential programs available, but the three most common are multiple subject, single subject and education specialist, also known as, special education. The multiple subject credential deals with teaching a variety of subjects in one classroom. The single subject credential is mostly necessary at the middle and high school levels and for other teachers that teach only one topic.

To enroll in either program, people must first complete a bachelor's degree program or higher. Another step is to meet the basic skills requirement, which is done by passing a multiple subject California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST), California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) or other assessment programs. The next step is to enroll in a teacher preparatory credential program. After the program, additional steps are required including taking U.S. Constitution and computer literacy courses and testing.

Below are listed programs from ten of the largest schools in California that meet the state's credentialing requirements. A table comparing aspects of each school and its programs is also included.


California State University - Fullerton

The California State University campus in Fullerton serves more than 35,000 students each year. The College of Education offers a nationally accredited Multiple Credential Program used for elementary school teaching. The program offers two or three block sessions in addition to an add-on bilingual authorization and a dual master's program option. A Single Subject Credential Program also is available. The subject areas offered in this program include music, physical education, theater, art, Japanese language, mathematics and social studies. Additional teaching credential programs are available in special education and reading specialist. The school also offers a streamlined education program that combines a bachelor's degree program with either a multiple subject or special education credential.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program,
    CA Specialist (Reading) Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $7,064 (full-time), $4,400 (part-time) (2013-2014)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

California State University - Long Beach

California State University's Long Beach campus appeared on the Princeton's Review's list of public colleges that offer the best value. The school offers Multiple Subject Credential Programs necessary to teach students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Options at this level include bilingual Integrated Teacher Education Programs (ITEP) in the Spanish and Asian languages. Also, one can complete a dual ITEP multiple subject and education specialist credential and an Urban Teaching Academy ITEP credential. The Single Subject Credential Program is available in 11 areas, including health science, world languages, art and industrial technology. Additionally, the College of Education offers Education Specialist Preliminary Credential Programs that deal with special education students with mild, moderate and severe disabilities. California State University - Long Beach offers other specialist and service credential programs in the areas of psychology, social work, reading and more.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program,
    Specialist and Service Credential Programs
  • Tuition & Fees : $1,842 (0-6 units), $3,174 (7 units or more) (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

California State University - Northridge

The California State University campus located in Northridge is on a 356-acre campus and serves more than 35,000 students each year. Single subject, multiple subject and education specialist credential programs are available at this state school. Each credential program offers a post-baccalaureate traditional curriculum, in addition to Los Angeles School District (LASD) accelerated and post-secondary school integrated programs. Contrastingly, the education specialist program offers concentrations in deaf and hard of hearing, early childhood/special education, mild/moderate and moderate/severe. Service and specialist credential programs also are available in administrative, physical education, reading and nursing.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program,
    Specialist and Service Credential Programs
  • Tuition & Fees : $1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units or more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2012)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

San Diego State University

The state university in San Diego offers more than 150 bachelor's and master's degrees to more than 31,000 students. The School of Teacher Education has multiple and single subject credential programs available in bilingual options. The Clear Credential program contains up to nine units that are available for transfer to a master's degree program. Additionally, credential programs are offered in special education reading, psychology, counseling and social work. These programs include Early Field Experience were attendees must complete classroom observation or participation time.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units and more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

San Francisco State University

More than 25,000 students attend this university in San Francisco each year. The school offers a two-semester, full-time single subject in music, science, world languages and English. Additionally, the credential program requires classroom review and participation. There also are designated subject credentials in adult education, school services, reading specialist instruction, education specialist and early education for special needs students. Also, add-on authorizations and internships are available for a variety of these programs.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program,
    Specialist and Service Credential Programs
  • Tuition & Fees : $1,842 (0-6 units), $3,174 (6 units or more) (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

San Jose State University

This metropolitan school in San Jose offers bachelor's and master's degrees in over 110 concentrations. The Connie L. Lurie College of Education offers a variety of multiple subject credential programs, including the flexible and accelerated year-long program. Additional multiple subject programs include a middle school emphasis, a combined master's degree/credential and elementary/education specialist and bilingual program. San Jose State University also offers flexible and year-long residency single subject credential programs. The Department of Special Education also offers a special education credential and dual master's degree.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units and more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California campus in Berkeley has a prestigious faculty consisting of eight Nobel laureates among other award winners. The Graduate School of Education offers a 15-month Developmental Teacher Education Multiple Subject Credential with a master's degree in education. The Single Subject Credential level focuses on science, English or math. The dual credential and master's degree option is offered in the mathematics or science disciplines with optional concentrations that include chemistry, biology and physics. Lastly, a multicultural urban secondary English master's degree and credential program is available and works in conjunction with the Bay Area Writing Project.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $5,610 (graduate academic) (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

University of California - Davis

The University of California's Davis campus is in the top ten of the country's leading public research schools. The School of Education offers multiple and single subject credential programs combined with a master's degree in education. In the first full-time year, the credential is completed while the master's program is done in the second year at a part-time rate. At the elementary level, additional programs include Spanish bilingual and English as a second language. The single subject offers concentrations in math, English, the social sciences and other areas.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Education Specialist Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees: $15,387 (in-state), $30,489 (out-of-state) (2012-2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

University of California - Los Angeles

The Los Angeles campus of the University of California is a premier institution with 12 Nobel laureates. The extension program offers a variety of credential programs at the multiple and single subject levels, including clear and internship programs. Additionally, the same options apply to special education credentials. Lastly, there are custom training programs available.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Special Education Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $3,740 (graduate academic fees) (2013)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a private research institution in Los Angeles. The Rossier School of Education offers on-campus and online teacher credential programs. In addition to the multiple subject credential, a single subject credential is offered in math, science, English, music or social studies. Also, the school offers a combination of master's degree in teaching with a credential program.

  • Programs Offered: Multiple Subject Credential Program,
    Single Subject Credential Program,
    Master of Arts in Teacher and Teacher Credential Program
  • Tuition & Fees : $48,640 (full-time and part-time MAT) (2011-2012)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Teacher Certification Programs Offered Graduate Tuition and Fees
California State University - Fullerton 4-year, public; midsize city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program,
CA Specialist (Reading) Credential Program
$7,064 (full-time), $4,400 (part-time) (2013-2014)*
California State University - Long Beach 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program,
Specialist and Service Credential Programs
$1,842 (0-6 units), $3,174 (7 units or more) (2013)*
California State University - Northridge 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program,
Specialist and Service Credential Programs
$1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units or more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2012)*
San Diego State University 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program
$1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units and more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2013)*
San Francisco State University 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program,
Specialist and Service Credential Programs
$1,842 (0-6 units), $3,174 (6 units or more) (2013)*
San Jose State University 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program
$1,842 (in-state, 0-6 units), $3,174 (in-state, 6 units and more), (add $372 per unit for out-of-state) (2013)*
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, public; midsize city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program
$5,610 (graduate academic) (2012-2013)*
University of California - Davis 4-year, public; large suburb Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Education Specialist Credential Program
$15,387 (in-state), $30,489 (out-of-state) (2012-2013)*
University of California - Los Angeles 4-year, public; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Special Education Credential Program
$3,740 (graduate academic fees) (2013)*
University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Multiple Subject Credential Program,
Single Subject Credential Program,
Master of Arts in Teacher and Teacher Credential Program
$48,640 (full-time and part-time MAT) (2011-2012)*

Source: *Schools' websites.

Show me popular schools

Related to California Teaching Certificate

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Drama Teacher Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

A small number of colleges and universities offer drama teacher certificate programs that prepare established educators and...

Music Teacher Degree and Certification Program Information

Music education degrees are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels, and individuals who want to teach in a...

Vocational Teacher Certification and Degree Program Information

Learn about bachelor's and master's degree programs for aspiring vocational teachers. Read about prerequisites and possible...

Online Spanish Teacher Certification Information

Programs leading to Spanish teacher certification are not available entirely online, but students may be able to complete a...

How to Become a TOEFL Teacher

Popular Schools

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Jobs in CA

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

California Colleges
  • A - I
  • L - S
  • S - W
  • Nearby States