Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physics and Chemistry

We are happy that you are interested in teaching physics or chemistry at the secondary level. This is a noble profession. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hoops to jump through before you can attain your goal. You will find most of the information you need in the Single Subject Credential Handbook. READ THE HANDBOOK! To assist you in your quest the information in the handbook has been summarized below.

Things to think about before you apply

Before you apply

Meet GPA requirement

You must have attained an overall GPA of 2.67 or 2.72 in your last 90 quarter units. If you do not meet this requirement talk with the single subject advisor.

Must have passed CSET exams or be 90% complete with approved single subject certification waiver program

Pass CBEST test

You must at least sign up for CBEST test prior to applying.

Apply for Certificate of Clearance

Submit an application for a Certificate of Clearance, via LIVESCAN fingerprinting through the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education and provide a photocopy of your application to the UCTE Student Information Center (02-120). There is a fee (approximately $100) required with this process.

Livescan service is also available through the Cal Poly University Police Department, however, application for a substitute permit to work in school while you're in the credential program requires an application process through the SLO County Office of Education.

Application to the University

Apply for admission

You must apply for admission to Cal Poly as a post-baccalaureate student as an Education mojor.  This is a separate but prerequisite step to entering the Credential Program. Being accepted to the University does not mean that you will be accepted into the credential program.


On your Application for Graduate Admission specify the subject in which you are seeking a credential (e.g. Single Subject Credential in Chemistry (181) or Physics (182)).

Have two (2) transcripts from each college/university attended sent to the "CAL POLY ADMISSIONS OFFICE, San Luis Obispo, CA 92307

Requirements to be competed before taking core EDUC courses

Complete KINE 250 (Health Education) or equivalent course

Complete EDUC 300 or supervised early field work experience

Complete Subject Matter Certification in Chemistry or Physics

Requirements to be completed before student teaching

Complete STEP I application (This is the formal application into the credential program)

Complete STEP I application form

Receive Certificate of Clearance

Complete Speaking English Competency

Complete Writing English Competency

CBEST verification transcript showing you have passed CBEST

Complete Subject Matter Certification

Complete EDUC 300 or supervised early field work experience

Verify that the UCTE Student Information Center has all college and university transcripts

Obtain four letters of recommendation for Step II application

Submit request for "Access to UCTE Student Database" (optional)

This will allow you to track your progress through the program.

Complete STEP II application

Completed STEP II application form

Verification that all subject matter coursework requirements have been satisfied.

Verification that all courses prerequisite to student teaching have been completed.

Verify that Four letters of recommendation on file in the Student Information Center.

Copies of Tuberculosis and Rubella Clearance Verification forms.

(You must also submit copies of those forms to each school in which you receive a student teaching assignment.)  A minimum of one week is required to obtain the clearance forms.

Complete "Biography" Statement

The Teacher Credential Program

Quarter 1 (Fall and Spring)

EDUC X412 - Schooling in a Democratic Society(4)

EDUC X414 - Curriculum & Organization in Secondary Schools (4)

EDUC X416 - Literacy & learning in Secondary Schools (4)

PSC X424 - Methods of Instruction in Physical Science (4)

*EDUC 480 - Computer Based Curriculum (3)

Quarter 2 (Winter and Fall)

EDUC X418 - Advanced Topics in Teaching and Learning (4)

EDUC X420 - Professional Development and Collaboration (4)

PHYS 400 - Seminar with Part-time Student Teaching (1)

EDUC X469 - Part-time Student Teaching (6)

Quarter 3 (Spring and Winter)

PHYS 400 - Seminar with Full-time Student Teaching (1)

EDUC X479 - Full-time Student Teaching (12)

Requirements for Preliminary Credential

Complete KINE 250 (Health Education) or equivalent course

This be done on-line at Hancock and Cuesta College

Become CPR certified

Complete U.S. Constitution Requirement

This requirement can be met by having appropriate A.P. credit, by taking the equivalent of POLS 110, or by passing the U.S. Constitution Exam offered at Cuesta College.

Level 1 Technology Certification

This requirement can be met by taking EDUC 480 (since Fall 2000), MATH 300 (since Spring 2002), or AGED 410 (since Spring 2002). You can also take and pass the SSAT Preliminary Education Technology Exam. Register for the test online at