How to Apply

The Department of Elementary Education recommends that all prospective students review our offered programs first.

Masters Programs

Application Deadline

  • M.A. in Early Childhood: May 1
  • M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction: March 1
  • M.A. in Early Childhood: May 1 (Fall Admission) & December 1 (Spring Admission)


Credential Programs

Application Deadline

  • Summer admissions deadline (one-year credential pathway): March 1
  • Fall admissions deadline for all credential pathways (including MA+cred): March 1

Applying to a Masters Program

Important resources to begin the application process:

Applying to a Credential Program

Attend an Information session

Meetings are designed to inform prospective students of the best possible ways to meet the requirements for admission into a credential program. Visit our main information session page for the schedule and information on how to reserve a seat. 

Guidelines to Apply to MSC-only Program

Select a Program

  • Multiple Subject Credential Program (MSC only)
  • Multiple Subject Credential + Bilingual Authorization (MSC + BEST or Chinese)
  • Master of Arts plus Multiple Subject Credential (M.A. + MSC)

UNIVERSITY APPLICATION: Open an application on Cal State Apply using the online Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate application to The California State University

  • When filling out the online application for Credential only: Select SFSU Credential
  • When filling out the online application for Credential plus Master’s Degree program:  Select EDUCATION – ELEMENTARY EDUCATION CREDENTIAL
  1. FEE: There is a $70.00 fee for this application. You can pay online at the time of the application submission.
  2. TRANSCRIPTS: Upload one unofficial set of transcripts from every college or university attended to the SF State Graduate Admissions. Official transcripts will be required for admitted students. If you have previously attended SF State, you may not need to send transcripts. Please check with Graduate Admissions regarding their policies.

Proof of Degree: Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, except in professional education (i.e., secondary education), from a regionally accredited college or university. The degree must be awarded before enrolling in the credential program. If the degree is not awarded at the time of the application deadline, applicants must provide transcripts at the time of application and submit updated transcripts once the degree has been awarded.

Program GPA Requirements: Applicants must meet the following minimum GPA requirements:

  • Credential only program: GPA: 2.67 overall or 2.75 in the last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units (Credential Only program requirement)
  • MA+ Credential Program: GPA 3.0 or higher in baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate coursework (Credential plus Master’s degree program requirement)
  1. TOEFL: If you are an international student or if you have a bachelor’s degree from outside the United States, please contact the Graduate Admissions directly. There may be additional requirements for admission, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Please upload documentation of each of the following items under “Program Requirements”---“Documents” on Cal State Apply.

  1. BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT: Applicants must show proof of completion of Basic Skills OR Proof of Registration for CBEST at time of application. *While basic skills passage requirements have been temporarily extended and may be completed prior to issuance of the credential, your application will be stronger if you have completed this requirement prior to admissions. See final page of this document for alternate ways to complete the Basic Skills requirement.
  2. SUBJECT MATTER COMPETENCY:  Credential candidates must show subject matter competence via passage of the CSET: Multiple Subject Subtests 1,2, and 3 OR verification of completion of a Subject Matter Waiver Program as part of the undergraduate degree.  At the time of application please upload:
  • Proof of passage, attempt, or registration for all 3 subtests of the CSET Multiple Subjects exam. For information and registration go to


  • Proof of completion of an approved Subject Matter waiver program (must be signed by appropriate authority at your undergraduate institution)

Note that CSET Multiple Subjects I, II, and III scores for exams are valid for 10 years. You must earn your credential before these tests expire.

  1. EARLY FIELD EXPERIENCE: Applicants must show proof of completion of 30 hours of early field experience in one or more elementary school settings.  Please see appendix B at end of document for Early Field Experience options.  Please upload a separate EFE form for each setting.  Signed forms from other academic institutions will be accepted if they specify setting and number of hours completed. Access the Early Field Experience Form here:
  2. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Upload an essay 500-750 words in length. Some questions to consider when formulating your essay: Why do you want to be a teacher? What experiences have prepared you to teach in a racially and linguistically diverse, urban setting? What personal qualities do you possess and what experiences have you had that prepared you to work in a collaborative environment such as an elementary school or cohort in the Multiple Subject Program? *Note that for MA+credential applicants, the statement of purpose is also evaluated for Level 1 Writing Requirements for Graduate Admissions.
  3. TUBERCULOSIS (TB) TEST: TB test verification should be a photocopy of a note or card from a doctor. A negative skin test or a clear chest x-ray is acceptable. Verification should be valid at the time of application and while in the program. The term of validity from the time you took is for a negative skin test is four years and five years for the clear chest x-ray.
  4. CERTIFICATE OF CLEARANCE: Applicants must complete fingerprinting specific to the Certificate of Clearance in order to be admitted to a credential program.  Other proof of fingerprint clearance cannot be substituted.  See instructions for COC application here: :  Upload one of the following:
    1. Proof that you have obtained your COC from the California Teaching Commission on Teaching

Credentialing OR

    1. Proof that you have applied for the COC (upload copy of completed COC application showing completion of LiveScan) *We can begin application review, but we cannot make a final admissions decision until we have received proof that you have obtained, not just applied for, the COC.
    2. Acceptable documentation in lieu of a Certificate of Clearance: Valid credentials or permits issued by the CTC, including substitute, pre-intern permits, short-term staff permits, clear or preliminary, or Child Development permits. Submit a printout from the CTC website. Please check with the SFSU credentialing office prior to submitting alternate documentation.
  1. CV/RESUME: You may include information about your academic, employment, and volunteer experiences that are pertinent to your application and program objective.
  2. PROCESSING FEE: There is a $25 non-refundable program application fee in addition to the CSU fee above. Please pay this fee online via CashNet: Cashnet charges a 2.75% nonrefundable fee for all debit/credit card transactions. Upload proof of payment on Cal State Apply.
  3. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Please request letters of recommendation from at least two people (three recommended) who know you in an academic or professional capacity. You will input contact information for each letter writer in Cal State Apply, and they will receive a link to upload their letter. Letters should address the applicant’s character, aptitude for teaching, work ethic, and or academic ability. At least one letter must be from someone who has observed you in a teaching capacity, preferably in your Early Field Experience. Letters from relatives and letters more than five years old will not be accepted.
  4. FOREIGN TRANSCRIPT EVALUATION: Applicants who earned their degrees from a foreign country must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a state approved agency. Visit the CTC website for a list of approved agencies. Submit foreign transcript evaluations directly to Credential Services (Burk Hall 244).

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