Credential Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Basic Teaching Credential Program

Multiple Subject- Secondary Education - Education Specialists

ACT/ ITEP/FYI/JYI and Traditional Program Options

  1. What is the deadline date for the Online Credential Program Application for the spring and the fall semesters?
    The application deadline dates are July 1st for fall and December 1st for spring. Application must be submitted online before 5:00 pm. It is highly advised that you get your application in as early as possible.
  2. Does the online Credential Program Application have a fee?
    Yes, the application has a processing fee for $50.00 plus a service fee charge of $1.38. You will be submitting your payment at the end of your application before final submission.
  3. Are there any prerequisite courses required for admission into the credential programs?
    No, there are no prerequisite courses required for admission to the credential program.
  4. How do I apply for admission to the Credential Program?
    On the Credential Office website under “Prospective Students”, click on “Program Applications” chalkboard. Review the deadline information and click on the program you intend to apply. Review the requirements for the program application and be prepared to scan and upload all documentation listed. When you are ready to start the application, click the "Apply Now" button at the bottom of the page.
  5. May I retrieve copies of my application materials once it has been submitted to the Credential office?
    Please make copies prior to submission of any documents that you need to retain for your own records. All submitted items become part of the student file and are not returnable to the student.
  6. Can I log back into the online application once I have paid and submitted?
    You will not be able to make any changes to your application once it has been submitted.
  7. How long does it take to hear back after I have submitted my online application?
    Once submitted your application will be reviewed and detailed information will be sent to your CSUN email address within two weeks.
  8. Who do I contact to change my application option or pathway after I have submitted it online?
    Please email the Credential Analyst assigned based on the first letter of your last name:
  9. What is the entrance GPA requirement?
    The GPA requirement for those applying to a blended program (ITEP, FYI, JYI) is 2.67 overall/cumulative. For all other programs the GPA requirement is 2.67 overall cum or 2.75 in the last 60 units. Once admitted you must maintain a 2.75 overall/cumulative and a 3.0 program GPA.
  10. If I have already been fingerprinted do I need to do it again?
    If your fingerprinting and background check resulted in you receiving a document issued by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (i.e. substitute permit, provisional intern permit, etc.) and your document is valid, then you do not need to go through this process again. If you were fingerprinted for any other purpose, you will need to get a current live scan service and complete the Certificate of Clearance process. Directions to obtain a Certificate of Clearance can be found here.
  11. Do I also need to apply to the university?
    Candidates who are not currently admitted as graduate students must apply to the university at Cal State Apply. There is a $70.00 fee. This applies to all post BA Degree holders including CSUN students.
    JYI/ FYI and ITEP Option you are not required to submit a new university application.
  12. To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed and is it required to be on letterhead?
    There is no specific individual to whom your letters of recommendation must be addressed. Letters of recommendations must be on the specific form found on our website. .
  13. Can I use out of State or Out of the country Early Field Experience?
    Yes, you can. You will need to provide a signed verification of experience letter confirming your experience with the appropriate school age population.
  14. How long is the credential program?
    The Multiple Subject program is 41 units, the Single Subject program is 36 units and the Education Specialist program can be anywhere from 42 to 49 units depending on area of specialization. The average amount of time students take to complete the program is 2 years. Completion time is ultimately determined by how you set your schedule, i.e. full-time or part-time
  15. Can I complete the program in one year?
    Yes, many of our credential programs can be completed through the two semesters as the Accelerated Collaborative Teacher Preparation Program (ACT). This is a full-time, fast-track, post-baccalaureate program that begins each fall and ends in spring. If you are interested in this pathway you can obtain a brochure by visiting the ACT Office website at Some programs can be completed in one year through the traditional pathway as well.
  16. Are there courses offered in the evening, in the summer, on the weekend and on-line?
    Most credential courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening; they usually meet once or twice a week. Occasionally, there are Saturday classes offered as well as a few on-line. Student teaching will of course take place during the day but may be reserved until the last two semesters of your program.
  17. How much does the program cost?
    Please check the following link for current university fee schedules. The university fees do not include the cost of exams and edTPA.
  18. Is financial aid available?
    Financial aid is available if you qualify. Scholarship opportunities are available as well. Questions can be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. Information can be found on their website:
    Additional information regarding scholarships is available on the College of Education website at:
  19. Do I need to take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST)?
    In the past the CBEST exam has been the most common way to meet the Basic Skills Requirement (BSR). There are now several options for meeting the BSR, detailed information regarding options for meeting BSR can be found on the following link: Basic Skills Requirement (CL-667) (
  20. Do I need to pass the Subject-Matter Competence Examination (CSET)?
    Candidates have several options for meeting the subject matter requirement. The list of options can be found on the following link Subject Matter Requirement | California State University, Northridge (
  21. Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree? 

     All California public school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to earn a teaching credential. However, you do not need to have a bachelor’s degree in order to begin the credential program if you have current senior standing at CSUN. All other applicants must have a Degree earned and posted on your transcripts. We have several “blended” programs that will allow you to complete your undergraduate degree and credential simultaneously and in less time than if you pursued these objectives independent of each other. For additional information regarding these programs please contact the appropriate department.

  22. I was a teacher in another state or country. How can I become a credentialed teacher in California? If you completed a professional teacher preparation program including supervised student teaching and you were eligible for certification in another state or country, you may apply directly to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for a California Preliminary Teaching Credential. For additional information visit the Commission website at or you can meet with the Credential Advisor by scheduling an appointment. 
  23. I have completed the online information session and have a few questions I would like to discuss with a Credential Advisor. How would I contact someone? You can schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor by calling our office at 818-677-CRED. 
  24. What credential is needed to become an elementary school teacher?  To be an elementary school teacher a Multiple Subject credential is required. This credential authorizes teaching in public school settings where the teacher teaches all subjects to one group of students in a self-contained classroom. This credential is sometimes used in core subject blocks in some middle schools as well.
  25. What credential is needed to become a junior high or high school teacher?
    To be a junior high or high school teacher a Single Subject credential is required. This credential authorizes teaching in public school settings where the teacher teaches one subject to several different groups of students in a departmentalized classroom. This type of classroom structure is found in some middle schools as well.
  26. What credential is needed to become a special education teacher?
    To be a special education teacher an Education Specialist credential is required. Four specialization areas are offered at CSUN: Mild/Moderate Support Needs, Extensive Support Needs, Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Early Childhood. This credential, depending upon area of specialization, can authorize teaching students with special needs from birth through age 22.
  27. Where can I find information about student teaching?   For information about student teaching, please review the Student Handbook.