Single Subject Teaching Credential Planning Checklist

The three sections below (structured by deadline date) include information on the many requirements that must be met in order to follow state guidelines for the credentialing process. Upon beginning your CTP program, please carefully review all information as soon as possible, and make personal plans for meeting all requirements by the listed deadlines.

Important Note: All items below that are marked with an asterisk (*) must be successfully completed and submitted as indicated prior to registering for Guided Practice. (There are 5 total items so marked.) Guided Practice is the course taken in the spring semester in which students must be enrolled in order to pursue student teaching. If a student meets the deadlines indicated below, s/he will be able to register for Guided Practice and pursue student teaching in the spring semester. If a student misses any of the deadline indicated below, under no circumstances would s/he be permitted to register for Guided Practice or pursue student teaching until s/he has successfully completed and submitted all required items.

Visit this website for comprehensive information about California Single Subject Teaching Credential.

DUE BY AUGUST 15 (3 items)

      CBEST (California Basic Educational Skills Test) – The CBEST is a standardized test administered throughout the state of California for individuals who want to teach at public schools and gain a credential. The test is designed to provide information about basic proficiency in reading, mathematics, and writing. The exam costs $102. Learn more about the CBEST by visiting the following websites:

During your CBEST exam, select USC as your score report recipient.

You may be exempt from the CBEST if you:

      • Achieve qualifying scores on your ACT (a score of 22 or higher in English and a score of 23 or higher in Mathematics)
      • Achieve qualifying scores on your SAT (a score of 500 or higher in English and a score of 550 or higher in Mathematics)
      • Achieve a qualifying score of 3 or higher on AP English and a score of 3 or higher on either AP Calculus or AP Statistics
      • Pass an Out-of-State Basic Skills equivalent examination

Send a PDF of your official score report or appropriate exemption documents to Judy Lewis ( and Nancy Wong ( by AUGUST 15.

      California law requires that school staff working with children and community college students be free of infectious tuberculosis (TB). Any health care provider may administer the exam. The TB test must be administered no more than six months prior to the start of your fieldwork experience (recommended no earlier than August 1). If your skin test comes back positive, you will need to request a chest x-ray.

      TB Screening FAQ

      The USC Engemann Student Health Center offers walk-in TB screening on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 8:30-3:30, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30-3:30.

      Submit an official document (PDF is acceptable) from your health care provider (or from USC Engemann) stating you are free from communicable TB to Judy Lewis ( and Nancy Wong ( by AUGUST 15.

    The Certificate of Clearance is a document issued by the Commission to an individual who has completed the Commission’s fingerprint character and identification process, whose moral and professional fitness has been shown to meet the standards as established by law. (The Certificate of Clearance is not related to obtaining a clear credential. The Certificate of Clearance provides no authorization to provide instruction or services in schools; its sole purpose is to provide verification that the holder has completed a professional fitness review.) There is a $50.00 application fee and a $2.50 online service fee. The COC fee of $50.00 becomes a credit applied toward issuance of an individual’s initial teaching or services credential. Your fee credit will be applied when you complete the payment process for the credential submitted online by your program supervisor.

    How to apply: To apply for your Certificate of Clearance using the CTC Online system, follow the steps on this website. This process consists of two steps: (1) get fingerprints done at a Live Scan facility and (2) complete the professional fitness questionnaire.

    How to submit: Apply for a Certificate of Clearance directly with the CTC.

    Once you receive your Certificate of Clearance by email, send a PDF copy to Judy Lewis ( and Nancy Wong ( by AUGUST 15.

DUE BY OCTOBER 1 (1 item)

    Subject matter competence must be verified by achieving a passing score on the CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers). (There is one possible exception to this, described below.)

    The CSET are standardized tests administered throughout the state of California for individuals who want to teach at public schools and gain a credential. The CSET: Music is designed to provide information about music-specific knowledge.

    The candidate must pass all three CSET: Music subtests:

    • CSET: Music – Artistic Perception; Historical and Cultural Foundations; Aesthetic Valuing
    • CSET: Music – Creative Expression; Connections, Relationships, and Applications
    • CSET: Music – Music Methodology and Repertoire

    CSET: Music requires a fee of $99 per subtest, per attempt. The exams are administered during specific 4-week testing windows during each academic year. Typically, the exam windows are August-September, November-December, January-February, March-April. Each year’s actual exam dates are generally announced by sometime in June. It is highly recommended that all three subtests are attempted during the August-September testing window to allow for retakes, if necessary, in the November-December testing window. There is a 45-day waiting period before you are allowed to retake a failed subtest. Students should consider their background in each subtest content area to determine readiness for the exams while understanding that all three subtests must be passed before entering guided practice/student teaching. Visit the CSET: Music website for details on exam registration, available dates, testing centers, sample exam questions, and test guide.

    The Commission leaflet CL-674S entitled Verifying Subject-Matter Competence by Examination for Single Subject Teaching Credentials publishes comprehensive information on passing scores and registration. This website contains information specific to the CSET in music. During your CSET exam, select USC as your score report recipient.

    Send a PDF of your official score reports or appropriate exemption documents to Judy Lewis ( and Nancy Wong ( by OCTOBER 1.

    Possible Exception: In lieu of passing the CSET, a Commission-approved subject-matter program can be completed, typically as part of an undergraduate degree program. Verification of completion must be obtained from the authorized person in the education department of a California college or university with an approved program. The CTC website has a listing of approved programs (there is a subject matter filter function on the left side bar of the website).


The five items listed in this section are required prior to the end of your final semester in the CTP program in order for USC to formally recommend you for a preliminary teaching credential near the time of your graduation. The USC credential analyst will recommend you for your preliminary teaching credential once all mandatory documents are submitted and final grades are posted. You will receive notice of your credential approval directly from the California Teaching Commission (CTC) via email. Questions may be directed to the USC credential analyst, Cathy Creasia, at or (213) 821-3409.

Important note: All items must be compiled into a single digital or hard copy Credential Recommendation Packet and submitted to your credential analyst during the credential recommendation process in your final semester. Individual-item submissions will not be accepted.

      There are three ways to meet this requirement:

      CPR is valid for up to 2 years. You must have a valid card or certificate (CPR for Adults, Infants and Children) per the standards established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross on file at the time of recommendation. Online-only courses will not be accepted.

      The following are links to some of the Approved CPR Courses:
      American Heart Association
      American Red Cross
      ProCPR with Skills Evaluation (use corporate code “USC” for a discount)

    1. edTPA: Teacher Performance Assessment and Portfolio
      Aspiring teachers must prepare a portfolio of materials during their student teaching clinical experience. edTPA requires aspiring teachers to demonstrate readiness to teach through lesson plans designed to support their students’ strengths and needs; engage real students in ambitious learning; analyze whether their students are learning, and adjust their instruction to become more effective. Teacher candidates submit unedited video recordings of themselves at work in a real classroom as part of a portfolio that is scored by highly trained educators. Visit this website for information about edTPA. There is a $300 assessment fee.

      For more information about submitting your edTPA, please contact your edTPA coordinator, Lindsay Kwock Hu at

      Submit your official transcripts (they do not need to be sealed) to Cathy Creasia ( with your completed Credential Recommendation Request packet.
    Complete and submit this form AFTER all other items have been completed and compiled into a single file. This form will initiate the credential recommendation process and indicates to your credential analyst that all documentation and deliverables are ready to verify with the California Teaching Commission (CTC).

    Submit the Credential Recommendation Request form as the cover sheet of your Credential Recommendation Packet. Packets must be compiled as a single digital file and emailed to a secure inbox ( or compiled as a hard-copy file and delivered to Cathy Creasia’s office.