Southern California Teaching Credential Programs

California has about 250 schools that offer teacher credential programs, including many in the southern part of the state. Find out more about different southern California programs to see which ones may be the best fit for you.

Completing a teacher credential program is one requirement to becoming a licensed teacher in California. Many colleges in southern California offer teacher credential programs, ranging from certificate programs to ones at the graduate degree level. These programs generally combine classroom work with practical experience as a student teacher. Continue to read below to learn about five southern California schools which offer teacher credential programs.

University of California - Los Angeles

UCLA's Teacher Education Program (TEP) has several different pathways for earning a credential. Each is a combined full-time intensive Master of Education (M.Ed.) and certificate program that is completed in two years. Students interested in teaching elementary school choose the elementary pathway, which leads to an M.Ed. and single subject credential. Students interested in teaching middle or high school choose the M.Ed. program in the subject they wish to teach. UCLA offers five options: mathematics, science, social science, English, and music.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education offers programs on campus and online. Its main program is the Master of Arts in teaching, which can be completed with a single subject or multiple subject credential. This degree requires 28 credits and can be completed full-time on campus or part-time online. The school offers three additional credentials that can be added to the master's degree: Gifted Education, Special Education, and Bilingual Authorization for Spanish.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University offers a wide variety of teacher credential programs covering elementary, middle, and high school. Students can choose either the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential or Single Subject Teaching Credential, and can decide to pursue a bilingual version of these credentials if they plan to teach in a bilingual setting. There are three special education credential programs available: Elementary Education, Mild/Moderate, and Moderate/Severe. The program can be completed in two or three semesters, and SDSU has partnerships with local schools to help new teachers find placement.

Pepperdine University

The Teacher Preparation Program at Seaver College at Pepperdine University provides students with an opportunity to complete their bachelor's degree and teaching credential in four years. The school recommends the liberal arts major for students interested in teaching elementary or middle school. These students will receive the Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential after completing the program. Students interested in teaching a single subject in high school should major in a specific subject, such as science, English, history, or French. These students receive the Single Subject Credential.

Pacific Oaks College

The Pasadena campus of Pacific Oaks College offers teacher credential program options that lead to a bachelor's or master's degree. Students can choose from four Bachelor of Arts programs: elementary education, elementary and special education, community psychology with elementary education, and human development with a Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. These programs can be completed in 2-4 years. Master's degree students can choose from elementary education or special education, both which require 43 credits to finish. Students who already posses a degree can get their Preliminary Multiple Subject Teaching or Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential.

Teacher Credential Resources

Completing a teacher credentialing program is just one requirement to become a teacher in California. Study.com has resources for you to learn more about the full list of requirements and to prepare for the necessary exams:


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