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Preparing to Teach Junior High or High School

High school teachers, and most junior high teachers, hold single subject credentials which authorize them to teach in a specific subject. Most teachers with single subject credentials teach at the junior high or high school level, but some teach a specific subject in the lower grades. Music teachers are an example of a teacher with a single subject credential who may teach in the lower grades.

In order to be a junior high or high school teacher, candidates must possess a bachelor's degree and a preliminary single subject credential.

What should I major in?

If you are planning to teach junior high or high school, you should select general education (GE) classes and a major that will develop your subject matter knowledge in the subject you wish to teach.

FPU offers several majors with a secondary teaching emphasis:

  • Biology
  • English
  • Kinesiology (physical education)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Social science

Each of the above programs are approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and prepare graduates to pass the required CSET subject test. A variety of other majors are offered at FPU as well, but simply majoring in the subject area you wish to teach does not automatically meet all of the requirements needed to enter a single subject credential program.

If you are a community college student, you can make sure you are taking the required courses by checking our transfer agreements.

What is a preliminary single subject credential?

The preliminary single subject credential prepares secondary teachers for work in classrooms focused on a specific subject area. It provides preparation to teach in a diverse classroom setting and manage classroom behavior, and develops skills in methods of teaching. It includes both regular classes and fieldwork.

How long does it take?

Depending on whether you attend full-time or part-time, the program lasts for 12 or 15 months.

What do I need to do to get my single subject credential?

Please view the Preliminary Single Subject program page for more information.