General information

5. Subject Matter Requirement (SMR) Verification

Commonly referred to as the CSET.

Subject Matter 21-22

IMPORTANT: The CTC recently issued new options to meet the Subject Matter Requirement and our website has not yet been updated.  We anticipate updating to include these new options in early August, 2021.

Information for Applicants

All credential candidates must verify their content knowledge of the specific subject they wish to teach.  For most candidates this is accomplished by passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).  It is strongly recommended that applicants complete this requirement prior to submitting an application for admission.  Please refer to the Subject Matter handout and test timelines. It is in your best interest to have test requirements completed as early as possible but we will consider exceptions if extenuating circumstances prevent you from meeting these test timelines. Please contact Student Services at with any questions.  

Admitted Students: While we can move forward with an offer of admission prior to a candidate meeting the Subject Matter requirement, the expectation is that admitted students will take their exams as scheduled and pass all CSET exams by July 31st of the year you begin the program.  Students who are unable to meet this timeline should review the section below, Information for Admitted Students, and plan to work with faculty at the start of the program to develop an individualized action plan.

What is the CSET?

The CSET is subject specific, so click on your subject below to learn more about the specific tests your must take.

View our Tips for Passing the CSET and our Test Prep Resources

Subject Matter Waiver

For a very small handful of applicants there is an option to meet the SMR by completing an approved Subject Matter Program during their undergraduate coursework.  If you are completing an approved waiver, please submit verification of completion or where you are in the process with your supporting admission application documents.

Out of State Applicants

Out of state and out of country applicants: please contact us directly at to discuss a recommended timeline.

Information for Admitted/Enrolled Students

We encourage all enrolled candidates to complete the Subject Matter Requirement (SMR) in a timely fashion.  Students who have met the SMR by the time they take on full classroom teaching responsibilities will matriculate through student teaching on schedule during Year 1 of the credential/MA program.

Until a candidate meets their SMR, they are not authorized to introduce new content without their Resident Teacher present.

If a student does not meet the SMR by providing passing CSET results for all required subtests by *April 15th of the credential year, the student will be removed from student teaching and will be encouraged to volunteer in the classroom. However, the student will not earn student teaching course credit during that spring quarter.  They may remain enrolled in coursework to complete other credential program requirements and then will be required to return to the program to complete one quarter of student teaching once SMR has been met.

* Three items to note:

1. Multiple Subject credential candidates who haven’t met the SMR by the start of the takeover window will not complete their solo takeover at the end of winter quarter. Their takeover can be postponed to spring quarter if they pass all CSETs by April 15 of the credential year.

2. Exceptions may be granted to Agriculture applicants due to reduced testing opportunities.

3. Typically students will need to take their test at least one-month before results will be available.


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