Teaching Credential/MA FAQs


FAQs: Credential/MA Program

If your question is not addressed below please contact us! Please make sure to always check the most current information regarding admission deadlines and prerequisites. You can call the Student Services office at (530) 752-5887 or email us at eduadvising@ucdavis.edu.

Credential/MA Program Info

Credential/MA Program Costs

How much does the program cost?

For general information about the fee schedule, please check with the Office of Resource Management and Planning (ORMP).

For current specific information about fees for the Cred/MA program, please see Graduate Financial Aid.

Aside from tuition and the cost of books, are there any other expenses I can expect during the program?

There will be fees for a required TB test (approx. $30), certificate of clearance and fingerprinting (approx. $120-200 depending on student teaching placement), CPR certification (approx. $30), edTPA assessment test ($300), RICA test (for multiple subject candidates only, approx. $171), as well as the Teaching Credential Application itself ($102).

Is Financial Aid available?

Yes, students who meet requirements are eligible for regular government loans and grants as well as for various loan forgiveness programs (e.g., Cal Grant TCP) specifically designed for teachers. For more information, check out our page on financial aid options.

Additionally there are a limited number of scholarships available.  Also there are grant funding opportunities for students with demonstrated need as evidenced by their FAFSA submission.

Credential/MA Program Info

Teaching as a Career

Where are teachers needed the most?

In low-performing schools and schools in rural areas there is the greatest shortage of teachers but now is a great time to become a teacher as there is a teacher shortage in all areas.

What subject areas experience the greatest teacher shortage?

The most severe shortages of qualified teachers are in these areas: bilingual education, physical science, mathematics, and special education.

What is the average starting salary for teachers?

Salaries vary significantly by school district so it is recommended that you check out the salary schedules for the districts you would want to teach.  Their website will list their salary schedules.  You will also want to consider the district’s benefit package as this can also vary significantly.  

Credential/MA Program Info

Structure of the UC Davis Credential Program

Where are student teachers placed?

Normally, student teaching is done in the communities within a 45 minute drive from the UC campus.  Districts we commonly place students in are: Davis, Dixon, Elk Grove, Fairfield-Suisun, Folsom-Codova, Natomas, Robla, Sscramento City, San Juan, Travis, Twin Rivers, Vacaville, Washington, Winters, and Woodland. 

Does UC Davis have a part-time program, night program, or summer program?

No, our credential program is definitely full-day and full-time over the course of the credential portion of the program. The Masters portion of our Credential/MA program offers more flexibility with class times scheduled around a teacher’s typical work schedule.

What does the credential year look like?

You will be involved in a very intense and extensive experience of coursework and field work. The amount of work is considerable. If you are to be successful, you will need to prepare yourself to devote all your energy and time to this program.

Will I have time to work during my credential program?

You will spend your mornings in the schools and afternoons on campus taking courses. Your evenings will be filled with homework (your own and your students’) and back-to-school nights, etc.  For most students working outside of their credential program is not feasible.

Credential/MA Program Info

Applying to UC Davis Teacher Credential program

Will an Education minor improve my chances of getting into a credential program?

Having a minor in Education demonstrates your ongoing interest in the field and two of the courses can meet prerequisites to the credential program: EDU 100 meets the 30 hour classroom experience requirement and EDU 110 meets the Educational Psychology requirement. 

Do I need to have experience with children in order to get accepted into the credential program?

Yes, you need to have experience in a California public school setting with children in the age group that you are planning to teach. We are expecting a minimum of about 30 hours of public classroom experience in the subject area or at the grade level you wish to teach.

Can I transfer in any Education courses that I have taken at other institutions?

We will accept equivalent courses from other institutions as prerequisites. Please submit a “Course Inquiry” form on our Course Equivalency website

Will I have to have finished ALL program prerequisites by the time I apply to the program?

Ideally, you want to have completed prerequisites by the summer before you enter the program. However you may apply to the program and even begin classes prior to completion of all prerequisites.

Do I have to have meet the Basic Skills Requirement (commonly referred to as CBEST) by the time I start the program?

You are not required to have met the requirement before you begin the program but it is strongly recommended. There are a variety of ways to meet this requirement other than by taking the CBEST exam.  Please review the various options listed for Basic Skills prerequisite on our website.

If CBEST is the option you select, unless you were out of the state or country and unable to take the exam, you must have attempted the test before you can be offered admission to our program. You MUST pass the exam before your full time student teaching take-over. This is subject to change based on admission policies.

If you haven’t met the Basic Skills Requirement by the time you begin the program you will be required to meet with faculty to establish a plan to complete. 

Do I have to have passed all the CSET subtests by the time I start the program?

You are not required to pass all subtests of the CSET exam before you begin the program but it is strongly recommended. Please review our website for the CSET guide listing detailed information.

For the CSET, having passed your subject matter exams by the time you apply to the program will increase your chances of admission.

If you haven’t passed all CSET exams before you begin the program you will be required to meet with faculty to establish a plan to complete.

What is a subject-matter waiver and how do I get one?

The subject matter waiver is an approved program of coursework that substitutes for the subject matter (CSET) exam. Various universities offer these approved programs, and if your coursework matches the courses in those programs, you can be issued a subject-matter waiver letter stating that you have completed the waiver program for a particular subject matter. You should contact the college where you completed your undergraduate degree to determine if they have an approved subject-matter program.

UC Davis offers only a subject matter waiver in mathematics at this time.

Do you accept anyone with a GPA lower than 3.0?

The standard for admission to UC graduate work is 3.0 but in rare situations exceptions to the GPA requirement can be made.  Please review the GPA requirement for additional information and options.

General information

General questions about earning a CA Teaching Credential

Who needs a teaching credential?

Everyone who teaches grades K – 12 in public schools on a permanent basis is required to hold a California teaching credential.

What kind of major do I need to have in order to become a teacher?

For teaching at the K-6 level, you can have any major as your background for teaching. For teaching at the secondary level in grades 7-12, a major in your area is the best thing.

If your undergraduate major is not in the subject area you wish to teach it is advisable for you to pass the subject matter examinations (CSET) prior to submitting your application for admission.

What if I am interested in earning more than one credential?

It is possible to become authorized to teach more than one subject. You must pass the CSET in the additional subject  you are interested in and take a methodology class as well. Our Credential Analyst will provide guidance to all registered students on how to add various authorizations based on testing or coursework completed. 

Are all credential programs the same?

No, every teaching credential program is different. It is for this reason that we encourage you to explore several programs in order to determine which program best fits your needs.  A very common difference between programs is the timing for you to compete course work and your student teaching.

Is a teaching credential also a Master’s degree?

No, a teacher credential authorizes you to provide instruction in a K-12 public school and is issued under the guidelines of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A Masters in Education is an academic degree awarded by a College or University.

UC Davis offers a combined Credential/Masters Program that when completed results in both a California teaching credential and a Masters of Arts in Education.


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