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Teaching Credential Preparation

Are you interested in history? Do you like working with young people? You may be interested in a career as a middle school or high school history/social studies teacher. With a single-subject credential in social studies, you can teach any of the following: Ancient World (Grade 6), Early Modern World (Grade 7), US through WWI (Grade 8), Modern World (Grade 10), Modern US (Grade 11), US Government and Economics (Grade 12).

How to Become a Single-Subject History/Social Sciences Teacher

Take classes

To prepare yourself to teach the history/social science curriculum, you will need to take classes in the areas you will be expected to teach. If you want to be evaluated for meeting the requirement to enter the credential program without taking the CSET Social Sciences exam, you should take:

  • POLS 200 American Political Systems
  • HIST 201 World History Through 1500
  • HIST 202 World History Since 1500
  • HIST 251 United States to 1877
  • HIST 252 United States Since 1865
  • HIST 380 Twentieth Century World
  • HIST 472 or 473 California History
  • Upper-Division US History Elective
  • Upper-Division World History Elective
  • GEP 305 World/Regional Geography
  • ECON 204 or 205 (Micro/Macro Economics

The following education classes are also required prerequisites for the SSU credential program:

  • EDUC 417 School and Society                                            
  • EDSS 418 Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

Work with students

Before you apply to a credential program, you will need 45 hours of work with young people in the age you want to teach. Options include: Assisting in a high school or middle school class; interning or service learning at a school or other organization for youth, counseling at camps, or coaching.

Prepare for and take exams (if not taking necessary coursework)

Basic Skills Requirement: California State law requires all teachers to pass the CBEST (California Basic Skills Test). Sign up for this exam ( early in your junior year. The Credential Program in School of Education at SSU will evaluate your coursework of students who have applied to the program to see if they meet the requirements without taking the CBEST.

If you do not take the above list of courses in history, political science, economics, and geography, then you must demonstrate competency in the subject matter area by passing the CSET (California Subject Examinations for Teachers). You can retake sections you do not pass. You must pass all sections of the CSET before you begin the credential program (

Please contact Professor Steve Estes for more information. 

Apply to a single-subject teaching credential program

Check the website for the school(s) in which you are interested to see if they have additional requirements. Plan to apply in the fall of your senior year if you want to start the program the following fall. The SSU School of Education offers workshops for students who want to become teachers. For more on SSU’s Credential Program visit the website for the School of Education at SSU.