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Credentialing Requirements

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is completed in conjunction with preparation for a single subject or multiple subject preliminary California teaching credential. In order to be recommended for a preliminary teaching credential, you are required to satisfy a series of requirements established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

This page references credentialing requirements you should complete prior to beginning the MAT program. For the full list of additional credentialing requirements that will be completed simultaneous to your completion of the program, view the MAT credential checklist.

Note: The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires credential applicants to disclose any convictions of a felony or misdemeanor. A felony or misdemeanor could impact student teaching and potential future employment opportunities.

MAT credentialing requirements for application and enrollment

In order to complete an application to USC Rossier, you are required to submit proof that you have satisfied the basic skills requirement by submitting one of the following:

  • Proof that you have passed the California Basic Educational Skills (CBEST), or
  • Proof that you have satisfied the basic skills requirement by way of an acceptable alternative.

In order to enroll in classes at USC Rossier (no later than August 1, 2021), you are required to submit proof that you have satisfied the subject matter requirement by submitting one of the following:

  • Proof that you have passed the required California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) subtests for the credential concentration to which you applied
  • Proof that you have satisfied the subject matter requirement by way of an acceptable alternative

Basic Skills Requirement

About the CBEST

The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) is a California state-required exam for teacher candidates in a teacher preparation program. This exam is used as evidence that the teacher candidate has basic skills in reading, mathematics and writing. The exam consists of multiple choice questions and essay writing. The three subtests can be taken at the same time or individually. All three subtests must be passed in order to be considered for admission to the MAT program. View our instructions to register for the CBEST/CSET.

Alternative methods to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement

There are a number of ways to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement. You may upload one of the following in place of the test registration or passage of CBEST.

  1. Proof of an official SAT test score of 500 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section* combined with a score of 550 or higher on the SAT mathematics exam.

    *Evidence-based Reading and Writing (previously Critical Reading or Verbal) section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test.

  2. Proof of an official ACT score of 22 or higher on the English exam combined with a score of 23 or higher on the Mathematics exam.
  3. Proof of an official College Board Advanced Placement (AP) English exam and AP Calculus or AP Statistics exam with a score of 3 or higher.
    • Math exams: AP Calculus AB • AP Calculus BC • AP Statistics
    • English exams: AP English Language and Composition • AP English Literature and Composition
  4. Pass an out-of-state basic skills equivalent exam
  5. Pass CSU early assessment program or CSU placement exam
  6. Passage of the CSET: Writing Skills examination can be added to passage of the CSET: Multiple Subjects Examination to meet the basic skills requirement.

If you plan to teach in another state, talk with our admissions team about alternate requirements for the state in which you plan to teach.

Note: Due to testing cancellations, some individuals are experiencing difficulty completing the California Basic Educational Skills (CBEST). While USC Rossier will continue to monitor the situation, at this time, satisfying the basic skills requirement by way of the CBEST or an acceptable alternative, remains an application requirement. Prospective students have until January 15, 2021 to submit a complete application for priority scholarship consideration. Check the California Educator Credentialing Assessments website for testing updates.

Subject Matter Requirement

About the CSET

The California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) is an exam required by the state of California for preliminary teaching credential candidates. This exam is used as evidence that the teacher candidate has subject-matter knowledge in the credential they are seeking. Most CSET exams consist of three subtests. Two notable exceptions are science, with two subtests, and English with four subtests. All subtests can be taken at the same time or individually. CSET exam scores must be no more than ten years old. View our instructions to register for the CBEST/CSET.

Credentialing Exam Support

USC Rossier provides several resources to support you in becoming a credentialed teacher. To assist you in preparing for credentialing exams, we have partnered with Teachers Test Prep to offer complimentary CSET test prep services to admitted students.

Alternative methods to satisfy the Subject Matter Requirement

As an alternative to taking the CSET, you can submit proof that you have completed a commission-approved subject matter preparation program.

How to register for the CBEST and CSET

  1. Visit the California Educator Credentialing Assessments website
  2. Click “Register” in the navigation bar and then “Register Now”
  3. Click “Create an account now”
  4. Fill out of your account information
  5. Select the program (CBEST or CSET) you wish to register and click “next”
  6. Select the subtest(s) you would like to take and click “next”
  7. Indicate if you will need alternative testing arrangements
  8. Confirm the tests in which you are registering for and click “next”
  9. Select the University of Southern California from the dropdown of private institutions to receive your test results and click “add” and then “next”
  10. Indicate if you want your test results to be emailed to you as a PDF attachment and click “next”
  11. Complete the background questions
  12. Review your registration and click “add to cart”
  13. Confirm cart and click “check out”
  14. Read the California Educator Credentialing Examinations agreement and click the “I acknowledge” text and click “next”
  15. Input your payment method and click “next”

Please note: your registration is valid for one year from the date of issue.