Credentials and Authorizations

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program curriculum meets credential program standards and teacher performance expectations set by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

Primary Credential

Become an elementary school teacher Become a middle or high school teacher
Earn a California preliminary multiple subjects teaching credential

Specialize in teaching foundational coursework across a range of subject areas to students in grades K–5.

Earn a California preliminary single subject teaching credential

Specialize in teaching English, Math, Science or Social Science to middle or high school students.

Additional Credentials, Authorizations and Certificates

In addition to earning your California Preliminary Multiple Subjects or Single Subject teaching credential, you can increase your competitiveness in the job market by completing the requirements for the following credentials, authorizations and certificates, some of which are integrated in the curriculum. If you are admitted to the MAT program, you will be required to decide at the time that you certify your enrollment whether you will commit to pursuing an additional credential, authorization or certificate. No decision is required at the time of application to the program.

Description Requirements to Pursue
Preliminary Education Specialist Credential (includes Additional Autism Authorization)

Prepares you to work specifically with students with mild to moderate learning disabilities at either the elementary or secondary level.

The Additional Autism Authorization prepares you to conduct assessments, provide instruction and special education-related services to individuals with autism at either the elementary or secondary level

Coursework requirements fully integrated in the MAT curriculum. After beginning the program, notify your program advisor of your intention to pursue this credential and complete additional exams and student teaching.

English Learner Authorization

Prepares you to support students’ English language acquisition as well as access to academic content across the curriculum.

Coursework requirements fully integrated into the MAT curriculum.

Bilingual Authorization in Spanish

Prepares you teach language learners whose primary language is Spanish. Provides the option to teach in either bilingual settings or in English dominant settings with Spanish language learners.

You must be fluent in Spanish to pursue this authorization. After beginning the MAT program, notify your program advisor of your intention to pursue this authorization. During the program, pass the CSET: Spanish Subtest III and V and complete required guided practice student teaching.

USC Gifted Education Certificate

Prepares you to recognize giftedness among cultural, linguistic, and economically diverse students in urban schools and provide appropriate curriculum.

After beginning the program, notify your program advisor of your intention to pursue this certificate and enroll in EDUC 684: Responding to Gifted Students (4 units) during the MAT summer session.

Credential Recommendation1

After you have completed the MAT program and all credential requirements for the preliminary teaching credential(s) of your choice, USC Rossier will formally recommend qualified candidates to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for the preliminary credential document. If you plan to pursue a credential in another state, become familiar with the specific requirements in your state of interest.


1 The MAT program is an academic degree and does not in itself constitute a teaching license. Graduates of the MAT program are eligible to take the California teacher licensing examination and will receive a California Level I Preliminary Credential upon passing the examination. Regardless of the state in which students are seeking their credential, students are required to satisfy the California-based program requirements of the USC MAT Program by successfully passing the EdTPA during the student teaching course.