Pre-Credential Option

The pre-credential option of the History Major meets the subject matter competency requirement for prospective teachers seeking a California Single Subject Credential in Social Science. The Pre-Credential Option allows students to qualify for a fifth-year credential program and is especially suited for students who want to teach history or social science in middle and high schools. But it is also highly recommended for all of our majors!

Click on the links below for the curriculum sheets and road maps for the pre-credential option, and scroll down for a video overview about the pre-credential (and credential) process! Please note that there are slightly different versions, depending on WHEN you started at CPP.


Semester system (for students who are starting at Cal Poly Pomona in Fall 2023 or later)

Semester system
(for students who started at CPP during the 2022-23 academic year)


Semester curriculum (for students who started at Cal Poly Pomona between Fall 2018 and Spring 2022)

Pre-Credential Option Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the video below, Dr. Michael Slaughter (the History Department pre-credential advisor) answers all of your questions about the pre-credential option and the path to the teaching credential. You can also skim through a list of FAQs (as a PDF document) below, or click on the expandable buttons for individual questions.

Pre-Credential FAQs (PDF)  (updated 8/1/2022)(and duplicated below)

The History- Pre-Credential Option is a plan for those who might consider teaching in secondary schools in the future. The program satisfies the subject-matter competency requirements (as established by the Board of Education of the State of California) to teach social science in secondary schools.

Public secondary schools do not hire history teachers; they hire social science teachers. As a social science teacher, your school will not only expect you to be able to teach history, but also geography, government, and economics.

No. The general history major and the pre-credential option carry the same number of units. However, if you are a transfer student you may need to take more courses in order to graduate in the pre-credential option, depending on the number of required support courses you satisfied at your community college.

With the history major, you can take more unrestricted electives. With the history pre-credential option, you have many more required support courses (most of which double count for General Education). Put another way, there is more structure to the pre-credential option. Also, when you successfully complete the pre-credential option plan, you will receive a subject matter waiver, which recognizes you as subject matter competent to teach social science in secondary schools and exempts you from taking the CSET test. You do not receive this waiver with the general history major.

Not at all. You will have received a broad based education in the social sciences, which will serve you well in any field you ultimately pursue.

No. You must earn a teaching credential from an accredited teaching credential program to teach in public secondary schools. (On very rare occasions, a student may find an internship, where they teach and complete the credential program simultaneously)

The history pre-credential option provides you the subject matter knowledge. The credential program trains you in how to teach that subject matter.

If you go the full-time on the traditional route, it takes 3 semesters.

Yes. There is a two-semester plan; however, you would need to complete some of the credential coursework before you graduate with your B.A. You can take the following courses as an undergrad: EDU 5010, EDU 5020, EDU 5302, EDU 5200. If you complete these courses before you graduate, you will only have another semester of coursework and one semester of clinical practice in the actual credential program. Before you take these courses, be sure that you are committed to attending Cal Poly Pomona’s credential program, as you might not receive credit for some of these courses at another institution. If you take these courses, be sure to submit a petition to the registrar’s office to have these courses transferred to your post-undergrad record. You must file the petition before the middle of the semester in which you are taking the classes. This is important because school districts use the number of course units beyond your B.A. to determine your place on the salary scale. In other words, you will likely lose money when you begin to teach if you do not take this step.

No. Once you complete your B.A. you are no longer a student at Cal Poly Pomona. If you wish to attend Cal Poly Pomona’s credential program, you will have to complete 2 steps: You must submit an application to the University for grad admissions through Cal State Apply at  https://www.calstate.edu/apply. You will also have to submit an application to Cal Poly Pomona’s credential program. Follow this link for more info on admission to CPP’s credential program: https://www.cpp.edu/ceis/credential-program/admission/program-information.shtml

  • The GPA requirement for the credential program is 2.67 overall or a 2.75 in the last 60 semester (or 90 quarter) units attempted. If your GPA falls below this, you can petition for exceptional admission.

  • Subject Matter Competency Requirement: If you successfully complete your pre-credential option coursework (with a C or higher), you earn a waiver to meet this requirement. If you do not successfully complete all of the coursework under the option, you will either have to make up the class(es) in which you received an unsatisfactory grade or you will have to pass the CSET exam.

  • Successful completion of the Basic Skills Requirement. Most students satisfy the basic skills requirement by passing the CBEST exam. Students who scored high on all sections of the SAT can also petition to get this requirement waived. To register and/or find more info on the CBEST go to: California Educator Credentialing Assessments - CBEST

  • Before the credential program application deadline, you must obtain a Certificate of Clearance granted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). Go to the Certificate of Clearance page for more info.

  •  Before the credential program application deadline, you must get TB Clearance. Cal Poly Pomona’s health center currently offers TB testing at no cost to students.

  • Before the credential program application deadline, you will need to complete 45 hours of Early Field Training. Examples of early field training include, but are not limited to: TK-12 classroom observation or volunteer, teacher’s aid, paraprofessional, substitute teacher, adult transition observation or volunteer, camp counselor, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, Boy’s Club volunteer coach or assistant coach, etc. 

  • Two Recommendations: One recommendation should be completed by a college or university professor and the other recommendation should be completed by a professional who has directly observed your work or interaction with youth.

  • Your application to the credential program will also include a Statement of Purpose.

For more detailed info regarding the admission process for the credential program go to:  Preliminary Credential - Program Application Checklist

The standard deadlines for admission (per the CPP Credential program website) are as follows:

  • To gain admission for Fall Semester, the deadline is April 1. (For example, the deadline for Fall 2024 is April 1, 2023).
  • To gain admission for Spring Semester, the deadline is September 15. (For example, the deadline for Spring 2024 is September 15, 2023).

You will take a total of 8 courses (EDU 5010, EDU 5020, EDU 5302, EDU 5200, EDU 5205, EDU 5210, EDU 5215, EDU 5220) focused on teaching strategies, curriculum and methods and special topics in education. In your last semester in the program, you are in clinical practice (aka student teaching). In clinical practice, you teach in a classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher and your university supervisor.

The California State Board of Education has reviewed and approved Cal Poly Pomona’s history pre-credential option. Any accredited credential program in the state of California will recognize your subject matter competency, if you successfully complete the course work within the pre-credential option. If you are looking at out-of-state credential programs, you should consult that state’s commission for teaching credentials for rules regarding out-of-state training.

Seek opportunities to work with youth. Gain valuable experience as a tutor, camp counselor, coach or teacher’s aid. When you complete your B.A., look to work as a substitute teacher. While this experience is not mandatory to admission into the credential program, it will give you a head start in your quest to become a classroom teacher. These experiences also look good when you are interviewing for teaching jobs.

The first person you should see is Dr. Michael Slaughter – the pre-credential advisor. You can find him in 94-337. I encourage you to send him an email (maslaughter@cpp.edu) in advance to arrange a meeting.

You should arrange a meeting with Dr. Slaughter the semester before you graduate to make sure you are on the right track. For example, if you’re graduating in Spring Semester 2024, you should meet with Dr. Slaughter before the end of Fall Semester 2023.

You will need to submit a waiver review request to Jennifer Garcia (jmgarcia@cpp.edu) in Cal Poly Pomona’s Education Department. She will then contact Dr. Slaughter to review your transcripts. After Dr. Slaughter gives approval, Ms. Garcia will issue the waiver.