Teacher Licensure State Requirements - California

How to Become a Teacher in California

Updated 10/02/2013

california online teaching degree

If you are passionate about helping others learn, earning an online teaching degree in is an excellent way to apply your skills.

Before becoming a licensed teacher in California, you must meet all of California’s initial CCTC-approved teacher certification program requirements, including:

  • A bachelor’s degree or more advanced degree program at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Completion of a CCTC-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Completion of the required background check resulting in receipt of a Certificate of Clearance from the CCTC.
  • Qualification based on the the CA basic skills requirement.
  • Verify subject matter competence by passing the relevant CSET exams. Please note that WGU's approval with CCTC requires that all WGU students in an initial teacher licensure preparation program who are seeking teacher certification in CA must pass the CSET exams prior to Demonstration Teaching and scores must be posted to the Degree Plan by:
    • June 15th for the September cohort
    • September 15th for the January cohort
  • Passing scores on the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) (Multiple subject credential candidates only, CA BASP students do not take the RICA).
  • Completion of foundational computer technology coursework and Developing English Language Skills coursework (these are included in your WGU coursework).
  • Completion of a course (at least two semester units or three quarter units) on the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, or passing an exam on the same subject given by a regionally accredited college or university.
    NOTE: WGU’s bachelor’s degree programs provide this course, but the post-baccalaureate and MAT programs do not. If you are enrolling into a post-baccalaureate or MAT program, you must provide licensure@wgu.edu with either the official description of the course on your undergraduate transcripts that fulfills this requirement, or with the passing scores on an appropriate exam offered by a local CA college or university.
  • Completion of a course (at least two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, or passing an exam on the provisions and principles of the US Constitution given by a regionally accredited college or university.

Note: Listed requirements are current and are subject to change at any time, even during enrollment.

A full, detailed outline of these requirements is available on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website at

Phone: (888) 921-2862
Email: credentials@ctc.ca.gov

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