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General Prerequisites:

1. Statement of Purpose 

  • Please address the reasons behind your decision to become an educator and the challenges you believe are important to the field of education (150 words).

2. Statement of Professional Dispositions

  • Refer to the list below of Professional Dispositions and select two or three dispositions that you possess; describe how these dispositions make you a strong candidate for the teaching profession (200 words).
      • Collaboration
      • Critical Thinking
      • Reflective Practitioner
      • Professional Ethics
      • Valuing Diversity
      • Life-long Learning
      • Social Justice and Equity

3. Baccalaureate Degree: Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended and accredited. GPAs are determined by the degree-granting university/college.

  • Electronic transcripts:
    Please use as the recipient's email address.
    If submitting California community college transcripts, please review eTranscript California and use this convenient system.
    If you are a UC Merced graduate, the only transcripts you must submit are for any other post-baccalaureate coursework you have completed at another institution.
    Please do not send identical, duplicate electronic and paper transcripts!
  • Paper transcripts: 
    If your previous school(s) do not supply electronic transcripts, have official paper copies of your transcripts sent in unopened envelopes to:
    UC Merced Extension Teacher Preparation Office
    Mayra Franco- Credential Analyst
    5200 Lake Road
    Merced, CA 95343
  • Foreign transcripts (if applicable):
    • Applicants with international transcripts must provide a copy of an official evaluation to the Teacher Preparation Office. An approved agency must conduct a detailed official evaluation of coursework; for a list of approved agencies, visit FOREIGN TRANSCRIPT EVALUATION (
    • The official evaluation will need to be mailed to the Teacher Preparation Office at the following address:
      UC Merced Extension Teacher Preparation Office
      Mayra Franco- Credential Analyst
      5200 Lake Road
      Merced, CA 95343

4. GPA Requirement 

A cumulative 3.0 GPA is required for admission. If your GPA is below the required GPA, please petition for Exception by Admission by completing the GPA justification form. The Teacher Preparation Committee makes the final decision about offering Admission to applicants whose GPA is below 3.0.

5. Two References

Please provide a valid email address and a personal contact number for your two references where indicated on the application. This information will need to be submitted at the time of application to be considered complete. We will reach out directly to your references for their letters of recommendation.

References can be from an instructor, employer, or someone who is knowledgeable regarding your personal qualities and ability to work with children. Recommendations from family members and friends are not acceptable.

6. Fingerprint Clearance

Classroom observation and Clinical Practice are a large part of the credential program. To be placed in a classroom setting, you will need to obtain fingerprint clearance. You must possess a valid Certificate of Clearance or other CTC-issued document. Learn how to apply here. This site explains the Automated California Residents Process.

  • If you submit a Certificate of Clearance application, you will need to upload the email from the CTC verifying you submitted your application.
  • The Certificate of Clearance is valid for 5 years. You must maintain valid fingerprint clearance throughout your time in the credential program.
  • If you already hold the document from the CTC (a substitute teacher permit, activities supervisor's certificate, etc.), the document would need to meet the fingerprint clearance requirement.

7. California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) Requirement Options

Individuals may meet the requirement by the passage of courses in reading, writing, and mathematics as outlined below. Courses must have been taken at a regionally accredited college or university for credit, passed with a grade of B or better, be degree applicable, and be at least 3-semester units (or equivalent quarter units). 

  • Reading:: a course in critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric, or textual analysis. 
  • Writing: a course in composition, English, rhetoric, written communication, or writing. 
  • Mathematics: a course in algebra, geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning, or statistics. 

In addition, Commission-approved programs may use a mix and match from available options for candidates as well. Detailed information for meeting the Basic Skills Requirement can be found on the following link  Basic Skills Requirement (CL-667) ( 

Prospective Students:  If you have not met the BSR and would like to use coursework or a combination of exams and coursework, you will need to complete an evaluation request form and submit it to our office. The form and instructions can be found on the following link.    

8. Subject Matter Competency

You must verify subject matter competence in one of the following ways:

  •  California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) passing score report in all required subtests for the credential type.
  • Official institutional verification of completed Subject Matter Preparation Program (SMPP). SMPP is completed at the undergraduate level at an approved institution.
  • Academic Degree major- The degree major must correspond to the authorization listed on the teaching credential. The current statutory language does not provide flexibility for acceptance of closely related subjects; Degree major must match exactly. To read about this new option, please click on the following link.

Passage of all required CSET subtests is required for full admission to the Teacher Preparation Program. If you have only passed one or two of the subtests, provisional admission may be granted.

Subject Matter Requirements and Verification Review Requests

California Education Code identifies several ways candidates demonstrate their knowledge of subject matter they will teach in PreK-12 public schools, granted in AB 130 (Chapter 44, Statues of 2021). Options differ, depending on the credential being sought. To review the complete list of Options for Meeting the Subject Matter Requirement, review the chart here.

Once you've reviewed the requirements and options specific to your subject matter, you will submit the Subject Matter Verification form with your online program application. 

If you are verifying the subject matter through CSET, please have the scores sent to you and upload them with your online application. You can request a copy of your test score results through the testing agency found on the CTC exams website.

9. Pre-program Field Experience ( 45 hours ) Verification Form (You must submit a completed verification form)

10. Current Resume

11. Tuberculosis Clearance

Applicants must verify the absence of active tuberculosis. In addition, the TB test report or a letter from a physician regarding a chest x-ray must have been administered within the last three years and indicate a negative result. Complete this test at any health facility.

12. Interview

An Interview with the Admissions Committee will be scheduled once your completed application has been reviewed and meets all the requirements.

Admission by Exception

If you believe you have the ability and potential to succeed in our program, you could be considered for admission by exception for the following two requirements:

  • Subject Matter Competency (passing CSET or verification of Subject Matter Program completion)
  • Required 3.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average

Exceptional Admission is not an option if you are missing a Basic Skills requirement.

To be considered for exception from meeting these requirements, submit your Exception Admission Petition with your Teacher Prep Program application.

The following conditions apply:

  • Be in good standing in your previous or current university.
  • This option is limited to one term and one semester only. If you are not accepted under this option, you will need to meet regular admission requirements to apply for a future semester.
  •  The application fee is not transferable.
  • While your application is pending review, we encourage you to attempt to complete any missing examination requirements.
  • If you are admitted under Admission by exception, you will not be eligible to be placed into Clinical Practice your first semester of the program.



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Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosure

University of California programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the University of California and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The University of California has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a University of California program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

Additional information is available by visiting the University of California | Office of the President and the California Department of Education.


The Teacher Preparation Program is approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).

On August 6, 2021, The Commission on Teacher Credentialing granted full institutional approval to the University of California, Merced.