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Teacher Preparation Program - mature teacher working with student at desk.



Whether you are a recent college graduate or considering a career change, the traditional path is just for you. This pathway requires traditional student teaching over the course of a fall and spring semester. Before applying to the program, you will need to complete 45 hours of pre-program field experience* with the age group you would like to teach. For example, if you want to teach single-subject history, your hours will be with middle or high school-aged kids. This can be accomplished through a variety of opportunities such as classroom volunteering, substitute teaching, coaching, or even working with various youth group programs. You will also need to hold a bachelor's degree in any subject from an accredited college or university. 

* This experience must have taken place within the last five years.

The program is available both in-person and online. Your success is our success as you prepare to enter one of the most rewarding in-demand careers today.



  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in any subject
  • 45 hours (within the last 5 years) of time working with the age group of children you would like to teach
  • Successful satisfy the basic skills requirement 
  • Successfully satisfy the subject matter competency requirement
  • Submit a credential program application

See our comprehensive list of application requirements and prerequisites.


 Application Filing Periods

 Summer  Fall  Spring
 Multiple & Single Subject  December 1 - April 15  March 1 - July 15  May 1 - October 15
 Bilingual Added Authorization - Spanish  December 1 - May 1  March 1 - July 15  May 1 - October 15



  •  Contact us today to learn more about applying to the credential program.


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.