Subject Matter Competency in Chemistry for a Single-Subject Teaching Credential
The requirements for single subject competency have been established by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). The SF State Graduate College of Education maintains a website with information on the single subject teaching credential program. California teaching credential candidates are required by law to verify their subject matter competency.
There are three different paths to meet the requirements for subject matter competency in chemistry:
- Certification by completing an approved subject matter competency program
- Certification by examination - Passing CSET/SSAT exams in general science and chemistry
- Certification by completing post-graduate coursework in chemistry - This leads to a chemistry-specialized certificate, not a single-subject certificate
If you are a holder of a Single Subject, Standard Secondary or Special Secondary Teaching Credential, you may have "Chemistry" added to your credential as a supplementary authorization by meeting the following requirement: 20 semester units (including at least ten upper division semester units) of non-remedial course work in chemistry, completed at a regionally accredited community college, college, or university. A grade of C or higher is required in every course used to meet this requirement.
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Paths to Subject Matter Competency
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has approved the subject matter competency program in chemistry as described in Tables 1A and 1B. Students who complete this program of study with a 2.75 or higher GPA will be certified as having fulfilled the CCTC's subject matter competency requirement in chemistry.
The subject matter competency program in chemistry comprises 39 units of breadth coursework (Table 1A) and 34 - 37 units of depth coursework (Table 1B). After completing the breadth courses, candidates will be prepared to teach chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology and biology concepts, methods, applications, and their various interrelationships, at the K - 9 grade levels.
The depth courses have been selected to provide candidates with in-depth content knowledge within the discipline [CHEM 115, 215, 233, 300, 321, 335, 340, 341, 349]; extensive laboratory experience [CHEM 216, 234, 322, 343, 336]; an integrative science course that requires students to apply and integrate their science knowledge [SCI 510]; and a field experience course that provides hands-on teaching within the San Francisco public schools [SCI 652].
The breadth requirement, GEOL/METR/OCN 405, also presents a culminating experience that requires extensive scientific writing and integration of chemistry with the earth sciences.
Together, the breadth and depth courses prepare candidates to teach chemical science concepts, methods, applications, and integrations with other science disciplines through the 12th grade level.
Breadth Program of Study
|Course #||Course Name||Units|
|ASTR 115/116||Introduction to Astronomy with Lab||4|
|PHYS 111/112 and
PHYS 220/222 and
|General Physics I / Laboratory and
General Physics II/Laboratory
General Physics with Calculus I/Lab
General Physics with Calculus II/Lab
|(4) + (4)
(4) + (4)
|GEOL 110||Physical Geology||4|
|GEOL / METR / OCN 405||Planetary Climate Change||4|
|BIOL 230||Introduction to Biology I (with lab)||5|
|BIOL 240||Introduction to Biology II (with lab)||5|
|CHEM 115||General Chemistry I (with lab)||5|
|TOTAL BREADTH UNITS||39|
After fulfilling these breadth courses, chemistry program candidates are prepared to teach chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology and biology concepts, methods, applications, and their various interrelationships at the K - 9 grade levels.
The depth course requirements for the SSMPP in chemistry include 11 lower- and upper-division chemistry courses; eight units of math prerequisites; a teaching field experience course [SCI 652]; and an integrative science course, [SCI 510]. Together, these depth courses prepare program candidates to teach chemical science concepts, methods, applications, and integrations with other science disciplines through the 12th grade level. The depth courses are as follows:
Depth Program of Study
|Course #||Course Name||Units|
|CHEM 115 1||General Chemistry I (essential concepts)
General Chemistry I Lab
|CHEM 215 2||General Chemistry II (quantitative applications)||3|
|CHEM 216||General Chemistry II Lab||2|
|CHEM 233||Organic Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 234||Organic Chemistry I Lab||2|
|CHEM 300 3||General Physical Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 321||Quantitative Chemical Analysis||3|
|CHEM 322 or
|Quantitiative Chemical Analysis Lab or
General Biochemistry Lab
|2 or 2|
|CHEM 335||Organic Chemistry II||3|
|CHEM 336||Organic Chemistry II Lab||3|
|CHEM 340 and
CHEM 341 or
|Biochemistry I and Biochemistry II or
|3 + 3
|SCI 510||Search for Solutions||3|
|SCI 652||SFSU Science Partners in K-12 Schools||4|
|TOTAL DEPTH UNITS||34-37|
Footnotes to Tables 1A and 1B:
 CHEM 115 is both a breadth and depth requirement for the SSMPP in chemistry. The hours are tabulated in the breadth program column, as they are for each science-related single subject matter preparation program at SF State.
 CHEM 215 has prerequisites of CHEM 115 and two courses (passed with a grade of C- or better) from the list MATH 226, 227, PHYS 111, 121, 220, 230 or 240.
 CHEM 300 has prerequisites of MATH 227 and PHYS 121 or 240.
Subject Matter Competency Review
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) has approved the subject matter competency program in chemistry as described in tables 1A and 1B. Students who complete this program of study with a 2.75 or higher GPA will be certified as having fulfilled the CCTC's subject matter competency requirement in chemistry.
Applicants to SF State's Single Subject Credential Program who are attempting to achieve certification of subject matter competency via the coursework route must submit a subject matter competency review form with their application package. Prospective applicants should download the review form (PDF), fill out the table describing the relevant coursework, and contact the department (firstname.lastname@example.org) to have their coursework program reviewed. Note that you must complete 100% of the subject matter competency coursework to be in the credential program, although some of this coursework can be in-progress during the application and admission process. If you completed some coursework at another institution, course equivalency must be established with the relevant SF State courses. Equivalency for many courses completed at California public institutions of higher education is provided on the ASSIST online student-transfer information system; other courses should be evaluated for equivalency by an advisor in the relevant discipline. (For example, a biology advisor should evaluate biology coursework.) Enter coursework information in the "coursework completed" or "coursework in progress" sections as follows:
|Column||Information to be Entered by the applicant|
|SF State Course||Enter the SF State course prefix and number for each course used to satisfy the subject matter competency program, for example, "CHEM 115." The required courses are listed above in Tables 1-A and 1-B.|
|Dept & Course #||If you took the course at SF State, leave this space blank. If you took an equivalent course at another institution, enter the course prefix and number of the actual course taken.|
|Course Title||Enter the name of the actual course taken.|
|Units||Enter the number of semester-units. Units for courses taken on a quarter system must be converted to their semester-unit equivalent.
The conversion factor is, 1 quarter unit = 2/3 semester units. For example, a 3-unit quarter-system course is equivalent to a 2-unit semester course.
|Grade||Enter the course grade as shown on your transcript. Leave blank for coursework in progress.|
|Term||Enter the semester or quarter and year, for example, F 2000. Use the following abbreviations: F for Fall; S for Spring; SU for Summer; W for Winter.|
|Institution||If you took the course at SF State, leave this space blank. If you took an equivalent course at another institution, enter the institution's name.|
Students may elect to demonstrate competency by achieving passing scores via exams. The California Subject Examinations for Teachers/Single Subject Assessments for Teaching (CSET/SSAT) organization maintains the CSET website that includes exam dates, locations, fees and preparation materials. A link within CSET provides information on the appropriate science exams. The two required exams, and passing scores are listed below.
- CSET Exam 215, Science Subtest I: General Science, with score of (+/-) 220 out of 300
- CSET Exam 218, Science Subtest III: Chemistry, with score of (+/-) 220 out of 300
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) approved a specialized and limited credential in Chemistry. This teaching certification is valid only for the designated discipline; that is, the person would not be able to teach general science, integrated science, or introductory science. There are three different paths to meet the requirements for a specialized certificate in chemistry:
- Completion of a post-baccalaureate degree (i.e., M.S. or Ph.D.) from a regionally-accredited institution in the requested area, or in a closely related area deemed equivalent by the Commission.
- Completion of a baccalaureate degree (B.A. or B.S.) and 30 semester-units or 45 quarter-units of postgraduate coursework in the science area requested, or in a closely related area deemed equivalent by the Commission
- Achieving passing scores on CSET Test #121 - Science Subtest III: Chemistry, and CSET Test #125 - Science Subtest IV: Chemistry (Specialized). The official CSET website includes test guides, registration and more information.
The closely related areas for the chemistry (specialized) certificate are Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis/Qualitative Analysis, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Nuclear Chemistry and Physical Science-Chemistry. The degree and postgraduate coursework must be from a regionally-accredited institution, and each course applicable to the science area requested shall have a grade of "B" or better, "pass" or "credit."
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