Spring Semester applications due October 15

Fall Semester applications due February 01


** To apply to the Program in Visual Impairments, Two applications are required: One for the Graduate Division and one for the Department of Special Education.


Steps to apply:

1. We highly recommend that interested students attend an informational meeting held  regularly by the Credential Services Teacher Preparation Center. Check their web site for upcoming meetings,      


2. Please review procedure and policy for graduate admissions on the Division of Graduate Studies website at


3. Apply online to the University through the CSU Mentor website at the following link,   


4. Obtain an application to the Department of Special Education, print out and complete the application.


Education Specialist Credential - Application Process

 In order to be admitted to the VI Preliminary Education Specialist or Professional Clear Credential programs, candidates are evaluated by the university and by faculty members within the Department of Special Education.


Applicants for University-recommended Education Specialist Credentials must meet all state and University requirements as following:

Note: All credential applicants must apply to both a credential and master's degree. the only exception made is for credential applicants who previously have earned a master's degree in Special Education. If you would like to pursue this option, please fill out the following form and submit it along with your graduate application. Petition for Graduate Admission form can be downloaded here: 



Choose one of the following options to fulfill this requirement:

         A.    CBEST (California Basic Skills Examination) Submit a photocopy of the results. Register on-line:

         B.    Out-of-State Basic Skills Exam. Submit a photocopy of the results. Not all states’ Basic Skills Exams have been approved by the CTC. Contact the Teacher Preparation Center to find out if the test you took is approved. For more information on specific tests, contact the appropriate Department of Education for the state in which you want to take the test.

         C.    CSET: Multiple Subjects + Writing Skills. All three sections of the Multiple Subject CSET exam must be passed as well as the CSET Writing Skills test. Submit a photocopy of the results. Register on-line:<>.

Not recommended for those taking the Single Subject CSET exams.

         D.    CSU EAP Placement Tests (Early Assessment Program). These are usually taken in the spring of your 11th grade year. Results must state College Ready OR Exempt. This test is given to California high school students only. Submit a photocopy of the results.

         E.    CSU ELM/EPT (Entry Level Math/English Placement Test). These tests are taken by incoming CSU freshmen. ELM passing results: 50 (550 prior to March 2003) EPT passing results – 151. Submit a photocopy of the results or a printout from MySFSU or similar CSU student system. Results must show a score.


Subject Matter Competency: (Early Childhood and Orientation and Mobility are exempt from this requirement). The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires that Education Specialist candidates prove they possess a body of appropriate knowledge that reflects the California State Standards. There are two ways candidates can prove their competency: 1) Take the appropriate state test, or 2) Complete appropriate subject matter coursework. Please contact the Credential Services Teacher Preparation Center for further clarity, (415) 405-3594, or go to the CSET website at


Certificate of Clearance (COC): Fingerprint Clearance via Live Scan and Commission on Teacher Credentialing online application.

In accordance with California state law and Education code, all teaching credential applicants must go through a background check.  All applicants must apply for a Certificate of Clearance with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) OR submit proof of prior completion of the clearance.  Acceptable documentation in lieu of a Certificate of Clearance: valid credentials or permits issued by the CTC, including substitute, pre-intern, clear or preliminary, or Child Development permits.  District or other job related clearance is not acceptable. Submit a photocopy of the document or a printout from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing website.


Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation (not required for Level II / Clear Credential candidates). Letters should come from a source familiar with the applicant’s teaching or overall potential and ability as a prospective teacher. Letters should be typed on professional letterhead with original signatures. Letters from relatives are not acceptable.


Original Transcripts: Applicants must submit 2 sets of original transcripts from all universities attended (1 to the department, 1 to the University).


GPA:  The minimum GPA accepted for all Special Education applicants is 3.0 overall in all baccalaureate coursework.


Early Field Experience: Candidates shall have demonstrated suitable aptitude for teaching in public schools by demonstrating they have fulfilled a minimum requirement of 45 hours of early field experience prior to applying to an Education Specialist Credential. The early field experience must represent your emphasis choice and be in the kind of environment that matches the credential you are seeking.


Statement of Purpose: Applicants must submit a typed essay in which the candidate outlines reasons for wanting to enter the selected program area. Include descriptions of experiences that led you to consider the area of study as well as short term and long term goals relative to service to the profession in the years ahead.


Program faculty will review applications for consideration for program acceptance in meeting the above criteria. Admission to the Preliminary Education Specialist credential program is based upon information from the sources listed above as judged by the faculty of the Department of Special Education.


Download the department application form from here:

Additional information about international applications can be found at

Amanda Hall Lueck, Ph.D. Professor • Burk Hall Room 145
Phone: 415-338-1080
Department of Special Education • San Francisco State University • 1600 Holloway Avenue • San Francisco, California 94132
© 2014 Program in Visual Impairments at San Francisco State University • Last updated May 27, 2014