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College of Education

College of Education

Admissions Requirements and How to Apply

Preliminary Special Education, Early Childhood (ECSE) Credential Admissions Requirements

Applicants apply to this program if they do not yet hold any credential in Special Education and want to work with special needs children from birth through age 5.

How to Apply

  1. Cal State Apply University Application: Complete the University application at

    Tips on completing the Cal State Apply University application are available here

    Are you having trouble with the Cal State Apply application?  If so email right away for assistance.

  2. Request official transcript(s): Request official transcript(s) to be sent to SDSU Graduate Admissions:

    Graduate Admissions
    SDSU - Enrollment Services
    5500 Campanile Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92182-7416

    Electronic Transcript Formats
    SDSU accepts electronic transcripts in PDF or EDI format.  

    Transcripts must be sent by the Institution
    When requesting an electronic transcript you can choose San Diego State University on the selection menu or have them sent to:  SDSU will not accept transcripts emailed from students.

  3. Program Application: The link to this program application will be available within the Cal State Apply application, but you can also access it with the Program Application button below:

Items Requested in Program Application

Please gather the items below and have them ready to upload to the Program application:

These items need to be completed prior to admission to SDSU's Credential program. Some items can be in progress when applying, but MUST be complete BEFORE admission.

  1. Bachelor's Degree
  2. GPA Requirement
  3. Basic Skills Requirement
  4. Subject Matter Competency: Early Childhood applicants must have completed a child development course preferably one that includes child development for young children from birth to age 6 (Please note development and learning for Adolescence/Adulthood is not acceptable).  At SDSU, the approved course would be CFD 270, CFD 375A or CFD 375B. The CSET is NOT required for the ECSE credential program.
  5. Pre-requisite Courses: to be completed before starting the credential program.

    SPED 500: Human Exceptionality (3 units)
    SPED 501: Typical & Atypical Learning Processes (3 units)
    SPED 502: Field Experiences in General and Special Education (1 unit)
    SPED 527: SPED in a Pluralistic Society (3 units)
    SPED 528: Young Children with Disabilities and their Families (3 units, Fall only)
    DLE 915A: Teaching and Learning in the Content Area: ELD/SDAIE ( 3 units)

  6. Certificate of Clearance or Emergency Teaching Permit
  7. Negative TB Test
  8. $25 Credential Application Fee
  9. Personal Narrative:  You will be asked to respond to the following prompt: Please write a brief (500 word maximum) statement addressing your background and experiences that have contributed to your desire to be a special education teacher as well as the personal and professional factors that you consider to be most important if one is to become an effective and caring special educator.
  10. Letters of Recommendation
**Important**Please plan to take the exams early.  We will need passing scores for CBEST by April 30th.  We will not be able to accept scores provided after June 1st without special permission from the admissions staff.

Exit Requirements

Please be aware that there are additional exit requirements required to earn your credential.  These must be completed by the time you finish the credential program.

Important Dates for Fall 2018 Credential Admissions

Item DueDue Date
Cal State Apply application
(opens October 1, 2017)
March 1, 2018 
(Please submit ASAP)*
Program application priority deadline
March 1, 2018
Transcripts due
April 1, 2018

*We recommend that you complete the Cal State Apply application ASAP as you will need to be assigned an SDSU red ID to complete the Program application. It can take up to a week to be assigned a red ID after submission of this application. 

If you have not yet been assigned your red ID and need to submit your Program application please enter 800000000 as your red ID number; so that you will be able to submit your application by the deadline. 


Download Admissions Printable Checklist

  • Early Childhood Credential Checklist (DOCX)
  • Early Childhood Program Sequence
  • Mild Moderate Credential Checklist (DOCX)
  • Mild Moderate Program Sequence
  • Moderate Severe Credential Checklist (DOCX)
  • Moderate Severe Program Sequence


If you have questions about the application process or program itself, contact the credential advisors ( or visit the SPED Early Childhood Credential Homepage.


Pre-Admission Disclosure Language for licensure and credentialing programs

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available from College of Education, Office of Student Services (EBA 259), 619-594-6320, 

College of Education Office of Student Services