Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) Preparation Programs

Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) Preparation Programs

In Fall 2017, Cal State LA underwent the approval process for previously approved Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) Preparation Programs through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC).  The effective completion of an ESM Preparation Program would allow a student to waive the CSET: Multiple Subjects through an approved set of completed, accredited academic coursework. The university’s proposed programs in this regard were determined to hold the proper quality that satisfies the Commission on Teacher Credentialing's elementary subject matter program standards, and are effective as of the 2018 calendar year.  The four academic programs approved for an Elementary Subject Matter Preparation Program via academic coursework through the CTC are only: Child Development, Chicana/o & Latina/o Studies, Liberal Studies, and Urban Learning.
Each Program of Elementary Subject Matter Preparation shall consist of a minimum of 84 semester units, or equivalent quarter units, including, but not limited to, language studies and literature; mathematics; science; social science, history, and humanities; visual and performing arts; physical education; and human development. There must be a minimum of 12 semester units in the major content area. Institutional discretion on course equivalences accepted (articulation of courses and equivalent course substitutions).  Cal State LA cannot “grandfather” now a previously completed ESM waiver that was not conferred/approved under old standards.  A student who began their post-secondary career at a community college can potentially be eligible for an elementary subject matter waiver after transferring to Cal State LA.


A student can be considered for an Elementary Subject Matter (ESM) waiver provided that they meet/fulfill the following stipulations:

  1. Enrollment in or completion of a Bachelor’s of the following academic majors:
    1. Child Development
    2. Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies
    3. Liberal Studies
    4. Urban Learning;
  2. All applicable coursework must have been completed Fall 2016 or later.
  3. Completion of regionally accredited, academic coursework that is equivalent to the courses and units listed for each academic major.
  4. Following ESM evaluation student agrees to complete any outstanding/remaining courses at Cal State LA.
  5. Earn a “C” or better on every course listed for the Elementary Subject Matter program.
  6. Must be a degree recipient of Cal State LA or be enrolled to complete a preliminary teaching credential program at Cal State LA.

Waiver evaluation and conferral process is determined and executed by approved faculty advisors from one of the listed departments, and by the CCOE via program coordinator, and Office for Student Services advisors.

If you meet steps 1-6 listed above; Please follow the instructions below in order to obtain your subject matter waiver evaluation.

Cal State LA ESM-Approved Program for Each Major

We have included links to the four programs, listing the Cal State LA ESM-Approved Coursework for each.  The classes listed ONLY reflect those from Cal State LA and not any articulated coursework from other institutions or equivalent substitutions.  These attachments can serve as guides/road maps for course completion:


PDF icon  ESM Approved Courses-Liberal Studies


PDF icon  ESM Approved Courses-Chicana Studies


PDF icon  ESM Approved Courses-Child Development


PDF icon  ESM Approved Courses-Urban Learning

Subject Matter Waiver Program Evaluation Process

Once you are ready to obtain your waiver, you will have to follow the accorded subject matter waiver program evaluation process.  Below we have instructions, a request form, and the directory of approved waiver evaluators on campus.  Please follow the step-by-step instructions in order to obtain your subject matter waiver.


PDF icon  Subject Matter Waiver Program Evaluation Instructions


PDF icon  Subject Matter Waiver Program Evaluation Fee Form


PDF icon  Subject Matter Preparation Program Advisor