Application Requirements

As a practice, the School of Education takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications. We assess each applicant with a balanced consideration, looking at their life experiences, personal attributes, and academic metrics. We also evaluate how applicants may contribute to the school and to their chosen field.

The School of Education has application requirements that pertain to all students and certain programs. Please refer to the sections below for information about your program’s requirements.

General Admission Requirements

  1. Completed online application with non-refundable $55 application fee.
  2. One set of unofficial transcripts from each university/college previously attended. For U.S. applicants, the degree must be from a regionally accredited university/college. An applicant with a pending degree must provide official verification of expected degree completion from institution's Registrar or school official. An undergraduate degree is required to apply to a master's program. A master's degree is required to apply for a doctoral program. Please note: if admitted you will need to submit official transcripts prior to enrolling.
  3. Applicants must have earned their Bachelor's and/or Masters' degrees from a regionally accredited institution. They must provide a background of academic preparation and/or professional experience that demonstrates their ability to pursue graduate level programs.
  4. MA and Credential applicants: Recommended GPA of 2.75; Doctoral applicants: Recommended GPA of 3.0 from a graduate program
  5. Two current, signed letters of recommendation, noting suitability for graduate work. Please note Teacher Education program applicants should seek out recommendations from an instructor or supervisor (past or present).
  6. Current résumé.
  7. A Statement of Intent - Unless the program you are applying to has a specific prompt below, applicants should address the following prompt in their application: Outline the purpose for seeking admission to the specific School of Education graduate program being chosen; include career and academic goals.

Applicants to the following programs should address these specific areas in their statement:

  • Higher Education and Student Affairs: Identify and analyze a current issue related to equity in higher education that is important to you. Explain what role you see higher education and student affairs practitioners playing in addressing inequity and promoting equity and social justice in higher education, and share how this aligns with your professional goals (limit is 2 pages, double-spaced). 
  • Marriage and Family Therapy: Articulate your knowledge and interest in the field, connection to our social justice mission, and a rationale for wanting to attend the USF MFT program (2-4 pages double-spaced). Please visit the Marriage and Family Therapy admission page on the program website for a full list of program-specific admission requirements.
  • School Counseling: Describe previous experience and professional goals in counseling children, adolescents, or young adults. State your specific interest in the School Counseling program at USF and how you hope to promote social justice and equitable conditions as a school counselor.
  • Special Education MA/Credential: How will you support and advocate for culturally and linguistically diverse K - 12 students with mild to moderate disabilities? In addition, outline the purpose for seeking admission to the Special Education MA/Credential program; include career and academic goals.
  • Teacher Education (all programs except Urban Education and Social Justice, and the San Francisco Teacher Residency): Describe your interest in becoming a classroom teacher, relevant experience, connection to our social justice mission, and qualities/aspirations you would bring to our program. Also tell us why you have chosen to apply to Teacher Education and USF (2-4 pages, double spaced).
  • Teacher Education – San Francisco Teacher Residency MA/Credential: Why do you want to become a teacher in San Francisco, particularly in an underserved community? What role do you see yourself and other teachers/community members playing in addressing inequity and promoting social justice in our local schools? (two to three pages, double-spaced)
  • Teacher Education – Urban Education and Social Justice: Outline the purpose for seeking admission to the Urban Education and Social Justice Teacher Education program; include career and academic goals. In addition, include your experiences working with urban youth and your vision for enacting social justice as a teacher.

School Counseling/Pupil Personnel Applicants

In addition to the general admission requirements, you must also complete the Basic Skills Requirement* and submit a Copy of Certificate of Clearance.

*BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT – CANDIDATES MUST COMPLETE THE BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT THROUGH ONE OF THE EIGHT AVAILABLE OPTIONS:
  1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) – Individuals only need to pass the CBEST once; CBEST passing scores remain valid indefinitely for all credential purposes. To pass the CBEST, one must obtain a minimum score of 41 in each of the three sections—reading, writing, and mathematics. However, a score as low as 37 on an individual section is acceptable if the total score is at least 123. Any or all sections of the CBEST can be repeated as many times as necessary to obtain a passing score.
  2. Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects plus the CSET: Writing Skills Examination – Passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects examination in combination with the CSET: Writing Skills examination meets the basic skills requirement. Passing exam scores on the CSET: Multiple Subjects examination used only for purposes of meeting the basic skills requirement remain valid indefinitely. The CSET: Writing Skills may not be used alone and must always be used in combination with the CSET: Multiple Subjects examination.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency on the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program Demonstrating proficiency on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) (English and Mathematics sections) is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement. For use of the EAP, individuals must achieve a score of “College Ready” or “Exempt” for both math and English.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency on the California State University (CSU) Placement Examinations – Demonstrating proficiency on the CSU Placement Examinations (English Placement Test [EPT] and Entry Level Mathematics [ELM]) is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement. For use of the EPT, individuals must achieve a score of 151. For use of the ELM, individuals must achieve a score of 50.
  5. Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State – The Commission will accept basic skills examinations from other states. There is no recency requirement for the date the examination was passed. The list of Basic Skills examinations from other states accepted by the Commission can be found on the CTC website
  6. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on the College Board SAT examination – Individuals who achieve a score of at least 500 on the SAT Critical Reading exam and a score of at least 550 on the SAT mathematics exam are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.
  7. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on the ACT examination  Individuals who achieve a score of at least 22 on the ACT English exam and a score of at least 23 on the ACT mathematics exam are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.
  8. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on selected College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations – Individuals who achieve:
    •  A score of 3 or higher on the College Board AP English exam
    •  A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus exam or AP Statistics exam, are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.

See full details on CTC website.
Copies of passing scores can be accepted until official scores are submitted.

Teaching Credential Applicants

In addition to the general admission requirements, you must also have:

  1. Proof of Completion of one of the Basic Skills Requirements*

    -Multiple subject candidates can complete the CSET Multiple Subject exams PLUS the CSET Writing Skills exam to satisfy the Basic Skills Requirement.

  2. Proof of subject matter competency (CSET for multiple subjects candidates; CSET or a Subject Matter Competency waiver from an accredited subject matter preparation program for single subject candidates).

    - Multiple Subjects candidates are required to complete the CSET: Multiple Subjects exam (Subtests I, II, and III)

    - Single Subject candidates are required to take the CSET in the subject area in which they plan to be credentialed.

              Single Subject English candidates: CSET English (Subtests I, II, III, and IV)

              Single Subject Social Science candidates: CSET Social Science (Subtests I, II, and III)

              Single Subject Mathematics candidates: CSET Mathematics (Subtests I and II are required to be eligible for admission to USF; Students should also take Subtest III if they seek to earn the full mathematics credential)

             

    - Single Subject Science candidates must submit the following exams taken on or prior to August 6, 2017:

              CSET Science Subtests I and II (test codes 118 and 119)
              CSET Science Subtest III (test codes 120-123) is only required if pursuing a concentration in a particular area of science

    - Single Subject Science candidates must submit the following exam(s) taken after August 6, 2017 must submit the following exam score reports:

              CSET Science Subtest I (test code 215)
              CSET Science Subtest II (test codes 217-220) only required if pursuing a concentration in a particular area of science
              Life Sciences (test code 217)
              Chemistry (test code 218)
              Earth and Space Sciences (test code 219)
              Physics (test code 220) 

Applicants to the Teacher Education Department at USF's additional locations (Pleasanton, Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Rosa) are eligible to complete their credential in the following subject areas: Multiple Subject or Single Subject (any area). Contact safenderson@usfca.edu to speak specifically about what content area you are interested in pursuing and the testing requirements for that content area.

CSET scores are valid for five years from date the test was completed.

SF Teacher residency and Urban Education and Social Justice applicants can be admitted conditionally with CSET pending.

Teaching credential applicants living outside California at the time of their application should contact the department for testing requirements.

*BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT – CANDIDATES MUST COMPLETE THE BASIC SKILLS REQUIREMENT THROUGH ONE OF THE EIGHT AVAILABLE OPTIONS:
  1. Pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) – Individuals only need to pass the CBEST once; CBEST passing scores remain valid indefinitely for all credential purposes. To pass the CBEST, one must obtain a minimum score of 41 in each of the three sections—reading, writing, and mathematics. However, a score as low as 37 on an individual section is acceptable if the total score is at least 123. Any or all sections of the CBEST can be repeated as many times as necessary to obtain a passing score.
  2. Pass the CSET: Multiple Subjects plus the CSET: Writing Skills Examination – Passing the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET): Multiple Subjects examination in combination with the CSET: Writing Skills examination meets the basic skills requirement. Passing exam scores on the CSET: Multiple Subjects examination used only for purposes of meeting the basic skills requirement remain valid indefinitely. The CSET: Writing Skills may not be used alone and must always be used in combination with the CSET: Multiple Subjects examination.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency on the California State University (CSU) Early Assessment Program Demonstrating proficiency on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) (English and Mathematics sections) is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement. For use of the EAP, individuals must achieve a score of “College Ready” or “Exempt” for both math and English.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency on the California State University (CSU) Placement Examinations – Demonstrating proficiency on the CSU Placement Examinations (English Placement Test [EPT] and Entry Level Mathematics [ELM]) is sufficient to meet the basic skills requirement. For use of the EPT, individuals must achieve a score of 151. For use of the ELM, individuals must achieve a score of 50.
  5. Pass a Basic Skills Examination from Another State – The Commission will accept basic skills examinations from other states. There is no recency requirement for the date the examination was passed. The list of Basic Skills examinations from other states accepted by the Commission can be found on the CTC website
  6. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on the College Board SAT examination – Individuals who achieve a score of at least 500 on the SAT Critical Reading exam and a score of at least 550 on the SAT mathematics exam are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.
  7. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on the ACT examination  Individuals who achieve a score of at least 22 on the ACT English exam and a score of at least 23 on the ACT mathematics exam are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.
  8. Achieve the minimum acceptable scores on selected College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations – Individuals who achieve:
    •  A score of 3 or higher on the College Board AP English exam
    •  A score of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus exam or AP Statistics exam, are determined to have met the basic skills requirement.

See full details on CTC website.
Copies of passing scores can be accepted until official scores are submitted.

Doctoral Applicants

In addition to the general application requirements, doctoral applicants must also submit:

  1. MA thesis (excerpt or complete copy) or graduate level paper
  2. Official scores for either the Graduate Record Examinations or Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Test scores must be sent directly to USF by the Education Testing Service (GRE) or the Psychological Corporation (MAT). No photocopies of the results will be accepted. Scores must have been obtained within the past five years. 

USF's GRE Code is 4850 (no department code is required).

Note to all Doctoral Applicants: The initial admission to a School of Education doctoral program is a preliminary decision. During their first year, students develop a portfolio in order to demonstrate competence in research methodology and department-specific content. Completion of portfolio requirements is necessary for final admission into a doctoral program.

International Applicants

In addition to the general application requirements, international applicants must also submit:

  1. Copy of passing scores for one of the following: TOEFL, IELTS or Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE). Passing scores are listed below. Please refer to the Graduate Admission website for exceptions to the required international applicant testing and additional information.
  2. TOEFL* (Note: The USF TOEFL code is 4850.) - 580 (paper test) or 92 with no sub score lower than 20 (Internet-based test) for master's applicants, 600 (paper test) or 100 with no sub score lower than 20 (Internet-based test) for doctoral applicants
  3. IELTS - 7.0 for master's applicants and doctoral applicants
  4. PTE - 62 for master's applicants, 68 for doctoral applicants
  5. Certificate of Finances

Please visit our International Student page for more information.