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California Teach (CalTeach)



Courses in UC San Diego's California Teach program provide a richer understanding of mathematics and science, while enhancing the ability to effectively communicate mathematical and scientific ideas.

Teaching K-12 math or science is an important and rewarding career. Dedicated teachers are needed at all levels to ignite a passion for these subjects in the next generation. 

CalTeach science education and mathematics education courses are also valuable for those interested in a variety of other careers, such as science or technical writing, design of educational software, education outreach at museums, teacher professional development, and research in science or mathematics education.

In addition to courses, CalTeach offers professional development opportunities, advising, scholarships and connections to UC San Diego's Credential program.


Careers in STEM Education Panel (video)- Winter 2023

Scholarships and Fellowships

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Grants for Teachers and Prospective Teachers Assorted grants and travel awards.
  • California Mathematics Council For in-service mathematics teachers or pre-service mathematics teachers enrolled in credential programs.
  • UC San Diego Noyce Fellowship The Noyce Scholarship Track provides funds to institutions of higher education to support scholarships, stipends, and academic programs for undergraduate STEM majors and post-baccalaureate students holding STEM degrees who earn a teaching credential and commit to teaching in high-need K-12 school districts.
  • Fellowships for Incoming UCSD Students At the University of California San Diego, diversity is a core component of excellence that further enhances our quality and achievement. We seek a diverse graduate student body to ensure that all of our students gain the educational benefits that result from being exposed to a broad spectrum of ideas and perspectives. We offer several fellowships to incoming students as a means to increase campus diversity.
  • EDS M.Ed./MA-ASL Fellowship We strongly recommend our applicants to apply for the M.Ed./MA-ASL Fellowship. The application is included in the online graduate application.Recipients must apply to this fellowship and be admitted to one of the following programs: M.Ed/Multiple Subject (Summer Intensive), M.Ed./Multiple Subject (Professional Year, MS-2), M.Ed/Single Subject (Professional Year, SS-2), or MA/ASL-Bilingual Education. First-Year "SS-2" candidates are eligible to apply during the application for advancement to the SS-2 Professional Year.In order to be eligible to receive this fellowship, recipients must remain a full-time student in good academic standing and complete all field requirements each quarter, including student teaching. Note, the M.Ed./MA-ASL Fellowship is exclusive for tuition purposes.
  • Knowles Teaching Fellowship For individuals who will have completed their bachelor’s degree in June and are planning to become high school science or mathematics teachers.  Students in credential programs are also eligible.
  •'s Inspire Our Future Scholarship Can help with support in the credential year.
  • Math for America For individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree with substantial coursework in mathematics and who are planning to teach mathematics.
  • ACS-Hach Second Career Teacher Scholarship For individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a chemistry-related discipline and experience in a chemistry-related profession, who plan to earn their teaching credential.
  • American Association of Physics Teachers Barbara Lotze Scholarships For undergraduate students planning to become physics teachers.
  • Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Educational Foundation For aspiring STEM teachers who are undergraduate sophomores or juniors or are in a graduate credential program.
  • California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA) Scholarship The CalRTA Scholarship program provides scholarships to students in a teaching credential program. Scholarship information from CALRTA Division 69 and North Shores Div.78 is forwarded via email from our department to graduate students while in our teaching preparation program.  

Restriction: Scholarship money is to be used for tuition and/or books and supplies during student teaching semesters. Applicants who have already completed student teaching, or who will not be doing student teaching during the year of the scholarship, are not eligible.

Qualifications: The applicant must have a Bachelor's Degree, be enrolled in the teacher training program of the University, and be a resident of San Diego County.

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund The HSF Scholarship is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a university degree. Awards are based on merit; amounts range from $500 to $5,000, based on relative need, among the Scholars selected.
  • Employment Opportunities UC San Diego employs graduate students in many different types of roles across campus. Working while in graduate school provides financial support, professional experience, and opportunities for career development.

Loan Forgiveness/Grant Programs

  • Cal Grant (Teaching Credential Program Benefits) Undergraduate Cal Grant A and B recipients who plan to enroll in a teaching credential program (TCP) after they receive their bachelor’s degree may be eligible to renew their Cal Grant award for an additional year. The additional year of payment is provided to students who are seeking an initial teaching credential and cannot be used for other graduate level courses of study. The California Student Aid Commission form (G-44) Request for Cal Grant Teaching Credential Program Benefits must be submitted within 15 months of the last term of undergraduate Cal Grant payment.
  • Federal TEACH Grant Program: A TEACH Grant can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. You’ll be required to teach for a certain length of time. To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must do the following:
    • Meet the basic eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs.
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form.
    • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post baccalaureate, or graduate student at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant Program.
    • Be enrolled in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program.
    • Meet certain academic achievement requirements.
    • Receive TEACH Grant counseling that explains the terms and conditions of the TEACH Grant service obligation. You must complete counseling each year that you receive a TEACH Grant.
    • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
  • Graduate Student Association Travel Grants For all UCSD graduate students who are presenting a paper or giving a talk on their own.
  • Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation Federal Perkins Loan cancellation is based on eligible employment or eligible volunteer service and the length of time that you were in such a position. For each full academic year (or its equivalent) of full-time teaching service, you are eligible to have a portion of your loan canceled.
  • UC Emergency Loan Program The Employee Emergency Loan Fund Policy has been rescinded and replaced by two external credit unions who will offer similar programs.
  • Short-Term UCSD Emergency Loans Limited emergency loan funds are administered by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and are offered in small amounts to help students in critical short-term emergencies. 
  • Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.
  • Direct PLUS Loan Direct PLUS Loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school.
    • Be a graduate or professional student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a graduate or professional degree or certificate.
    • If you have an adverse credit history, you may still receive a grad PLUS loan.
    • Eligibility requirements
    • Interest Rate: 7.08%
    • The maximum PLUS loan amount you can borrow is the cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial assistance you receive.
    • You don't have to start making payments until six months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program discharges any remaining debt after 10 years of full-time employment in public service. The borrower must have made 120 payments as part of the Direct Loan program in order to obtain this benefit. The remaining interest and principal are forgiven. The borrower must be employed full-time in a public service job for each of the 120 monthly payments.

Many other merit-based and need-based grants are available. Consult the resources of the UC San Diego Financial Aid Office for more information.

Planning for Credential Program Entry and Success

Students planning to earn their single subject credential will need to take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) (or satisfy the basic skills requirement another way), as well as the California Subject Matter Examination for Teachers (or follow an approved Subject Matter Preparation Program–UC San Diego Math/Science majors must contact an advisor for more information).  See the UC San Diego M.Ed./Single Subject Foundations Program Handbook (SS-1, SS-2) for more information about requirements of the UC San Diego Credential Program.

Current students who pass Mathematics or Science CSETs may be eligible for a stipend that offsets the cost of the exam(s).Please check with the EDS Undergraduate Advisor.

Teach California (Career planning help from the California Department of Education)

Certification Map (FAQ about teaching, teacher salaries, credentials)

California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

California State Board of Education Content Standards (Common Core)

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

UCSD Extension (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved programs offered for teachers to maintain, update, or earn credentials and added authorizations. Programs include offerings to fulfill requirements for Induction, CLAD Through CTEL, Reading & Literacy Authorization, Designated Subjects, Added Authorizations and candidates finishing the California Clear Credential program.)

Other UCSD programs for students interested in teaching

Community College Cross Enrollment and Transfer Students

Transfer Student Success provides resources, services, and programs to empower Triton Transfers to achieve their goals as they navigate UC San Diego's academic and cultural landscape.

Professional Organizations for Math and Science Teachers

LinkedIn CalTeach Group

Aspiration Scholarship Instructions & Selection Criteria 2024

The Aspiration Scholarship supports the development of professional skills by funding graduate education in
select fields designed to improve the quality of life in San Diego County. This program is managed by Impact
Cubed, a 501(c)3 public charity created in 2018.

Amount: Up to $30,000 - over the course of the student’s academic program

Award Criteria:

• Acceptance at one of the following programs for Fall 2024 and attending an in-person or a hybrid (in-
person and online) program:

o California State University San Marcos
i. MSW, School of Social Work, Pupil Personnel Services Credential
ii. MPH: Health Promotion and Health Education
iii. Teaching Credential, School of Education, College of Education, Health, and Human

o University of California, San Diego
i. Teaching Credential and M.Ed, CalTeach Program

o University of San Diego
i. JD, School of Law, Child Advocacy Specialization
ii. MA, Conflict Management & Resolution, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
iii. MA, Social Innovation, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
iv. MA, Peace and Justice, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
v. MA, Nonprofit Leadership and Management, School of Leadership

• Preference given to applicants who demonstrate:
o Past academic performance.
o A commitment to the field of study.
o A desire to apply their learning to improve the quality of life in San Diego County.
o Financial need.
• Renewed funding requires submission of a brief application, including an academic progress report.
Applicants will be selected without discrimination based on an applicant’s race, color, religion (creed), gender,
age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender
identification or expression, or military status in any of its activities of awarding and selection of scholarships
or any other legally protected characteristics.
Employees and their family or household members of the Aspiration Scholarship Selection Committee, Impact
Cubed, and Leichtag Foundation are not eligible to receive the Aspiration Scholarship.

Application Instructions:
____Review selection criteria to confirm eligibility.
____Submit online application at
____For priority review, applications must be received by 5 p.m. PST, Monday, July 8, 2024.

Award Payment:
Awards are made prior to fall payment deadlines and sent directly to the university for for tuition and fees.
Questions: Contact Sharyn Goodson at or 858-997-6675.


F.A.Q. for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Students Interested in Education

What is CalTeach?

The University of California's Science and Mathematics Initiative (SMI), or CalTeach, addresses the critical need for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate teacher preparation. Designed to address California's science and mathematics teacher shortage, this innovative program recruits and prepares Mathematics and Science majors for future teaching careers by providing special coursework and field experiences in K–12 schools while they complete their undergraduate degrees.

What are the majors offered by CalTeach?

B.A in Mathematics/Secondary-Education

B.A in General Physics/Secondary-Education

If you are interested in the Education Sciences major, please refer to the B.S. in Education Sciences here. Students must complete Pathway 3 and double major in the subject they plan to teach and Education Sciences. If you have further questions please contact an EDS advisor.

What are the minors offered by CalTeach?

Mathematics Education Minor (Option 4)

Science Education Minor (Option 5)

Another option is the Education Studies Single Subject Foundations Minor (Option 3), with CalTeach courses as electives (EDS 39 and MATH 95/EDS 30 or CHEM 96/EDS 31 under category D and MATH/EDS 121A or CHEM 187/EDS 122 under category B).

What is the benefit of doing the major/minor?

The Mathematics and Science Education Minors provide the coursework and hands-on experience in local schools to prepare you to become a student or intern teacher when you enroll in the M.Ed/ Single Subject Credential Program after you complete your Bachelor’s degree. By completing the minor you can receive your B.A./B.S., preliminary teaching credential, and Master’s degree in five years! Math, Science and Engineering majors may sign up for either minor if they have the appropriate prerequisites (Calculus 10 or 20 sequence) for the upper division courses. (Note: Because of course overlap, Mathematics Secondary Education Majors cannot declare the Mathematics Education Minor. General Physics/Secondary Education Majors cannot declare the Science Education Minor).

Is it better to declare a CalTeach minor or to major in one of the education majors (e.g. Mathematics Secondary Education or Physics Secondary Education)?

Both options prepare you well for a career in teaching, but which option is right for you depends on your interests. On the one hand, you may already have your heart set on a major, say Molecular Synthesis, Math/Scientific Computation or Physics/Astrophysics. In that case, take the major you want, along with the CalTeach minor. On the other hand, you may have your heart set on a minor, say Dance or Spanish, and don't want two minors. In that case, you could take one of the education majors and still have room for the minor of your choice.

What other opportunities and benefits does CalTeach offer?

CalTeach provides opportunities for future STEM educators to collaborate and network with one another through on-campus events and other opportunities. CalTeach aspires to provide students a way to connect with their peers and alumni in STEM education as well as provide resources for professional development opportunities.

A benefit of the CalTeach initiative is financial assistance to students in the form of stipends for transportation and exam costs. Students who enroll in EDS 39 and EDS 129A-B-C are eligible to receive stipends at the end of the quarter to offset some of the transportation costs to school sites. Students who provide proof of passing the Subject Matter Competence exams in either Science or Math can receive a stipend to offset the cost of the exams.

What is the difference between CalTeach and the teaching credential?

The minors in Science and Mathematics Education, also known as the CalTeach minors, consist of 5 upper division courses after a prerequisite series. The minors prepare students to apply to the M.Ed/Single-Subject Credential Program at UC San Diego. If a UC San Diego Undergraduate student completes either the Science or Mathematics Education minor and applies to and is accepted into the M.Ed/Single-Subject Credential Program, the program becomes a 13 month program as opposed to a 22 month program. (The process is the same for students who complete the Mathematics or Physics Secondary Education Majors.). The teaching credential qualifies recipients to hold a certificated teaching position in a California school.

What is the Subject Matter Preparation Program (SMPP)? How does it help?

The Subject Matter Preparation Pathway is a designated set of courses that will automatically waive the requirement for the CSET, California Subject Examination for Teachers, which is one of the exams a teacher must pass in order to receive a credential. There is an SMPP for Mathematics and an SMPP for Biology. A majority of the courses within the SMPP are classes that can be taken as electives in mathematics and science majors and/or the CalTeach minors. The benefit of the SMPP is that it relieves one of the many tests to receive a teaching credential, saving students money and time. Please contact Danielle del Rosario ( for further information on the SMPP waiver.

I’m a transfer student. Can I complete my CalTeach minor in 2 years?

Yes, you can certainly finish the minor in two years. Visit our minor page for a sample course plan. If you have further questions please contact the EDS/CalTeach Undergraduate Advisor, Melanie Ronten ( to schedule an advising appointment to discuss your options.

I think I would like to teach at the college level. Would either of the CalTeach minors be useful for me?

Definitely. In the courses you will explore how students learn concepts at many levels, from the very elementary to the kinds of things you are studying in your college courses. Also, keep in mind that many of the difficulties your college students may have will be rooted in concepts they studied in high school or even earlier, so it is very important to know where your students are coming from. If you are interested in becoming a college professor it is recommended to meet with your major’s advisors to discuss how to best prepare for this career path.

Are the CalTeach minors useful for students considering other careers?

Absolutely. We think everyone should take at least one of the science or math education courses in the minors. Communicating ideas effectively is essential in nearly every profession. Effective communication of scientific and mathematical ideas begins with taking stock of one's own understanding. It means learning how to ask good questions of oneself. Once one is satisfied that one's own understanding is solid, the next step is deciding what ideas to get across and how. This step depends on the audience. Thus learning how different people learn is essential to good communication in any setting. These are the kinds of things you will explore in the math and science education courses in the minors.

Do I have to be a Math or Science major to declare one of the CalTeach minors?

It is strongly encouraged to be either a Math or Science major due to the course content and practicum placements. It is important to note that Calculus 10C or 20C (preferably) is a prerequisite for two courses in the Minor in Mathematics Education, and Chemistry 6C is a prerequisite for two courses in the Minor in Science Education. Also, for the EDS 129/139 courses, students must be majoring in the subject that they plan to teach (i.e. Science, Math or Engineering majors). If you are not majoring in the subject then you must pass the Subject Matter Competence in that subject prior to enrolling in EDS 129B/139 during your senior year. Those whose major doesn't match would also have to request permission, via petition to EDS, to enroll, and you can only do this after submitting proof of passage for the Subject Matter Competency requirement. There is no guarantee of approval for these petitions. Students will not be competitive for UCSD’s M.Ed./Single Subject Credential Program in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology or Geosciences if they are not majoring in the subject. 

You cannot major and minor in education, so Mathematics Secondary Education Majors can’t minor in Mathematics Education. Similarly, Physics Secondary Education Majors can’t minor in Science Education.

I’m not sure if I want to be a teacher, but I’d like to get some experience working with K-12 students. Are there any courses that are suitable for me?

Yes. In addition to CHEM 96/MATH 95 + EDS 39, we recommend checking out the Partners At Learning (PAL) program offered by Education Studies. PAL is UC San Diego’s largest service learning program. PAL provides opportunities for UC San Diego undergraduate students to work with underserved P-12 students and schools. These classes are open to all majors and can also fulfill college and university requirements.

I think I want to become a teacher, but my schedule is already full and I don’t think I have room for any education courses. Should I consider dropping something so I can add Education courses?

You don't have to and you do have the option of applying to the 22 month M.Ed/Single-Subject Credential Program (SS-1) after you receive your Bachelor’s degree. Of course, it is highly recommended to get at least some experience working with K-12 students, through volunteer work or other Education Studies courses, to make sure teaching is the right career for you. Relevant experience is also important for your application to a credential program.

Do teachers earn a good living?

The average salary of a secondary school teacher in California is approaching $75,000. Teachers with higher degrees earn more money than those without, which is why it is worthwhile to get your Master's and Teaching Credential, rather than the Teaching Credential alone. UC San Diego graduates can earn up to $5,000-$8,000 more with the M.Ed. Also, factors that should be taken into consideration are good health and retirement benefits, as well as the many scholarship and loan repayment programs that are specifically to help future teachers fund their education. Review Become A Teacher to see further great reasons to become a teacher and the benefits from pursuing this career.


Remote and in-person advising is currently available for the CalTeach minors.

Current students:

Please contact EDS via the VAC (Virtual Advising Center) to ask questions or set up a Zoom advising appointment.

Walk-in advising:

Tuesday 9-11 am in RWAC 0503. 

In-person advising appointments:

Available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Appointments must be made by reaching out to EDS via the VAC. 

Prospective students:

Please email Education Studies Undergraduate Advisor, Melanie Ronten, at


Coming soon. Check out our Instagram @ucsdcalteach for the most up to date information!