College of Arts & Sciences

Single Subject Program

The Single Subject Program is designed for those Math majors and/or minors who are interested in teaching Math in a high school or middle school. To teach in a public school in California, certain requirements must be met. The Single Subject Program at Cal Lutheran has been approved by the State of California: persons completing the program are eligible to pursue a Single Subject Teaching Credential upon their graduation.

Looking for more major options?

Become the math teacher your future students need — check out our Mathematics for Teaching major.

The Single Subject Teaching Credential in mathematics authorizes a person to teach mathematics classes in California public schools. To apply for this credential, a person must demonstrate subject matter competency in one of two ways:

  1. By completing a subject matter preparation program such as Cal Lutheran's Single Subject Waiver Program, or
  2. By earning on passing score on a multipart subject matter examination (CSET) administered by the state.

State documents about standards for mathematics in the public schools include Academic Content Standards.

Overview and Requirements

The Subject Matter Preparation Program in Mathematics is comprised of mathematics course work, supporting interdisciplinary courses, and supplemental field experiences.  It encompasses the requirements for a degree in Mathematics, but asks students to extend their knowledge to the educational setting, and to synthesize and summarize their experiences in a final Subject Matter Portfolio.

The curriculum consists of 11 core math courses (42 units), and 4 courses (16-18 units) that provide breadth to the essential core.  These courses cover fundamental topics such as discrete mathematics, calculus, probability and statistics, algebra, geometry, and number theory.  Options are given for several categories of courses. The mathematics courses are intended to provide a basic foundation in mathematics as well as exposure to many of the facets of mathematics.  In addition, students are required to complete two field experiences to investigate the differences between teaching and learning mathematics.

Course Requirements

Mathematics Courses

              Math 231            --            Statistics for Scientists (4 units)

              Math 241            --            Discrete Math (4 units)
              Math 251            --            Calculus I (4 units)
              Math 252            --            Calculus II (4 units)
              Math 261            --            Calculus III (4 units)
              Math 343            --            Linear Algebra (4 units)
              Math 352            --            Probability and Statistics (4 units)

              Math 381            --            Geometry (4 units)
              Math 382            --            Number Theory (4 units)
              Math 475            --            Capstone (2 units)

Breadth and Perspective Courses

Five supporting courses are required.  These add depth to the students' experiences and/or show the interconnectedness of mathematics with other disciplines.

1. One computer science course is required.  It may be selected from the following:

              CSC 110            --            Introduction to Computer Programming (4 units)
              CSC 210            --            Introduction to Computer Programming (4 units)

2. Two laboratory courses from either Physics or Chemistry are required.  They may be selected from the following:

              Chem 151,151L            --            General Chemistry (5 units)    
              Chem 152,152L            --            General Chemistry (5 units)
              Physics 211,211L          --            Mechanics and Thermodynamics (5 units)
              Physics 212,212L          --            Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics (5 units)    


3. One course in mathematics providing an advanced in-depth perspective is required. Students may take either:

              Math 425            --            Abstract Algebra (4 units)
              Math 420            --            Real Analysis (4 units)


4. One additional math elective course that is either Math 265-Differential Equations or an upper-division mathematics course.  Taking both courses from the previous requirement (Math 425and Math 420) will satisfy this requirement.  Other recent and upcoming options include

              Math 265           --             Differential Equations (4 units)

              Math 320            --           Elementary Math Analysis (4 units)
              Math 331            --            Data Analysis with R (4 units)
              Math 341            --            Combinatorics and Graph Theory (4 units)
              Math 450            --            Complex Analysis (4 units)
              Math 482            --            Selected Topics: Topology (4 units)

5. Field Experience: Two required courses

              Math 492            --            Cooperative Education (for Math Center tutoring and training) (1 or 2 units)
              IES 362               --            Career Decisions in Education (4 units)

Recommended Courses

Candidates are strongly encouraged to take the following courses as electives or to satisfy CLU’s Core 21 general education requirements

              Educ 400            --            Culture and Diversity in Education (3 units)
              Phil 350              --            Technology and Values (4 units)
              Phil 445              --            Philosophy of Education (3 units)

Entrance/Exit Requirements
  • Completion of Math 251-Calculus I and Math 252-Calculus II with a C- or above is required for entrance into program. 
  • An Entrance Interview:  The Entrance Interview consists of a review of grades and portfolio materials from Calculus, including 2 work samples. At least one of the work samples should be from Calculus and the other can be any 200-level math course. Prospective candidates are encouraged to complete  IES 362-Career Decisions in Education prior to the entrance interview. The interview will include a discussion on how to start the Standards for Mathematics Practice Survey essay and an overview of the portfolio.
  • Completion of Subject Matter Portfolio to demonstrate competence in each domain and skill area of the subject matter
  • Successful Oral Defense of Portfolio
  • 2.25 GPA in required coursework


The portfolio is designed to document a student's progress towards achieving subject matter competency in mathematics. It should be updated at the end of each semester. Samples of course work that demonstrate enhanced skills should be included, as well as reflective summaries of learning acquired through course work, field experience, and other relevant activities. Specific forms that may be included are detailed below with links to the forms themselves.

  1. Subject Matter Preparation Checklist (Form A) -- to be maintained by the student and the advisor to document progress and plan for program completion.
  2. Oral Portfolio Defense -- completed by departmental faculty following the student's Oral Defense of his/her portfolio, then included in the student's portfolio.
  3. Required Essays -- Descriptions and guidelines for the three required essays are in the Portfolio Guidelines linked below.  The three essay topics are:
    • Standards for Mathematical Practice Survey (best written before interning in the Math Center and during or after taking IES 362 Career Decisions in Education)
    • Multiculturalism and Ethnicity in Mathematics (best written during Number Theory or Geometry); and
    • Gender Issues in Mathematics (best written during Geometry or Number Theory). 

Portfolio Guidelines

Declaration of Intent

It is important that you declare your intention to complete the Single Subject Mathematics Program as early as possible so that you may complete the entrance interview and be admitted to the program. There are many classes and extra options that need to be completed: your advisor will help you stay on track to complete the waiver by your graduation. If you wish to complete the Single Subject Program, then you must notify the Program Coordinator (Dr. Fogel) and your advisor in person or via email no later than one semester before you intend to finish the program.