Finding Your Pathway to Teaching

Steps to becoming a teacher for the foreign degree holder Steps to Becoming a Teacher
for the
Foreign Degree Holder

If you have a university degree from another country and would like to become a teacher in California, there are several steps you must consider. The following information will help you find out what you need in order to teach in a California classroom.

Basic Requirements to Work in California
  • Must be legally eligible to work in California
    • Be a citizen or resident, or hold certain types of visas.
    • Additional information may be obtained from the school district where employment is being sought.


  • Must be proficient in the English language.
    • Exams and university courses and/or credential programs are taught in English. English courses are offered by adult schools, community colleges, and school districts.
If You Do NOT Hold a University Degree:

In order to become a credentialed teacher, you will need a bachelor's degree. Please refer to the Four-Year College Student section for more information.

If you Earned a University Degree in Your Native Country:

Step #1 - Foreign transcript evaluation
  • Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by one of the approved organizations in order to be accepted by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

  • In all instances, original, official documentation will be required when requesting the evaluation.

Step #2 - Requirements to teach in California
  • Hold a university degree valid in California.

  • Pass the CBEST Exam (California Basic Educational Skills Test). For more information, go to www.cbest.nesinc.com or call (916) 928-4001.

  • Obtain a teaching credential. What you need to do to receive your credential will depend on the type of credential you are seeking, the amount of teaching experience you had in your native country, and the results of your transcript evaluation. For more information, please log on to the CCTC website at www.ctc.ca.gov and look in "Requirements for Teachers Prepared Outside of California" for the type of credential you are seeking, or call them at (888) 921-2682.

Step #3 - Apply for financial aid

Citizens and certain non-citizens are eligible for different types of financial aid. Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at (800) 433-3243 for information about eligibility and other student aid topics. Contact the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at (800) 357-2099 for information about required documentation.

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