Skip to content Skip to navigation

UC Merced Student Pathway


Welcome, Bobcats!

Considering entering the rewarding career of K12 education and wondering what educational opportunities are available in earning your teaching credential? UC Merced Extension Education Programs offers both Multiple and Single Subject tracks. Single Subject tracks are available in English, History/SS, Math, and Science. You can earn your teaching credential in less than one year and at a lower tuition rate.

California needs you.

California is still experiencing a critical teacher shortage, and the rural Central Valley is quite literally at the center of this crisis. School funding has increased with the recovering economy, but the expected influx of newly qualified teachers has not. These needs are specifically focused around the following subject areas1.

  • Art/Music/Drama (K–Grade 12)
  • Early Childhood Special Education (Ages 5–8)
  • Special Education (Ages 5–21)
  • Foreign Languages (K–Grade 12)
  • Mathematics (Grades 7–12)
  • Natural Sciences (Grades 7–12)

Job growth in California for primary and secondary teachers is projected to continue upward. Secondary teachers are expected to increase by 9.6 percent or 9,300 jobs between 2014 and 2024.2

Your passion for service, combined with a world-class education, will inspire excellence in our future generations.

Your baccalaureate from the University of California, Merced, followed by the UC Merced Extension Teacher Preparation Program, delivers the best of both worlds in preparing you to become part of the solution in a region that desperately needs highly qualified and passionate educators who want to make the difference.

The School of Natural Sciences and UC Merced Extension provide a clear pathway into the fully accredited Teacher Preparation Program (TPP) that allows you to complete the program in LESS than one year while benefitting from lowered tuition cost

How do you qualify for admission into the TPP?

Enrolling in the Natural Science Education Minor (NSED) minor, through Cal Teach, will gain you direct admission.

Benefits of enrolling in the NSED minor:

  • The NSED minor provides many of the requirements for any teaching credential program in the State of California
  • Learn what it is like to be a teacher, including classroom management techniques
  • Gain over 60 hours of experience in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom
  • Open to ALL majors at UC Merced

Read more about the NSED minor.

Our Teacher Preparation Program is designed to prepare teacher candidates, like yourself, to become a modern-day educator who is culturally responsive with a focus on English language learners and children with disabilities.

The program courses integrate researched-based content utilizing current technologies to create adept young learners who can comfortably navigate the digital world in which they live.


Candidates work closely as a cohort and are led through the TPP by veteran educators who are committed to developing the next generation of world-class K12 educators.

Learn more about the Teacher Preparation Program and the NSED pathway by attending our upcoming Information Seminar on February 27 from 6:30-7:30 pm at the Downtown Campus Center. Refreshments will be provided! Please RSVP.

1. Cross, Freddie. (2016). Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing 1990-1991 through 2016-2017. 2016 TSA Nationwide Listing Comprehensive Compendium.

2. Detail Occupational Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from