Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching
How To Apply
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ApplicationinNutshell_Thumbnail_250-326.jpgThe Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching Program accepts applications at any time; admissions decisions are made three times a year. Your application must be complete and received in full (including letters of recommendations, test score(s), and official transcripts) by the following dates if you want to begin coursework in the next semester. You must indicate on your application when you want to start coursework. See FAQ for questions about the MAFLT and the resources and skills you may need.

  • June 1 (for fall enrollment)
  • October 15 (for spring enrollment)
  • April 1 (for summer enrollment)


To be admitted to the program, you must have a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a recognized educational institution.

The MAFLT Program does not provide K-12 licensure. Many students in the program are already K-12 certified teachers or teach (or will teach) in private schools, universities, community colleges, or abroad.



Before you begin your application, you will need to begin preparing at least a month before the deadline. Order transcripts from institutions that granted you degrees; update your resume or CV; identify three or more supervisors, professors, colleagues, etc. who can write recommendation letters and give them at least three weeks to write the letter; and write your personal and academic statements. The requirements and guidelines for all of these elements are discussed further below. When you are ready to complete your application, follow these steps: 

STEP 1. Submit a Graduate School application: https://grad.msu.edu/apply. You will include (a) through (e) below. The MAFLT Graduate Study Major code is 5724.

Once you begin the online application process, you will need to add (a) and (b) into text boxes in the online application. We recommend completing these statements in a separate document. Then you can copy and paste the text directly into the online application text boxes when needed. 

 a.      Personal statementYour personal statement should include information about how your background and life experiences, including social, economic, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree in this field. We encourage you to discuss how you have acquired your proficiency in the language you plan to teach, as well as other experience and aspirations that have motivated you to apply to this program. Aim for 300-500 words.

 b.      Academic statement: Please provide a concise academic statement of your academic and professional experience, your plans for graduate study, your career goals, and how MSU's graduate program will help you meet your personal and professional objectives. Additionally, please discuss how this online learning format fits your goals and characteristics as a learner. MAFLT applicants are not required to have a BA in a language, area studies, linguistics, world language education, or a related field. If your background is not in one of these fields, however, you should address other ways in which your background, education, or experience has prepared you to study foreign language education. Aim for 300-500 words.

 c.      Contacts for three (3) letters of recommendation: In the gradportal, provide the names and email addresses for recommenders who are familiar with your academic and professional accomplishments and potential for success. At least one recommendation letter must be from a former professor, academic advisor, or other individual familiar with your academic background and abilities. The letters of recommendation must be current and written specifically for the MAFLT Program. After you submit your online application, the system will send an email to each of your references containing a link so they can upload their letters of recommendations directly into your application file. You will be asked if you want to waive your right to see these letters, and the best answer is Yes. All recommendation letters are due by the application deadline.

The following documents must be uploaded to the online application as file attachments. PDFs or Word documents are accepted.

 d.       Resume: Under “File Uploads” in the grad portal, select Document Type “Resume” and upload your Resume (or CV).

 e.       Optionally, you may submit under “File Uploads” up to two (2) additional pieces of evidence that you believe will help the admissions committee understand your unique strengths or promise as a graduate student in this program.

  • Examples of your prior work with technology, e.g., website link; link to an electronic portfolio, etc. You can type the URL(s) and a short description of the website(s) in a Word document and submit that document under “Other.”
  • Writing Sample (a senior thesis, class paper, or other writing sample).
  • Evidence of curriculum or assessment design. Please do not submit individual lesson plans or syllabi, but you may submit other materials that relate to your personal or academic statement if you wish.

STEP 2. Submit one of the following test scores, depending on whether you have a prior degree from an English-medium institution:

  1. For students who have a bachelor's or master's degree from a U.S., Canadian, British, Australian, or New Zealand institution: Send in your GRE Scores. MSU institution code=1465. Information on sending in your GRE scores can be found here: http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/scoreselect/ 
    We may request GRE waivers for non-traditional students. If you believe you may be a non-traditional student and would like to apply for a GRE waiver, please send an email with "GRE Waiver Request" in the subject line to maflt@cal.msu.edu. 
  2. For students who have a bachelor's or master's degree from an institution that is not in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand: Send in your TOEFL score of 600 (250 CBT or 100 iBT) or higher or an IELTS score of 7.5 or higher. MSU institution code=1465. The TOEFL or IELTS test must have been taken within two years of the application.  This English-proficiency-test result must be sent from the testing agency directly to the Office of Admissions at Michigan State University: Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250, East Lansing, MI, 48824-2604. More information on sending in your TOEFL score can be found here: TOEFL Test Scores Information on sending in your IELTS score can be found here: IELTS Test Scores.

STEP 3. Request Official Transcripts from institutions where you earned a higher education degree. You must demonstrate to University Admissions that you have a BA from a recognized institution. Have these institutions send your transcript by mail directly to the MAFLT Program Director at the address below, or, if your prior university sends electronic transcripts from their admissions office, ask them to send your e-transcript to the MAFLT Program director at this email address: maflt@cal.msu.edu. If your transcript is from MSU, you do not need to submit it; we have access to it. If your transcript is from China, you must submit transcript verification from the CDGDC, as described below.

Official transcripts and any other documents not issued in English must be submitted with a word-for-word English translation. Transcript review for international students may take additional time. If your university does not issue transcripts in English, you must have your university send your official transcript directly to a professional translator. The translator should then send your official transcript, the envelope in which it came, and the translation directly to us. Translations must be prepared by an authorized translator from the American Translators Association (ATA): see http://www.atanet.org. In Lansing, Michigan, or electronically, you can request a translation through 7Clingo (see http://www.7clingo.com). 

Additional Verification for Applicants from China:

MSU requires an additional step to verify transcripts for applications for admission from students from China. If you are accepted to the program and your degree is from a Chinese university, you must request a verification report of your university academic records from the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). The report must be mailed directly to the Program Director of the MAFLT, by the CDGDC, rather than by you or any third party. Your acceptance to the program will be conditional on us receiving this verification report within two months after you enroll in classes. More information about this is found here: https://grad.msu.edu/cdgdc. Please note that the MAFLT Program cannot reimburse students for the verification.

China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center
Verification Division

B-17, Tongfang Scientific Plaza 
No.1 Wangzhuang Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, P.R. China 
Tel: +86-10-82379480 
Fax: +86-10-82378718 (24 hours) 
Email: cqv@cdgdc.edu.cn 
Website: www.chinadegrees.cn / www.cgcdc.edu.cn 


For a summary of the application steps, download the PDF of the MAFLT Admissions Procedures. Click the image above or here: Admissions Procedures Summary.


Dr. Amanda Lanier, MAFLT Program Director
Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA)
Michigan State University
B-135 Wells Hall, 619 Red Cedar Road 
East Lansing, MI 48824