Thank you for your interest in our Foreign Language Teaching programs! This page lists admissions requirements and provides detailed instructions for completing your application. As of Fall 2021, we offer two program options: the Master of Arts degree and the Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Teaching. Both programs are fully accredited and transcriptable, and students take the same rigorous, intentionally online courses. Find out more about the requirements for each track here: Program Requirements.

Make New Connections in 2022 MAFLT@MSU

Have you contacted us yet? If not, please click this button to tell us about yourself and request updates!

Apply for Summer 2023 by March 15. You can start your application now!

Master of Arts Program

30 credits | Application code: 5724

Graduate Certificate Program

10 credits | Application code: 5551

Which program is right for you? See Prospective Student FAQs.

Looking for ways to earn continuing education or professional development hours? You can take one FLT course at a time, if there are seats in the course available after MAFLT and Certificate students have enrolled. See Prospective Student FAQs and Lifelong Learning in FLT Courses.

Are you looking for credentials to begin working in a U.S. public school? Typically, students in our programs are already K-12 certified teachers in public schools or expect to teach in private schools, universities, or community colleges in the U.S. or other countries. Our international, distance-based programs cannot substitute for the state-specific credentialing process for public schools. You can use FLT courses to fulfill Continuing Education requirements to complete or extend licensure. See Prospective Student FAQs for further advice.


When Can I Apply?

The Foreign Language Teaching MA Program (MAFLT) and FLT Certificate program have the same admissions deadlines three times a year, though you can begin your application at any time. If you have decided to apply to the program, we recommend that you get started in the MSU application system and begin ordering transcripts and requesting recommendation letters at least 3 weeks before the deadline.

  • March 15 to start in Summer Semester*
  • June 15 to start in Fall Semester*
  • October 15 to start in Spring Semester

Your application must be submitted by these dates if you want to be considered for the upcoming semester. You will indicate on your application when you want to start coursework.

* Note: These dates have changed as of Fall 2022. Previously the dates were: April 1 | June 1 | October 15.

Let us know when you have started your application! Email: maflt@cal.msu.edu.

What are the Requirements to be Considered for Admission?

Admission to the program depends upon your prior educational experience, your English language proficiency, evidence that this program is the right fit for you and your career (primarily from your personal statement essay and recommendation letters), and evidence that you are prepared to succeed in the program (primarily from your academic statement essay and recommendation letters). Your application will include completing the MSU online form (links above) and submitting the following materials. Also refer to the university’s main page for graduate program admissions here: Office of Admissions > Graduate applicants.


Application Materials (see below for details)

Documents You Create and Submit

  • Personal statement
  • Academic statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Other materials (optional)

Letters of Recommendation

  • 3 Letters of Recommendation from people who are familiar with you in an academic and/or professional context, submitted by the recommenders directly into the MSU application system

Academic Records

  • Official transcripts (through online systems or mail)
    • Transcript sent from the institution that awarded your bachelor’s degree (copies and equivalency reports are NOT sufficient).
    • Transcripts sent from any other institutions where you have earned credits or degrees.
    • If your transcripts are not issued in English, MSU also requires official translations per specific instructions below.
  • Official test scores from the test provider (e.g., ETS, IELTS, etc.)
    • If you completed your education in the U.S. and English is your first language: GRE score or approved GRE waiver request.
    • If you completed your education in another country and/or English is not your first language: English language proficiency evidence OR approved waiver request. Contact us if you are not sure what to do about test scores.

Waivers of Admissions Requirements

The Program Director can authorize waivers for GRE test scores (relevant for MA only) and in some cases for English language proficiency test scores (relevant for MA and Certificate). You should only need to submit one or the other. Click to go to pages with further details:

Does the MAFLT Program offer financial aid?

As of 2022, after a great deal of strategic thinking and negotiation, we do now have some ways of our own to offset the cost of tuition, including fellowships and student jobs. Most students manage well given that our tuition cost is low relative to other MSU graduate programs, most students take one or two courses per semester, MSU allows you to spread out the tuition payments, some people can get tuition reimbursements, and FLT students are eligible for federal loans through the FAFSA application (though those require a minimum of 2 courses per semester). Further information and links are provided on this page:

Financial FAQs – Tuition, Payments, and Financial Aid

How do I Apply to the Program?

Please read the following instructions carefully!

Before You Start Your Application

It helps 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: Start your Application to the MSU Graduate School

Begin your application by clicking the appropriate button above. The same links are found on the Graduate Admissions Home page. You can start your application now and return to it later. Note that there are separate applications and program numbers for the Master of Arts (5724) and the Graduate Certificate (5551).

You will provide (a) through (e) below by entering information or uploading documents. For your essays (a) and (b), you can copy and paste your text into the application or submit them as separate documents. Remember to consider revision and formatting. 

a. Personal statement: Your personal statement primarily focuses on your career as a language teacher, past and future. It 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: Your academic statement primarily focuses on your preparation to participate and thrive in graduate school. Please provide a concise summary of your academic and professional experience, your plans for graduate study, and how MSU’s graduate program will help you meet your personal and professional objectives. Additionally, please discuss how the distance-based format of 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, and experience have prepared you to study foreign language education. Aim for 300-500 words.

 c. Contacts for three (3) letters of recommendation: Recommenders will upload their own letters. In order to request these letters, you will provide the names and email addresses for your recommenders in the admissions system. These individuals should be familiar with your academic and professional accomplishments and your potential for success in graduate-level courses. At least one recommendation letter should 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). The format should be appropriately professional, and the dates of employment and education should continue up to the present. If you have been primarily employed in the home or otherwise out of the workforce recently, please note that in your resume and explain it in one of your essays.

 e. Supplemental documents: 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.

  • Writing Sample (a senior thesis, class paper, or other writing sample).
  • 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.”
  • 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: Forward Test Scores or Request a Waiver

The following test scores are requested as evidence of your preparation to participate in graduate school. The requirements vary depending on whether your undergraduate education took place at an English-medium institution.

GRE (Graduate Record Exam) scores. For students who have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a U.S., Canadian, British, Australian, or New Zealand institution: Submit a request to ETS to 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/.

GRE score waiver requests. Students who fit the following criteria may request a waiver for the GRE: more than two years of foreign language teaching experience; extensive experience in another field and evidence of high language proficiency; or prior completion of at least one graduate-level course, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. An additional writing sample may be requested. If you believe you qualify for the waiver as a non-traditional student, you can submit your waiver request using this form: GRE Waiver Request Form.

English language proficiency exams. 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: Submit your scores on the TOEFL exam from ETS or an IELTS exam from Cambridge. MSU institution code=1465. The TOEFL or IELTS test must have been taken within two years of the application. See this page for information about MSU expectations for graduate students: English Language Competency.Under certain circumstances, a waiver may also be requested for this exam. If you believe that you should qualify for a waiver, send an email with “TOEFL Waiver Request” in the subject line to maflt@cal.msu.edu and make sure to discuss your proficiency in each of your languages in your personal statement. An additional writing sample may be requested.

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 Transcripts

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 China, you must submit transcript verification from the CDGDC, as described below.

Translation of transcripts to English

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). 

For a summary of the application steps, download this “postcard” with a quick checklist.

Contact Information & Mailing Address

Dr. Amanda Lanier, MAFLT Program Director
Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching (MAFLT) Program
Michigan State University
B-135 Wells Hall, 619 Red Cedar Road 
East Lansing, MI 48824
maflt@cal.msu.edu

*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