Thank you for your interest in our Foreign Language Teaching programs! This page provides detailed guidance on the application process. Also see the Frequently Asked Questions page for Prospective Students and refer to the university’s main page for graduate program admissions here: Office of Admissions > Graduate applicants.

As of Fall 2021, we offer two program options: the MA degree and the graduate certificate. Both programs are fully accredited and transcriptable, and students take the same courses. Find out more about the requirements for each track here: Program Requirements.

Questions? Need help with the application process? You can fill out a Contact Form or email us at

Master of Arts Program

30 credits | Application code: 5724

Graduate Certificate Program

10 credits | Application code: 5551

Apply by October 15 to start learning in January!

Applications with missing items, including transcripts and recommendation letters, will be deferred to the following semester.

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 with your application early, before you begin ordering transcripts or requesting recommendation letters.

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. Orientation begins about two weeks prior to each semester.

  • June 1 to start in September
  • October 15 to start in January
  • April 1 to start in May

What are the Requirements to be Considered for Admission?

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.

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:

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 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:
*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 In Lansing, Michigan, or electronically, you can request a translation through 7Clingo (see 

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

*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: 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) 
Website: /