If you are considering applying:
The MAFLT was originally designed (going back to about 2011) to reach non-traditional students; to provide professional development for teachers of less-commonly-taught languages as well as the more frequent Spanish, French, and German teachers; and to contribute to raising the standard of foreign language education across the U.S. and beyond. If you are a full-time teacher in your twenties, we have had many students like you. If you are in your fifties and changing career paths or looking for enrichment, we have had many students like you, too. If you are living and working in Tokyo or Dubai or Buenos Aires and you want to get a degree from Michigan State, without moving to the U.S., you will also see students like you on the Students page. And if you have a new story to tell about your journey into the language teaching profession, you may be just the student we need to round out our community. Undergraduate degrees in related fields are not required. Teaching experience is very helpful, but not required. You just need to be ready to work hard, learn fast, and open up about your experiences and intentions.
Course work in the MAFLT is designed to be asynchronous, meaning that you can do the work at any time, from anywhere. However, there are deadlines on a weekly or biweekly basis, and you will be communicating with your instructors and classmates throughout the semester. Some courses are more interactive than others, and occasionally instructors will schedule a virtual meeting online once or twice per semester. Any synchronous live meetings are, of course, scheduled to accommodate students schedules as much as possible. Instructors will also use a range of technology to “personalize” the course, and we are accessible via email, phone, and video conference.
The program has no residency requirement. All courses are taught online. Nevertheless, many students decide to visit campus at some point during the program, to come to MSU for summer professional development workshops, or to come to East Lansing and walk in the graduation ceremony and join us for celebratory events. You can see some of our proud graduates walking on the Showcase page.
The MAFLT courses require only that you know how to navigate the Web and webpages and that you are willing to learn to use new tools. At minimum, you should have reliable internet access, a webcam, a microphone, and word processing software. MSU provides Microsoft Office software to students, as well as your own dedicated MSU access to Google Drive and Sites, MediaSpace for sharing presentations, Zoom for video conferencing, and other tools we use in our courses. Most courses involve a certain amount of training in the online course management system, D2L, and distance learning skills and resources. The computer-assisted language learning (CALL) related courses will give you the opportunity to develop and expand specialized technology skills for language teaching.
All students in the MAFLT pay in-state tuition for online courses at MSU, whether you live in Michigan, in another state, or in another country. Currently that rate is $700 per credit hour, or $2100 per course, plus fees and textbooks. To get further details and calculate the exact costs, see the Student Accounts page of the Office of the Controller. Look for the Tuition, Fees, and Housing Calculator.
Student Accounts page: http://www.ctlr.msu.edu/COStudentAccounts.
Students must be officially accepted to the MAFLT Program to receive this rate. Lifelong Learning students can take one course at a time by completing only the Lifelong application, but they pay a slightly higher rate.
Lifelong Education information page: https://reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/EnrReg/LifelongEducation.aspx.
Remember that you should consider the reputation and resources of the school when comparing graduate programs. Also note that comparable face-to-face programs may be twice as expensive and might require you to quit your job and move.
The same MSU financial assistance is available for online programs as for regular face-to-face programs. Information about financial aid for graduate students may be found here. The MAFLT program itself does not issue financial aid. Graduate students taking 6 or more credits who are U.S. citizens can usually apply for federal support through FAFSA.
The majority of MAFLT students have full-time jobs and other commitments. If that is the case for you, one or two courses per semester is the recommended pace. If you are not working full-time and you want to take two or three courses per semester, you can. As a general rule, you should allow up to 12 hours a week per course. Look in the MAFLT Handbook to see some sample trajectories for students who want to complete the program very quickly, relatively slowly, or somewhere in between. You will not have a fixed cohort, but you will see familiar faces in each course as time goes on. Most students finish in two or three years. The maximum time allowed by the College of Arts and Letters is six years.
Not directly, no. We have a national and international reach, and we are meant to be complementary to what the College of Education does – not compete with their programs. However, many states do have programs that are designed to support career changers who want to become teachers. You will have to research such programs on your own, but I have found that this site has useful information. You should also talk to the advisors for education programs at universities near you. Alternative routes to certification and even some traditional programs may accept MAFLT courses to meet some of their requirements. If you need to explain the content of the program to them, refer them to the MAFLT Handbook and to the syllabi posted on this site (links in the table on the Courses page).
Yes, you may be able to transfer up to 9 credits if the faculty believe that your prior courses are sufficiently similar to MAFLT courses. You must submit the syllabi and request approval. That said, the MAFLT is a carefully designed sequence of courses in which assignments from courses feed into the master’s project and final portfolio, so if you transfer in a course, you may need to do assignments or readings on your own later to fill in the blanks.
If you are in the process of applying:
- Fill out the general Graduate School application online at https://grad.msu.edu/apply
- Submit your test score (GRE or an English-proficiency-test score, TOEFL or IELTS) or request a waiver
- Contact institutions that have granted you a degree (your undergrad, mainly) and have transcripts sent electronically or mailed in
- Submit your recommenders’ names
- Complete the application and submit your personal and academic essays
- Email any materials that you would like to share and that cannot be submitted through the online system (such as evidence of your teaching skills so far).
No, not for official consideration. Applicants must request original transcript(s) from the degree granting institution(s) and the institution(s) must send them directly to the MAFLT Program. These original transcripts, with their original envelopes, will be used for formal admission to the university and must be submitted by the Admissions Coordinator to MSU’s Office of Admissions for the final step in the process. MSU does accept e-transcripts from domestic (U.S.-based) institutions. If your prior university can officially send electronic transcripts from their admissions office, ask them to send your e-transcript to Amanda Lanier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of the GRE is to help graduate programs predict whether students will be able to manage the demands of a given program. Waivers are available for prospective students who can demonstrate in other ways that they are prepared for graduate-level work in the content areas of this program. If you have been teaching your target language in an established program for at least two years, if you have completed at least one MA-level course in a comparable program (particularly if this instructor is one of your recommenders), or if you feel that you have other documented evidence that you can thrive in graduate school, then we can request a waiver for you. That decision will also depend on the strength of your application overall. We may request a writing sample (prompt available). Further guidance and a link to the GRE Waiver Request Form can be found on the Admissions page.
The MSU Graduate School has a strict procedure for determining whether students have sufficient academic English to participate in a graduate program. Automatic waivers are granted if you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an accredited program where English is the dominant language (in or out of the U.S.). Waivers can also be granted if you have worked full-time in the U.S. for more than two years and/or if you have successfully completed master’s courses (but not a full degree) in English. You may be asked to provide a lengthy writing sample demonstrating your proficiency before we will request a waiver.
The MAFLT places high demands on students in terms of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The demands for reading and writing in particular may be higher than those in a typical face-to-face graduate course. The faculty, as language teachers as well as language teacher educators, are prepared to offer support to all students to improve academic writing, regardless of your first language. However, we cannot serve as ESL instructors while also serving well as MAFLT professors. That said, the MSU Writing Center and MSU Library offer support for students in distance learning programs, and there are a number of valuable resources online, including the Online Writing Lab at Purdue: OWL for ESL Instructors and Students.
If we have received all your materials and your application is complete by the admissions deadline, then the MAFLT Admissions Committee will typically make a decision within two weeks following that deadline. The Program Director will notify you of the Admissions Committee’s decision by email. We then send documentation forward to the College of Arts and Letters, which reviews it and in turn forwards it to the MSU Office of Admissions. Here is the typical timeline: Acceptance at the MAFLT Program level takes 1-2 weeks. Acceptance at the University level for students with U.S. transcripts takes about 2 months. Acceptance at the University level for students with international transcripts takes about 3 months. Transcript verification by the MSU International Transcript Credentialist requires additional time for many international students. Once you have been officially admitted to the university, you will receive an official confirmation via email with your identification numbers (PID and PAN). You can then use these ID numbers to enroll in MAFLT courses.
To guarantee that your application will be considered for the immediately following semester, you must have all of your application materials in by the dates below. If your materials are late, you may need to apply for the following semester. In some cases, you may be able to begin courses immediately as a Lifelong Learner at MSU (for continuing education) and officially apply to the program in the following semester.
- June 1 >>> Begin coursework in Fall semester (early September)
- October 15 >>> Begin coursework in Spring semester (early January)
- April 1 >>> Begin coursework in Summer semester (mid-May or early July).
If you are a graduate student:
Students in language and literature programs, master’s degrees in the College of Education, etc. are welcome to enroll in MAFLT courses. If the MAFLT course you want to take is not listed as an an option for your program, discuss your decision with your advisor or program director. To enroll, you must contact the instructor (or the Program Director, if the instructor is not yet listed) and ask for an override. This prevents students outside the MAFLT Program from filling our courses before our MAFLT students have enrolled.
Yes! If you are a graduate student in the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), you can enroll in the Graduate Certification in College Foreign Language Teaching. See details here: http://gradcerts.cal.msu.edu/pages/ccflt. If you are not currently enrolled at MSU, there may be other options, but you will need to contact the Program Director.
If you are interested in taking a few MAFLT courses:
Yes. If you would like to take a few courses in the MAFLT Program but you do not wish to apply for the full degree, and you are not currently a student at MSU, you can enroll through a program called Graduate Lifelong Education. You must have a BA or BS to be considered for Graduate Lifelong Education student status. (See the Lifelong Ed webpage here.) To apply as a Lifelong Learner, complete the easy online Lifelong Education Application. If you later decide to apply for the full MAFLT degree (and many students do), you can convert up to 9 credits received as a Lifelong student into MAFLT Program credits. Ask the program director any questions you might have about taking MAFLT courses as a Graduate Lifelong Education student. Current MSU graduate students are welcome to enroll in MAFLT courses, but you must confirm with your own advisor or program director that you will be able to apply these credits toward your current program.
Programs that offer alternative routes to certification and even some traditional programs may accept MAFLT courses to meet some of their requirements. You will have to research those policies and requirements on your own, but I have found that this site has useful information: https://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com. You should also talk to the advisors for education programs at universities near you. If you need to explain the content of the program to them, refer them to the MAFLT Handbook and to the syllabi posted on this site (links in the table on the Courses page).
Still have questions?
Future Students: Submit the MAFLT Contact Form, include your questions, and someone will respond within a week.
Applicants: Contact the Program Assistant to see if your documents have been received or to ask about logistics. For other questions, contact the Program Director or another instructor.
Current Students: Look in the MAFLT Community in D2L and the Handbook, and then contact the Program Director or another instructor.