Foreign Language Education (K-12), Graduate Certificate

Foreign Language Education (K-12), Graduate Certificate
16-17 Credit Hours
Admits: Fall, Spring & Summer
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Program Tabs


The Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education (16-17 hours) is a distance education program which combines web-based instruction and face-to-face clinical experiences. Upon completion of the graduate certificate, students may be eligible for the North Carolina Initial Standard Professional I (SP1) teaching license.

The program will serve aspiring teachers with an undergraduate degree seeking licensure in one of the following languages:

  • American Sign Language (K-12)*
  • French (K-12)
  • Spanish (K-12)
  • German (K-12)
  • Japanese (K-12)*
  • Arabic (K-12)*
  • Chinese (K-12)
  • Russian (K-12)*
  • Cherokee (K-12)*
  • Greek (Ancient) (K-12)*
  • Greek (Modern) (K-12)*
  • Hebrew (K-12)*
  • Hindi (K-12)*
  • Italian (K-12)*
  • Korean (K-12)*
  • Latin (K-12)*
  • Portuguese (K-12)*
  • Swahili (K-12)*
  • Turkish (K-12)*

Students complete a variety of clinical experiences in diverse settings, so they are prepared to teach in rural, urban or suburban schools. During these experiences, students apply research and/or evidence-based practices gained in coursework, analyze K-12 student learning, and develop the ability to impact learners in a positive way.

Classes are offered 100% online, courses are self-paced, and students complete the program on a part-time basis. Students are also required to attend virtual synchronous coursework for their teaching labs. The program can be completed in as few as three semesters, culminating in a 15-week student teaching experience after completion of all other course work.

Graduates of the program will learn critical skills for positions in the field of Teaching Foreign Language Education. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Elementary, Middle, or High School Foreign Language Teacher



Application Deadlines: 

  • August 1 (fall)
  • December 1 (spring)
  • May 1 (summer first half term)
  • June 15 (summer second half term)

Admissions & Requirements: 

  • Complete the Graduate School Admission Application.
  • A bachelor’s degree from a university accredited by a US Department of Education-recognized institutional accreditor.
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7 (If you do not have at least a 2.7 GPA, please see our GPA Forgiveness process).
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts from all academic coursework beyond high school.
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores if the applicant’s native language is not English.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • Two online professional recommendations coming from individuals in a supervisory capacity (i.e. principal or manager) and/or academic reference (i.e. professor).
  • A clear criminal background check, which will be requested after application submission. The cost of this will start at $18 and could take 2-4 weeks to be processed. Please note your application cannot move forward until this step is complete.
  • The online Graduate Certificate Program requires classroom observation hours to be completed in the state of North Carolina.

The Certificate is designed for those with a bachelor's degree and one of the following requirements:

  • Option 1:  Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree with a major in the intended language of instruction.
  • Option 2:  ​Demonstrate native or near-native speaker proficiency in the intended language of instruction via a passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessment or a minimum score of Advanced Low on the ACTFL OPI AND WPT (in the intended language of instruction).
  • Option 3:  Candidates who have the equivalent of a major in the intended language of instruction via completion of a minimum of 24 hours of post-secondary coursework in the intended language of instruction.  At least two of these courses must be at the 4000 (advanced) level and all must be conducted in the foreign language in which they are seeking licensure. Candidates choosing to pursue this admission route must contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) for advising. Contact TEAL at 704-687-8725.

Candidates pursuing a license in one of the following languages (i.e., Chinese, French, German, Spanish) are eligible for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education. Due to limited availability of internship sites, candidates seeking licensure in the less commonly taught languages (indicated with an asterisk) must be residency teachers and complete the internship in their own classroom.

Early Entry for UNC Charlotte Undergraduate Students:

  • If you have completed at least 75 undergraduate credit hours with an overall GPA of at least 3.2, you are eligible to apply to the Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education program. Upon entry, up to 12 hours at the graduate level may be counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. 
  • In addition to having completed 75 undergraduate credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.2, students must demonstrate native or near-native proficiency in the intended language of instruction by earning a score of Advanced Low on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT). In addition, applicants need three recommendations from persons knowledgeable of their interaction with children or youth, a statement of purpose, and a clear criminal background check.

Methods I Block:

  • MDSK 6162: Planning for K-12 Instruction
  • MDSK 6162: Lab in Instructional Design*

Equity & Education:

  • MDSK 5204: Equity & Education

Methods II Block:

  • FLED 5200: Methods in K-12 Foreign Language Teaching
  • MDSK 5100L: Lab in Content Pedagogy*

Assessment Course:

  • FLED 5104: Assessment in K-12 Foreign Language Teaching

Customized Course:
In consult with their advisor, candidates must complete one of the following:

  • MDLG 5130: The Middle Grades Experience (2 credit hours)  
  • SECD 5140: The Secondary School Experience (2 credit hours)
  • Advanced Content Course (5000-6999) in the intended licensure area (3 credit hours)
    • At this time, all courses in the Grad Cert, with the exception of the advanced language course, are delivered 100% online. Candidates can take this advanced content course, but it is not required. This course may be offered online or face-to-face depending on the licensure area.  Face-to-face courses will not be eligible for the distance education rate of tuition. If a candidate is unable to find an online content course, they may have the option to take one through the UNC Language Exchange program and transfer it in. This option should be consulted with an advisor prior to enrolling.

This internship course requires full-time public school placement with a licensed K-12 teacher (in the intended licensure area) or a full-time position as a Residency Teacher (in the intended licensure area) in an approved school. Prior to applying for the internship, teacher-candidates must demonstrate advanced foreign language skills by obtaining a minimum score of Advanced Low on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).

  • FLED 6470: Graduate Student Teaching and Internship - Foreign Language Education

Clinical Experiences:
UNC Charlotte's Graduate Certificate in Teaching offers an efficient pathway to initial teacher licensure for candidates who have already earned a bachelor's degree and meets the  Educator Preparation Program (EPP) enrollment requirement for candidates seeking Residency Licensure. Each semester consists of a clinical component of 15-30 hours per semester in a North Carolina school.  Candidates then participate in student teaching, a 15-week experience where they take over the total course instruction load from their clinical instructor. Current public school teachers may complete this requirement in their own classrooms.  Resident teachers are able to use their own classroom and teaching as their clinical and student teaching site.


*Rates are subject to change*


  • $288.82 per credit hour
  • $4,621.00 - $4,910.00 est. program cost

Outside of NC Non-Resident:

  • $536.98 per credit hour
  • $8,592.00 - $9,129.00 est. program cost

Non Resident:

  • $1,098.21 per credit hour
  • $17,571.00 - $18,670.00 est. program cost

NOTE: Tuition and Fees may vary if the student chooses the blended option, which would include one face-to-face course. See curriculum page for course breakdown.