May 31, 2023  
Graduate Catalog | 2022-2023 
Graduate Catalog | 2022-2023 Previous Edition

Foreign Language Education, Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education consists of 16-17 credit hours and is a distance education program which combines web-based and off-campus courses; students must be geographically located in the State of North Carolina.  The certificate is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.  Upon completion of the graduate certificate, students are eligible for the North Carolina Initial Standard Professional I (SP1) teaching license.  

The 16-17 credit-hours earned from the Graduate Certificate may also be applied toward the Master of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language Education  upon acceptance to the Master’s program.  Completion of the Master’s degree leads to the advanced “M” teaching license. 

All courses for the Graduate Certificate must be completed within five years.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements for the Graduate School

Please refer to admission information in the Admission to the Graduate School  section of this Catalog.

Admission Requirements for all Graduate Certificates in Teaching Programs

  • An undergraduate degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7  (For alternative ways to demonstrate academic competence, contact the Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL))
  • Three recommendations from persons knowledgeable of the candidate’s interaction with children or youth
  • Statement of purpose
  • Clear criminal background check
  • Apply online at

Admission Requirements for Foreign Language Education

Candidates with an undergraduate degree from a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.7 have 3 options to gain admission to the Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education program:

  • 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 Oral Proficiency Inteview (OPI) AND Writing Proficiency test (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 credit 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.  

Candidates pursuing a license in one of the following languages 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 * below) must be residency teachers and complete the internship in their own classroom.

  • American Sign Language (K-12)*
  • Arabic (K-12)
  • Cherokee (K-12)*
  • Chinese (K-12)
  • French (K-12)
  • German (K-12)
  • Japanese (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)*
  • Russian (K-12)*
  • Spanish (K-12)
  • Swahili (K-12)*
  • Turkish (K-12)*

Prior to admission into the final semester of student teaching, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in the foreign language via reaching a benchmark score on the Oral Proficiency Interview.

Early Entry Program

Exceptional undergraduate students at UNC Charlotte may apply for the Early Entry Program and begin work toward the graduate degree before completion of the baccalaureate degree.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for details and requirements.  Also see the Degree Requirements and Academic Policies  section of the Graduate Catalog for more information about Early Entry Programs.

Certificate Requirements

Equity and Education Course (2 credit hours)

Customized Course (2-3 credit hours)

In consult with advisor, select one of the following:

Internship/Student Teaching (3 credit hours)

The graduate-level student teaching/internship is the culminating experience of the Graduate Certificate program, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the initial Standard Professional I teaching license. Students are assigned to an appropriate classroom with a licensed K-12 teacher (in the intended licensure area) for a full-time, semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and University faculty.  Residency teachers must contact the Office of School and Community Partnerships to determine the appropriateness of their classroom for the student teaching/internship experience and licensure requirements. Prior to student teaching, foreign language education teacher candidates must demonstrate advanced language skills by obtaining a minimum score of Advanced Low on the related Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in the language of intended licensure.

Certificate Total = 16-17 Credit Hours


All students are assigned an advisor upon formal admission to the program. Students should consult with their advisors at least once each semester.

Clinical Field Experiences

Most courses require students to develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in public school settings. These experiences broaden their ability to help all students learn, including children with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic/racial, linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. During clinical experiences, students apply theories and understandings gained in coursework, analyze P-12 student learning, and develop the ability to positively impact all learners. All students are expected to complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly different settings. Residency teacher candidates are permitted to complete clinical hours in their own school sites.

Alternative settings must be approved by the instructor and may include schools on different schedules, after-school and summer programs, Saturday programs, private, and charter schools. 


Upon successful completion of the Phase I/Graduate Certificate, students will be recommended for the North Carolina initial Standard Professional I teaching license. For this license, students are required to complete an electronic licensure portfolio that is created during coursework and student teaching.