Modern Foreign Language Education

The Modern Foreign Language program at Boston University emphasizes effective communication and leadership skills while preparing teachers of modern languages. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate studies in modern foreign language and at the same time secure initial teacher licensure. Specializations are offered in Arabic, French or Spanish. The MAT program is designed for liberal arts graduates who may just be out of college or perhaps are making a career change.  This program does not presume that you have completed coursework in education.

This joint degree program between the School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) will prepare you to become a professional educator by developing competency in three kinds of courses:

(1) Language courses at GRS: Your language courses will emphasize communication, grammar, culture and literature.  You will select graduate level courses in consultation with your academic advisor and based on your previous coursework and personal interests.

(2) Education courses in instructional design, adolescent development, special education, language development and classroom methods and evaluation: Your education courses will draw upon research and scholarship that seek to improve instructional methodology, materials and curriculum. You will examine the art and science of teaching language and literature and engage in coursework in adolescent development and special education.  You will also take one graduate level course in language and language acquisition which will serve as an introduction to contemporary linguistics and will cover applications of various branches of linguistics to education, the role of language in education and the development of literacy.

(3) Practical skills acquired through a pre-practicum and student teaching experience: You will participate in a three-month student teaching experience supervised by a veteran classroom teacher and Boston University faculty. Boston University enjoys long-standing relationships with many urban and suburban school systems in Boston and the Greater Boston area.  Past locations for pre-practicum and practicum experiences have included public schools in Brookline, Newton and Somerville.

Program Fast Facts

  • Program Requirements: To view a listing of program requirements and coursework information, please visit the Boston University Bulletin for the MAT in Modern Foreign Language.
  • Program Duration: 12 months. Duration for part-time study varies.
  • Start Term: Full-time students begin the program during the summer or fall semester only.  You are encouraged to begin the program during the summer semester for the most favorable course selection opportunities.  Part-time students may begin during the summer, fall or spring semester.
  • Licensure: Upon completion of the program and Massachusetts testing requirements, you may be licensed at the initial level to teach Foreign Language  - French or Spanish – to students in grades PreK-6  or Arabic, French or Spanish to students in grades 5-12.
  • Prerequisites:

French or Spanish: To be eligible for admission, students should have an undergraduate major in French or Spanish or have completed an equivalent amount of coursework in this area.  Students who majored in French or Spanish automatically meet prerequisite requirements.  Students interested in teaching French or Spanish with undergraduate majors in other areas should request a transcript review to see if their coursework meets prerequisite requirements. Requests should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office at

Arabic: To be eligible for admission, students should have at least three years (24 units) of Arabic study with grades of B or better AND a score of Intermediate-Low or better on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview in Arabic; or demonstration of educated native-like ability in Modern Standard Arabic (e.g., evidence of successful study at the undergraduate level in which instruction was conducted in Arabic is required). Requests should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office at

  • Faculty Contact Information: Professor Julie Coppola,, 617-353-3260
  • Graduate Admissions Contact Information:, 617-353-4237

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students at the School of Education benefit from the community feel of a small school along with the resources of a large university. Our students are in the field in both urban and suburban schools as early as their first year at SED.

Graduate Students

Talented graduate students from around the world prepare to become teachers, counselors, administrators, and more in as little as one year at the School of Education. Our students engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.