Programs preparing foreign language teachers


Do you love languages and want to make a difference in people's lives? If so, consider becoming a foreign language teacher.
Few careers give people the opportunity to impact individuals and communities like teaching. Can you think of a specific teacher who made a difference in your life?  Would you like to become that kind of teacher?    

The Warner School will prepare you to become an innovative foreign language teacher, committed and able to help all students succeed in learning a new language and gain better understandings of different cultures. Our teacher preparation programs offer the shortest path to New York initial and professional certification and a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
Guaranteed 50% tuition scholarship!Learn More About Our Scholarships

Program Quickview

All of the master's degree programs described below prepare candidates for New York State Initial and Professional Certification in Adolescence Education (Grades 7-12) as a Specialist in French, German, Italian, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and/or Spanish.

Interested in other foreign language education programs at the Warner School of Education, check our related programs.
Prerequisites (as required by NYS):
  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal arts (BA) or science (BS).
  • A minimum of 30 credits of coursework in the language of study.
Key Program Features:
  • Meeting all coursework and internship requirements for both Initial and Professional Teaching Certification:  In addition, you will need to pass the required state exams, and complete the teaching requirements for professional certification.
  • Shortest program:  Preservice teachers can complete the program in 15 months of full-time study (if starting in summer); certified teachers seeking additional certification in a foreign language may require less time.
  • Focus on foreign languages education: Includes three courses as well as internships (taken concurrently with methods courses) that are specific to learning and teaching a new language.
  • Focus on teaching all students:  Includes courses on diversity and working with students with disabilities (may be transferred in for certified teachers).
  • Option to add specializations:  For a few extra credits you can pursue additional certifications or advanced certificates that can strengthen your effectiveness with diverse learners and make you more marketable; see below

Programs that prepare foreign language teachers

For Preservice Teachers with No Prior Teaching Certification
  • Master of Science program: 39 credits, including field experience and two student teaching experiences. 
    • - French 
    • - Italian 
    • - Spanish 
    • - German 
    • - Latin 
    • - Mandarin Chinese 
  • Master of Arts in Teaching program: 51 credits, same requirements as above plus 12 credits of graduate courses in the chosen language.
    • - French 
    • - Spanish 
    • - German 
teacher in classroom with globe
Opportunities for additional specializations  (with minimum additional credits required):
  • New York State teaching certification in another language: Only requires prior 30 credits of coursework in the new language of specialization and an additional field experience for that language.
  • New York State certification in TESOL: Prepares you to better serve English language learners in your classes and qualifies you to teach ESOL courses.
  • New York State certification in teaching students with disabilities in adolescence: Prepares you to better serve students with differentiated learning needs while qualifying you to teach in inclusive classes.
  • Advanced certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching: Prepares you to make the best use of digital technology in your teaching.
  • Advanced certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: Prepares you to teach and lead in racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.

Licensure in other states. Review certification and licensure requirements for our programs.

For Initially Certified Foreign Language Teachers Seeking NYS Professional Certification
If you have already obtained your initial teaching certification as part of a bachelor’s degree, and are seeking professional teaching certification in that same area, there are several programs to help you achieve this goal. Most of these programs require only 30 credits of coursework and no internships. Check the requirements related to the option(s) that best apply to you from the program choices below:
  • Leading to professional certification only: Our most flexible option, including 12 credits of electives.
    • - French
    • - German
    • - Italian
    • - Latin
    • - Mandarin Chinese
    • - Spanish
  • Leading to certification in teaching students with disabilities: To be able to better serve your students diverse learning needs and to teach in inclusive classes (requires 35 credits including field experiences and one student teaching experience).
    • - French
    • - German
    • - Italian
    • - Latin
    • - Mandarin Chinese
    • - Spanish
teacher working with group of students at conference table
For Certified Teachers in Areas Other than Foreign Language Seeking Certification in a Foreign Language
If you already have your teaching certification in another area of specialization, and are seeking an additional certification in foreign language or Latin, you will still need to meet the same prerequisites, but will have fewer requirements and internships to complete your program. The following Warner programs should meet your needs:
  • Advanced certificate: Fastest path; as few as 11 credits, including specialization courses plus 50 contact hours of field experiences.
    • - French 
    • - German 
    • - Italian 
    • - Latin 
    • - Mandarin Chinese 
    • - Spanish 
  • Master’s program: 32 credits, including 50 contact hours of field experiences; also leads to professional teaching certification in your original area of certification.
    • - French 
    • - German 
    • - Italian 
    • - Latin 
    • - Mandarin Chinese 
    • - Spanish 
two people engaged in animated conversation

Our Approach

Creating effective foreign language teachers who can inspire and lead change.

Our foreign language teacher education program will prepare you to be a teacher who makes languages engaging for students and who can inspire and lead change.

The need for citizens to be competent in other languages is greater today as globalization, mobility, and communications are bringing the world closer together than ever before. In addition to developing thinking and language skills, learning a foreign language exposes children and adolescents to new ways of looking at the world.
students gathered in a circle on quad for class
Learn More About Warner's Approach to Foreign Language Education
The Warner School prepares foreign language teachers who find innovative ways to make language meaningful, authentic, and relevant to their students. They have real enthusiasm for and knowledge of the language and cultures they are teaching, and they know how to translate that passion to their students. They also help students discover that learning a foreign language is more than memorizing the words.

Our graduates become teachers who are committed to helping their students understand the larger world and learn about cultures through the lens of another language. They also help students understand global issues related to languages and cultures. These powerful experiences give students the knowledge and skills they need to understand the larger world.

Our program aims to prepare teachers who understand that learning a foreign language includes communicative competence, cultural expertise, and mastery of the structural complexities of a language. Throughout the program, our graduate students deepen their understanding of linguistics, foreign languages, and language acquisition while learning innovative and effective ways to teach. They become classroom teachers who create curriculum and instruction around authentic materials, contexts, and purposes that engage students in language and cultures while also learning about the world. And, they also bridge planning and teaching strategies with theory and research that supports them, and they are familiar with best practices for teaching a foreign language.

Social justice is lived out in foreign language classrooms as faculty and graduates are committed to giving all students access to high-quality foreign language education. They understand how to develop appropriate curriculum and instructional strategies for meeting the diverse needs of students from every background. And, they seek out and develop habits of reflective practitioners and collaborate with other professionals to improve learning opportunities for all students.


The Warner Advantage

Preparing graduates to thrive as foreign language teachers.

Our programs will make you stand out from other foreign language teachers and prepare you to excel in your career.
  • Become a foreign language teacher who can create learning opportunities that are inviting and accessible for all students – engaging with cutting-edge research and educational innovations.
  • Be challenged to be an agent of change, who can effectively introduce new ideas and practices that will enhance students’ learning and address current inequities.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to strengthen recognition of your degree.
  • Network with the best and the brightest future colleagues.
  • Make yourself stand out when applying for teaching positions by pursuing additional specializations for a few additional credits.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to become adaptive experts in today’s K-12 schools.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
While rigorous, Warner’s teacher preparation programs are both flexible and affordable.
  • Benefit from a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
  • Take advantage of online learning options to help reduce trips to campus.
  • Be ready to teach the school year following enrollment, as the program can be completed in as little as 15 months, even by those new to the teaching profession.

All About experience

Your experience at the Warner School will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

East High School Partnership

East High School partnership

Our students have the opportunity to observe and learn from the reforming of an urban high school. The Warner School is overseeing a radical transformation affecting all aspects of the school.

Global Collaborations

Global collaborations

Students can benefit from the agreements recently established with two universities in China – Nanjing Normal University and Wuhan University – as well as Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Mexico, to support collaborations and exchanges among faculty and students.

Faculty with International Experience

Faculty with international experience

Faculty member Mary Jane Curry recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Chile, where she collected data at three different universities to better understand the academic publishing experience of multilingual scholars.

Career Opportunities

Advancing your career to the next level.

Graduates from a Warner School foreign language teacher preparation program will have the credentials needed to teach their chosen language(s) in grades 7-12 in New York State public schools and other states that recognize New York's teaching certification.

Unlike graduates of an undergraduate teacher preparation program, our graduates will have already met all the coursework requirements for professional teaching certification. This means they will only be required to complete three years of teaching and some state exams in order to obtain this additional level of certification – a New York State requirement within five years from beginning a teaching job.

At the same time, some of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers other than teaching in K-12 public schools. These include teaching in private schools and other educational settings, including informal and after-school environments, community-based organizations, community colleges, and private industry.
teacher sitting in classroom


Accessible, supportive faculty, researchers and accomplished practitioners.

Nicole King thumbnail imageNicole King, PhD
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
LeChase Hall 468
(585) 273-3341


Making your graduate experience affordable.

The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester offers you a number of scholarships, if eligible, when you enroll in our teacher preparation programs. These scholarships are made possible by federal grants as well as the generous support of donors, who are committed to the success of future teachers.

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships – Guaranteed 50% tuition savings
All new students starting their master’s programs in teacher education leading to New York State teaching certification are guaranteed a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship, provided they commit to teach in a United States school for a minimum of two years after graduation.
Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a taste of what the Warner School has to offer.

Take a course! You can experience the Warner School as a non-degree student for a highly discounted price. Contact Admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-degree students.
group of students walking into school


Meliora Means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please use the form below to sign up for occasional emails from us. You can also email us with specific questions at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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