Our emphasis on language acquisition combined with a curriculum at the intersection of theory and practice provides U.S. military officers with the ideal training for the next phase of their careers.

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies has a longstanding relationship with the U.S. military, including the Foreign Area Officer (FAO) program. 

The information below applies to Army FAOs. If you are serving with another branch, please reach out to Jill Stoffers at jill.stoffers@middlebury.edu to discuss your options.

Degree Programs

FAOs may apply for one of the following master’s degrees:

Key features of both programs:

  • Complete your degree in 12 months or 18 months.
  • Incorporate advanced foreign language classes into your degree. Languages offered include Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Other languages may be possible by request.
  • Pursue significant coursework with a regional studies focus and you may further customize your program with class projects and directed study.
  • Immerse yourself in a multi-lingual, diverse, civilian environment in classes, on team projects, and in the campus community.
  • Take classes at the Naval Postgraduate School.
  • Apply at a convenient time for you with our rolling admissions.
  • No thesis requirement.
  • Have your funding requirements met, whether you have a low-, medium-, or high-cost award.

Study at the Naval Postgraduate School

We have a close partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), which is also located in Monterey. This gives you access to an expanded curriculum as you may simultaneously take courses at both the Institute and NPS.


Though the campus is based in historic downtown Monterey, you’ll be in classes with graduate students from around the globe, giving you the valuable experience of working with civilians. Our small class sizes give you the opportunity to work closely with expert faculty and hone the skills you need for your next assignment.

Our campus is a military-friendly community, located near the Defense Language Institute, the Naval Post Graduate School, and a VA outpatient clinic. We also offer opportunities for spouses and families to be part of our campus community, including free language classes through one of our student clubs, B.U.I.L.D.  


We ensure that tuition costs are covered for all officers awarded medium- and high-cost slots within the FAO program. Most officers awarded low-cost slots will also be able to be funded, but this is determined on a case-by-case basis.


We offer a host of resources for students with families and opportunities for spouses to take advantage of our community.

Eligibility Requirements

All FAOs who have satisfactorily completed and/or achieved the following will be eligible:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Captain’s Career Course
  • Second language proficiency (at least one year of recent language coursework or equivalent)

Applying for the FAO Program

Application Deadlines

We accept applications on a rolling admissions cycle. We offer fall (late August) and spring (late January) starts for both 12 and 18 month programs.

Application Requirements

To be considered for the FAO program, you must meet these two application requirements in addition to the application requirements for your master’s program:

  • In a career objectives essay, you must do the following:
    • Describe your professional goals and how our FAO program will help you achieve those goals.
    • Indicate the amount of time that you have been approved to complete this course (i.e., 12 months or 18 months). If 18 months, please confirm that the thesis is not required.
    • Specify your funding level (i.e., low-, medium-, or high-cost).
  • You must submit evidence of the Captain’s Career Course.

Application Fee Waivers

Application fee waivers are available to FAOs.


Please contact us for more information.