The FA did not specify what the charge related to, but it follows Ferdinand causing controversy by re-tweeting another user's comment made about Chelsea's Ashley Cole two weeks ago.
A short statement by the governing body read: "The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race."
On Saturday July 14 Ferdinand laughingly reacted on Twitter after one person sent a tweet to him accusing Cole, who was a defence witness in the John Terry racism trial, of being a "choc ice". The term is commonly understood to mean "black on the outside, white on the inside".
The person wrote: "Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice. Then again he's always been a sell out. Shame on him." Ferdinand replied: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!''
Users began discussing the comments and reacting to them and Ferdinand wrote: "And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets....I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!''
Ferdinand's initial comment was then deleted from his own Twitter timeline, but the 33-year-old did speak about the issue the next morning when he tweeted: "What I said yesterday is not a racist term. Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there."
Ferdinand has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.