As expected, Terry has denied the charge and requested a hearing against allegations that he used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards Ferdinand, the QPR defender, in Chelsea's game at Loftus Road last October.
Terry will face a four-man independent panel later this year and is almost certain to have played his last game for his country if he is found guilty.
Earlier this week David Bernstein, the FA chairman, vowed to step up the fight against racism and Terry's international future will be in serious doubt should he receive a lengthy ban.
The 31-year-old has always maintained his remark to Ferdinand was not intended as an insult but the FA disciplinary commission can reach verdicts purely on the balance of probabilities, a much lower burden of proof.
An FA statement read: "John Terry has today denied an FA charge of using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race, towards Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand.
"The Chelsea player has requested a personal hearing, the date of which will be set in due course. During this period John Terry remains available to play for England."
Under the same disciplinary rules last season Liverpool's Luis Suarez was fined £40,000 and banned for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Roy Hodgson, the England manager, will name his squad for the friendly against Italy on Aug 15 but Terry is not expected to be involved regardless of the FA's decision to press charges.