The defender is being charged with comments made on his Twitter account.
The charge is thought to relate to the aftermath of John Terry's race trial (in which he was acquitted), when Ferdinand quoted a tweet calling Chelsea left back Ashley Cole (who was a witness for the defense) a "choc-ice".
The term was in reference to Cole's testimony in court, when he said he did not hear Terry make a racist comment to Anton Ferdinand, brother of Rio, at the match last October at Loftus Road.
The FA said in a statement: "The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or color and/or race."
Ferdinand will have until Aug. 2 (Thursday) to answer the charge.
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