International Security Studies


About The Field

The International Security Studies field consists of courses that examine the sources, conduct and termination of conflict, strategy and statecraft, crisis management, regional security, intelligence, and the emerging spectrum of new and complex security issues.

The course offerings encompass approaches that are both theoretical and policy oriented, as well as historical and contemporary. Since the end of the Cold War, the faculty has revised the course offerings to reflect a rapidly changing international security environment. Among the new issues introduced into the curriculum are: 

  • the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and non-proliferation/counter-proliferation policy;
  • ethnic, sectarian, and religious conflict; internal war and state failure;
  • the management of humanitarian emergencies by alliances and/or international organizations;
  • the use of military forces in peace operations; information technologies and security; and the increasing role of ethics in security policy.
In support of its course offerings the International Security Studies Program sponsors a senior level guest lecture series, a conference with one of the U.S. military services or commands, a colloquium series, and a crisis simulation exercise.


Below is a representative portrait of curricular requirements for this Field of Study. Core requirements are subject to periodic updates and modifications; current Fletcher students should refer to the Registrar's course bulletin and to Fletcher Connect for definitive requirements in a given academic year.

Core Requirements for the Field
  • The International Security Studies Field of Study requires the completion of a minimum of three course credits for MALD and MIB students.
  • The Field requires the completion of a minimum of four course credits for PhD students.
  • MALD students taking the International Security Studies Field are required to take P240 and at least two other course credits.
  • PhD students taking the International Security Studies Field must take P240 and at least three other course credits.
  • A second required course for PhD students should be selected from a list that includes P206, P241, and P245.
  • Required Courses
    Elective Courses

    We encourage you to download our course catalog to get a better understanding of Fletcher, our curriculum, and our students.

    Current Students & Alumni

    Joe Dunford Fletcher
    Meg Guliford, The Fletcher School
    Arslan Muradi Fletcher
    Gen. Joseph Dunford
    MA 92
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

       Read more about General Dunford

    Meg Guliford
    Human Security, International Security Studies

       Read Meg's story

    Arslan Muradi
    MALD 16
    International Security Studies, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

       Read Arslan's story

    Outside the Classroom

    • Student Rountable with Mohamed ElBaradei
    • Ukraine and Geopolitics of Europe
    • Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series: Sarah Chayes
    • Fletcher Security Review Launch
    • Charles Francis Adams Lecture: "European Security and Defence - What's Next?"
    • 21st Century Security Challenges
    • Israel's Security Challenge
    • Community Lecture: Nonproliferation and North Korea
    • "Meet the Military" Reception
    • ISSP Luncheon Lecture Series: James A. Williamson
    • Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series: Coffee and Conversation with Joseph Westphal
    • SIMULEX 2014
    • IAEA Panel - Why the IAEA Won the Nobel Peace Prize
    • The Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and Postmodern Globalized Violence


    • Office of the Secretary of Defense - Washington, DC
    • Department of State, US Embassy - Belgrade, Serbia
    • Smiths Detection - Bangkok, Thailand
    • Department of Defense - Washington, DC
    • Danish Demining Group - Juba, South Sudan
    • The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) - Washington, DC
    • NATO Defense College - Rome, Italy
    • Veterans Campaign - Washington, DC
    • Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies - Honolulu, HI
    • US Mission to the European Union - Brussels, Belgium
    • "Advocating for Security Sector Reform in the Review of Peace Operations: Strategy and Analysis for United Nations Security Sector Reform Practitioners"
    • "How to Evaluate Non-State Actors for Political and Military Partnerships in Irregular Conflicts: A Case Study of the Free Syrian Army"
    • "A Comparative Analysis of Transnational Criminal Groups in Latin America: Mexican Drug Cartels and Salvadoran Gangs - An Overview of Trends and Responses"
    • "Where Peace Begins: The Role of Local People and Communities in Transforming Economies of War"
    • "The Somali Insurgency: The Growing Threat of Terror's Resurgence"
    • "Encouraging Nuclear Innovation: What Small Modular Reactors Can Learn from Nuclear Attack Submarine Development"
    • "Counterterrorism Lessons for Cybersecurity: How a Decade’s Worth of Experience Fighting Terrorism Can Provide Insights into Mitigating the Threat of Cyber Attacks"
    • The Fletcher Syria Crisis Working Group
    • Fletcher Political Risk Group
    • Fletcher Students In Security (FSIS)
    • North Korea Working Group
    • Women In International Security

    A Fletcher education is highly customizable, and each student may decide on a different academic trajectory to suit his or her own professional and academic goals. To get a better sense of how these individual curricular decisions can play out, we asked recent students in their final semester to talk about their goals, their classes, and the decisions made during their Fletcher career. Meet Lulu:

    Pre-Fletcher Experience

    Financial Analyst, J.P. Morgan, NYC

    Fields of Study

    International Security Studies International Information & Communication

    Capstone Topic

    The Cyber Relationship between the U.S. and China

    Post-Fletcher Professional Goals

    To work for a private company or international organization that deals with technology and strategy.

    Read about Lulu's curricular path.

    Learn From The Experts: Fletcher Faculty

    Richard Shultz, Professor of International Politics and Director, International Security Studies Program at Tufts Fletcher School"International Security Studies at The Fletcher School prepares professionals to analyze, understand, and respond to the security challenges and opportunities of today and the crises of tomorrow."

    Richard Schultz, Professor of International Politics, Director of the International Security Studies Program

    Other faculty with expertise in the field:

    Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies at Tufts Fletcher School Antonia Chayes Toshi Yoshihara James Forest Michele Malvesti
    Robert Pfaltzgraff, Jr. Antonia Chayes Toshi Yoshihara James Forest Michele Malvesti