United States


About The Field

The United States field encompasses the history of the United States, its institutions, and its international relations, with a particular focus on the development of American foreign policy and diplomatic practice. The geographical context and economic basis and also cultural background as well as the political and constitutional-legal framework of the U.S. government and its foreign policy making processes are studied—as essential background for students who may one day be representing or may be dealing with the United States in diplomatic situations or in their professional work in law, business, economic development, humanitarian service, policy research, academic teaching, journalism, and in other ways. The question of the uniqueness, or “exceptionalism,” of American civilization and of the appropriateness of “lessons” of American historical experience to the situations of other societies in other parts of the world is examined. So, too, is the issue of the definition of U.S. national “interests” and democratic and other “values”—and the defense and promotion of those abroad—in a changing world environment in which coalition efforts and multilateral cooperation increasingly are necessary, and in which universal norms may or may not prevail.


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.

The United States Field of Study requires the completion of a minimum of three course credits from the list below. Students have the option of completing additional courses to receive a Certificate in Diplomatic Studies

Core Requirements for the Field

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

Current Students & Alumni

Graduates of The Fletcher School's field of law and development pursue a variety of careers. These are a sample of Fletcher current students and alums:

Ambassador Robert King Fletcher
Governor Bill Richardson
Torrey Taussig Fletcher
Ambassador Robert King
MALD 68, PhD 70
United States Special Envoy
for North Korean Human
Rights Issues

   Read Ambassador King's story

Governor Bill Richardson
Former Governor of New Mexico
Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Former Secretary of Energy

   Read Governor Richardson' story

Torrey Taussig
United States,
International Organizations

   Read Torrey's story

Outside the Classroom

  • Roberta Jacobsen, US Asst Sec of State for Western Hemisphere ---The View from Washington: How U.S. Foreign Policy is Made/Hot Topics in Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • The New Era of U.S.-Mexican Relations
  • The Power of Intercultural Exchanges: Making Connections, One Citizen at a Time
  • Mental Maps: FDR's Global Perspective, and Our Bearings in the World Today
  • The United States and Greece
  • The Military at Home and Out Front: Personal Perspectives from the American Military
  • Book Talk: Dr. Harlan Ullman, "A Handful of Bullets"
  • U.S. Public Diplomacy: Exchanges, Policy, and Evaluation
  • Obama's Middle East Challenges
  • European View of U.S. Elections
  • Latest immigration challenges before the US Congress
  • A New Turkey and an Old America
  • Role of the media in shaping policy in the 21st century
  • The Americas: We’re All In This Together
  • Office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin - Saginaw, MI
  • Office of U.S. Senator Jack Reed - Washington, DC
  • U.S. Department of State, International Organizations Bureau - Washington, DC
  • U.S. Department of State, International Information Programs Bureau - Washington, DC
  • U.S. Embassy - Belgrade, Serbia
  • U.S. Department of State, American Institute in Taiwan - Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency - Washington, DC
  • U.S. Mission to the European Union - Brussels, Belgium
  • U.S. Department of Commerce - Washington, DC
  • U.S. Embassy - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • "JFK, LBJ, And Two Ambassadors—United States Policy toward Japan in the 1960s"
  • "The Policy of Attraction: U.S. Civil Governance during the Philippine American War"
  • "U.S. Foreign Policy Response to the 2009 Honduran Political Crisis"
  • "Defining Corruption: A Comparison of the Substantive Criminal Law of Public Corruption in the United States and the United Kingdom"
  • "Towards a National Information Infrastructure Initiative for the United States: An Analysis of Global Broadband Deployment, Adoption and Policies for Enhancement"
  • "Redefining the United States' Approach to Academic Success"
  • "Early Warning Signals and Policy Responses to the U.S. Financial Crisis 2007-09"
  • "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act impact on U.S. investment abroad"
  • "The Role of Derivatives in the Bankruptcy of Detroit"
  • "Needs Must: Success, Failures, and Lessons of the Messy U.S. Occupation of West Germany after WWII"
  • "Evolution of the U.S.-ROK Alliance"
  • "U.S. Naval Strategy and Technology: Past, Present, and Future"
  • "The National Security Leaker and Criminal Liability Under the Espionage Act of 1917"
  • "A Comparison of Two Foreign Policy Cases: George W. Bush's Foreign Policy in Iraq Until the Invasion and Barack Obama's Foreign Policy in the Syria Crisis"
  • Fletcher Diplomacy Club
  • Fletcher Students in Security
  • Fletcher United Nations Club
  • International Law Society

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 Bernardo:

Pre-Fletcher Experience

Human Resources Business Partner, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
Group Leader, Target Regional Distribution Center, Fridley, MN
Logistics Analyst, Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN

Fields of Study

United States
International Organizations

Capstone Topic

U.S. Diplomatic Engagement with Non-state Armed Groups

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals

After Fletcher, I will be joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a Foreign Service Officer. Although I do not know my official assignment yet, I will spend the summer after graduation interning at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Read about Bernardo's curricular path.

Learn From The Experts: Fletcher Faculty

Alan Henrikson, Professor of Diplomatic History at Tufts Fletcher School"We try very hard at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy to integrate subjects intellectually, so that the study of diplomatic history, for instance, enriches current policy deliberation, and so that technical analysis of current policy issues sharpens, analytically, the retrospective examination of earlier events."

Alan Henrikson, Lee E. Dirks Professor of Diplomatic History, Director of Diplomatic Studies

Other faculty with expertise in the field:

Antonia Chayes, Professor of International Politics and Law at Tufts Fletcher School Michael Glennon, Professor of International Law at Tufts Fletcher School Sung-Yoon Lee, Professor of Korean Studies at Tufts Fletcher School
Antonia Chayes Michael Glennon Sung-Yoon Lee