- What makes Fletcher unique?
Fletcher’s intellectual community and the flexibility of the curriculum distinguish the School from other top graduate professional schools of international affairs. Only Fletcher allows students wide freedom to tailor a course of study to match their particular interests. The diversity and experience of the student body is one of the hallmarks of the School, along with the expertise and accessibility of the faculty, and the support and connections of the alumni community. Fletcher offers a powerful network to help students realize their professional goals.
Fletcher’s academic philosophy is built on the belief that students are the true experts in determining the knowledge, skills, and competencies they need for success in their post-Fletcher careers. While breadth and depth requirements assist in navigating the many curricular options, each student customizes a course of study to fit particular interests and career objectives. With over 175 courses offered annually, and more than 22 Fields of Study (including an option to self-design), Fletcher students rarely chart the exact same course through the curriculum.
Students come to Fletcher not only for its curricular advantages, but also for its sense of community. Notwithstanding the comfortable campus setting of Tufts University and the many professional and social opportunities of nearby Cambridge and Boston, the primary attraction of Fletcher for most students is the School itself. Fletcher’s community features citizens of 70 countries; students with backgrounds in humanitarian relief, finance, defense policy, and development, and a faculty of scholar-practitioners at the forefront of their fields. Students, faculty, and administrators are fully present in the life of the School, dedicated to the spirit of collaboration and partnership that defines Fletcher. Finally, with more than 50 student-run academic, professional, and social organizations at the School, there is a place for everyone in the Fletcher community.
- Why study international affairs?
Global interdependence is here to stay. From the reconstruction of post-conflict societies and the creation of markets in emerging economies, to the analysis of terrorist threats and the promotion of human rights, today's issues transcend borders and disciplines. Common to all these challenges are the myriad connections between history, politics, economics, and culture that we must understand to respond effectively.
A professional graduate degree in international affairs prepares individuals to handle the political, social, legal, business, and economic challenges faced by a wide range of people and organizations throughout the world. Students are trained to evaluate global problems and frame solutions using a variety of disciplines. The knowledge and skills acquired at Fletcher prepare individuals for a wide range of career paths.
- What will I learn? What types of skills will I develop?
Fletcher’s unique interdisciplinary curriculum combines theory and practice. Fletcher trains students to develop a thorough and nuanced grounding in the latest political, economic, business, and legal thinking and apply it professionally to shape international events. A Fletcher education is oriented toward problem-solving, whether big global public policy challenges such as climate change, or narrower issues such as the impact of transnational crime on peace processes, or the barriers to financial inclusion in the least developed countries.
We also step back and ask deeper questions – questions about who defines the problems and identifies the range of possible solutions. Our educational philosophy, while impact-oriented, is not simply a matter of finding solutions to well-defined problems, but also understanding why the problem exists and from whose perspective it even is a problem. We work from the assumption that contemporary international challenges are best understood and addressed from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
Fletcher’s courses are organized in three divisions: International Law and Organizations; Diplomacy, History, and Politics; and Economics and International Business. Coursework from each division ensures breadth and interdisciplinary study. Students build expertise in a particular area by selecting one or two concentrations from 24 Fields of Study, depending on their degree program and requirements. Courses can be broadly categorized as theoretical, policy-focused, or skills-oriented, with most courses embodying two or all three of those elements. Students tailor their program to meet specific academic, personal and professional goals. Students may acquire expertise in such areas as:
- Business (accounting, management, marketing, financial analysis, corporate governance, law)
- Diplomacy (statecraft, theory, practice, communications, negotiation)
- Energy and environment (climate change, energy policy, environmental economics, and water diplomacy)
- Financial Analysis and Accounting (balance sheets, cash flow analysis, reporting)
- Information and Communication Technology (policy analysis, GIS, social network analysis, public diplomacy)
- International Development (development economics, program design, microfinance, log frames, results frameworks)
- International Finance (project finance, governance, financial instruments, monetary and exchange rate policy)
- International Law (legal order, comparative legal systems, international institutions, business transactions, trade, human rights)
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (theory, practice, mediation)
- Policy Analysis (fiscal, monetary, security, health, technology, communications, energy and environment, decision making)
- Project Management (proposal development, budgeting, financial statement analysis, monitoring and evaluation)
- Research Methods (quantitative analysis, field data collection, survey design, analytical frameworks)
- Statistical and Economic Analysis (regression analysis, statistical reasoning and inference)
- Does Fletcher take a functional or regional approach to its curriculum?
Fletcher’s curriculum is oriented toward providing students with the functional expertise they need for global careers. Although most Fletcher Fields of Study are organized around functional themes, the School also supports regional interests through coursework, comparative case studies, faculty and student research, and overseas internships. Students may choose to focus on a specific geographic region by taking courses with regional relevance, by focusing their capstone project on a region, or by self-designing a regionally-focused Field of Study. Many Fletcher courses, while organized along functional lines, have substantial content in a particular region. Thus, students often blend functional and regional interests, for example, mobile banking in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, internship opportunities are an excellent way of developing regional as well as functional expertise.
- What can I do with a Fletcher degree?
Each year Fletcher graduates accept challenging positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as with international organizations. Fletcher prepares students for careers in applied research, business, development, economics, foreign affairs, international law, and policy analysis. Among the most popular career fields are:
Banking & Finance
Economic Policy (fiscal and monetary)
Energy & Environment Policy
Governance & Rule of Law
Human Rights and Criminal Justice
International Public Law
Negotiation & Mediation
Political Risk & Intelligence
Project Management & Evaluation
Refugees & Migration
Research & Think Tanks
Technology & Innovation
Security & Military Affairs
- With whom will I be studying?
The most intellectually stimulating, personally rewarding, and professionally profitable connections you will make at Fletcher will be those you forge with your classmates. Students come to Fletcher from all over the world; more than 40 percent of the student body comes from outside of the US, including citizens of more than 80 countries. Students come from professional backgrounds ranging from investment banking to public service, the military, and international development.
The wide array of ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, political opinions, and personal and professional experiences creates a dynamic classroom environment. It reinforces the multi-disciplinary approach we value, namely that today’s international challenges are best understood and tackled from multiple perspectives. Fletcher students have impressive academic credentials and life experience, and a shared passion for making a difference in the world. When you choose to study at Fletcher, you are joining a dynamic, close-knit community that spans the globe.
- What kind of professional network will I develop?
The Fletcher School has long been known for the enduring networks that are built here. Students often say that the opportunity to interact academically, professionally, and socially with others at the School is one of the most rewarding aspects of their Fletcher experience. The academic and professional connections you make, as well as the personal friendships you develop during your studies at Fletcher, are the foundation of your network.
Additionally, Fletcher’s 8,000+ living alumni are active players on the global stage, eager to share with current students their experiences and contacts in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The Office of Career Services regularly engages alumni to serve as panel speakers, attend networking events, host site visits, provide career guidance, and offer jobs/internships.
After graduating from Fletcher there are many opportunities to stay engaged with Fletcher through events sponsored by the 70+ alumni clubs around the world, and through the Office of Alumni Relations. The intellectual and social community that coalesces at Fletcher impacts the academic, personal, and professional lives of our students and alumni over the course of a lifetime.
- What does the Admissions Committee look for?
Fletcher actively seeks to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, a wide range of personal, professional and academic experience, and a strong commitment to an international career. We seek students who, by virtue of their background, achievement, and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the analysis and practice of international relations. Additional information on preparation and prerequisites can be found here.
- How can I finance a Fletcher education?
Graduate school is a significant investment, and it is important for applicants to develop a financial plan before enrolling. Fletcher offers scholarship aid to over 90% of those who apply for it, determining individual awards through consideration of candidates’ academic and professional merit, as well as their financial need. The average scholarship award is in the range of $8,000 - $12,000 per academic year. While several full scholarships are given to outstanding candidates, such awards are rare, and it is imperative that applicants research additional sources of funding. US citizens and permanent residents can apply for federal student educational loans, and most applicants contribute funds from personal savings or family support. Applicants are further encouraged to research external scholarship opportunities, many of which have application deadlines around or before Fletcher’s own deadline.
Fletcher also awards several scholarships to finance the second year of study for MALD candidates, for which students may apply during their first year of study. In addition, many Fletcher graduates are eligible for Tufts’ Loan Repayment Assistance Program, a loan forgiveness program for graduates pursuing public service careers.
- What are the advantages of studying in Boston?
The Fletcher School’s unique location provides the best of both worlds: the friendliness and vitality of a classic college town and the urban influence of nearby Boston. Boston is an academic and intellectual capital, home to some of the greatest universities in the world, the headquarters of many NGOs and non-profits, a center for international business and finance, a centerpiece of US history, and a diverse, multi-cultural, safe and livable community.
From Fidelity Investments to Oxfam America to over 35 consular offices, Boston offers a wealth of professional opportunities. Many of the world’s leading private, public, and nonprofit organizations maintain their headquarters in Boston, providing Fletcher students with invaluable resources to find internships and employment, and to establish networks of professional contacts. Home to more than 60 distinguished colleges and universities; the Boston area boasts the largest concentration of international students in the world, providing an unparalleled environment for study and research.
In Boston, you will discover one of America's most cultural and stimulating cities. Recreational activities are abundant and range from historical sites and renowned museums, to world class shopping, sports, theatre and restaurants. Less than two hours away, you can find the beaches of Cape Cod, or the mountains and trails of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. New York City is a comfortable train or bus ride away, and Washington, D.C. is also only a short trip from Boston.