Fletcher Connect

Degree Requirements

Capstone Project - Information and the Submission Process

Process of Submitting your Completed Capstone Project

Upon completion of the Capstone Project, students must complete the following steps to ensure that the Capstone Report is processed and the grade is submitted accordingly:

1) If you are emailing your advisor the Capstone Project, send a copy of the report to the Registrar's Office as well. Or, if you are submitting a hard copy of your Capstone Project to your advisor, also submit a copy of your Capstone Project cover page to the Registrar's Office. In doing so, the Registrar's Office will be made aware that the Capstone Project is complete and with the professor for review.

2) Go to the Fletcher Connect website, the Registrar's page, and then "Forms." Download, fill-out, and either email or print the Capstone Report Form and submit it to the Capstone Advisor. Once your professor has finished grading your Capstone Project, he/she will send the completed report form with your capstone grade to the Registrar's Office for processing. You cannot hand in this form containing the grade yourself to the Registrar's Office. The report form containing the grade must be submitted by the professor, not the student.

(Note: The Registrar's Office does not need a copy of this form from you. We only need the completed form with the grade from the Professor.)

  • Your Capstone Project Title Page should contain the following information

    (MALD, MA, MIB, or LLM) CAPSTONE

    TITLE

    SUBMITTED TO PROFESSOR(S)

    COURSE(S)

    (SEMESTER, YEAR)

    NAME OF STUDENT

    In (partial) or (full) fulfillment of the (MALD, MA, MIB, or LLM) Capstone requirement

    (DATE OF SUBMISSION)

Capstone Project Policy

All Fletcher students must complete a capstone project during their final year. The capstone project must evidence scholarly and/or professional analysis informed by the sustained and appropriate application of analytical methodologies. The capstone project is a significant analytical piece of work: it represents work of a higher standard than what is normally expected of a term paper and provides an opportunity for students to draw on their methodological, analytical, and substantive learning in a comprehensive written study. While all capstone projects are alike in that they must build on significant analytical work and consist of a written final product, the specific form of the final product can differ widely. Students and faculty may choose these different forms in pursuit of their different pedagogical aims, specific career goals, etc. Students are encouraged to make clear arrangements with supervising faculty early on about what the mutual expectations are of the capstone project.

The detailed requirements for any Capstone Project are determined by the supervising faculty member and can take a wide range of forms, including but not limited:

  • A traditional academic research thesis (Note that students who intend to apply to the PhD program must choose a traditional academic reĀ­search thesis for the capstone project).
  • A policy paper (whether for a government, an NGO or an international organization, whether or not for a real client)
  • An operational plan (in development, in business, in public diplomacy, etc.)
  • A case study
  • A business plan

Capstone Project Projection Form

All students must submit a Capstone Project Projection Form to the Office of the Registrar with an endorsement by the supervising Fletcher faculty member.  All MIB and MALD students must submit the Capstone Project Projection Form by the course drop deadline of their third semester and all MA and LLM students must submit the form by the course drop deadline of their second semester.

Breadth Requirements
All MALD degree candidates are required to take:
  • Two course credits in the Division of Diplomacy, History and Politics,
  • One course credit in the Division of International Law and Organizations,
  • One course credit in the Division of Economics and International Business,
  • One course in Quantitative Reasoning.

Specific requirements/options for each of these three divisions, as well as Quantitative Reasoning are detailed in the section that follows.

Students who have performed equivalent graduate-level work for the courses listed below may apply for equivalence with the approval of the appropriate Fletcher instructor. Students who receive equivalence must still meet the requirement of pursuing one or two course credits in the division but may choose from any one-credit course in the Division rather than just those listed below.

MA degree candidates can meet the Breadth Requirement by taking one-credit course from each Division (ILO, DHP, and EIB).

LLM degree candidates are required to take a one-credit course in both the DHP and EIB Divisions.

MIB degree candidates are required to take two course credits in the Division of Diplomacy, History, and Politics as detailed in the section that follows. The balance of the Breadth Requirement for MIB degree candidates is satisfied through the core curriculum for the MIB program.

PhD degree candidates must complete at least two course credits in your choice of two of the three Divisions and at least one course credit from the remaining Division.

Division of Diplomacy, History, and Politics (DHP)

Each MALD and MIB student is required to take two course credits from the DHP Division. One of those course credits must be one of the following courses:

  • DHP D200: Diplomacy: History, Theory, and Practice
  • DHP D210: The Art and Science of Statecraft
  • DHP D220: Processes of International Negotiation
  • DHP H205: The Historian's Art
  • DHP P200: International Relations: Theory and Practice
  • DHP P201: Comparative Politics
  • DHP P216: Research and Writing in the Global Political Economy  
  • DHP P217: Global Political Economy: Macroeconomic Perspectives
  • DHP P218: Global Political Economy: Comparative and Critical Perspectives
  • DHP P219: International Political Economy of Development
  • DHP P240: The Role of Force in International Politics

Division of International Law and Organizations (ILO)

Each MALD student is required to take one of the following one-credit courses:

  • ILO L200: The International Legal Order
  • ILO L209: International Treaty Behavior: A Perspective on Globalization
  • ILO L210: International Human Rights Law
  • ILO L213:  International Criminal Justice
  • ILO L216: Int’l Humanitarian Law
  • ILO L220: International Organizations
  • ILO L223:  International Environmental Law
  • ILO L232: International Investment Law
  • ILO L240:  Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade
  • ILO L250: Law and Development

Division of Economics and International Business (EIB)

Each MALD student is required to successfully complete the course, EIB E201: Introduction to Economic Theory, or EIB E211: Microeconomics, or any other higher-level Economics course listed below to fulfill the EIB Breadth Requirement. Students who pass the E201 Equivalency Exam may choose to enroll in EIB E201 but are encouraged to enroll in EIB E211, or they may choose to fulfill the EIB Breadth Requirement by taking another Economics one-credit course from the list below. In order to take any one of the listed Economics courses to satisfy the Breadth Requirement (with the exception of EIB E211), one must pass the E201 Equivalency Exam. Students who receive equivalency for one of the listed courses still must take a full credit Economics course in order to satisfy the EIB Breadth Requirement. Please carefully review the course descriptions for information on other prerequisites for the upper level Economics courses.

  • EIB E211: Microeconomics
  • EIB E212: Macroeconomics
  • EIB E213: Econometrics*
  • EIB E214: International Economic Policy Analysis
  • EIB E218: Applied Microeconometrics*
  • EIB E220: International Trade and Investment
  • EIB E221: Advanced International Trade and Investment
  • EIB E230: International Finance
  • EIB E240: Development Economics: Macroeconomic Perspectives
  • EIB E241: Development Economics: Policy Analysis
  • EIB E242: Development Economics: Micro Perspectives
  • EIB E246: Environmental Economics
  • EIB E247: Econometric Impact Evaluation for Development
  • EIB E248: Agriculture and the Environment
  • EIB E262: The Economics of Global Health and Development

Please note during fall and spring Orientation, an Equivalency Exam is offered for E201.

Important to Note:

* EIB E213: Econometrics and EIB E218: Applied Microeconometrics may not be used to satisfy both the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement and the Economics and International Business Breadth Requirement. Students must determine which Breadth Requirement it will satisfy.

Quantitative Reasoning

Each MALD student who does not pass one of the Quantitative Equivalency Exams (E210m and B205) will be required to take one of the following courses:

  • DHP P203: Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions +
  • EIB B205:  Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
  • EIB B206:  Data Analysis and Statistical Methods for Business
  • EIB B262: Marketing Research and Analysis
  • EIB E210m: Quantitative Methods 
  • EIB E213: Econometrics*  
  • EIB E218: Applied Microeconometrics*

Important to Note:

+ DHP P203: Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions may not be used to satisfy the second required DHP course credit.

* EIB E213: Econometrics and EIB 218: Applied Microeconometrics may not be used to satisfy both the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement and the Economics and International Breadth Requirement. Students must determine which Breadth Requirement it will satisfy.

MALD Requirements

All MALD students must complete 16 course credits in order to receive their degree. The following criteria must also be met within those 16 courses:

- Two Fields of Study (between 3 and 4.5 courses each)

- Satisfy all Breadth Requirements*:

  • One ILO Course from a designated list (see Plan of Study form under "Forms" for more details)
  • Two DHP Courses (one course from a designated list. Please see Plan of Study form under "Forms" for more details).
    For the second credit in the DHP division, MALD and MIB students may choose any course(s) with a DHP designation with the exception of DHP P203: Analytic Frameworks for Public Policy Decisions which cannot be offered to meet the DHP division requirement.)
  • E 201: Intro to Economic Theory OR E 211: Microeconomics OR pass the E 201 Equivalency Exam** and take a higher level EIB course from the following list: E211, E212, E213, E214, E218, E220, E221, E230, E240, E241, E242, E246, E247, E248, and E262
  • Pass the Quantitative Reasoning Exam** OR take one of the following courses: DHP P203, EIB B205, B206, E210m, E213, E218, and B262

- Fulfill the language requirement and exams

- Complete a Capstone Project

- Participate in the Professional Development Program (PDP) nine-week course

*Courses used to satisfy the Field of Study requirements can be used to satisfy the Breadth Requirements. However, courses in each Field of Study cannot overlap.

**In cases when an equivalence exam is offered by Fletcher (i.e. E201, B205, B206, E210m, E212 and E217m) students may only gain equivalence by passing the equivalence exam. When an equivalence exam is not offered, students who have previously completed graduate level work equivalent to Fletcher School courses may apply for a certification of equivalency for those courses.  Such equivalence requires the written approval of the professor teaching the Fletcher course for which equivalency is desired.  Equivalency does not constitute transfer credit; it does not entitle the student to count that course for credit; nor does it affect normal distribution requirements.  The option to obtain equivalency for a required course exists only for the purpose of eliminating the necessity of repeating course work previously taken.  It is not intended that students may obtain equivalency for required courses through cross-registration in similar courses at Harvard or elsewhere during the academic year.
MIB Requirements
All MIB students must complete 18 course credits in order to receive their degree. The following criteria must also be met within those 18 courses:

- Two Fields of Study (between 3 and 4.5 courses each), one from the International Business Fields of Study

- The MIB Business Requirement (each MIB candidate is required to complete the following courses: B238m, B200, B206, B207, and B263m).

- A Half-Credit Regional Studies elective. The Regional Studies courses are listed below:

  • DHP P266m01: Islamic World (English)
  • DHP P287m01: Political Economy and Business of the European Union (English)
  • DHP P287m02: L’Economie Politique et le Contexte Mercantile d”Union Europeenne (French)
  • DHP P294m01: Political Economy and Business Context of Latin America (English)
  • EIB B272m01: The Political Economy and Business Environments of Greater China (English)
  • EIB B273: Emerging Africa in the World Economy

- The Economics Requirement: Each MIB candidate is required to complete a minimum of 1.5-2.0 credits of Economics at Fletcher: one microeconomics course from a choice of two (either E211 or E217m) and one macroeconomics course (E212). Students who pass the equivalence exam for E212 and/or E217m must still take a total of 1.5 economics credits at Fletcher but may take any higher level economics course(s) at Fletcher beyond E201.

- One ILO Course (either L230 or L233)

-Two DHP Courses (one course from a designated list. Please see Plan of Study form under "Forms" for more details. For the second credit in the DHP division, MALD and MIB students may choose any course(s) with a DHP designation with the exception of DHP P203: Analytic Frameworks for Public Policy Decisions which cannot be offered to meet the DHP division requirement).

    - Fulfill the language requirement and exams

    - Complete a Capstone Project

    - Participate in the Professional Development Program (PDP) nine-week course

    LLM Requirements
    All LLM students must complete 8 course credits in order to receive their degree. The following criteria must also be met within those 8 courses:

    - No fewer than 5 courses and no more than 6 courses taken within the ILO division

    - One course from the Fletcher DHP division

    - One course from the Fletcher EIB division

    - Complete a Capstone Project

    - Fulfill the language requirement and exams

    - Participate in the "high table" colloquiums

    MA Requirements
    All MA students must complete 8 course credits in order to receive their degree. The following criteria must also be met within those 8 courses:

    - One course credit from each of the Fletcher three divisions (ILO, EIB, DHP)

    - Complete a Capstone Project

    - Fulfill the language requirement and exams

    MATA Requirements

    Coursework requirements for MATA students completing year one at Fletcher:

    - One course credit from each of Fletcher's three divisions (ILO, DHP, and EIB)

    - Integrate into one of College of Europe's study programs in the final (fourth) semester:

    • European Economic Studies
    • European Interdisciplinary Studies (Natolin campus only)
    • EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies
    • European Legal Studies
    • European Political and Administrative Studies

    Coursework Requirements for MATA students completing year one at College of Europe:

    - Coursework in one of College of Europe's study programs:

    • European Economic Studies
    • European Interdisciplinary Studies (Natolin campus only)
    • EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies
    • European Legal Studies
    • European Political and Administrative Studies

    - Four course credits from Fletcher course offerings in the final (fourth) semester (course division does not matter)

    Degree Requirements for all MATA Students in Addition to Coursework:

    - Year One - Completion of joint transatlantic course and related project

    - Third semester - 3-4 month high-level internship related to transatlantic affairs with associated report

    - Completion of thesis related to transatlantic affairs

    - Completion of nine-week Professional Development Program (PDP) at Fletcher

    - Fulfillment of Language requirement at Fletcher

    Equivalency Exams

    Equivalency Exams Information

    Equivalency Exams are administered, without exception, twice during the academic year. No alternate dates are available. Please see the academic calendar for the equivalency exam dates.

      EQUIVALENCY EXAMS TIMES

      9:30-10:30 AM:  Economics (E201) Equivalency Exam                                                              
      * No calculator is allowed for the Economics (E201) Equivalency Exam.
      * No notes, books, phones, or computers are allowed.

      10:30 AM-12:30 PM: 
      Quantitative Reasoning (E210m & B205/B206) Equivalency Exams

      * No calculator is allowed for the Quantitative Reasoning E210m Equivalency Exam.
      * No notes, books, phones, or computers are allowed.
      * A non-scientific calculator is allowed for the B205/B206 Equivalency Exam.

      Note:
      The Economics (E201) Equivalency Exam and the Quantitative Reasoning (E210m & B205/B206) Equivalency Exams are offered, without exception, only during the Orientation periods.  No alternate dates are available.

      Be sure to review the B205/B206 Useful Expressions Information Sheet for Statistics.

      MIB Students, please scroll toward the bottom of this page and review the Important to Note information.


      Students are not required to take the Equivalency Exams, although it is strongly recommended. If you have a foundation in Economics, Statistics and/or Quantitative Methods, you may want to try one or all of these Equivalency Exams in an attempt to either satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Breadth Requirement, and/or by being able to take a higher level Economics course in order to satisfy the Economics Divisional (EIB) Breadth Requirement.

      • For MALD students, please review the specific Breadth Requirements/course options for each of the Divisions (DHP, ILO, EIB).
      • Please note LLM and MA students may take the Equivalency Exams but passing any will neither satisfy any Breadth Requirement nor provide any course waiver.
      • PhD students are required to pass either the B205 or B206 Equivalency Exam and take E213: Econometrics as part of the Methodology Requirements.

      About the Economics Equivalency Exam


      Each MALD student is required to take EIB E201: Introduction to Economic Theory (offered in fall and spring semesters), EIB E211: Microeconomics, or pass the E201 Equivalency exam in order to fulfill the Economics (EIB) Divisional Breadth Requirement.

      If you elect to take the Economics Equivalency Exam for E201: Introduction to Economic Theory, please note the following:

      • MALD students who pass the E201 Equivalency Exam will be exempt from taking the course, E201, but will be required to fulfill the Economics (EIB) Divisional Breadth Requirement by taking one course from the selection of higher level Economics (EIB) courses listed below. Note that some of the courses listed below may have prerequisites; please carefully review the course descriptions for these courses.

        Economics International Business (EIB) Breadth Requirement
        :

        In order to fulfill the EIB Breadth Requirement, each MALD student is required to either; (a) successfully complete the course EIB E201: Introduction to Economic Theory; (b) successfully complete the course EIB E211: Microeconomics; or (c) after passing the E201 Equivalency Exam, successfully complete one of the higher-level Economics courses listed below. In order to take any one of the listed Economics courses to satisfy the Breadth Requirement (with the exception of EIB E211), one must successfully pass the E201 course or Equivalency Exam. Please carefully review the course descriptions for information on other prerequisites for the upper level Economics courses.

        • E211: Microeconomics
        • E212: Macroeconomics
        • E213: Econometrics*
        • E214:International Economic Policy Analysis
        • E218: Applied Microeconometrics*
        • E220: International Trade and Investment
        • E221: Advanced International Trade and Investment
        • E230: International Finance
        • E240: Development Economics: Macroeconomic Perspectives
        • E241: Development Economics: Policy Analysis
        • E242: Development Economics: Micro Perspectives
        • E246: Environmental Economics
        • E247: Econometric Impact Evaluation for Development
        • E248: Agriculture and Economics
        • E262: The Economics of Global Health and Development

        * NOTE: E213 and E218 may NOT be used to satisfy both the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement and the Economics (EIB) divisional Breadth Requirement. Students must determine which of these Breadth Requirements it will satisfy.

      • Please note during fall and spring Orientation, an Equivalency Exam is offered for E201.

      • MALD students who do NOT PASS the E201 Equivalency Exam must register to take the course, E201: Introduction to Economic Theory (offered in both fall and spring semesters) or E211: Microeconomics, which will fulfill the Economics (EIB) Divisional Breadth Requirement.

      About the Quantitative Reasoning Equivalency Exams

      • There are two separate Quantitative Reasoning Equivalency Exams, one exam for E210m: Quantitative Methods, and another exam for B205: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods. 

        ** MIB studentsā€•please see note below about the B206: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods for Business Equivalency Exam
        .
      • Students who do NOT pass the Equivalency Exam for either E210m or B205 can satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement by taking one of the following courses listed below:

        - E210m: Quantitative Methods
        - E213: Econometrics*
        - E218: Applied Microeconometrics*
        - B205: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
        - B206: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods for Business
        - B262: Marketing Research and Analysis
        - P203: Analytic Frameworks for International Public Policy Decisions
        * NOTE: E213 and E218 may NOT be used to satisfy both the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement and the Economics (EIB) Breadth Requirement. Students must determine which of these Breadth Requirements it will satisfy.  
      • MALD students taking and passing one or both of the Quantitative Reasoning Equivalency Exams (E210m and/or B205) will satisfy the Quantitative Reasoning Breadth Requirement.

      **Important to Note for MIB Students:

      Three Equivalency Exams are offered outside of Orientation weeks for MIB core courses. Students from other degree programs are also welcome to take these exams when applicable.

      Refer to the Equivalency Exams Information Sheet and the B205/B206 Useful Expressions Information Sheet, as needed.

      For MIB students wishing to take these exams, they must be taken and passed in the first year of study. If they are not passed in the first year, the associated course must be taken instead in the first year. All MIB students must take the B206: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods for Business course or pass the B206: Data Analysis and Statistical Methods for Business Equivalency Exam by the end of their first year of study.

      The three Equivalency Exams offered outside of Orientation Week:

      • E217m: Managerial Economics Equivalency Exam
        *MIB students who pass the E217m Equivalency Exam are exempt from taking the core course, E217m, but must take an upper level economics course.
      • B206: Data Analysis and Statistics for Business Equivalency Exam: TBD (typically in November early in the morning)  [Incoming Januarians, please see above B206 Equivalency Exam offering]
        *MIB students who pass the B206: Data Analysis and Statistics for Business Equivalency Exam will be exempt from having to enroll in the course, B206: Data Analysis and Statistics for Business, and may substitute it with an elective of their choice. This is the only opportunity for MIBs to take this exam. This exam must be passed or the class taken by the end of the first year.
        • No notes, books, or computer are allowed during the B206 Equivalency.
        • A non-scientific calculator is allowed for the B206 Equivalency Exam.
        • Note that the core material covered in the B206 Equivalency Exam is outlined above by Professor Nakosteen in the B205 Equivalency Exam section.  There is one addition in order for MIB students to prepare for the B206 Equivalency Exam: Binomial Probability Distribution. Chapter 5 (sections 5.1 and 5.3).  Also, please refer to the B205/B206 – Useful Expressions Information Sheet
      • E212: Macroeconomics Equivalency Exam: (Date and Time TBD)
        *MIB students who pass the E212: Macroeconomics Equivalency Exam are exempt from taking the core course, E212, but must take an upper level economics course.
        *Use of calculators – either hand-held or on the computer – are NOT allowed.
        *If you have a laptop, please bring it to the exam; once you have completed the exam directly on your laptop, you will need to email it to the professor. If you do not have a laptop, please complete the exam using the blue books provided to you.
        * To pass the E212 Equivalency Exam, students will need to comprehend macroeconomic theory (including national income accounting) and its applications at the intermediate level. Course mathematical requirements are limited to basic algebra, and the exam will reflect this. The texts referenced are Oliver Blanchard and David Johnson, Macroeconomics, Sixth Edition, supplemented by some chapters from Frederic Mishkin’s The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, 10th edition, 2012 on monetary institutions and policy. The E212 Equivalency Exam will cover the material in Chapters 2 – 7, 9, 14, 18 – 19 and 23 – 24 of Blanchard and Johnson, 6th edition.  (Not surprisingly, the same content is covered in other intermediate macro textbooks if one of them is more readily available.) Some editions of the full Blanchard and Mishkin textbooks are available on reserve at Ginn Library.
      Fields of Study
      MIB students must choose one International Business and one International Affairs Field of Study.  LLM students have optional Tracks listed further down on the page. MALD students can select any two Fields of Study. One of these fields can be self-designed. Please view the Field of Study Guide for field specifics. 

      International Affairs Fields of Study

      • Development Economics
      • Gender Analysis
      • Human Security
      • Humanitarian Studies
      • International Business & Economic Law
      • International Business Relations
      • International Environmental & Resource Policy
      • International Information & Communication
      • International Monetary Theory and Policy
      • International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
      • International Organizations
      • International Political Economy
      • International Security Studies
      • International Trade & Commercial Policies
      • Law & Development
      • Pacific Asia
      • Political Systems & Theories
      • Public International Law
      • Southwest Asia & Islamic Civilization
      • United States
      • Self-Designed (with approval from CSAP)

      International Business Fields of Study

      • International Finance & Banking
      • Marketing
      • Public & NGO Management
      • Strategic Management & International Consultancy

      International Law Tracks for LLM Candidates

      • International Business Law
      • International Economic Law
      • Public International Law
      Foreign Language Requirements
      All students receiving degrees from The Fletcher School must possess the ability to speak a foreign (second) language sufficiently well to exchange ideas in conversation with a native speaker and the ability to read and restate into English primary materials on contemporary topics involving foreign affairs.

      Foreign nationals whose native language is not English and who have received a substantial portion of their education in their native language may have English accepted as their second language. Generally, these students will have completed the TOEFL (Test of English as a Second Language) exam.

      For students whose native language is English, proficiency in a foreign language is demonstrated through reading comprehension and oral examinations.

      The Fletcher School routinely offers proficiency exams in the following languages:

      • Arabic
      • Chinese
      • French
      • German
      • Greek
      • Hebrew
      • Hindi
      • Italian
      • Japanese
      • Korean
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Spanish
      • Swahili
      • Urdu
      To further help with preparation for the language exams, Fletcher students have access to Mango Languages, an online language learning resource designed to give users comprehensive conversational language and grammar skills in over 60 languages.   Mango Languages can be accessed easily at https://connect.mangolanguages.com/tufts/login?u=645760. Click on “Create one” underneath the Log In button to create your login profile.

      Non-Routine Foreign Languages

      Subject to the approval of the Fletcher School’s Committee on Student Academic Programs, degree candidates may offer languages other than the ones listed above to fulfill the foreign language proficiency requirement. In those cases, it is the student’s responsibility to identify a qualified individual to serve as their examiner. That person should have credentials as an instructor of the foreign language being offered. Students who wish to offer languages other than those given by Fletcher should speak with The Fletcher School Language Coordinator (currently Ann Marie Decembrele) upon their arrival at Fletcher.

      Examinations

      Oral Exams are offered regularly throughout the academic year by designated faculty members from the language departments at Tufts University. The oral exam is a 20-30 minute conversational interchange between the student and the examiner. The Fletcher Registrar’s Office maintains a list of approved oral examiners with their contact information.

      Reading Comprehension Exams are offered three times each year on specific dates in September/October, February, and in late-March/early-April as listed on the Academic Calendar. Entering students are strongly encouraged to attempt the reading comprehension exam when they first arrive in September. Students entering in January are strongly encouraged to try the exam in February or April of their first semester.

      Students who are unable to pass the language proficiency exams cannot be allowed to graduate. However, continuing or reinstated students may continue to take the language proficiency exams after leaving Fletcher.
       

       

      Levels of Proficiency:

      The level of language proficiency required for all The Fletcher School degrees is the same:  General Professional proficiency on the reading comprehension examination and Limited Working proficiency on the oral exam. 

       

      • Students who achieve the General Professional proficiency level or higher on the reading comprehension exam will have satisfied the reading comprehension portion of the requirement. (A score of Limited Working proficiency on the reading exam is not a passing score.)
      • The only exception to the above is for students offering Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean where a score of Limited Working proficiency on the reading comprehension exam is considered a passing score.
      • Students who achieve the Limited Working proficiency level or higher on the oral exam will have satisfied the oral component of the foreign language requirement. (A score of Limited Working proficiency on the oral exam is a passing score for all languages.)

      Students who do not meet the minimum level of proficiency required on their first attempt at either the reading comprehension exam or the oral exam will need to take that portion of the exam again.  Reading comprehension exams are offered three times during each academic year (see Academic Calendar for dates.) Oral exams can be re-scheduled as needed throughout the year.  

      For purposes of establishing consistent standards of language proficiency, The Fletcher School employs the definitions of reading and speaking proficiency employed by the "interagency language roundtable” (ILR) of the U.S. government. The following levels of language proficiency are provided to place in context the requirements for the Fletcher degree. A more detailed description of these proficiency levels can be found by visiting http://www.govtilr.org.

       

       

      1. Limited Working (ILR Level 2)
      Speaking: Able to satisfy routine social demands and limited work requirements. Can handle routine work-related interactions that are limited in scope.

       

      Reading: Sufficient comprehension to read simple, authentic written material in a form equivalent to usual printing or typescript on subjects within a familiar context. Note: Limited Working proficiency on the reading comprehension exam is only an option for students offering Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  Limited Working proficiency does not satisfy the reading comprehension requirement for students offering any other language.

       

      2. General Professional (ILR Level 3)
      Speaking: Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, and professional topics.

       

      Reading: Able to read within a normal range of speed and with almost complete comprehension on a variety of authentic prose material on unfamiliar subjects.

       

      3. Advanced Professional (ILR Level 4)
      Speaking: Able to use the language fluently and accurately on all levels normally pertinent to professional needs.

       

      Reading: Able to read fluently and accurately all styles and forms of the language pertinent to professional needs.

       

      4. Functionally Native (ILR Level 5)
      Speaking: Speaking proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of a highly articulate well-educated native speaker and reflects the cultural standards of the country where the language is natively spoken.

       

      Reading: Reading proficiency is functionally equivalent to that of the well-educated native reader.

       

      Guidelines for the Reading Comprehension Exam:

      The language exam guidelines (approved and implemented in April, 1990) reflect a consensus that the Fletcher foreign language reading exam should test students' abilities to read, comprehend and restate in written English primary materials on contemporary topics involving foreign affairs rather than test students' abilities to translate with precision foreign journals, newspapers, and scholarly works on international relations topics. Students should restate the text into English but their work should not be judged on the basis of exact translation, specialized vocabulary, or elegance of English expression. However, the meaning of the passage must be accurately and coherently conveyed. The ability to convey meaning accurately is more important than testing knowledge of specific vocabulary items.

       

      a. Length of reading passage
      Students receive a passage from a foreign journal, newspaper, or scholarly work on a current topic in international affairs. The passage will be approximately 300 words in length for students seeking limited or general proficiency and approximately 500 words in length for students seeking advanced proficiency. A single article, approximately 500 words in length, may be used for both proficiency levels. In this case, the 300-word mark will be clearly indicated on the text so that students opting for "general proficiency" will understand the end point of their exam.

       

      b. Time limits
      Students have one and half hours (90 minutes) for exams in the Roman alphabet languages and two hours (120 minutes) for exams in the non-Roman alphabet languages except for exams in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean where three hours (180 minutes) is permitted.

       

      c. Dictionaries
      Bi-lingual dictionaries (foreign language to English, e.g. Chinese to English) may be used for all language exams at the limited, general, and advanced proficiency levels. Dictionary usage is not allowed for exams targeting the functionally native proficiency level.

       

      d. English Rendering of Text
      The student's written paragraph by paragraph English rendering of the foreign text should be roughly equivalent in length (that is 300 words for "general proficiency" and 500 words for "advanced" proficiency) to the primary material which is read. Students must restate the foreign text into English but their work will not be judged on the basis of exact translation, specialized vocabulary, or elegance of English expression. However, the meaning of the passage must be accurately and coherently conveyed.

       

      e. Functionally Native Proficiency
      Functionally native proficiency will be based on a superior performance on a separate text selection. Students may only attempt a functionally native exam after they have passed at the advanced proficiency level. Interested students should speak with the Fletcher Language Coordinator (presently Ann Marie Decembrele).

      Sample Language Exam Text for Review and Practice:

      Arabic General Level Sample Exam Text
      Arabic Advanced Level Sample Exam Text
      Arabic Limited Level Sample Exam Text
      Chinese Traditional Characters General and Advanced Level Sample Exam Text
      Chinese Simplified Characters General and Advanced Level Sample Exam Text
      Chinese Simplified Characters Limited Sample Exam Text
      Chinese Traditional Limited Sample Exam Text
      French Sample Exam Text
      German Sample Exam Text
      Hebrew Sample Exam Text
      Hindi Sample Exam Text
      Italian Sample Exam Text
      Japanese General and Advanced Level Sample Exam Text
      Japanese Limited Sample Exam Text
      Korean General Advanced Level Sample Exam Text
      Korean Limited Level Sample Exam Text
      Portuguese Sample Exam Text
      Russian Sample Exam Text
      Spanish Sample Exam Text
      Swahili Sample Exam Text
      Urdu Sample Exam Text

      Foreign Language Study Outside of Fletcher

      Students who have concerns about their required foreign language proficiency may enroll in the Tufts University Summer School language programs or may choose to enroll in equivalent programs at other institutions.

      During the academic year, MALD candidates and direct admission PhD students who wish to supplement their foreign language learning may enroll, at no extra charge, in language courses at either Tufts University or Harvard through cross-registration. Credit for language study does require approval from the Committee on Student Academic Programs (CSAP) but when the language study is appropriate for the student’s academic program and/or professional goals, the Committee is generally amenable. Foreign language courses taken for credit will be included as one of the four courses students are permitted to take per term.

      In order to be eligible to receive credit for language study, the following criteria must be met:

      a. Foreign language instruction should be appropriate for both the student’s Fletcher academic experience and his/her professional career objectives.

      b. Foreign language credit will be given for a maximum of two courses, regardless of the number of language studies the student completes.

      c. Allowance of credit for foreign language study should encourage, where there is no conflict with professional demands, a multi-cultural approach to language learning.

      Foreign language credit may not be applied to the one year MA degree requirements and may not be offered for transfer credit. However, all students, regardless of their degree program, are eligible to audit one language course per term in addition to their normal load of four courses. Audited language courses do not appear on the student’s transcript.

      Although The Fletcher School values highly the role of foreign language learning in the international affairs arena, students should understand that there is, unfortunately, little time within The Fletcher School curriculum for students to acquire and/or master a new foreign language. For that reason, we strongly encourage students who are serious about learning a new language to pursue intensive study prior to matriculation and then take advantage of opportunities provided by our cross-registration agreement with Tufts and Harvard to build on their existing foreign language proficiency.