Course Descriptions

All GMAP students enroll in the same eight core courses on the same scheduled throughout their year of study. Additionally, students complete a master's capstone project. Those whose native tongue is English, must pass an oral and reading language exam in the foreign language of their choice prior to graduating from The Fletcher School.  Further information on the foreign language requirement can be found here.

Curriculum Overview


Fall Term:
GMA B200: Corporate Finance and Global Financial Markets (0.5 credit)
GMA D210: Leading and Managing Strategically (0.5 credit)
GMA D220: International Negotiation (1 credit)
GMA P202: International Politics (1 credit)

Spring Term:
GMA E220: International Trade and Economics and Investment (1 credit)
GMA E230: International Macroeconomics (0.5 credit)
GMA P215: Global Environmental Diplomacy (0.5 credit)
GMA P240: Security Studies (1 credit)

Summer Term:
GMA D211: Foreign Policy Leadership (0.5 credit)
GMA L240: International Business and Economic Law (1 credit)
GMA P216: Humanitarian Aid (0.5 credit)
Master's Capstone Project

Course descriptions below

Leadership and Management

This course is divided into two modules:


Leading and Managing Strategically: This module explores the global strategic and managerial challenges that decision-makers increasingly face in both public and private sectors. It attempts to reconcile their evolving role and competency requirements with the new global business imperative. In particular, the module aims at benchmarking best practices from the disciplines of strategy, management, and marketing, and transposing them to the field of action of the “new diplomat”. This reengineering of skills constitutes an invitation to challenge established organizational wisdom and to adopt new strategic and managerial orientation with respect to a variety of issues (e.g., planning, strategy formulation, internationalization, decision-making, human resource management, customer and stakeholder satisfaction, innovation, image persuasion, and knowledge management). (Fall Term Course)
» Professor Simonin

Foreign Policy Leadership: This module focuses on seven leaders who are known for major accomplishments in foreign policy: Elizabeth I, Napoleon, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Mao Zedong, Mikhail Gorbachev and Suleiman I. Each is examined within the context of the pressing international problems of her/ his time and in light of the political science and business literature on leadership. With the complex situations they faced at home and abroad, these leaders provide lessons and models for those who are interested in and aspire to leadership.
» Senior Associate Dean Nutter

International Negotiation

This course explores the processes, rather than specific substantive issues, of international negotiation. Using exercises and simulations, it examines the nature of conflict in the international arena; the special characteristics of negotiation in the international setting; pre-negotiation and the problems of inducing parties to negotiate; negotiation dynamics; the roles of culture and power; and the strategy and tactics of international negotiation. International mediation, arbitration, special problems of multilateral negotiation, and the follow-up and implementation of negotiated agreements are also examined.
»
Professor Babbitt and Professor Chigas

International Trade Economics and Investment

This course investigates why nations trade, what they trade, and the distribution of gains from trade. Topics include trade and growth, technology, the product cycle, multinationals, international labor migration, tariffs, dumping, regional economic integration, and international competitiveness of firms and nations. Throughout the course there will be special emphasis on which policies affect which outcomes.
» Professor Ramos

International Finance

This course is divided into two modules:


Corporate Finance and Global Financial Markets: This International Finance module provides a conceptual and operational overview of corporate finance as it is practiced by financial managers and bankers in the private sector. Four major themes are explored: 1) financial planning and budgeting; 2) financing techniques including securitization and instruments as available from banks and capital markets; 3) Risk management and the use of financial derivatives and 4)  valuation metrics used in selecting among projects, acquiring existing firms, or structuring large-scale project finance.

» Professor Jacque

International Macroeconomics: This International Macroeconomics module presents frameworks for understanding the performance of economies that are linked to the rest of the world through trade in assets as well as through trade in goods and services. After reviewing the cross-border aspects of national income accounting, this section will teach models of the short- and long-run determination of exchange rates, trade and current account balances, in addition to other macroeconomic variables. These models are then used to analyze general issues such as the choice of exchange-rate regime, open-economy fiscal and monetary policy, the performance of the international monetary system, optimum currency areas, as well as specific current topics.
» Professor Krohn

International Business and Economic Law

This course provides an introduction to the legal context of international commerce. It examines the international legal system, and focuses on international trade law as a major component of the international legal system, with great relevance for international commerce. It examines selected issues within the international trade law system, including tariffs, discrimination, protectionism, health and environmental protection. It also examines selected issues of the regulation of international business, including the scope of jurisdiction, taxation and bribery. It examines contractual forms and legal constraints in private international commercial relations, including the formation of contracts, letters of credit, and international loan agreements. Finally, the course concludes with an examination of the application of some of these concepts to international internet-based commerce.
» Professor Trachtman

International Politics

International Politics considers contemporary political and economic developments in the context of their historical antecedents, and weighs divergent interpretations of influential ideas and political and economic developments. The course examines contradictory interpretations of these events and their significance; focuses on "big picture" visions of political-economic developments; and seeks to apprehend the historical, political, economic, and cultural factors behind them. Part I introduces each topic and is intended to raise questions and provoke discussion during the residency period. Part II delves into each topic in greater detail, sometimes by focusing on multi- or supra-national institutions, and sometimes by examining particular regions and countries that exemplify the trends and counter-trends discussed in Part I.
» Professor Taliaferro

Transnational Social Issues

This course is divided into two modules:


Global Environmental Diplomacy: In the past 25 years, global environment and resource policy has joined human rights and humanitarian and development issues at the forefront of international policy. Developing sound agreements requires an ability on the part of the diplomat, political leader, corporate decision-maker, or environmental practitioner to understand the scientific basis of the problem, the economic costs of addressing or not addressing it, and the technological and political possibilities for proposed solutions. In this module students will examine a diverse suite of environmental issues ranging from ocean fisheries to forest conservation, all the while examining each issue through the lens of climate change. The module will explore how environmental challenges arise to become part of the international agenda, how environmental treaties are negotiated, and how their implementation takes place in industrial and developing countries.
» Professor Moomaw and Professor Chester

Humanitarian Aid:This module will put complex emergencies and humanitarian crises within a global perspective, focusing on key institutional actors in the field of humanitarian aid. The module will analyze the political, economic, and ethical issues raised by humanitarian interventions in war situations and explore the tools available to aid agencies to program in crisis situations. Building primarily on experiences in Africa and Asia, the module explores linkages between relief and development as well as looking at the possible long term future of the international humanitarian aid system. 
» Professor Maxwell 

Security Studies

This course considers crisis management in theory and practice, drawing from the period since World War II. Theories of crisis prevention, escalation, management, de-escalation, termination, and post-crisis management; alternative decision-making theories, structures, and processes; the nature of crisis bargaining and negotiation; and the role of third parties. Special attention will be paid to the role of military force in post-Cold War crisis scenarios.
» Professor Pfaltzgraff and Professor Shultz

Master's Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is a key aspect of Fletcher’s master’s degree programs, offering students the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of work examining a multidimensional international issue. This exercise allows students to build a real depth of knowledge in a particular area of focus. Capstone Projects can be designed for practical application, and thus can serve as a strong bridge to the job search process.  

The detailed requirements for any Capstone Project are determined after consultation with the Capstone Coordinator and supervising faculty member and can take a wide range of formats, including, but not limited to: 

  • A traditional academic research thesis (25-40 pages in length)

  • A policy paper (for example, for a government, an NGO, or an international organization, whether or not for an actual client) 

  • An operational plan (for example, in development, business, public diplomacy)

  • A case study

  • A business plan

In general, most GMAP students choose the thesis option for their capstone project. The GMAP Capstone Coordinator works with GMAP students throughout their year to facilitate the preparation process and discuss requirements and topic ideas. In addition to submission of the written thesis, students also complete an oral defense of their thesis. Each thesis defense lasts 35 minutes, and includes a 10 minute presentation on the thesis by the student, 20 minutes of question and answer by the faculty advisor and classmates, and 5 minutes for private feedback between the faculty advisor and the student. August start students complete their oral defense of their thesis in person at the July residency at The Fletcher School, and January start (midyear students) complete their oral defense in person or over Skype at the subsequent January international residency. 

Past GMAP thesis topics: 

·         Crisis Management by Institutions of Local Self-Government in the Arab Republic of Syria

·         The Strategic Implications of NATO Enlargement in The Baltic States: An Analysis of the Decision to Incorporate Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Alliance

·         What Are the Fundamental Factors Explaining the Repetition and High Frequency of Severe Food Crises in East Africa?

·         Lessons of the Arab Spring: Tunisia’s Successful Transition to Democracy, Egypt’s Lost Opportunity and why it matters for women

·         Hezbollah’s evolution from a militant group to a legitimate political force

·         Why is the U.S. neglecting Human Rights in Saudi Arabia?

·         Winning 21st Century Lawfare: The People’s Republic of China vs. The United States of America

·         Drivers of Migration: "Push Factors" Leading to the Current Forced Migration of Afghan Refugees from the Country of Origin (Afghanistan) and the Region (Pakistan and Iran)

·         The International Criminal Court as a Limit to Some Internal Political Decisions about Transitional Justice, in the Particular Case of Colombia

·         A Regional Economic Integration: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Economic Welfare: Terms of Trade and Volume of Trade Effects. Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Togo

·         The Return of Russian Full Spectrum Warfare: A Case Study of Russian Information and Cyber Operations During the Russian-Ukraine Conflict of 2014

·         The Inchoate Climate Change-Induced International Regime: International, Transnational and National Outlooks

·         The Contradictions between Democratic and Islamic Values in Muslim-Majority Countries

·         Diplomacy in Democracy: How the democratic context shapes the future of the diplomatic craft


INSTRUCTOR AND COURSE CONTENT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE