Shaping Your Degree

MALD students have the opportunity to customize their education to suit their own career paths. The breadth requirement provides a solid interdisciplinary foundation, the Fields of Study allow students to take courses that build on their individual interests, and a Capstone Project (CP) allows students to partner with a faculty member to explore a particular topic in depth. Students can also choose from several regional studies courses or participate in one of our exchange programs. In addition, students have the option to pursue one of five certificates in addition to their MALD degree. By combining these flexible aspects of the MALD curriculum, students are able to build unique areas of expertise and marketable skills.

Fields of Study

The Field of Study is the basic building block of the Fletcher curriculum. These areas of specialization or concentration are the School's "depth" requirement. Fields enable you to develop a specific set of skills related to a functional topic or geographic area. Field requirements are often completed by taking courses in more than one division. MALD students are required to graduate with two Fields of Study.

Learn more about the 22 Fields of Study offered, as well as the ability to “Self-Design” a specific Field.

Regional Courses

Fletcher’s regional courses are designed to build cultural familiarity, political awareness, and economic knowledge. While MALD students are able to incorporate a regional focus in topical classes, they are also to take a series of regionally-specific courses to hone their knowledge. Regional-focused classes cover the following areas:

  • Asia
  • Europe
  • The Middle East
  • Latin America
  • Southeast Asia
  • Africa

Capstone Project (CP)

All MALD students work with a faculty advisor to craft a Capstone Project. This unique opportunity to create a substantial independent product allows students to build a real depth of knowledge and a niche area of expertise. Capstone Projects can be a strong bridge to the job search process, and many students choose Capstone Projects that are of direct relevance to their intended career fields.


The Fletcher School also offers several optional certificates to MALD degree candidates. These certificates require more structured selection of coursework, research and outside-the-classroom activities. Certificates complement the MALD degree by allowing students to define themselves in a manner that more closely reflects the realities of a competitive job market and the need to master certain core knowledge and skills.

Certificates available to currently enrolled MALD degree candidates at Fletcher include:

  • International Finance & Banking
  • Strategic Management & International Consultancy
  • Human Security
  • Diplomatic Studies
  • International Development
    • Political and Social Change
    • Sustainable Development
    • Economic Analysis, Trade and Investment

    Get more information about Fletcher’s Certificates.

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