Fletcher’s annual Doctoral Conference brings together PhD students, PhD alumni, professors, and distinguished guests to discuss issues vital to world peace, stability, and the quality of life. The Conference offers students a unique opportunity to present their research and interact with more senior PhD alumni and with experts in the field.
A more regular information exchange opportunity, the weekly PhD Colloquium, is a time and place for PhD students to present their research to their peers and other invited guests who provide constructive feedback. In addition, there are sessions on comprehensive exams, proposal writing, the dissertation process, and PhD life. All current PhD students are encouraged to attend and to take advantage of this opportunity to stay connected, network, and gain insight into the substantive tasks of completing the dissertation. A member of the faculty attends the colloquium, though students take the lead in coordinating many of the activities.
The PhD program also hosts a evening seminar series led by faculty and candidates to discuss common issues facing PhD candidates as they complete their doctoral studies. Past topics have included: the process of choosing a dissertation committee; safety in the field; navigating the academic job market; publishing strategies, and other academic and professional challenges.
All Fletcher students are encouraged to play a role in governance of the School. For PhD students, there are several key opportunities to serve as a student leader on the the PhD Committee, the policy-making group for the program, or on the school-wide Student Council. Students also coordinate the Ph.D. Research Colloquium, where students and faculty present their research, and lead the Ph.D. Student Group which organizes both academic and social activities.
In addition to taking part in PhD-related activities, Fletcher PhD students are encouraged to take full part in the life of the School, joining student clubs and organizations, and interacting fully with students in all of Fletcher’s degree programs.