About Fletcher

Commit to a lifetime of global impact

For more than 85 years, The Fletcher School at Tufts University has worked to educate and prepare individuals for positions of national and international leadership and influence. Through a deep and multifaceted understanding of the world’s most pressing challenges, and with the guiding principles of mutual benefit, security, and justice, our community endeavors to maintain the stability and prosperity of the complex and increasingly global society of the 21st century.

Shaping the future, together

Students, faculty, and graduates of Fletcher work to further a legacy of enacting lasting and meaningful change in the world. They engage with government, business, and international organizations with a global perspective and in pursuit of a more just and equitable tomorrow.

Specialized skills for an ever-changing world

Fletcher’s programs and curricula are curated and taught by international relations practitioners with lifetimes of experience — not only in the classroom, but in the field. A highly interdisciplinary graduate education informed by on-the-ground insight and bolstered by a wide array of experiential opportunities provides Fletcher students with the tools and perspectives they need to make a difference in even the most turbulent global climate.

An investment in your potential

A career in the international arena and in service of the greater good is no small undertaking — and neither is a Fletcher education. But those prepared to roll up their sleeves and devote themselves to a rigorous and immersive experience soon find that a world-class, skills-based education has benefits that extend far beyond a graduate degree; it opens doors to new opportunities for lasting global impact across the full lifespan of exceptionally meaningful careers.

A History of Excellence

History

When The Fletcher School opened its doors to the 21 members of the inaugural class in the fall of 1933, it became the first graduate-only school of international affairs in the United States. Nearly a century later, it remains a globally respected trailblazer.

Students at graduation

A gift — and a vision

The School was born when Dr. Austin Barclay Fletcher, a member of Tufts' Class of 1876, donated $1 million towards establishing a school of law and diplomacy at what was then Tufts College.

A corporate lawyer in New York City for most of his career, Dr. Fletcher was a dedicated alumnus of both Tufts College and Boston University Law School, serving as a trustee of both, and as president of the Tufts board from 1913 until his death in 1923.

Dr. Fletcher's support is indicative of his lifelong devotion to Tufts, and his deep desire to create a new kind of school – one built "to prepare men for the diplomatic service, and to teach such matters as come within the scope of foreign relations, [which] embraces…a thorough knowledge of the principles of international law upon which diplomacy is founded."

Fletcher's vision was realized nearly a decade after his death, in 1933, when Fletcher welcomed its inaugural class. Distinguished by its valuable library, renowned faculty, and aspiration to serve both the United States and nations around the world, the School immediately became an innovator — a reputation it maintains to this day.

An unyielding commitment

More than 85 years later, Fletcher remains true to its founding mission: to offer a broad professional education in international relations for students committed to maintaining the stability and prosperity of a complex, challenging, and increasingly global society. This consistent, unwavering focus is due in no small part to the continued support of Fletcher’s alumni, students, faculty, and friends. We continue to deliver on our mission because they continue to champion the school’s internationalist approach and cooperative, multidisciplinary ideals.

Fletcher enrolls an average of 550 students each year, from the United States and more than 40 countries around the world. Fletcher alumni live and work in more than 130 countries, and are engaged in careers within national governments, international organizations, business, banking, journalism, education, international research, and countless other private and public pursuits.

A Mission-Driven Education

The world has changed considerably since The Fletcher School opened its doors in 1933. We’ve evolved and grown, too, but our core mission remains unchanged: to educate professionals committed to maintaining the stability and prosperity of a complex, challenging, and increasingly global society. We continue preparing students to excel in positions of influence, to break new ground in careers where they serve local, national, and international communities, and to pursue just and mutually beneficial solutions to some of the world’s most intractable challenges.

Representative for Netherlands speaks at microphone

Mission driven, student guided

Fletcher’s academic philosophy is built on the belief that students are best equipped to determine what specific knowledge, skills, and competencies they need to succeed. Each student’s individual course of study is customized to fit particular interests and career objectives.

With more than 175 courses and 11 fields of study offered each year, Fletcher students rarely chart the precise same academic path. The options at Fletcher are as diverse as the interests and aspirations of our students.

Know the world

Global interdependence is a fundamental reality of life in the 21st century. From reconstructing post-conflict societies and fostering markets in emerging economies, to analyzing security threats and promoting human rights, the challenges of our times transcend borders and disciplines.

A Fletcher degree prepares graduates to overcome the political, social, legal, cultural, and economic challenges common to these problems ­– examining them from every angle of the global professional landscape.

Shape the future

Whether addressing international policy challenges like climate change or drilling into more focused issues like the impact of transnational crime on peace processes, a Fletcher education is oriented toward solving real-world problems. That means taking a practical approach, informed by hands-on knowledge and experience, but also taking a step back to reflect and ask deeper questions.

Our educational philosophy, while impact-oriented, is more than simply finding solutions to well-defined problems. We also aspire to understand why the problems exist, and from whose perspective they became problems to begin with. Leveraging this depth of understanding and an interdisciplinary framework, our students develop a truly global perspective that enables them to become responsible and effective international affairs practitioners.