Close Menu

About The Field

The International Security Studies field consists of courses that examine the sources, conduct and termination of conflict; decision-making, strategy, and statecraft; crisis management; regional security; intelligence; and new and complex security issues that exist along the continuum between war and peace. The field encompasses approaches that are both theoretical and practical, as well as historical and contemporary. Course offerings reflect enduring security challenges and opportunities, as well as those that are at the forefront of today’s increasingly dynamic 21st Century international security environment, including ethnic, sectarian, and religious conflict; internal war and state failure; the management of humanitarian emergencies by alliances and international organizations; conflict and power in cyber space; the use of military force in peace operations; the role of women in national security; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and the role of ethics in security policy. In support of its course offerings, the International Security Studies Program sponsors a senior level guest lecture series; a conference with one of the U.S. military services or commands; a colloquium series; and a crisis simulation exercise.

Students should refer to the Registrar's Field of Study Guide for definitive field requirements in a given academic year.

Current Students and Alumni

Andrew Clay

Communications Sector Analyst, Department of Homeland Security - Washington, D.C.
Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD)
Class Year: 2017

Outside the Classroom

  • Student Rountable with Mohamed ElBaradei
  • Ukraine and Geopolitics of Europe
  • Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series: Sarah Chayes
  • Fletcher Security Review Launch
  • Charles Francis Adams Lecture: "European Security and Defence - What's Next?"
  • 21st Century Security Challenges
  • Israel's Security Challenge
  • Community Lecture: Nonproliferation and North Korea
  • "Meet the Military" Reception
  • ISSP Luncheon Lecture Series: James A. Williamson
  • Charles Francis Adams Lecture Series: Coffee and Conversation with Joseph Westphal
  • SIMULEX 2014
  • IAEA Panel - Why the IAEA Won the Nobel Peace Prize
  • The Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, and Postmodern Globalized Violence
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense - Washington, DC
  • Department of State, US Embassy - Belgrade, Serbia
  • Smiths Detection - Bangkok, Thailand
  • Department of Defense - Washington, DC
  • Danish Demining Group - Juba, South Sudan
  • The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) - Washington, DC
  • NATO Defense College - Rome, Italy
  • Veterans Campaign - Washington, DC
  • Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies - Honolulu, HI
  • US Mission to the European Union - Brussels, Belgium
  • "Advocating for Security Sector Reform in the Review of Peace Operations: Strategy and Analysis for United Nations Security Sector Reform Practitioners"
  • "How to Evaluate Non-State Actors for Political and Military Partnerships in Irregular Conflicts: A Case Study of the Free Syrian Army"
  • "A Comparative Analysis of Transnational Criminal Groups in Latin America: Mexican Drug Cartels and Salvadoran Gangs - An Overview of Trends and Responses"
  • "Where Peace Begins: The Role of Local People and Communities in Transforming Economies of War"
  • "The Somali Insurgency: The Growing Threat of Terror's Resurgence"
  • "Encouraging Nuclear Innovation: What Small Modular Reactors Can Learn from Nuclear Attack Submarine Development"
  • "Counterterrorism Lessons for Cybersecurity: How a Decade’s Worth of Experience Fighting Terrorism Can Provide Insights into Mitigating the Threat of Cyber Attacks"
Student Groups
  • The Fletcher Syria Crisis Working Group
  • Fletcher Political Risk Group
  • Fletcher Students In Security (FSIS)
  • North Korea Working Group
  • Women In International Security
Annotated Curriculum

A Fletcher education is highly customizable, and each student may decide on a different academic trajectory to suit his or her own professional and academic goals. To get a better sense of how these individual curricular decisions can play out, we asked recent students in their final semester to talk about their goals, their classes, and the decisions made during their Fletcher career.

Meet Lulu:

Pre-Fletcher Experience
Financial Analyst, J.P. Morgan, NYC

Fields of Study
International Security Studies
International Information & Communication

Capstone Topic
The Cyber Relationship between the U.S. and China

Post-Fletcher Professional Goals
To work for a private company or international organization that deals with technology and strategy.

Read about Lulu's curricular path.