Masters Program Preparation and Prerequisites
Fletcher actively seeks to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, have a wide range of personal, professional and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to an international career. We seek students who, by virtue of their background, achievement and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship and practice of international relations.
MALD, MA/GMAP and MIB candidates must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Successful Fletcher candidates come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including international relations and other social sciences, the humanities, business and physical sciences and engineering. LL.M. candidates must hold one of the following: a JD degree from an ABA approved law school in the United States, or have completed the academic legal education required to take the bar examination in a foreign country, or be qualified to practice law in a foreign country.
Each year, The Fletcher School admits a very small number of students who seek a Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations directly into the Ph.D. program. To apply, prospective students must have a master’s degree in a field that is relevant to international relations, and directly related to the applicant’s proposed Ph.D. studies. The applicant’s master’s degree must come from a program that required one and a half to two years of full-time study, and approximately 12 to 16 semester-long courses in which the applicant earned a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher. The Ph.D. program is most appropriate for students proposing an interdisciplinary dissertation topic, and prospective applicants should contact Fletcher School professors in the desired fields of study to ensure that the topic is a good match with expertise at the School. Students in Fletcher’s MALD program may apply to the Ph.D. program during their second year of study.
All Fletcher students must have proven English language proficiency. Applicants must have a strong familiarity with a second language. Students must pass a proficiency exam in a second language before graduation from Fletcher. English is considered the second language for students whose first language is not English. Since the Fletcher course load is demanding and does not leave much time for language study, students need to have a solid foundation in a foreign language before enrolling.
For MALD and Ph.D. candidates, we strongly encourage microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment. Prior exposure to quantitative coursework is useful, but not required, for LL.M. and MA/GMAP candidates if they intend to pursue quantitative courses while at Fletcher. MIB students must be able to thrive in a rigorous academic environment that includes substantial quantitative coursework. This capacity can be demonstrated in several ways: an undergraduate academic record that shows success in quantitative coursework such as macroeconomics, microeconomics, calculus, statistics and/or econometrics; a strong quantitative GMAT or GRE score; or full-time work experience with significant and demonstrable quantitative responsibilities.
For MALD and Ph.D. candidates, full-time work experience is not required, but is strongly recommended. The Committee on Admissions carefully reviews each applicant's personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at Fletcher. Voluntary positions, internships and part- and full-time experience all play a role in preparing students for study. Likewise, it is strongly preferred that MIB applicants have full-time work experience in the private sector or a job with business or management responsibilities such as corporate law, corporate research and analysis, an advisory position with a government or NGO, or as a military officer. The MA is a mid-career degree program requiring eight or more years of professional experience. MA candidates come from all sectors and from a range of professions. LLM applicants should have at least three to five years of professional legal experience. Volunteer work, internships and part- and full-time experiences are considered.
International experience is not required, but it is strongly recommended. There is no rigid requirement as to length or nature of international experience, but students should have a demonstrated interest in the international environment. For some students, this could mean experience living and/or working abroad. For others, a working or research environment where international issues are the focus could be sufficient. The nature of each applicant’s international experience is assessed in the context of his or her individual application and professional goals. International experience includes time spent living, studying, working, volunteering or traveling outside of the applicant’s home country.