For Recommenders

Thank you for supporting an applicant to The Fletcher School by writing a recommendation. The observations and opinions of applicants' professors and professional supervisors or colleagues are an important part of each application.

About Fletcher

The Fletcher School is a graduate professional school of international affairs. The School's mission is

  • To educate professionals from around the world and to prepare them for positions of leadership and influence in the national and international arenas;
  • To increase understanding of international problems and concerns through teaching, research and publications;
  • To serve local, national and international communities in their search to develop relationships of mutual benefit, security and justice in an increasingly interdependent world.

Fletcher admits applicants who demonstrate strong academic potential and possess international and professional experience relevant to their objectives.

As you write your recommendation, you may want to learn more about the degree programs Fletcher offers, or the types of careers our alumni pursue.

Suggestions for Your Recommendation Letter

You may have written dozens of recommendations for applicants to Fletcher in the past, in which case you don't need further suggestions. If you are new to graduate school recommendation letters, you may want to know that your letter will be of greatest value if you provide specific and targeted observations, particularly regarding your personal interactions with the applicant.

You may find it helpful to review the applicant's résumé and read the applicant's statement of purpose, which should tell you what the applicant hopes to accomplish at The Fletcher School, so that you can write a letter that is relevant to the applicant's goals.

A typical letter of recommendation for a Fletcher application is between one and two pages in length. A letter that is too short may provide insufficient detail, while a letter that is longer than two pages may be more than needed for the application.

If you are writing about the applicant's academic experience:

  • Indication of why a student succeeded (or failed) in a class is helpful. Even if it seems obvious that an "A" grade demonstrates the student's strength, the context for the grade is useful. The academic recommendations are among the few qualitative ways we have to understand a student's academic capacity, and we appreciate understanding how a student excels (not simply that the student did excel).  It can also be useful for recommenders to mention what percentage of students get an A in the class. 
  • Be sure to note if a student took the time to get to know you outside of class (through research, office hours, etc.). This is often a helpful indicator of how they will act in graduate school.

If you are writing about the applicant's professional experience:

  • It is useful to know about the applicant's progress in and contributions to your organization, rather than simply what position the individual held.
  • If the applicant performed any functions that are relevant to academic work, it is helpful if you bring them to our attention. Some examples are research, writing, data collection or analysis, or work within a team.
  • An assessment of the applicant's professional potential also contributes to our evaluation of the application. As a professional school, we want to know that students will be able to achieve their career goals.

If you have any questions about the recommendation letter, the admissions process, or The Fletcher School in general, please do not hesitate to contact us at Thank you, again, for taking the time to write a letter of recommendation.