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Updated July 10, 2020.

Academics

Will Fletcher hold courses on campus?

This fall, all courses will be offered remotely.  We currently intend to offer our spring semester in a hybrid form with both residential and remote offerings, recognizing that some students may prefer to stay remote or may not be able to travel to campus.

How is the fall semester and/or academic year changing?

First, we are offering new classes this academic year on water security, pandemics as contemporary history, “the end of the world”, climate and migration, and more. The full list of fall courses is posted here. Courses can also be accessed through the Student Information System (SIS) (https://access.tufts.edu/sis). On the SIS page, click on “Search for Classes” and then on “Course Career” select Fletcher from the drop-down menu.  Courses are subject to change, and SIS will be updated regularly. 

Second, we are creating more choice for students by breaking the semester into two sessions.  In each session, some classes will be offered at twice the pace of a normal semester-long class, so you can complete two classes per session.  Some classes will also be offered at the traditional semester-long pace.  Thus, you can decide how many classes you take at a time, so long as you complete four classes by the end of the semester.

Third, the course schedule has been optimized for our global student body.  We are adding new time blocks to make it possible for students from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas to take classes in workable time zones.  Students are allowed to take any course at any time, no matter which time zone. A new Saturday time block will give additional flexibility especially for those working part time.  The time blocks are also consistent with Tufts School of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, so Fletcher students can seamlessly cross-register into other schools at Tufts, opening up many more curricular options and facilitating our new Cybersecurity and Public Policy joint degree with Engineering.

How will this change the fall semester schedule? When will classes start?

Classes will start as usual on September 8th, and the new academic calendar for Fall 2020 is available here.

Will courses have the same rigor and content?

Yes. Remote teaching will be delivered with excellence. While the Fletcher faculty did the best they could to move their courses rapidly online this spring, we have learned from that experience as well as our experience with online and hybrid learning in our mid-career GMAP and GBA degree programs.  Teaching evaluations from the spring have identified key opportunities for incorporating best practices across all courses.  All professors will have dedicated teaching support throughout the year, and every instructor is receiving additional training and support this summer.

Will Fletcher resume normal campus operations and academic schedule in the Spring?

We currently intend to offer our spring semester in hybrid form with both residential and remote offerings, recognizing that some students may prefer to stay remote and some may not be able to travel to campus.  We will make a final announcement about the spring semester later this fall. A provisional list of courses to be offered in the spring is available:

https://fletcher.tufts.edu/spring-2021-semester-courses

This course list is subject to change but is accurate as of current information and will be periodically updated.

Will the class schedule accommodate different time zones?

Our new class schedule will provide access to remote students in all time zones to the greatest extent possible.  The earliest class block will begin at 7:30 am EST, and these early morning blocks will be convenient for students in Asia, Europe, and the Atlantic coast of the Americas. Most of the daytime blocks will be convenient for Europe and the Americas, and we will have new evening blocks (5:15-7:15 pm EST and 7:30-9:30 pm EST) that will be convenient for Asia and the Pacific coast of the Americas.  We are also adding new class blocks on Saturdays. Students can take any course at any time, no matter which time zone.

When will I register for classes?

For continuing students, registration begins August 1.  For incoming students, registration begins September 2.

Will I be able to get into the classes I want to/need to take?

As always, all classes are open to all students.  If a class is capped, as is standard practice, a lottery system will be instituted.

Can I take classes on a pass/fail basis (like in spring 2020)?

No.  The exception made during spring term 2020 was a temporary response with the goal of minimizing students’ stress during a rapid transition from residentical to remote instruction and learning. 

Will I have access to skills workshops?

We’ve launched skills workshops this summer, available at no additional cost to incoming and current students, and they are available here.  We will continue to offer workshops during the academic year.

How will the plan impact cross-registration, dual degrees, and joint degrees?

The new course schedule accommodates cross-registration, dual degree, and joint degree programs, as we are now aligned with the Tufts Arts, Sciences, & Engineering course time blocks. There has been no change to cross registration arrangements with partner institutions outside Tufts and we will work with them to ensure that these are not impacted

How will advising work?

You will have direct one-on-one access to faculty.  We are establishing a new advising system, effective immediately.  Each incoming student will have a faculty advisor as well as a second year mentor.  All second-year students will have a capstone advisor from the beginning of the year.  New students will be introduced to their faculty advisors on Zoom over the summer. Faculty members will offer enhanced office hours.

Can students still be involved in research? How?

As is normally the case, students interested in working on research with members of the faculty should reach out directly to them.  In addition, new research assistantships will be posted whenever they become available.

Will there be office hours? How will this work?

Yes, all faculty will be holding regular office hours virtually. 

If I get sick, how can I make up for missed class time?

Nobody will be penalized if they get sick.  Students who will miss a class or an assignment due to an illness or personal matter should contact their faculty directly and discuss how to complete any missed work. Your faculty will be as fair and flexible as possible when receiving students’ requests.

What kind of technical support will be available?

Students have access to a variety of Tufts software and systems to learn, study and engage with colleagues remotely.  Visit Learning Remotely for a list of programs and tools available to all Tufts students.  The Service Desk is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and can answer questions about Tufts technology systems or provide advice for personal computers and devices; email it@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3376 for assistance.  Ginn Library manages the technology environment at Fletcher.  For specific questions about technology at Fletcher, please email ginnlibrary@tufts.edu.

Can I attend Fletcher part-time in the fall?

Yes.  Given the current situation students, in Academic Year 20/21 you will be allowed to enroll part-time, but you must be enrolled in at least two classes during the fall term.  Students in one-year degree programs must complete their programs in three semesters.  Students in two-year degree programs must complete their programs in five semesters.

Does the two sessions per semester format increase student workload?

No, there is no net change to workload.  Normally, students are expected to take the equivalent of 4 full courses in a semester. Taking two intensive courses at a time in each session results in four completed courses at the end of the semester. The time spent by students should be the same as if they were taking four semester long courses.  The intensives will meet twice as often (4x per week for lectures, 2x per week for seminars) during each session. There are a variety of mix and match options for semester long and session intensive courses, for example

  • 1 semester long course with 2 intensives in one session and 1 intensive in the other session
  • 2 semester long courses with 1 intensive in each session
  • 2 intensives in each session
  • 3 semester long courses and 1 intensive in one of the sessions.

All these examples result in the equivalent of 4 full courses.  

Will it be possible to audit classes?

There are no changes to our policy on auditing Fletcher classes.  Please refer to page 25 of the  Student Handbook .Students wishing to audit a class in other areas of the university should contact the professor to be sure that auditors will be welcome.

Can I take five courses in a semester?

MALD and PhD candidates are permitted on two occasions during their degree program to take five courses in a semester. MA, MATA, and LLM candidates are permitted to do so once. Students may opt to take a fifth course solely to enhance their education. The fifth course does not allow a student to decrease their required course load in another semester. Students taking a fifth course will face an additional tuition charge equivalent to one-quarter of a full semester’s tuition charge.

Pursuing five courses in a semester is optional, meaning that students are not required to take a fifth course (with the exception of MIB degree candidates). Grading and transcript policies are the same for all courses. Fifth courses appear on students’ transcripts and are included in the calculation of GPAs. If a student withdraws from an optional fifth course after the drop deadline, a grade of “W” is recorded on the transcript. Financial aid may not be available for students taking an optional fifth course. Please refer to page 23 of the Student Handbook .

Can I still take 4.5 courses in a semester?

Yes.  Students (except in the MIB program) can take 4.5 courses one time during their enrollment at Fletcher. The School offers a limited number of half courses every year. Additionally, half courses are also offered at other institutions where Fletcher has cross-registration agreements. To encourage students to take these half courses, we allow them to take an overload totaling 4.5 courses in one semester with no additional tuition charge. Please refer to page 24 of the Student Handbook.

How do I arrange to take a part-time class schedule?

Both new students and continuing students interested in registering for a reduced course load (below 3.5 courses) should complete this survey. The Registrar’s Office will review your response and notify you if your plan to take a part-time schedule has been approved.

Is it possible to take classes at other universities in the fall?

Fletcher’s transfer credit policy applies for students who might take classes at another institution. Please see page 31 of the Student Handbook.

Tuition and financial aid

Why has tuition not changed for the 2020-21 academic year?

Fletcher will continue to devote its resources to delivering excellence in course instruction, student services, and extracurricular activities.  Additionally, the level of engagement with your professors, peers, and the staff will be significant both in and out of the classroom, including a new and enhanced advising system.  You will continue to have access to the many services and elements that make Fletcher an outstanding education and experience - advising, coaching, networking within and beyond the School, skill building, and enhanced access to an extended Fletcher community of alumni and friends.

Fletcher has invested in additional technology to support first rate synchronous and asynchronous teaching with 24/7 technical assistance and support. Each instructor will have new dedicated teaching support throughout the year. The faculty and administration of The Fletcher School are fully committed to exploiting the full potential of remote education to ensure that students receive all the benefits accruing to a rigorous academic experience complemented by a compelling community experience.

What is the cost of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year?

The tuition will be as published on the Fletcher website. The Fletcher School recognizes the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic and has increased the amount of scholarship aid awarded by over $1 million dollars for the 2020-21 academic year.  Of course, the overall cost of attendance may be lower for some students depending on location.

Will my scholarship be impacted?

No.  Students enrolled full time will receive their scholarship each semester.

I am an incoming student; can I still request a deferral?

Yes. In response to concerns from students, the deadline to request a deferral has been extended to July 3.  Please reach out to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for details.

I am a continuing student; can I request a leave of absence?

Yes. The deadline to request a personal leave of absence has been extended to July 3.  Students who wish to take a leave should submit a letter to the Director of Student Affairs stating their reason for the request and the duration of their request. A small committee of faculty and administrators will review requests. For further information on leaves of absence, including applying for leaves, returning from a leave, financial aid considerations, visa considerations, and access to university resources while on leave, please see page 38 of the Student Handbook.

Students on a leave of absence retain their active status in SIS which enables access to all Tufts systems that require a username and password such as Box, Canvas, Fletcher CORE, and Library systems.  Per University policy, students on a leave of absence, however, are not enrolled and do not have access to services for enrolled students, including opportunities to work for Fletcher or Tufts departments, take or audit classes, access Ginn Library, access the Office of Career Services, or to serve in leadership positions in student organizations.

What will happen to my scholarship if I take a leave of absence?

Your scholarship will be carried forward and applied when you return from your leave.

Will my loans go into repayment if I take a leave of absence?

Yes.  Federal educational loans will go into repayment after the six-month grace period is exhausted.  Most private loans will go into repayment after 30 days.

Will student employment and research opportunities still exist?

Yes.  Many administrative units and professors at Fletcher and Tufts will offer remote student jobs.  Federal work study funds (if applicable) will apply.

How will my scholarship be impacted if I decide to enroll in classes on a part-time basis?

If you choose to enroll part-time, your tuition and scholarship will be prorated accordingly.

How will my federal student loans be impacted if I decide to enroll part-time?

Students need to be enrolled at least half time (2 courses, 6 SHUs) to be eligible for federal student loans.

Given the high cost of a Fletcher education, can you provide more transparency into the School’s budget and financial statements?

Annually, The Fletcher School provides a detailed budget briefing, open to all students. The briefing is given by the Executive Associate Dean. It has been the practice for these briefings to run for two hours and questions are answered in detail. We are proud of the budget transparency we provide at Fletcher which is at the leading edge of practice at Tufts and among APSIA peers.

The detailed notes of the January 31, 2020 budget briefing (covering the academic year 2019-2020), as compiled and distributed by the Student Council, may be found here. At the time of the briefing, the School anticipated a balanced budget by year end, but without a surplus.

Fletcher, however, for the first time in its history, will run a budget deficit for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2020. The deficit results from reduced contributions to the School in the fourth quarter following the onset of COVID19 and as the country enters a recessionary period, loss of income from cancelled GMAP and GBA residencies, a decline in grant spending and concomitant loss of overhead revenue, refunds to students residing in Blakeley Hall, and meal vouchers to students residing in Blakeley, and an increase in technology support While the School had savings from reduced faculty and staff travel, hiring freeze, and commencement costs, these were not sufficient to offset losses.

The Fletcher budget (as well as those of other Tufts schools) for academic year 2020-2021 was completed and presented to the University in late February and approved by the Trustees. Those budgets are no longer applicable given the pandemic and its knock-on effects. Specifically, Fletcher, similar to other schools at Tufts, now faces significant projected shortfalls in all major revenue sources—tuition, endowment income, government and private grants, executive education, and fundraising.

Since we moved to remote education, the School, in consultation with the University, has taken a number of actions to control expenses in an effort to offset revenue loss.   The first round of mitigating actions included a freeze on the hiring of new staff[1], a freeze on salaries for all faculty and staff[2], a suspension of all discretionary spending, and a suspension of most capital projects including some slated for the Fletcher complex. These actions were announced on April 14.

A second round of cost control actions were announced on May 28 and include reductions in senior leadership compensation (Deans of schools and the university senior team) and reductions in vacation accrual time for all staff.

Despite these cost control measures, we recognized the need for a number of new investments to preserve and enhance the high-quality education that we provide to our students. The transition to remote learning in the fall has meant re-inventing much of what we do to ensure the hallmarks of a Fletcher education are maintained.

To this end, we have revised and enhanced our student advising system.  We also have increased the amount of classroom support for students and faculty by ensuring that each course has a teaching assistant (which in turn provides additional income opportunities to students). In fact, Fletcher’s commitment to provide additional financial support to students began this summer when we reallocated and increased funding to support student research after many students lost internship opportunities.  Despite department budget cuts, remote student employment will remain a priority during the upcoming academic year.  We also have awarded 15% more in scholarship aid for the 2020-21 academic year, an amount significantly higher than any prior year in Fletcher’s history.  We have invested in a significant number of summer skills workshops to allow students to continue to utilize their time productively during the pandemic.  Finally, despite the hiring freeze, we also have secured University approval to hire a full time Associate Director for Diversity & Inclusion.

Given the considerable uncertainty with respect to all revenue sources, as well as the potential for exogenous factors to continue to impact both revenue and expense, we will not have a realistic read on our 2020-2021 budget until at least the end of the first quarter of the coming fiscal year, that is, October 1, 2020.

School leadership shares student concern regarding the affordability of a Fletcher education. The Dean has raised this matter with our Board, University administration, and faculty and staff. The Dean has voiced this concern with students in small-group meetings and in town halls since her October arrival. As part of our Strategic Review, we have stood up a task force to address the nature of our degree programs (both content and method of delivery) with only two pre-conditions for the task force for when it delivers its final recommendation:  a Fletcher education must be more affordable and must be flexible.  We simply cannot continue to preclude Fletcher enrollment to many segments of the population, both domestically and overseas.


[1] The hiring freeze has resulted in several open positions remaining vacant.

[2] Many faculty and staff received no salary increase in academic year 2019-2020, and those that did receive increases were at a level lower than the University. This was done to control cost.

Given the announcement of increased scholarship aid, when should students expect updated/finalized financial statements of their aid for the upcoming semester/year? Will aid be redistributed to attending students once deferrals are finalized?

The $1M (15% above previous years) in scholarship aid occurred prior to the June 11 announcement regarding our fall semester plans. We will review our scholarship aid commitments after the July 3 commitment date and if additional aid is available we will redistribute.

How much money was raised by The Fletcher Hardship Fund and has that been distributed?

The Fletcher Hardship Fund secured $56,000: $44,000 from the GoFundMe effort and $12,00 from unspent student services monies. We have thus far disbursed $55,000 to 72 students in amounts ranging from $300 to $1,100. Through our outreach efforts, we identified another $18,500 for students who met the specific criteria of the funder.

Fletcher was allocated $108,000 of CARES Act emergency funding from the US federal government. $42,000 of that total has been awarded thus far to 29 students. Eligibility criteria for CARES Act funding is considerably more intricate, and unfortunately, some applicants were not eligible to receive CARES Act funds.  US citizens who have not yet applied for CARES Act funding should contact fletcherhardshipfund@tufts.edu.

 

How will attending part-time affect tuition?

Your tuition will be prorated to reflect the number of courses you are taking.  Your scholarship will also be prorated to reflect the lower tuition cost.

When will bills for the fall 2020 semester be sent? When will bills be due?

Bills for the fall semester will be mailed on July 8.  Payment for the fall semester is due on August 5.

International Students

For the Department of Homeland Security new guidance regarding F-1 immigration requirements for F-1 students for the Fall 2020 semester, CLICK HERE

I am a new international student at Fletcher for Fall 2020. What does this decision (to go fully remote for the fall semester) mean for my visa situation?

Based on U.S. federal government guidance, international students who are outside the United States will not be able to enter the United States to start new programs if the programs will be online. If you have already received an I-20 or DS-2019 visa certificate from Tufts for the Fall semester, the International Center (https://icenter.tufts.edu)  will contact you to reissue documents to defer your arrival to the Spring 2021 semester. If you have not yet started the I-20 / DS-2019 application process, do not start or continue it at this time – updated guidance from the International Center will be forthcoming about the visa certificate process.

I am already in the United States as an international student and I am transferring to / continuing my studies at Fletcher for the Fall 2020 semester. What are my visa options?

International students are a vibrant and integral part of the Fletcher community. They are essential to

the Fletcher experience. The July 6, 2020 announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, concerning Fall 2020 immigration requirements for international students has understandably provoked deep anxiety.

We are working closely with the Tufts International Center to ensure that we have a plan in place that will allow us to protect the visa status of international students currently in the US planning to enroll in Fletcher courses during the fall semester, and that this plan will allow them to remain in the US and continue their education at Fletcher.  The recently announced ICE guidance was a contingency for which we had planned, and we are now working through implementation, if needed.

The preliminary guidance of July 6 will be finalized by August 3. We will be in touch with our international students in the US to answer their questions as the ICE guidance becomes final.  As soon as we have clarity and certainty, we will communicate directly with our international students and explain how our academic operations will accommodate their specific needs.

Students seeking updates should refer to the International Center website and, in particular, the center’s updates and FAQs.

I am an international student and I would prefer not to participate in remote learning this Fall. Can I take a leave of absence?

You may request a leave of absence following Fletcher procedures for a leave (see guidance above). If  your leave request has been approved, please contact the International Center [Reiko.Ohmura@tufts.edu] so that you can be advised about your visa options. In general, international students are eligible to take leaves, but since this may impact your ability to stay in the United States on a student visa, please explore your options with the International Center directly.

Will my ability to do summer internships in 2021 be impacted by the decision?

To work in the United States, students on F1 visas need U.S. government approval under the OPT or CPT programs. The Tufts University International Center is monitoring OPT and CPT regulations and how fall 2020 plans will impact practical training eligibility, which will likely depend on your situation -- whether you are a continuing student finishing your degree or a new student not yet in the US.  

At this time, it is unclear whether students who study remotely in fall 2020 will be eligible for OPT in summer 2021, but the International Center’s website at https://icenter.tufts.edu/covid-19 will have updated information in the FAQs on this issue, as we receive details from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

I am an international student; can I enroll part-time?

Yes, part-time enrollment is allowed while studying remotely.  However, visa regulations require international graduate students to attend full-time while studying on campus. Full-time enrollment for international students is defined as a minimum of 3 courses per semester.  Please visit the International Center website (https://icenter.tufts.edu) for more information.

As an international student, I have questions about my immigration and I-20 status. Where can I find this information?

The Tufts University International Center website (https://icenter.tufts.edu/) includes visa and immigration updates for the Fall 2020 semester. You can also contact Reiko Ohmura (Reiko.Ohmura@tufts.edu), Fletcher’s International Student Advisor, with your questions. Students who are starting remotely from their home countries or deferring to a future term will be contacted by the International Center about their I-20 later this summer.  The International Center will also continue to share information as they learn it by emailing the entire Tufts international student and scholar community.

I am a continuing student and I would like to take a leave of absence in Fall 2020, rather than to study remotely. May I remain in the US for the semester?

International students who opt to take a leave of absence for any reason (except medical reasons) are required to leave the US for the semester.

What is Tufts doing to advocate for international students who remained in the US through Spring 2020 to allow them to maintain their visa status even if their programs will be offered remotely for Fall 2020?

Tufts University is opposed to any policy that forces students out of the country due to changes made to our curriculum and programs in response to COVID-19.

Tufts is participating in multiple discussions to challenge the contents of the ICE guidance including an amicus brief to a Temporary Restraining Order filed in the Federal Court of Boston and a declaration in support of a suit to be filed by the Attorney General of Massachusetts in the Federal Court of Washington DC.

Living Accommodations Buildings, and & Dining Services

Will the Fletcher academic complex and the Ginn Library be open?

Yes, but appropriate health and safety protocols will be put in place with respect to access to, and usage of, the space.  Fletcher is working closely with the university on campus readiness, and further details regarding the use of the Cabot, Goddard, and Mugar buildings will be provided later in the summer. 

Students who are not local will continue to have remote access to our reference librarians and our library resources.  More information on accessing these resources will be provided during Orientation.

Will students be able to live in Blakeley Hall?

Housing Fletcher students in Blakeley Hall is not a viable financial option for the coming academic year due to Covid-19 constraints. We have made arrangements with the university's property management company (Walnut Hill) to set aside rooms in several three and four-bedroom houses near campus to accommodate those students who have paid a deposit to reside in Blakeley.  We will return your deposit and you will have priority to reserve a room in one of these houses.  We have provided your name to Walnut Hill so that they are aware of your priority status. If you wish to reside in one of these houses, you can communicate directly with Walnut Hill to make arrangements (walnuthillproperties@comcast.net).  You may also consult the university's off-campus housing page (http://offcampus.tufts.edu).

Will campus dining services be available?

Yes. Limited dining services will be available for the campus community in multiple locations. Find out which locations are open and their hours on the Tufts Dining homepage.

Will there be access to food and water in the Fletcher complex?

We anticipate that Mugar Café will be open for community members to pick up pre-ordered food. Vending machines and water fountains will be disabled for the fall.

Will the multifaith prayer/meditation room be available?

Not in the fall semester.   The school administration will dedicate alternate space in the Fletcher complex if possible.  One or more of the other sacred spaces on campus may be open during the fall (https://chaplaincy.tufts.edu/on-campus-sacred-spaces/).

Will the restrooms be available?

Yes. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected once daily.  Cleaning will be increased to twice daily if we find frequent use of specific restrooms even though there will be limited traffic in the complex.  In addition to once-daily cleaning and disinfecting, a roving disinfecting team will clean high-touch points throughout the complex during building operating hours,

When can I/should I move to Medford?

While there is no need to move to Medford for the fall semester because all classes will be offered remotely, you are welcome to move whenever you want and in anticipation of opening up in the spring.

Will Fletcher help me identify housing?

All students can log into Tufts’ Off-campus housing portal to look at listings, search for roommates, and connect with real estate agents. https://offcampus.tufts.edu/

You can also join the August 2020 Incoming Class Private Facebook group to see housing postings by current students!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1427710200728938/

For general off-campus housing resources, please see: https://offcampus.tufts.edu/resource

Will the lactation room be available?

Yes. Requests to use the room should be directed to Sherri Gutzler (sherri.gutzler@tufts.edu; 617-627-3329). Lactation room users are expected to wipe down surfaces after each use.  Cleaning/disinfecting supplies will be available in the room.

Health & Safety

What will happen if another wave of COVID-19 hits the Boston area?

By offering all of our courses remotely in the fall, we can avoid most of the risks associated with a new outbreak during that semester.  We will also have more time to prepare the complex for the hybrid modality of both residential and remote offerings that we intend for the spring.

What happens if I or a member of my family gets sick?

Students who miss class or an assignment due to an illness or personal matter should contact their faculty directly and discuss how to complete any missed work. Your faculty will be as fair and flexible as possible when receiving students’ requests.

What happens if my roommate contracts Covid-19?

If you live off-campus, you will be advised to self-quarantine and report any new symptoms or change of symptoms to Health Services by emailing covid19@tufts.edu or calling 617-627-3350.  More information is available at the Tufts Coronavirus website.

What happened if my professor contracts Covid-19?

If the sickness is temporary, the professor will make up any missed classes or arrange for a guest lecturer.  If the sickness is likely to be longer in duration, the professor will work with the Academic Dean to identify an alternate lecturer to complete the class.

What services will university Counseling and Mental Health Service provide during the fall semester?

During the spring 2020 semester, Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS) are partnering with two telehealth resources to provide remote (telehealth) services.  Due to legal restrictions, counselors have had to modify what they can offer to students who are out of state.  That said, they can still provide assistance similar to what is offered to students in Massachusetts. 

Specifically, students outside of Massachusetts or outside the U.S. can call for a consultation with a counselor, check in on how they are doing, discuss what prompted the request for an appointment, and collaboratively come up with a plan to address their needs. When a student needs or desires longer-term care, therapists may continue to work with them as they bridge them to a provider in their area. 

Other services continue relatively unchanged and include:

  • Direct referral assistance through our Referral Manager for students specifically looking for a referral for long term care in their area
  • Consultations to staff, faculty, family, friends, and community members about students of concern
  • 24/7 crisis intervention for mental health emergencies
  • Support groups and skill-building workshops on mental health topics (now offered virtually)
  • Trainings for staff and faculty on supporting students in distress
  • An interactive website, an Instagram account, and various outreach activities throughout the year.

In summary, students out-of-state have available to them all the same services listed above as those on campus or local. The exception is that, due to licensing restrictions, students online and out of state cannot receive long-term care but can receive short-term or bridge care.

The University Chaplaincy also continues to be available to all members of the Tufts community for emotional and spiritual support, to talk about grief and loss, or generally be a listening ear. Please email the chaplaincy to be connected with a chaplain by phone, Zoom, or WebEx.

Finally, CMHS has self-assessment and self-help resources, as well as mindfulness and meditation resources and information on stress and anxiety.

While Fletcher is offering only remote classes this fall, will I still be required to enroll in the university's Health Insurance plan?

Tufts students will be billed for student insurance as they have every year but may waive the university’s insurance if they have their own qualified, comprehensive plans.  

In prior years, many insurance plans provided insufficient coverage to allow the student to waive the university’s plan. This fall semester, for students studying remotely, the university will provide greater flexibility in accepting students’ own qualified, comprehensive plans. More information about insurance options can be found here. U.S. students who already have health insurance and choose not to enroll in the university’s plan will need to complete the Health Insurance Waiver on their SIS account on the “Bills & Balances” tab. International students should start the process in SIS, which will instruct them how to proceed.

One exception for the Fall 2020 semester will be that students taking a remote schedule totaling six credits (the equivalent of two courses) or fewer will not be obligated to prove that they have health insurance.

Note that Fletcher students who return to campus in January will need to have a comprehensive insurance plan that meets the university’s criteria at that time.

For all questions, please email Health Service

While Fletcher offers only remote classes this fall, will I still need to pay the Health Service fee?

Yes. The Health Service fee is required of all students per the university’s policy.  

There is, however, an exception to the policy for the Fall 2020 semester for Fletcher students. The cost of the health service fee will be implemented in two tiers, depending on where the student is physically located for the semester. The full fee will be charged for students residing in Massachusetts. Students residing outside of Massachusetts, whether in the U.S. or internationally, will be charged 50% of the normal fee if they are not enrolled in the university’s student health insurance plan. Those students who enroll in the university’s student health insurance plan will be assessed the full health services fee, regardless of location.

The reduction in the fee for students living outside of Massachusetts will be applied to student accounts after students have updated their address and emergency contact information in SIS.

Payment of the health fee provides access to the following: University Health Service, Counseling and Mental Health Service, the CARE Office, and the Health Promotion department.

Students who are remote have access to telemedicine services (including teletherapy through the Counseling and Mental Health Service), though certain legal restrictions may apply depending on your location.

While Fletcher offers only remote classes this fall, can I still access the university’s Health Service and the university’s Counseling and Mental Health Service?

Yes. Health Service and Counseling and Mental Health Service will assist remote students using a telehealth platform, though certain legal restrictions may apply depending on your location. The healthcare and counseling professionals may decide, based on their professional judgment, that a remote student’s care should be transitioned to a local care provider. In that case, they will provide referrals to the extent reasonably available.

What services will university Health Service provide during the fall semester?

The Health Service business office will continue to help all students with their insurance needs and answer questions about medical bills. They will also ensure compliance with immunizations and assist with healthcare-related financial issues.   

The CARE Office and Health Promotion will be mostly online in the fall if conditions remain as they are currently. Students, both on campus and remote, will engage in programming in the same way. The CARE Office will offer consultation for students dealing with sexual misconduct issues regardless of location.

For students in Massachusetts, existing and new patients may schedule virtual visits by video or phone based on clinical judgement.

Students outside of Massachusetts will have access to some medical telehealth consultation but will have more options for care if they are established patients.

Leadership & Communications

Who made the decision to be remote for the fall?

Dean Kyte made this decision based on input from the task force mentioned above, and with the advice of the senior leadership team of the school and in coordination with the senior leadership of Tufts University.

How was the decision to be remote for the fall made?

In April, Dean Kyte convened a task force to consider all options for the fall semester. This task force thoroughly considered all pros and cons of a series of scenarios. The Task Force consulted widely within Fletcher, across Tufts, and in the broader community. Working groups of the Task Force drew more expertise within Fletcher into the planning. In all, sixty-two faculty, staff, and student volunteers served on these working groups and they delivered their recommendations to Dean Kyte on May 31.  These recommendations were then extensively discussed by the School leadership team.

Who made the decision to offer classes in both sessions and semesters and how was that decision made?

The idea for creating more choice for students by modularizing the classes was developed by the task force, based on input from the Student Council and a review of teaching evaluations from the spring. A faculty survey was conducted to determine if faculty were willing to teach in this new format, and many responded that they were, in fact, excited by the prospect. The idea was then presented to the Academic Council, where it received unanimous support. Finally, the proposal was discussed and voted on at a faculty meeting on June 1.

Why is the situation different at other Tufts schools?

Each school at Tufts has different operational constraints and circumstances and so each school must make its own decision. The Tufts Medical School, Tufts Veterinary School, and Tufts Dental School have all decided to have all lectures be delivered remotely this fall, and they are modifying approaches to clinical instruction. Other schools at Tufts are still working through their own decisions

Career Services

Will Fletcher still hold employer information sessions? How?

Yes. The Office of Career Service (OCS) began offering virtual employer information sessions before the COVID-19 pandemic. We started this service to provide employers who could not come to campus a way to engage with Fletcher students.  All the employer sessions we schedule this fall will be offered in a remote format.

Will there still be NY and DC Career Trips?

Yes. We will still offer opportunities to connect with the NY and DC organizations we normally visit, but in a different format. The NY “trip” will be remote on November 12, 2020, a day when classes are cancelled. There will be sessions with organizational representatives at four time periods with three organizations (different fields) providing sessions at the same time.  Students will register in advance. The DC “trip” will take place in February and will be a larger version of the NY event. A decision on whether the DC trip is remote or hybrid will be made later in the academic year.

Will there still be student/alumni networking events?

Networking events will be online.  We are planning extended career chats with alumni in a variety of sectors and organizations with structured questions followed by smaller group gatherings in Zoom break out rooms. 

How will the Professional Development Program take place?

The Professional Development Program (PDP) will be offered online on Fridays at 9:00 AM.  The first two sessions are asynchronous and will be sent to students in July. The remaining six synchronous sessions will be held in the fall on Fridays and will be recorded.  There will be an additional session offered Tuesday nights at 7:30 PM Eastern Time to accommodate students in other time zones.

How will coaching appointments work?

Coaching appointments should be scheduled on Fletcher CORE.  They will be conducted via Zoom. If you are having difficulty scheduling an appointment, please send a message to the flectcherocs@tufts.edu.  You are also welcome to contact a career coach directly to ask for an appointment outside the published schedule.  We will do our best to help you.

Beginning in September, there will be “Drop-in hours” via Zoom for quick questions.   The schedule for these hours will be announced at the beginning of the semester.

What will Fletcher do to help students get internships and jobs in a remote environment?

The OCS stepped up its contact with alumni and employers to identify jobs and generate internship opportunities at the beginning of the pandemic.  We asked faculty members to do the same.

We will intensify our outreach efforts to alumni, employers, faculty, and staff and coordinate these outreach efforts to identify even more opportunities.

Fletcher is also in discussion with other APSIA schools to offer shared employer information sessions to expand our organizational relationships.

How will networking with alumni and employers work?

The OCS will build networking time into presentations using the Zoom breakout room feature.

Networking time will be available during employer information sessions, alumni career field-themed panel sessions as well as geographically oriented panel sessions, e.g., Canada, California, Singapore.

Student Life

Will there be guest speakers and conferences in the fall?

Yes. Fletcher events feature expert academics, politicians, practitioners and activists to ensure that students are exposed to as many experts as possible. In the fall we anticipate a greater diversity of speakers across different regions, since it will be more convenient to reach speakers online. Additionally, faculty may invite guest speakers to your classes, as they normally do. If you have potential contacts or suggestions for guest speakers, feel free to reach out to your faculty or staff members to provide your suggestions.

Will Fletcher continue to hold events and conferences online?

Yes. Keeping different time zones in mind, Fletcher will continue to hold events and conferences online. Keep an eye on the Fletcher Calendar for upcoming events! To help organize an event, be on the lookout for emails from conference organizers, student clubs, or Fletcher’s centers

How will I build relationships with peers?

During orientation, you will have the opportunity to be closer to classmates who are in your same cohort, through countless icebreakers, networking events, and academic sessions. You will have second year students in your cohorts as well who will help you get onboarded with your Fletcher experience. You will also be able to build relationships based on common professional interests or hobbies through social events, club activities and coursework. Our professors, student leaders and staff members have taken extra measures to ensure interaction between students during Fletcher classes and activities online last spring and will continue to do so.

How will Fletcher maintain a sense of community?

Connecting with a global community is at the heart of the Fletcher experience. The Fletcher community has always stayed together beyond the campus journey and will continue to do so.

Not only you will be finding yourself in Zoom breakout rooms and workshopping with your classmates, you will also be immersed in countless Fletcher social list emails, events, activities, competitions and discussion groups, both through formal and informal social groups. You will also be able to connect with Fletcher alumni members through Fletcher offices like the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Office of Career Services, Office of Student Affairs etc. To know more visit: https://fletcher.tufts.edu/students-alumni

Can I still be involved in student organizations and activities?

Absolutely! Student organizations and extra-curricular activities are part of the core Fletcher experience. All of our student organizations will be hosting virtual recruitments, happy hours, workshops, networking events and competitions- as they have done in Spring 2020. More details on student organizations and activities here: https://fletcher.tufts.edu/students-alumni/student-activities-organizations

What support is available for international students?

International students will receive guidance directly from the International Center regarding immigration and visa-related questions. The International Center is maintaining an information page that includes immigration updates and other notes specific to the Tufts international community.

The International Center will remain open with normal hours. Appointments and check-ins will continue via phone or video conference

How will I access student services?

All student services offices throughout Fletcher and across Tufts remain fully operational and are ready to support students remotely. For further information please navigate to the specific office below:

Student Affairs: https://sites.tufts.edu/fletcherconnect/student-activities/contact-student-affairs/

Registrar’s Office: https://sites.tufts.edu/fletcherconnect/academics/contact-registrars-office/

Office of Career Services: https://fletcher.tufts.edu/careers-outcomes/contact

Ginn Library and IT: https://ginnlibrary.tufts.edu/about-us/library-staff

Accessibility and Academic Support: https://sites.tufts.edu/fletcherconnect/academics/accessibility-academic-support/

How can I get involved with Tufts’ volunteer activities?

Tisch College has launched Tufts Community Response Volunteer Groups to organize and train students and staff who could be deployed, if/when they are needed, either virtually or in-person (health, safety and state or local travel restrictions allowing), to support response efforts on our campus and in partnership with our host communities.

What is the profile of the incoming class?

As of late June, the profile of the incoming class is comparable to past years: slightly higher than 50% female, nearly 40% international with 50 citizenships represented, over 25% US students of color, and with average age of 27.

When does Fletcher’s new student Orientation begin and what can I expect?

Orientation for incoming students has two goals: to introduce students to Fletcher academic and student life, and to build community among our students, faculty, and staff.

New student orientation will begin on August 10 with the release of video content that you can view at your convenience. There are videos on several topics that you will be required to watch.  Other video content, though optional, is recommended. 

Briefings will address Fletcher’s Academic Program and Curriculum; Health, Well Being, and Community; Library Services and Information Technology; the Honor Code and Code of Conduct;  Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; Managing Reading, Research, and Group Work; Writing and Time Management Strategies; Student Affairs and Student Activities; and Career Services. Slides and handouts will be available, in addition to the videos. And perhaps an occasional quiz! 

Community is a key aspect of the Fletcher experience. Orientation will include many opportunities throughout August to connect with students and members of the faculty and staff. Optional programming will include weekly “coffee hour chats” with faculty, talks by faculty and staff, meetings with student clubs, and fun activities organized by members of our community.   

A formal Orientation Week program will run from August 31 to September 4. There will be a few School-wide synchronous sessions scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Time, GMT-4) to facilitate maximum student participation. For Orientation Week programming, you will be placed in groups of approximately 15 incoming students, with second-year students, faculty, and staff serving as mentors. These cohort groups will meet once on August 26 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time and again throughout Orientation Week. There also will be scheduled “drop-in hours” with Fletcher and Tufts departments, as well as with the professors who lead our Fields of Study. These drop-in hours will be scheduled throughout the week to accommodate time zone differences.

We look forward to meeting you soon at Orientation.

Alumni FAQs

How can alumni get involved?

If you have expertise that would be helpful as The Fletcher School moves through an unconventional fall semester or you would like to do any of the following, please contact us at fletcheralum@tufts.edu:

  • Join your local alumni club
  • Volunteer for an alumni committee or reunion committee

To share information about the following, please contact fletcherocs@tufts.edu:

  • Job opportunities
  • Internship leads
  • Career coaching
Can alumni participate in remote events and activities?

Yes.  We welcome your participation in remote events and meet-ups.  Please watch for electronic invitations, or check this calendar for updates.

Will the Class of 2020 participate in next year’s commencement?

Yes, our goal is to invite the Class of 2020 to campus to participate in commencement activities in May 2021.

Will reunion in spring 2021 take place on campus?

Our goal is to host a celebration in spring 2021 for those classes who missed their reunion in 2020 and for those celebrating a reunion in 2021. We will confirm a decision as soon as health authorities, Tufts University and The Fletcher School deem it safe and appropriate to do so.

How can alumni who lost jobs access career services?

Fletcher’s Office of Career Services and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations are committed to assisting alumni by providing networking opportunities, as well as online job postings and job coaching through Fletcher CORE.  Please visit our website or contact us at fletcherocs@tufts.edu for more information. 

Foreign Language

What is Fletcher’s policy around foreign language skills and how have the requirements changed?

As of June 2020, and going forward, Fletcher students are not required to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English and, instead, have the option to demonstrate foreign language proficiency. Students who choose and successfully complete this option will have their passing results noted on their Fletcher transcript. Among other things, this decision was made in keeping with the School’s philosophy 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, and these may or may not require foreign language expertise. Many students will continue to find that language skills are essential to their career paths, and the School is committed, as before, to supporting this endeavor in the best way we can.

Why did the School decide to change the foreign language requirement?

We seek to better meet student needs. The School values foreign language skills among a broad range of other skills that students need to develop in order to best meet their personal and career ambitions. We seek to provide students with the best possible educational opportunities to embark on global leadership. The language practice at the School did not align with that objective.

We will continue to offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their language skills and have them documented. However, as a requirement, the foreign language exams had become more of a barrier than an opportunity for many students, including those who enrolled without prior fluency in a foreign language, those who specialized in an indigenous or rare language, or those with learning disabilities. There has been little opportunity for students to truly make language study a part of their Fletcher experience, and so the exams served rather indiscriminately either as a mere formality for students already proficient in a foreign language, or as a roadblock, with insufficient support to surmount it, for those who were not. Moreover, rigorous language training is not itself part of the Fletcher curriculum, nor is there a great deal of time for students to learn a new language while here. We therefore eliminated as a requirement a set of exams that do not in and of themselves signify a consistent set of standards nor the diversity of ways that students gain a global perspective and a nuanced understanding of other cultures while enrolled.

How will the School ensure that opportunities to demonstrate foreign language proficiency continue to exist in a meaningful way?

This policy change is the first step in moving towards a quality language program, in which students are appropriately supported and advised on how language will help them achieve their career goals. Measures going forward include the appointment of a designated point person with experience in language instruction and evaluation to transition what had been a language requirement into a flexible language program. We are considering more creatively how certain language competencies should be integrated into particular courses of study. For example, we are exploring implementing more robust certificates demonstrating expertise in functional or regional areas, for which language may be required. And we continue to offer the foreign language exams for students who wish to demonstrate their language skills and have those documented on their transcripts.

Has Fletcher changed the way it will support students seeking to improve and demonstrate their language skills?

In the coming year we will start a process to move from an unsatisfactory foreign language requirement to a foreign language program that facilitates students demonstrating language proficiency in a consistent and broadly recognized manner.

In the meantime, Fletcher students can continue to petition to take up to two language courses as part of their degree program. All Fletcher students continue to have the option to audit language classes, with the agreement of a language instructor. All Fletcher students continue to have the option to take the language exams and have their passing results included on their transcript.

Why aren’t language courses listed in Fletcher’s fall 2020 schedule?

Language courses have always been offered through the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts, not Fletcher. But a good number of students decide to enroll in or audit language courses at Tufts, particularly if the language is key to their future career goals. Once the School of Arts and Sciences updates their course listings for the fall, which is expected shortly , you will be able to view those offerings in SIS (http://sis.uit.tufts.edu).

Can I still take language courses, and will they be offered remotely?

Yes. Students are still encouraged to take or audit language courses through the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts. Fletcher students may petition to take up to two language courses as part of their degree program or audit language classes with the permission of the instructor. The course offerings at the School of Arts and Sciences will be a mixture of in-person, hybrid, and remote options, but you will need to check SIS (http://sis.uit.tufts.edu) to find the actual fall language course offerings, which are expected to be available on July 1.

How can I expect to gain language skills while at Fletcher if it’s no longer a requirement?

As was the case before the policy change, language study itself is not a component of the Fletcher curriculum, so most students find it challenging to make substantial gains in language proficiency while at Fletcher. Many students arrive at Fletcher with existing language expertise, and students looking to improve or maintain their language skills do make time for this outside of their course load and other activities. As before, the School recognizes the vital importance of foreign language skills to a great number of career paths onto which Fletcher graduates embark. We expect that students motivated to expand their language capacity will continue to do so. Students will continue to have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills by taking a language exam and having their passing results included on their transcript. And the School will continue to work to make this optional language credential best suit the needs of our students.

Where can I find out more about Fletcher’s decision to modify the language requirement?

The Dean’s announcement can be found here: https://fletcher.tufts.edu/news-events/deans-announcements