Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

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The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (emblem).png
Established 1933
Type Private
Parent institution
Tufts University
Dean James G. Stavridis
Academic staff
Students 700
Location Medford, MA, USA
Affiliations APSIA
Website fletcher.tufts.edu

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (also referred to as The Fletcher School) is the oldest school in the United States dedicated solely to graduate studies in international affairs.

Fletcher is regarded as one of the world's foremost graduate schools of international relations.[2] The school’s alumni include hundreds of sitting ambassadors; award-winning journalists and authors; leaders of international peacekeeping, humanitarian and security initiatives; heads of global nonprofit organizations; and executive leadership of some of the world’s largest for-profit companies.


The school’s dean is Admiral James Stavridis, U.S. Navy (retired), former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and former head of the U.S. European Command. Admiral Stavridis received a MALD degree and a PhD from The Fletcher School in 1983 and 1984, respectively. He became the 12th dean of the school on July 1, 2013.[3]

On its campus in Medford, Massachusetts, The Fletcher School offers multi-disciplinary instruction in international affairs through four masters programs and a Ph.D. program. Regardless of the degree program in which they are enrolled, students have the opportunity to select from among more than 170 courses across three divisions: International Law and Organization (ILO); Diplomacy, History and Politics (DHP); and Economics and International Business (EIB).[4]

The school also offers an executive degree for mid-career professionals through its Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP). The year-long program combines three 2-week residencies with rigorous academic instruction covering topics such as negotiation, trade, economics and politics from a global perspective.[5]

The Fletcher School employs more than 30 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty as well as a variety of adjunct and visiting professors, and benefits from faculty at partner schools within Tufts, including the Friedman School of Nutrition. The full-time Fletcher faculty includes economists, international law theorists, historians, and political scientists who hold the academic ranks of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and lecturer. All faculty members hold terminal degrees in their respective fields (Ph.Ds in the case of historians, political scientists, and economists; and JDs and LLMs in the case of lawyers). In 2013, the faculty to student ratio in Medford is 1:8.6.[6]

The Fletcher School is home to many specialty programs, institutes, and research centers that contribute scholarly research and publications, organize conferences, and invite speakers to campus. The school hosts more than 200 speakers each year, ranging from heads of state to young emerging leaders at the intersection of digital communications technologies and international affairs. Their foci range the spectrum from human rights and conflict resolution, to international business, to security studies, to development, to environmental policy, to media and communications, to technology.

Fletcher students come from nearly 70 different countries, and more than forty percent of the student body is from outside of the U.S. Immersed in scholarship across 20 different fields of study, their backgrounds, interests and disciplines are as varied as their geographies, contributing to Fletcher’s vibrant classroom and campus community.

Degree programs[edit]

Cabot Intercultural Center, 2010
Mugar Hall, 2009
Goddard Hall, 2010

Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD)[edit]

Most students at Fletcher are enrolled in the MALD program, a two-year program that culminates with a thesis or capstone project.[7] Students concentrate in two out of twenty possible fields of studies. They can choose between functional fields of study such as Public International Law, International Organizations, International Business and Economic Law, Law and Development, International Information and Communication, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Human Security, International Trade and Commercial Policies, International Monetary Theory and Policy. Development Economics, International Environment and Resource Policy, Political Systems and Theories, International Security Studies, International Political Economy and International Business Economics as well as regional fields of study like the United States, Pacific Asia and Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization. Students can also design their own fields of study. Each field consists of three or four different courses. All students have to pass a total of 16 courses in addition to passing foreign language requirements.

Master of International Business (MIB)[edit]

In the fall of 2008, the school introduced a two-year Master of International Business (MIB) program which combines the flexibility of the international affairs curriculum with a core of business course. "Topics covered include international geopolitics, trade legislation, business law, negotiation and the role of international NGOs... The MIB differs from a traditional MBA in that, while it provides students with the concrete skills of an MBA, MIB participants also study the full spectrum of issues that arise when conducting business in an international environment.[8]

Master of Laws in International Law (LL.M.)[edit]

Also, in 2008, the school added a one-year (LL.M.) in International Law degree which is a post-graduate, full-time academic degree for legal professionals who wish to obtain specialized education in a particular area of international law.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)[edit]

Ph.D. students complete two or three fields of study, in addition to writing a dissertation.

Master of Arts (MA)[edit]

The Master of Arts program is primarily for mid-career professionals. It is a one-year program and students are expected to pass eight courses and write a master's thesis.

Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP)[edit]

In 2000, the school launched the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP), a year-long combined residency and Internet-mediated master's degree program. "Aimed at mid- to upper-level professionals with at least eight years' professional experience, the international, interdisciplinary program covers topics such as negotiation, trade, economics and politics from a global perspective. While some students already have MBAs or PhDs, others have opted for the Fletcher qualification instead of an MBA. The program combines three two-week residencies—two on the Fletcher campus and the third at an inter-national site—with the rest of the year devoted to online learning."[5]

Joint degrees[edit]

The Fletcher School currently has formal joint degree programs with the other Tufts schools including Arts and Sciences, Engineering, the Tufts University School of Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Beyond Tufts, the school maintains joint degree programs with University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Harvard Law School, Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, the Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, the University of California at Berkeley, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, the University of St.Gallen, IE Business School in Madrid and HEC Paris.[9] In December 2010, the school entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Indian School of Business to support the ISB in establishing the Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the ISB's planned Mohali, Punjab campus.

Recently, the Fletcher School and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) have established an agreement to create a dual-degree program. This program allows students to receive both a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from The Fletcher School and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from CEIBS [10]

The school does not award undergraduate degrees.


Goddard Hall, 1939

The Fletcher School was founded in 1933 with the bequest of Austin Barclay Fletcher, who left over $3 million to Tufts University upon his death in 1923. A third of these funds were dedicated to a school of law and diplomacy. Fletcher did not have in mind a school "of the usual kind, which prepares men for admission to the bar and for the active practice of law." Instead, Fletcher envisioned "a school to prepare men for the diplomatic service and to teach such matters as come within the scope of foreign relations [which] embraces within it as a fundamental and thorough knowledge of the principles of international law upon which diplomacy is founded, although the profession of a diplomat carries with it also a knowledge of many things of a geographic and economic nature which affect relations between nations."[11]

Old logo of the school. The logo displays a scale with laurel leaves outweighing a sword, with an open book at the base. In the background there is a world globe. Below it there is an inscription in latin: "Nationi Civitati Humanitatis".

The school opened in 1933 as a collaborative project between Harvard University and Tufts University. The Fletcher School is now administrated exclusively by Tufts University, but maintains close ties with Harvard. Fletcher students can register for graduate classes at MIT and Harvard, and conversely, Harvard and MIT cross register at Fletcher. In addition, the Fletcher School has strong relationships, including joint degree programs, with several other universities around the metro Boston area and throughout the world.

The Fletcher School and Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) are the only non-law schools in the US that compete in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Organization and faculty[edit]

Dean James Stavridis at 2014 Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy convocation

The Fletcher School is under supervision of a dean, appointed by the president and the provost, with the approval of the Trustees of Tufts College (the university's governing board). The dean is responsible for the overall administration of the school, including faculty appointments, curriculum, admissions and financial aid, student affairs, development, and facilities. Unlike other graduate schools of international affairs, the Fletcher School has its own budget, faculty, and set of faculty bylaws. There are, however, some professors who hold joint appointments with departments in the School of Arts and Sciences. Furthermore, Fletcher professors occasionally offer courses in the College of Liberal Arts or allow undergraduates to enroll in graduate courses. The undergraduate international relations program, the largest major in the College of Liberal Arts, has its office at the Cabot Intercultural Center, the main building of the Fletcher School complex. However, the undergraduate department of international affairs has no affiliation with The Fletcher School.

Programs, institutes and research centers[edit]

  • The Edward R. Murrow Center of Public Diplomacy was established in memory of the journalist and former head of the United States Information Agency . The center is home to Edward R. Murrow’s personal library and papers, including more than 2,000 documents, a number of awards, and certificates.
  • The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies organizes public lectures, conferences and roundtables to create a greater understanding of the region and its challenges. The center hosts a high-profile annual lecture series that has twice hosted former U.S. President Bill Clinton as its speaker.[12]
  • The Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs focuses on the management of innovation and technological change and the advancement of economic and financial integration. The center sponsors a lecture series and conducts research and teaching on topics related to technology, economic integration and their role in international relations.
  • The Institute for Human Security promotes research and education at the intersection between humanitarianism, development, human rights and conflict resolution. The institute also runs the Program on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, which supports an interdisciplinary approach to peace-building and coordinates the student-run journal PRAXIS.
  • The International Security Studies Program (ISSP) is a distinct field of study within the multidisciplinary curriculum of The Fletcher School. In addition to graduate-level courses and seminars, the ISSP sponsors “outside the classroom” educational activities, including simulation exercises, a lecture series, field trips and publications. The ISSP also co-hosts an annual conference with the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis [15]
  • The Maritime Studies Program views the ocean as an important sphere for international affairs, including as it relates to matters of international security, business, law and other disciplines. The program also runs annual voyages in connection with The Neptunes, a group of Fletcher students and alumni.
  • The Program in Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization concentrates on the region's cultural and institutional history as well as its contemporary developments. The program offers a variety of courses and coordinates the student-run online journal al Nakhlah.
  • The World Peace Foundation, provides intellectual leadership on issues of peace, justice and security, and provides financial support only for projects that it has initiated itself. Among its thematic concerns are how mass atrocities end, Sudan and the Horn of Africa, memorialization and human rights, and reinventing peace for the 21st century.

Affiliated Programs and Initiatives at Tufts University[edit]

  • The Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies[16]
  • The Global Development and Environmental Institute[17]
  • Refugees and Forced Migration Program[18]



  • The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs a student-managed foreign policy journal, founded in 1975 and published biannually.[19] Original web content and print archive also available online.
  • Fletcher Security Review online and print journal focused on security studies


Noteworthy faculty[edit]


  • Halford Lancaster Hoskins (Acting Dean 1933–1934, Dean 1934–1944)
  • Ruhl Jaconb Bartlett (Acting Dean 1944–1945)
  • Robert Burgess Stewart (Dean 1945–1964)
  • Edmund Asbury Gullion (Dean 1964–1978)
  • John P. Roche (Acting Dean 1978–1979, Dean ad interim 1985–1986)
  • Ambassador Theodore Lyman Eliot, Jr. (Dean 1979–1985)
  • Jeswald Salacuse (Dean 1986–1994)
  • Richard B. Mancke (Dean ad interim 1994–1995)
  • General John Galvin (Dean 1995–2000)[22]
  • Joel P. Trachtman (Dean ad interim, 2000–2001)
  • Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth (2001–2013)
  • Current: Admiral James G. Stavridis (2013–present)[23]

Section reference[24]

Prominent alumni[edit]


  1. ^ http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Fletcher_Directory/Directory
  2. ^ "The Best International Relations Master's Programs". http://foreignpolicy.com/. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  3. ^ "NATO Commander Admiral James Stavridis Named Next Fletcher Dean". Medford, MA: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. May 6, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/03/top_ten_international_relations_masters_programs?page=0,4
  5. ^ a b Anderson, Linda (June 11, 2001). "Programme with an international flavour: Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy: With students from 21 countries, GMAP aims to 'plug a gap that the MBA does not fill". Financial Times. p. 14. 
  6. ^ http://fletcher.tufts.edu/About/Overview/Fletcher-at-a-Glance
  7. ^ http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Academic/Capstone-Project-Requirement
  8. ^ Anderson, Linda (March 26, 2007). "Degree for a complex world Fletcher School: The Master in International Business combines academic with practica". Financial Times. p. 12. 
  9. ^ fletcher.tufts.edu
  10. ^ [1], PR Newswire-USNewswire, Medford, MA and Shanghai, 5/22/12
  11. ^ Russell E. Miller, Light on the Hill: A History of Tufts College 1852–1952 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 571.
  12. ^ http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/president-bill-clinton-deliver-tufts-universi
  13. ^ http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting/2012/02/16/a-scar-on-bahrains-financial-marketplace/
  14. ^ http://www.cnbc.com/id/101103705
  15. ^ http://www.ifpafletcherconference.com/
  16. ^ Ase.tufts.edu
  17. ^ Ase.tufts.edu
  18. ^ Nutrition.tufts.edu
  19. ^ http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/TitleSummary?index=journals/forwa&collection=journals
  20. ^ "Secretary General Appoints Aucoin". 
  21. ^ "NADIM ROUHANA". The Fletcher School, Tufts University. 
  22. ^ Aogusma.org
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ [3]

External links[edit]

Links to programs, centers and institutes[edit]

Links to publications[edit]

Coordinates: 42°24′28″N 71°07′18″W / 42.407662°N 71.12169°W / 42.407662; -71.12169