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.[3] 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.


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."[4]

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. One of the first buildings acquired was Goddard Hall which was converted into a library. Tufts assumed exclusive responsibility for the administration of The Fletcher School in 1935, but the school maintains close ties with Harvard. Fletcher students can register for graduate classes at Harvard, and conversely, graduate students at Harvard can register for courses at Fletcher. In addition, the Fletcher School has strong relationships, including joint and dual degree programs, with several other universities around the metro Boston area and throughout the world. The two-year Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) is the Fletcher School’s "flagship" international affairs degree.[5]

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 academic programs

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 Ph.D. from The Fletcher School in 1983 and 1984, respectively. He became the 12th dean of the school on July 1, 2013.[6]

On its campus in Medford, Massachusetts, The Fletcher School offers multi-disciplinary instruction in international affairs through several master's degree programs and a Ph.D. program.[7] 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).[8]

The school also offers an executive master's degree for mid-career professionals through its Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP). The year-long program combines three 2-week residencies (two at The Fletcher School and one at a different international location each year) with rigorous academic instruction covering topics such as negotiation, trade, economics and politics from a global perspective.[9]

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 Science and Policy. 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 (a Ph.D. in the case of historians, political scientists, and economists; and a J.D. in the case of lawyers). In 2013, the faculty to student ratio in Medford is 1:8.6.[10]

Programs of study

  • Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD)
  • Master of International Business
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Law
  • Master of Arts in international relations, a 1-year residential program
  • Master of Arts in international relations, via the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP), a 1-year hybrid residential/internet-mediated program
  • Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance, offered jointly with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
  • Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs, offered jointly with the College of Europe
  • Doctor of Philosophy in international relations
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Economics and Public Policy, offered jointly with the Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences[11]
Cabot Intercultural Center, 2010
Mugar Hall, 2009
Goddard Hall, 2010

Programs, institutes and research centers

  • The Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) conducts scholarly and policy-relevant research on pressing environmental issues through the interdisciplinary lenses of science, policy, sociology, technology, business and the economy.
  • 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 Business in the Global Context (IBGC) conducts research and organizes interdisciplinary conferences on contemporary issues in international business. The institute houses the Master of International Business (MIB) program and conducts scholarly research through its Council on Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME). Major research studies include the Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative[13] and an international series of studies on the "cost of cash" around the world.[14]
  • 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 research trips in connection with the Fletcher Maritime Club, a group of Fletcher students and alumni.
  • 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

  • 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, an online and print journal focused on security studies.[20]


Noteworthy faculty


The Fletcher School has had twelve deans since its founding in 1933.[23]

  • Halford Lancaster Hoskins (1933–1934, acting; 1934–1944)
  • Ruhl Jacob Bartlett (1944–1945, acting)
  • Robert Burgess Stewart (1945–1964)
  • Ambassador Edmund Asbury Gullion (1964–1978)
  • John P. Roche (1978–1979, acting; 1985–1986, ad interim)
  • Ambassador Theodore Lyman Eliot, Jr. (1979–1985)
  • Jeswald Salacuse (1986–1994)
  • Richard B. Mancke (1994–1995, ad interim)
  • General John Galvin (1995–2000)
  • Joel P. Trachtman (2000–2001, ad interim)
  • Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth (2001–2013)
  • Admiral James G. Stavridis (2013–present)[24]

Notable alumni

The Fletcher School has over 9,000 alumni living around the world in 140 countries, including hundreds of sitting ambassadors, award-winning journalists and authors, global business executives and leaders of international peacekeeping, humanitarian and security initiatives.[25]


  1. ^ "Find Fletcher People Tufts Fletcher School". Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  2. ^ "Fonts and Palette Tufts Fletcher School". Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  3. ^ "The Best International Relations Master's Programs". Foreign Policy. 2012-01-03. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  4. ^ Russell E. Miller, Light on the Hill: A History of Tufts College 1852–1952 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 571.
  5. ^ "Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD)". Tufts University. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Academics Tufts Fletcher School". Archived from the original on 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  8. ^ [1] Archived June 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ [2] Archived October 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Fletcher Degree Programs Tufts Fletcher School". Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  12. ^ "President Bill Clinton to Deliver Tufts University's Fares Lecture Tufts Now". 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  13. ^ Waki, Natsuko (2012-02-16). "A scar on Bahrain's financial marketplace". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  14. ^ Herb Weisbaum (2013-10-11). "Cash costs Americans $200 billion a year". Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  15. ^ "40th IFPA-Fletcher Conference". Archived from the original on 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2015-12-28. 
  16. ^ "Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies". Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  17. ^ "Global Development and Environment Institute". Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  18. ^ "Research Activities & Impact Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy". Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  19. ^ "Articles". The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  20. ^ "Fletcher Security Review". Fletcher Security Review. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  21. ^ "Praxis, The Fletcher Journal of Human Security Tufts Fletcher School". Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  22. ^ "al Nakhlah Tufts Fletcher School". Archived from the original on 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  23. ^ "Past Deans Tufts Fletcher School". Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. Retrieved 2017-06-16. 
  24. ^ "Office of The Dean Tufts Fletcher School". Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  25. ^ "Alumni Tufts Fletcher School". Retrieved 2017-06-16. 

External links

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

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