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The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Established 1933
Type Private
Dean Stephen W. Bosworth
Postgraduates 450
Location Medford, MA, USA

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (also referred to as The Fletcher School) at Tufts University is the oldest school in the United States dedicated solely to graduate studies in international relations. It is regarded as one of the world's foremost schools of international relations. In 2008, the school enrolled approximately 450 full-time students (excluding Ph.D. candidates not enrolled in courses) and employed 30 tenured or tenure-track faculty. Stephen W. Bosworth, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, is the current dean of The Fletcher School.

A 2008 survey conducted by Foreign Policy of American international relations faculty ranked the Fletcher School fourth among international relations master's programs.[1]



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."[2]

The school opened in 1933 as a collaborative project between Harvard University and Tufts University. Tufts University would later assume sole responsibility for administrating the school but the Fletcher School has continued to cooperate closely with other universities. In addition to the various joint programs offered, Fletcher students can also take classes at MIT and Harvard graduate schools.

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 Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Despite not being a law school, Fletcher won the regional competition in 2006, beating schools such as Harvard, Cornell and Syracuse.

Degree programs

The Fletcher School offers multi-disciplinary instruction leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD), Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy. In 2000, the school launched the Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP), a year-long combined residency and Internet-mediated master's degree program for mid-career professionals. In the fall of 2008, the school introduced two new programs: 1) a two year Master of International Business (MIB) program which combines the flexibility of the international affairs curriculum with a core of business course, and 2) a one year Master of Laws (LL.M.) 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. The school does not award undergraduate degrees.

The vast majority of the students are enrolled in the MALD program, a two-year program that culminates with a thesis. 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.

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

The MA 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.

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 also 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, IE Business School in Madrid and the Institut supérieur des affaires (graduate school of management) at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in France.

The school is home to various research programs, institutes, and centers dealing with human rights and conflict resolution, international business relations, international security studies, human security, international environmental affairs, media and communication, and technology.

Organization and faculty

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 has responsibility 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 relations at other universities, the Fletcher School has a separate faculty, its own budget, and its own set of faculty bylaws. There are, however, a few 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 the graduate classes. The undergraduate international relations program, the largest major in the College of Liberal Arts, has its offices in the Cabot Intercultural Center, the main building of the Fletcher School complex.

The full-time Fletcher faculty comprise economists, international lawyers, 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. D's in the case of historians, political scientists, and economists; and JD's and LLMs in the case of lawyers).

Programs and research centers

Noteworthy faculty

  • Louis Aucoin, Institute for Human Security Research Professor, former Acting Minister of Justice for East Timor, advisor for the constitution-drafting processes of Cambodia, East Timor, Kosovo, and Rwanda
  • Eileen F. Babbitt, Professor of International Conflict Management Practice, former Director of Education and Training at the United States Institute for Peace
  • Stephen W. Bosworth, Dean of the Fletcher School, currently serving as Secretary of State Clinton's Special Representative for North Korea Policy
  • Antonia Chayes, Visiting Professor of International Politics and Law, former United States Under Secretary of the Air Force
  • Daniel W. Drezner, Professor of International Politics, regular featured columnist in Foreign Policy Magazine
  • Leila Fawaz, Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Carnegie Scholar
  • Michael J. Glennon, Professor of International Law, former legal counsel to Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • John Hammock, Professor of Public Policy, former Executive Director of both Accion International and Oxfam America, founder of the Feinstein International Center
  • Hurst Hannum, Professor of International Law, human rights scholar with experience practicing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights
  • Andrew C. Hess, Professor of Diplomacy
  • Ayesha Jalal, Professor of History and the Director of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, former MacArthur Fellow
  • Ian Johnstone, Professor of International Law
  • Michael W. Klein, Professor of International Economics
  • William Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy, lead author of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, developed the concept of New diplomacy
  • Vali Nasr, Professor of International Politics, Iranian-American academic and scholar, as well as Associate Chair of Research at the Department of National Security Affairs of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Author of The Shia Revival. Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Robert Pfaltzgraff, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of International Security Studies, on the International Security Advisory Board
  • Jeswald W. Salacuse, Henry J. Braker Professor of Commercial Law, founding President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
  • Richard H. Schultz, Professor of International Politics
  • Joel P. Trachtman, Professor of International Law
  • Peter Uvin, Henry J. Leir Professor of International Humanitarian Studies, his Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda won the Herskovits Prize for most outstanding book on Africa

Prominent alumni

Government, Diplomacy, and International Organizations

Non-Profits and NGOs


Writers and Journalists


Private Sector

Former deans


  1. ^ Maliniak, Daniel; Amy Oakes, Susan Peterson, and Michael J. Tierney (April 2009). "Inside the Ivory Tower". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Russell E. Miller, Light on the Hill: A History of Tufts College 1852-1952 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966), 571.

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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