Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

The Fletcher School
of Law and Diplomacy
Type Private
Established 1933
Parent institution
Tufts University
Dean James G. Stavridis
Academic staff
Students 700
Location Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.
Colors Black and Orange[2]
Affiliations Harvard University
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.[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 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 Harvard, and conversely, Harvard cross registers 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 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.


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.[6]

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).[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.

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

Programs, institutes and research centers

Affiliated programs and initiatives at Tufts University




Noteworthy faculty


Section reference[20]

Prominent alumni


  1. "Find Fletcher People | Tufts Fletcher School". Fletcher.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  2. "Fonts and Palette | Tufts Fletcher School". Fletcher.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  3. "The Best International Relations Master's Programs". http://foreignpolicy.com/. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-06-23. External link in |publisher= (help)
  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. Archived June 17, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. 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.
  9. Archived October 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "President Bill Clinton to Deliver Tufts University's Fares Lecture | Tufts Now". Now.tufts.edu. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  11. Waki, Natsuko (2012-02-16). "A scar on Bahrain's financial marketplace". Blogs.reuters.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  12. Herb Weisbaum (2013-10-11). "Cash costs Americans $200 billion a year". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  13. "40th IFPA-Fletcher Conference". Ifpafletcherconference.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
  14. Ase.tufts.edu
  15. Ase.tufts.edu
  16. Nutrition.tufts.edu
  17. http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/TitleSummary?index=journals/forwa&collection=journals
  18. Aogusma.org
  19. Archived July 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. Archived October 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
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Coordinates: 42°24′28″N 71°07′18″W / 42.407662°N 71.12169°W / 42.407662; -71.12169

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