Foreign Language Study

Students who have concerns about their required foreign language proficiency are urged to undertake language study in the summer prior to enrollment at The Fletcher School, since it is difficult to devote a lot of time to language study during the course of the academic year. For this purpose, students may enroll in the Tufts University Summer School language programs or may choose to enroll in equivalent programs at other institutions.

However, during the academic year, MALD candidates and direct admission PhD students who wish to supplement their foreign language learning may enroll, at no extra charge, in language courses at either Tufts University or Harvard through cross-registration. Credit for language study does require approval from the Committee on Student Academic Programs (CSAP) but when the language study is appropriate for the student’s academic program and/or professional goals, the Committee is generally amenable. Foreign language courses taken for credit will be included as one of the four courses students are permitted to take per term.

In order to be eligible to receive credit for language study, the following criteria must be met:

a. Foreign language instruction should be appropriate for both the student’s Fletcher academic experience and his/her professional career objectives.

b. Foreign language credit will be given for a maximum of two courses, regardless of the number of language studies the student completes.

c. Allowance of credit for foreign language study should encourage, where there is no conflict with professional demands, a multi-cultural approach to language learning.

Foreign language credit may not be applied to the one year MA degree requirements and may not be offered for transfer credit. However, all students, regardless of their degree program, are eligible to audit one language course per term in addition to their normal load of four courses. Audited language courses do not appear on the student’s transcript.

Although The Fletcher School values highly the role of foreign language learning in the international affairs arena, students should understand that there is, unfortunately, little time within The Fletcher School curriculum for students to acquire and/or master a new foreign language. For that reason, we strongly encourage students who are serious about learning a new language to pursue intensive study prior to matriculation and then take advantage of opportunities provided by our cross-registration agreement with Tufts and Harvard to build on their existing foreign language proficiency. 

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