The LL.M. Program is a residential program lasting one full academic year, with four courses each semester. . No fewer than five and a maximum of six courses taken must be within the International Law and Organizations (ILO) division. At least one of the eight courses must be from the Diplomacy, History, and Politics (DHP) division in the Fletcher curriculum, and at least one course must be chosen from the Economics and International Business (EIB) division. These courses are offered to all Fletcher students, enabling LL.M. students to gain full exposure to the multi-disciplinary approach that characterizes The Fletcher School and distinguishes our LL.M. from other U.S. LL.M. programs.
Every Fletcher student, including LL.M. students, must complete a capstone project as a requirement for graduation. The capstone project must evidence scholarly and/or professional analysis informed by the sustained and appropriate application of analytical methodologies, and be presented as a written final product. The project may be, but is not limited to, a traditional academic research thesis, a policy paper (whether for a government, an NGO, or an international organization, whether for a real client or not), an operational plan (in development, business, public diplomacy, etc.), a case study, or a business plan.
The capstone topic and a faculty supervisor from the ILO division should be chosen no later than February 1st of the academic year, and earlier consultation and selection are very strongly recommended. The completed project is due by the last day of class for the academic year and forms the basis of a short presentation by the student at the Capstone Colloquium in May. The topic, academic approach, and approximate length of the project must be agreed upon in advance with the faculty supervisor, who has full discretion to determine whether a proposed project or thesis is appropriate. Not every professor will accept all of the alternatives provided in the generic description of Fletcher’s capstone requirement set out in the preceding paragraph.
LL.M. students are required to attend all High Table luncheons, which are held approximately monthly. Students also must participate in the five-day residential Capstone Colloquium at the end of the academic year, where students present summaries of their theses, reflect upon the year's studies, and engage in discussions with legal practitioners and scholars. This colloquium is normally held outside the Tufts campus; for the first four years of the Program, it has been held at the Tufts University Center in Talloires, France.
If English is their primary language, LL.M. candidates are required to pass a foreign language proficiency exam. Foreign language proficiency is not a requirement for admission, but it is a requirement for graduation from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Please note that the rigor of the Fletcher program does not allow time for meaningful second-language instruction, so applicants with weak second language skills should not expect to be able to reach the proficiency required for graduation while enrolled in the LL.M. program. Accordingly, we recommend that applicants address their foreign language proficiency before the commencement of the academic year.