MALD FAQs

The questions that follow pertain specifically to the MALD program. Please also review the general Admissions FAQs.

What is a MALD degree?

Fletcher’s Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) is a two-year, full-time international affairs degree. The interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the MALD curriculum provides both the fundamental knowledge and practical skills students need to pursue careers in international affairs. The flexibility of the MALD program allows students to design a program suited to their specific academic and professional goals.

How would a MALD student be described?

Our MALD students are, above all, devoted to working in an international environment and grappling with the complex global issues that affect the public, non-profit, and private sectors. They are energized by global events and have a strong commitment to an international career. They have demonstrated academic excellence and have a wide range of personal, professional, and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to an international career.

What are the characteristics of a successful MALD applicant?

Fletcher actively seeks to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, have a wide range of personal, professional, and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to an international career. We seek students who, by virtue of their background, achievement, and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship and practice of international relations. In general, applicants must demonstrate research ability and a strong familiarity with a second language, and hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. All students must have proven English language proficiency. Fletcher students come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including international relations and other social sciences, the humanities, business, and physical sciences and engineering. It is suggested that students take microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment.

How much work experience do MALD students have?

For MALD candidates, full-time work experience is not required, but is strongly recommended. The Committee on Admissions carefully reviews each applicant's personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at Fletcher. Most successful applicants will have at least two to three years of full-time work experience, Voluntary positions, internships, and part-time experience all also play a role in preparing students for study.

How much international experience do MALD students have?

International experience is not required, but it is strongly recommended. There is no rigid requirement as to length or nature of international experience, but students should have a demonstrated interest in the international environment. For some students, this could mean experience living and/or working outside of the applicant’s home country. For others, a working or research environment where international issues are the focus could be sufficient. The nature of each applicant’s international experience is assessed in the context of his or her individual application and professional goals.

What are the foreign language requirements of the program?

The MALD program requires that all students demonstrate professional proficiency in a foreign language before they leave Fletcher.

In order to graduate, native English speakers must demonstrate proficiency in a second language by passing an oral and written exam while enrolled at Fletcher. Since the Fletcher course load is demanding and does not leave much time for language study, students need to have a solid foundation in a foreign language before enrolling.

For non-native speakers of English, their native language in combination with fluent English fulfills the requirement. English proficiency is demonstrated through the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE examinations, or by having graduated from an undergraduate institution where the primary language of instruction is English. 

What are the standardized test requirements for the MALD program?

All applicants to the MALD program are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Subject tests of the GRE are not required. You may substitute the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) for the GRE.

If you are an international student and your native language is not English and you have not earned a university degree where English was the primary language of instruction, then you are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic).

For more information about standardized testing, please visit the Admissions FAQ section of our website.

Do you have exchange programs? Are MALD students able to have an international experience while enrolled in the program?

MALD students can choose to participate in exchange programs with some of the world's leading professional schools and graduate programs. Most students choose to do their exchange program in the first semester of their second year. Currently, The Fletcher School offers exchange programs in Switzerland, Germany, France, China, Spain, India, as well as the United States. For more information, please see the Exchange Program section of our website.

Can I pursue a dual degree in conjunction with the MALD?

Fletcher currently maintains formal dual degree programs with several institutions, and MALD students also have the option of arranging ad-hoc joint degree programs with other institutions. For details on applying for a joint degree or creating an ad-hoc program, please see the Joint Programs section of our website.

What resources do you offer for professional development?

Fletcher considers professional development to be as important as academic development. The Office of Career Services has a staff with dedicated coaches for each sector that help students realize their career goals. All MALD students participate in a ten-week Professional Development Program that helps them manage international careers during and after Fletcher. Throughout their Fletcher careers, all students can take advantage of sector-specific coaching, career trips to Washington, DC and New York City, on-campus recruiting and employer information sessions, and a comprehensive internship database.

Are MALD students required to pursue an internship?

While not required, the majority of Fletcher students pursue internships in the summer between their first and second years of study. More information regarding internship opportunities can be found on the Career Services section of our website.

What is the MALD program’s application deadline?

Applications deadlines for the MALD program are as follows:

  • October 15 – Spring enrollment application deadline
  • November 15 – Fall enrollment early notification deadline
  • January 10 – Fall enrollment regular notification deadline
  • February 10 – Fall enrollment late deadline (no scholarship aid)

For more information about all of our application deadlines, please visit the dates and deadlines section of our website.

Do you admit students to enroll for the spring semester?

The MALD program admits a limited number of students for January enrollment each year. The application and scholarship process for January enrollment is identical, and scholarship funding is available for applicants for spring admission.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, Fletcher offers scholarships to help defray tuition costs. All applicants who complete the Fletcher Scholarship Application (included with the application for admission) are eligible for scholarship consideration, which is awarded on the basis of both need and merit. We also encourage candidates to seek outside sources of funding including scholarships and loans. No distinction is made between domestic and international students in awarding scholarship funds. For more information regarding scholarship aid, please visit the Fletcher Scholarships section of our website.