The Fletcher School: Maritime Studies

Maritime Studies

Study of the ocean provides an opportunity to add an important dimension to the global perspective we hope all Fletcher students will achieve. Insofar as I know, maritime studies such as we pursue at Fletcher do not exist at any other institution. There are good programs to be found in oceanography and courses are available in various aspects of maritime and naval studies at many universities. But Fletcher, because of its interdisciplinary curriculum, is an ideal place to study the salt-water part of the planetary surface; to examine it in a comprehensive way as an important sphere of international affairs, as a place of concern for makers of policy and shapers of events.

At Fletcher history forms the intellectual core for a wider study of the ocean as source, avenue, and arena: a source of foodstuffs and energy, of recreation and cultural inspiration, an avenue for the flow of goods, people, and ideas, and an arena for struggle and warfare.

Due to the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of the ocean as subject, a large number of courses offered at Fletcher are relevant to this study, and students may, with special permission, elect maritime studies as one of their fields of concentration, crafting their own programs to reflect specific regional or topical interests, e.g. Pacific Asia, environmental or security studies, business or law, etc., within a maritime context. MALD theses and doctoral dissertations can also have maritime themes. The one required course for such salt-water enthusiasts is DHP H202 Maritime History and Globalization.

Director’s Message

John Curtis PerryI have been at Fletcher for the past 35 years, teaching a variety of courses based in history but with an interdisciplinary reach. Over the past several years I have moved from regional to global studies, focusing on the evolution of oceanic societies.

Here at Fletcher we have formed a group of students and alumni, called “the Neptunes,” who meet frequently to discuss various oceanic matters, also make excursions to maritime sites of particular interest (please visit our ‘Voyages’ page), hold lectures, and participate in international conferences.


I invite interested students to correspond directly with me concerning these opportunities.

John Curtis Perry