Currently viewing the category: "General Admissions News"

A quick update today on what’s happening in Admissions and at Fletcher.

In Admissions, we are:

  • Wrapping up the Early Notification process;
  • Awaiting the PhD and Map Your Future applications, which are due this Friday, December 20;
  • Preparing for the January 10 deadline for September 2014 admission, when we’ll receive the majority of our applications to the master’s level programs;
  • Getting ready to welcome the class entering in January 2014.

It’s one of those moments when the admissions process looks distinctly different, depending on which group you belong to.  Those aiming for the January 10 deadline still have plenty of time to relax and procrastinate, while the PhD applicants are scribing away.

Meanwhile, at Fletcher, it’s quieter and quieter, as students peel away.  Although exams continue through Wednesday, many students have already completed their commitments and are on their way to distant locales.  If the sudden quiet weren’t notification enough that the winter break is nearing, the weekend’s snow was a clear reminder.  The Admissions Office will remain open throughout the break, but we look forward to a chance to recharge and prepare for the super busy stretch that runs from January to May.


I’ve received some good suggestions to fuel my blogging through the next weeks from the survey I posted a few weeks back.  Today, I’ll answer a few of the easily answered questions, in hopes that it will encourage more of you to tell me what’s on your mind.

Question:  Other than the Admissions Committee, who reviews the applications?  How much does the comments by these “others” matter in admitting or rejecting an applicant?

I love this question!  I can’t remember ever being asked it by an applicant before.  I’m guessing that the applicant is wondering about high-level administrators (the dean, etc.), alumni, or professors who might, somehow, weigh in and influence the admissions process.  To answer, I’ll start with a reminder that the Admissions Committees for the MALD/MA and MIB programs already includes professors, along with the students and staff, while the PhD and LLM Committees are composed of professors and staff, but no students.  At the master’s level (MALD, MA, MIB, LLM), there is no consultation with the many individuals or constituencies not included on the Committee.  For the PhD program, professors are consulted as part of the process of finding the right advisor for each student.  In no case are alumni or higher-level administrators part of the process.  I’ve heard of other schools where the dean can unilaterally decide to admit an applicant.  That’s not how we do things at Fletcher.  On the other hand, it is certainly the case that professors are available to help us interpret an application if their expertise would be valuable.

Question:  What does the Admissions Committee look for in the second essay?

I’m aware that each individual applicant is on his/her own schedule for researching and applying to graduate schools, so I’m happy to point you back to an Admissions Blog post from just a few weeks back.  Most of what I could possibly say is included there, but I’ll reinforce my key point, which is that you should use the second essay strategically by focusing on a topic not otherwise covered in the application but that relates (however tangentially) to your qualifications for Fletcher.  On the other hand, you shouldn’t overthink the strategizing — there’s no right answer.

Question:  Are there application considerations for military personnel or veterans of military service?

Fletcher has a long history of educating military personnel who will continue their careers or who are transitioning to a new career.  (This is one of the reasons I asked Liam to contribute to the blog.)  I would say that the Admissions Committee views favorably the opportunity to bring military personnel and veterans into the Fletcher community.  We are very familiar with the military academies (and the very heavy courseload that students pursue there), as well as the education paths of the many who joined the military before attending university.  With an international student body, we naturally also see military veterans of many other countries, including applicants who have participated in mandatory public service.  Beyond that, we review each application with an eye toward fairness, just as we would with applicants who have no military experience.  Once students are here, Fletcher (and Tufts University as a whole) participates fully in Yellow Ribbon and other veterans’ scholarship programs, and we have a designated point-person to guide students through the very complicated process.  In a bureaucratic duel between Fletcher and one of the military branches, we always endeavor to make Fletcher the less cumbersome bureaucracy.  Plus, Dean Stavridis comes from a military background — you can count on a welcoming atmosphere.

Those are the answers for today!  Please send me more of your questions!


The on-campus interview program officially ended on Friday, but your opportunities to interview are far from over.  There are limited on-campus slots still available through January 9, and an infinite number of times when you can record your own video interview.  Christine gives you the details.

For the second application season, Fletcher Admissions is giving you the chance to star in your own video interview!

Can’t make it to campus?  Well, brush up on your interviewing skills, dress professionally, and conduct an interview right from the comfort of your own home (or coffee shop, or hotel lobby, or friend’s house — you get the idea). Video interviews are a great way to add valuable supplemental information to your application, such as detail about your background and how The Fletcher School will help you meet your personal and professional goals.

The video interview allows you to respond to a pre-recorded set of questions asked by current Fletcher students.  Your recorded response to each question may take up to two minutes.  The entire process can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes, so long as you follow the basic instructions.

So how do you go about requesting a video interview?  Simple!  You email us your name, preferred email address (in the body of the email message), and résumé.  You will then receive a response containing the instructions and, more important, a link to the interview site.  All video interviews must to be submitted before you submit your application.  More information, including instructions and helpful tips, can be found on the Fletcher Admissions website.

We look forward to seeing you on the big screen!

If you have any questions regarding the video interview, please email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.

Tagged with:

Attentive blog readers may have noted that I’ve barely written a word of my own this week.  And today?  I’m afraid I won’t be adding more than a few sentences.  Today is the happy December day when the full Admissions Committee meets for the first time.  It’s the Admissions staff’s chance to start working as a group with students and professors with whom we’ve been working in pairs or smaller groups up until now.  So I’ll be grabbing a cup of tea and heading to the meeting room in just a few minutes.  I hope that next week will offer more time to write.  Have a good weekend, everyone!


Though between the hours of 8:00 and 5:30, today is a day like any other, the evening will find students scurrying from event to event.  The end-of-semester avalanche of special activities lines up like this:

Winter recital5:30:  Social Hour, hosted by the Ralph Bunche Society, with Cuban food.

6:00:  The annual debate between Professors Moomaw and Everett.  (A previous year’s debate will give you a taste of the likely energy-related content.)

7:15:  The Fletcher Winter Recital, featuring musical students, professors, and alumni.

10:30:  The Los Fletcheros fall gig at Johnny D’s, a club in Davis Square.  The place will be hopping!  (Doors open at 9:00.)

Midnight:  Reality sets in.  Classes are all but over, and exams loom on the near horizon.

Tagged with:

This information can be found in all the usual Fletcher news places but, for those of you who read the blog but don’t Tweet or check Facebook, earlier this morning we received this interesting announcement:

Mohamed ElBaradei to Join Tufts Fletcher School as Nobel-Laureate-in-Residence

Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director general emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize with the IAEA for his efforts “to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way,” will join The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as Nobel-Laureate-in-Residence in fall 2014.

“The entire Fletcher and Tufts community is proud to welcome Dr. ElBaradei, a courageous leader and powerful advocate for international peace and security,” said Admiral James Stavridis, the 12th dean of The Fletcher School.  “In my former capacity as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, I attended many conferences and meetings with Dr. ElBaradei.  He is such an important diplomatic figure, and we are thrilled to have him with us next fall.”

Academic Dean and Professor of International Law Ian Johnstone added, “Our faculty and students will benefit greatly from the lessons of his 50-year career as a scholar, diplomat, public servant, and statesman.”

As Nobel-Laureate-in-Residence, ElBaradei will focus on a range of co-curricular activities, drawing on his experience as head of the IAEA as well as the critical role he played in Egypt through the recent years of political turmoil.  An expert on international law and organizations, non–proliferation and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, ElBaradei has been at the center of efforts to address the nuclear crises in Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.  He will engage with students and faculty in public lectures and smaller, private events at The Fletcher School as well as other schools within Tufts University.

ElBaradei served three terms as director general of the IAEA from December 1997 until November 2009, when he was appointed director general emeritus.  He had been an IAEA staff member since 1984, holding a number of high-level policy positions, including that of legal adviser and subsequently assistant director general for external relations.

After leaving the IAEA, ElBaradei became involved in Egyptian politics and was seen as a potential leader of the transitional government after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.  In 2012, he was set to stand as a candidate in the presidential elections, but withdrew his bid in January of that year in the absence of an agreed upon constitution.  He was named interim vice president in July 2013, but resigned in protest a month later when security forces moved in to clear two protest camps in the capital, Cairo.

ElBaradei began his career in the Egyptian Diplomatic Service in 1964, serving in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and Geneva.  Subsequently, he served as a special assistant to the foreign minister of Egypt (1974 to1978), and he was a member of the negotiating team that led to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.

“I’m delighted and honored to be part of Fletcher, one of the top schools in international affairs.  At a time when we are facing the chaos and complexity of an increasingly interconnected world, sound management of international affairs has become key to our global wellbeing.  I look forward to what I’m sure will be a most stimulating intellectual interaction with a superb faculty and student body under the inspiring leadership of Dean Stavridis,” ElBaradei said.


Just a quick note today, lest you think I am still off celebrating Thanksgiving.  In fact, yesterday was completely gobbled up by two PhD interviews, two interview reports, an information session, and reading a small pile of files that I just didn’t manage to get to over the weekend.  Today I’m catching up from yesterday, as it often goes.  That makes it a good time to share the latest update from our friends at The Fletcher Forum.  Here’s the email that went out to the community just before the break.

Dear Fletcher Friends, Colleagues, Staff, Faculty, and Alumni,

ForumcoverThe Fletcher Forum Online — the online portal of The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, the school’s student-run international affairs journal — has had an exciting semester thus far, as we have brought in new staff and released our Special 80th Anniversary Edition. We invite you to visit our website to read some of our content and to consider submitting your own article for publication!

Some of our fall interview highlights include:

A conversation with the Dean of The Fletcher School, Admiral James Stavridis.
Dean Stavridis discusses the future of diplomacy and twenty-first century security, and provides shrewd advice to young professionals pursuing careers that navigate the challenges of today’s globalized world.

A conversation with former Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
Ambassador Thomas discusses his distinguished career in the Foreign Service and comments on a range of foreign policy issues from the role of diplomacy in solving global problems to advancing the rights of women and girls to the ongoing disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.

Our fall op-eds have ranged in topic from human rights in the Middle East to international law in Africa to democratic governance in Latin America. Check out some of these highlights:

Pakistan is Giving Democracy a Chance, by Wilson Lee
Learning the Right Lessons from Iraq, by Patricia Stottlemyer
Managing Crisis in South Asia: Avoiding Armageddon Again,  by Bruce Riedel
ICC Prosecutions in Africa Underscore Need for Effective Regional Institutions, by Kamissa Camara
The Case for Treating Migration as Trade, by Amien Kacou
The Need for an International Solution to Illicit Financial Flows, by Rohit Sinha
Diplomacy Bridging the U.S-Iranian Divide, by Arafat Kabir
Bringing Human Rights through the Back Door at the European Union, by David Blázquez
Reforming Brazil’s “Violent Democracy”, by Jim Shyne

Please feel free to leave comments or submit your own piece for publication.

To stay current with all our new content, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Happy Reading!
The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs Online

Tagged with:

This is the 1000th post on the Fletcher Admissions Blog!  We launched the blog in September of 2006.  It took nearly five years to reach the 500th post in March 2011.  In the last few years, I’ve been increasingly fortunate to have student and staff contributions that make my work easy, and that resulted in the second 500 posts being completed in less than three years.

Nearly every Admissions staffer has written something for the blog, giving us (among other topics) tales of reading applications in the company of big dogs and small dogs, tea cups, and swimmers, as well photos from the road.  Of course, many students and, lately, alumni have allowed me to convince them to write, providing the best perspective on the Fletcher student experience.

I’ve been watching the post total climb, until I realized that if I just put up a post each day for the eight days leading to Thanksgiving, I could have the 1000th post appear on the day before the holiday.  I have probably run out of ways to express how much I enjoy Thanksgiving — my favorite of all holidays.  But in the spirit of the holiday, I’ll say that I am thankful for the opportunities created by the blog — to connect with future students, current students, alumni, staff, and faculty.

Needless to say — given that my primary role is admissions staffer, not full-time writer — the 1000 posts include a lot of quick updates and references to the weather.  But there are a few posts that still provide fodder for conversation, including the Supermarket Smackdown that we somehow ended up discussing at a lunch with students last week, or the apple-peeler-corer that Admissions intern Juanita said she remembered reading about when she applied.  (That fine little gizmo will be an important tool in my Thanksgiving pie production.)

I’m lucky to include in my workday a task that I so enjoy and that helps me build my Fletcher community.  Work we enjoy — something to be thankful for.  To all of my blog friends in, or from, the U.S., I wish you a very happy holiday!  I’ll be back next week, kicking off the second thousand Admissions Blog posts.


Informative notes on a variety of topics have flowed into my inbox lately.  I’m going to combine them all in this pre-Thanksgiving catch-up blog.


PhD candidate David Knoll let me know that he and fellow PhD student Matt Herbert just published a two-part series on Somali piracy for the World Peace FoundationPart 1 and Part 2.

Newly selected Al Nakhlah editors (and first-year MALD students) Alex Taylor and Jack Berger interviewed Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.  He discusses the emergence of a new conception of citizenship in the Arab world.

There was a nice online article recognizing the entrepreneurial energy at Tufts.

An Update

Fletcher alum and contributing Admissions Blogger Manjula Dissanayake sent me an update this morning.  Both Manjula and Educate Lanka have had great success this year!

An Honor

Current MALD student Kat Trujillo was just selected by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance for the 2015 class of George J. Mitchell Scholars.  Congratulations to Kat!

A President

In October, a Fletcher alum, Mulatu Teshome, was selected as the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Finally, unrelated to any of the above, a note from me:  I have received some good suggestions for blogs for the coming months, but I’m open to more!  Please be sure to complete the survey and send me your ideas.

Tagged with:

Some of you have already submitted an application, while others are just starting to put the pieces together.  No matter where you are in your application process, you may have questions.  So that the Blog can best answer those questions, please send them along.  Complete this incredibly-quick one-question survey, and between student writers, Consult Christine, and me, we’ll get you some answers!


Spam prevention powered by Akismet