Institut d'études politiques de Paris

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Institut d'études politiques de Paris
founding 1872
Sponsorship state and private foundation
place Paris , Nancy , Dijon , Poitiers , Menton , Le Havre , Reims ( France )
director Frederic Mion
Students 13,000 (42% foreigners)
Employee 3270
including professors 167 (full-time and visiting professors, a total of 3000 lecturers from politics and business)
Annual budget 172 million euros
(All information for 2009)

The Institut d'études politiques de Paris (IEP de Paris) (German: Institute for Political Studies Paris ), usually called Sciences Po , is a grand établissement in the 7th arrondissement of Paris . Together with the Collège de France or the elite university for social sciences École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), the institute enjoys the highest scientific prestige of all higher education institutions in France thanks to its administrative status .

The 2020 QS World University Ranking, together with Princeton, ranked the university in 2nd place worldwide for politics and international studies, behind Harvard . Sciences Po accepts less than 10 percent of all applicants.

Main entrance at 27 rue Saint-Guillaume

The private university École libre des sciences politiques , founded by Émile Boutmy in 1872, was nationalized in 1945 and divided into the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (IEP) and the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques (FNSP). After the Second World War and until the 1990s, the newly founded institute mainly prepared for the concours (entrance examinations) for the most important administrative colleges in France, in particular the École nationale d'administration (ENA). In fact, the majority of ENA students come from the Paris IEP. In 2008, for example, of the 80 applicants accepted, 62 had previously completed training at Sciences Po. The result is that the political elite in France consists almost exclusively of IEP graduates.

Above all, due to the reforms introduced under the director Richard Descoings , who has since passed away , the academic focus is much broader today and includes not only political science , but also, for example, law , economics , finance , marketing , communication , urbanism / town planning , management or journalism . Accordingly, over 80% of graduates today turn to the private sector after graduating. In fact, most of the members of the French business elite, e.g. B. the CEOs of large companies, at least for a few years at Sciences Po, since a Sciences Po diploma in France was often considered a ticket to elite secondary schools. Today, however, studying at the Paris IEP is a well-rounded five-year course that ends with a master’s degree - not least due to the introduction of a compulsory year abroad in the 5th and 6th semesters and a mandatory internship of usually six months in the last two years of study .

Status in the higher education system in France

Sciences Po is one of the so-called Grandes écoles of France, where the study admission is highly selective and the social status of the degree is higher than that of most other universities. Sciences Po also has the status of a grand établissement . It is an administrative status that only a few institutions are granted. This gives Sciences Po a relatively high degree of autonomy from the French Ministry of Education. B. independently decide on the charging of tuition fees. In general, it is one of the best universities in France, together with the natural science École polytechnique , the administration academy ENA and the business school HEC , and is one of the most renowned universities in the world in the field of social sciences .


Sciences Po is considered to be particularly internationally oriented. 40 percent of the students come from abroad. The establishment of the so-called campus internationaux outside Paris made a particular contribution to this development . They have geared their academic program to another country or region and also offer courses in the relevant languages, so that foreign students are particularly attracted to these programs. However, only a bachelor's degree can be completed on this campus; all students come together in the predominantly French-language master’s course on the Paris campus.

The IEP has more than 300 partner universities around the world where students spend their 5th and 6th semesters unless they choose the option of a long-term internship. Double master’s programs are also offered by a number of prestigious universities around the world (see below). Sciences Po is a member of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), which also includes Columbia University New York, King's College London , the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore (NUS).


According to the QS World University Rankings , Sciences Po took fourth place worldwide in the field of politics and international studies in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2019 Sciences Po moved up to 3rd place worldwide behind Harvard University and the University of Oxford. Sciences Po is in the international ranking thus u. a. before the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the University of Cambridge, Princeton University, Stanford University, Yale University and Columbia University.


The IEP de Paris is historically based on the École libre des sciences politiques , a private higher education institution founded by Émile Boutmy in 1872, which was already nicknamed 'Sciences Po' at that time. After the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) , the new facility, according to Boutmy's will, should ensure better training for the country's political and administrative elite. In 1945 the institution was nationalized and turned into a public university. The newly created Fondation nationale des sciences politiques (FNSP) was given the legacy of the École libre des sciences politiques and the task of ensuring the financial and administrative operation of the IEP. Together, the IEP and the FNSP form what is known today as 'Sciences Po'.

Until it moved to Strasbourg a few years ago, the ENA administration school was located right next to the Sciences Po building, and both schools were only separated by a garden. “Go across the garden” (“ traverser le jardin ”) was what people used to say when they managed to get accepted to the ENA after graduating from Sciences Po. Even today, the majority of ENA students are graduates from Sciences Po. After the move, the former ENA buildings were taken over by Sciences Po.

After Richard Descoings became director in 1996, there were numerous reforms. Above all, there was an enormous internationalization of the once French university, which today has almost 40 percent foreign students. The course has been extended to 5 years as part of the Bologna process (and ends with a master’s degree ), a year abroad has been introduced and a large proportion of the teaching is in English. Since 2010 it has been possible to acquire a Bachelor's degree after three years of study. In addition to the main campus in Paris, further undergraduate campuses were founded in Nancy , Poitiers , Menton , Le Havre and Dijon (and from 2010 Reims ), the international campuses (formerly premiers cycles délocalisés ), where two of the three years of the bachelor's degree are held can complete (see below).

Sciences Po is enjoying increasing popularity, with the number of applicants and students doubling in the last 10 years. In 2001, admission to Sciences Po was made easier for students from socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, which in France led to heated controversy in politics and society.

About the term 'Sciences Po'

The term Sciences Po is in itself an acronym for sciences politiques (French for ' political science ') and in today's parlance also means other university institutions, which, however, do not exclusively offer political science courses.

Sciences Po refers to the entity that succeeded the École libre des sciences politiques founded in 1872 in 1945 and today consists of the following institutions:

  • The IEP Paris now basically appears under the label Sciences Po and claims this designation only for itself. It defends itself against claims by the other IEPs in France. With the introduction of the new logo in 2007, the IEP Paris SciencesPo. (written together and with a period at the end; this notation is only used for the logo, not in the running text) as a trademark.
  • The Fondation nationale des sciences politiques (FNSP) is a private foundation that runs the IEP Paris. The FNSP also includes the Sciences Po library, the Presses de Sciences Po and a number of research centers.

IEP de province

Following the example of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, further Instituts d'études politiques were founded throughout France in the post-war period. Some of these have also extended the original three-year study period to five years, following the reform of the study program at the IEP Paris. In contrast to the IEP de Paris, which is an independent university run by the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques , the " IEP de province " are integrated into the local universities and are therefore not a grand établissement .

IEP de province exist in Lille , Strasbourg , Lyon , Aix-en-Provence , Toulouse , Grenoble , Rennes , Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Bordeaux . Some call themselves “Sciences Po” like the IEP de Paris (e.g. Sciences Po Bordeaux ).

Unlike the IEP de province , the campuses in Nancy , Dijon , Poitiers , Menton and Le Havre (as well as Reims from 2010 ) are full components of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris.

In addition, the word 'Sciences Po' is used colloquially for political science universities in French-speaking countries, such as the Institut d'études politiques in Algiers or the Institut des sciences politiques of the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut .



View of the garden

There are several options for admission to Sciences Po; however, you cannot apply for several admission procedures at the same time.

  • The majority of admission takes place through a written entrance examination ( examen d'entrée , incorrectly referred to as a concours ). 85 to 95 percent of applicants fail this comprehensive test every year.
  • For holders of a non-French secondary school leaving certificate, Abibac , Franco-German Abitur, Baccalauréat with a German option (if the examinations in the subjects history and geography were completed in German) or a Baccalauréat acquired abroad, there is a separate selection procedure ( Procédure internationale ), after which the admission if the application file as first over an extensive application file, and then admissible is declared (zulassbar), via a job interview. The interviews are organized worldwide and as required.

The procédure international is exclusively for admission to the international campus ; admission for a bachelor's degree in Paris is not possible in this way. Admission to the international campus also takes place via the other procedures ( Examen d'entrée , Mention très bien , CEP).

  • Admission is also possible with a particularly good school leaving certificate ( Mention Très Bien ). In the past, students who completed their Baccalauréat with Mention Très Bien could apply to be exempted from the written entrance examination and accepted directly. The grades obtained in subjects related to Sciences Po (history / geography, foreign languages, philosophy, French and, if applicable, economics) are particularly important.
  • Finally, pupils from grammar schools in problem areas (so-called "ZEP", Zones d'éducation prioritaires ) can also be admitted via an application dossier with an assessment interview (instead of the procedure of the written entrance examination or a Mention Très Bien usual for French pupils ); this procedure is known as the Conventions d'Éducation Prioritaire . This procedure was introduced in 2001 to give students from disadvantaged areas and families the chance to study at Sciences Po, which for a long time had a reputation for educating only children from the country's political and economic elite. The reform of the admission procedure generated heated controversy and debate within Sciences Po and across France.

The selection procedures are differently selective; 7.1 percent of all "Bac + 1" applicants (ie. Abitur 2007), 13.5 percent of Bac + 1 applicants with Mention Très Bien (Abitur with particularly good Grade average), 11.6 percent of all applicants in the written entrance examination for high school graduates in 2008, 22.7 percent of applicants with Mention Très Bien for high school graduates in 2008 and 30.5 percent of all participants in the international application process. 13.8 percent of all French applicants and 27.5 percent of all international applicants were accepted for entry into the master’s programs. There were a total of 11,800 applicants in 2008, of which around 2000 were accepted. The number of applicants rose by 13.8 percent compared to 2007.

Bachelor degree

  • Content :

In the premier cycle , a three-year basic course , the course imparts basic knowledge in the areas of constitutional law, political science, sociology, economics and history and ends with a bachelor's degree.

  • Type of basic course :

Around two thirds of the students complete a regular undergraduate degree in Paris; a growing minority, however, opts for one of the campus internationaux (“international campuses”) outside Paris, which enable French students to specialize and facilitate integration for international students. The basic course is basically the same as in Paris, the most important lectures are recorded in Paris and offered as e-cours on the campus (some lectures also take place on the campus) and the exams are corrected centrally in Paris to reflect the same To ensure learning content and the same level as in Paris. However, special emphasis is placed on high-quality language training on international campuses. Classes and lectures take place there in three languages ​​(French, English and a third language depending on the country focus of the campus). Language courses in at least two foreign languages ​​are compulsory; a third foreign language can also be chosen if the student has good academic performance.

  • In Nancy , the Franco-German and European program offers courses in French, German and English.
  • In Dijon , the Eastern European program enables the learning of Eastern European languages ​​and offers classes in these languages.
  • In Poitiers there is an Ibero-American program with a focus on Latin America.
  • In Menton , there is a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Arab world (including Israel) program.
  • In Le Havre there is a program with a focus on Asia.
  • There is a transatlantic program in Reims .

Third year abroad

The bachelor's degree lasts three years, with the third year having to be spent outside France. The students can choose between an internship of at least eight months in companies, non-governmental organizations, embassies, institutions, etc. (examples are internships at the United Nations , French embassies, Goethe institutes , EADS , Microsoft, etc.) or a study visit to one of the partner universities. There are more than 300 partner universities available for study visits, including the best universities in the world such as Harvard University , Princeton University , the University of Chicago , the University of Pennsylvania , Columbia University , UCLA , the University of Berkeley , London School of Economics (LSE) , the University of Cambridge , Georgetown University , the University of St. Gallen , the Luigi Bocconi University of Economics in Milan, King's College London , Maastricht University , the University of Mannheim , the Free University of Berlin , the LMU Munich , Bucerius Law School , Zeppelin University , Oxford University , Tokyo University , University of Sydney , Trinity College Dublin, St. Andrews etc.

Master's degree

During the subsequent four-semester master’s degree, students specialize in one subject. The following master’s programs are offered:

  • Affaires internationales with the possibility of specializing in international economics, security policy, sustainable development and international public management.
  • Affaires européennes
  • Affaires publiques
  • Carrières judiciaires et juridiques
  • Droit économique
  • Marketing et études
  • Finance et stratégie with opportunities to specialize in international business, corporate management or finance.
  • Gestion des ressources humaines
  • Communication
  • Stratégies territoriales et urbaines
  • Journalism
  • Doctoral program (a Master's / PhD program in the fields of international relations , economics , history , political science , sociology )

Double master’s degrees

In addition to the masters mentioned above, Sciences Po is increasingly offering double master’s degrees in collaboration with renowned universities around the world. As a rule, part of the master’s program is spent in Paris, the other part at the partner university. Upon completion of the program, students will then receive a master's degree from both Sciences Po and the partner institution. Some programs, such as the one with HEC Paris, are completely independent and have their own study plan for the entire duration of the program. B. the programs with the LSE are organized in such a way that part is completed as part of one of the normal master’s programs mentioned above.

There are currently the following double master’s degrees:

In France with
Worldwide with

Other courses

The institute maintains the so-called École doctorale, which prepares doctoral students for their doctorate. Since 2004, this school has been responsible for the master's research ( program doctoral since 2009 ). Sciences Po also offers MBA and MPA programs and prepares specifically for European and national administrative competitions (especially the European Union and ENA Concours).


Courses are held by a faculty with over 1400 members, often also by working professionals (and not by academics, hence the often very practical teaching methods such as oral presentations, many smaller short papers, presentations, summaries, reviews, etc.). In recent years, the lecturers and guest lecturers also included numerous well-known personalities from politics and business. For example, the former French Prime Ministers Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Dominique de Villepin , the current WTO boss Pascal Lamy , the Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz , the MEP Jean-Louis Bourlanges , the former Lebanese culture minister Ghassan Salamé and the former socialist taught or taught Economics and finance minister and former head of the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) Dominique Strauss-Kahn .

See: Category: University teachers (Institut d'études politiques)

Lecture events ( Conférences )

The lecture events on the main campus in Paris, which are regularly accessible free of charge to Sciences Po students, deserve special attention. Leaders from politics and society regularly give lectures and discussions with the students (e.g. Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer , EU Vice President Jacques Barrot , François Fillon , Schimon Peres , Condoleezza Rice , Evo Morales , Václav Havel , David Miliband etc. ). The politicians who are officially on state visits to France often visit Sciences Po. Sciences Po is also the only university in France where all presidential candidates came for discussion forums with students.


The École Doctorale at Sciences Po has 38 full-time employees. Around 570 doctoral students are supervised (2004).

Research centers

The Institut d'études politiques de Paris has the following nine research institutions, which are among the best research centers in France in the field of social sciences:

  • Center d'études et de recherches internationales (CERI)
  • Center de recherche politiques de Sciences Po
  • Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE)
  • Center de sociologie des organization (CSO)
  • Center d'histoire de Sciences Po
  • Observatoire sociologique du changement (OSC)
  • Service d'étude de l'activité économique (SEAE)
  • Observatoire interrégional du politique (OIP)
  • Center d'études européennes de Sciences Po


Sciences Po's library is the largest university center for contemporary documentation in the humanities and social sciences in continental Europe. It houses 900,000 works (including 620,000 books and 4,500 newspapers and magazines), 10,000 magazine articles selected annually, 2 km of shelves with direct access, 60,000 micro cards and films as well as 400 electronic magazines. 40% of the works are in French and another 40% in English.

The "Presses de Sciences Po"

With 900 catalog entries, 30 new publications per year and 10 different series, the 'Presses de Sciences Po' are one of the largest social science publishers in France.

The publisher also publishes 6 scientific journals:

  • Critique international
  • La Revue française de sciences politiques
  • La Revue de l'OFCE - Observations et diagnostics économiques
  • Vingtième siècle
  • La Revue économique
  • Mots - Les langages du politique

Well-known graduates

Sciences Po's graduates include 28 former or current heads of state and government, including the five last French Presidents Emmanuel Macron , François Hollande , Nicolas Sarkozy (albeit without a degree), Jacques Chirac and François Mitterrand , 13 French Prime Ministers (only six of the the previous 19 prime ministers were not Sciences-Po graduates) and a former UN Secretary General. The college also trained 14 CEOs from the 40 largest French companies. Since 1958, the founding of the Fifth Republic , the vast majority of all ministers and ambassadors of France have graduated from Sciences Po.

Heads of State and Government


  • Edvard Beneš (1884–1948), President of Czechoslovakia (1935–1948)
  • Hasan Saka (1885–1960), Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey (1947–1949)
  • Paul Biya (* 1933), President of Cameroon since 1982
  • Chandrika Kumaratunga (* 1945), President of Sri Lanka (1994-2005)
  • Pierre Trudeau (1919–2000), Prime Minister of Canada (1968–1979), (1980–1984)
  • Pierre Werner (1913–2002), Prime Minister of Luxembourg (1959–1974), (1979–1984)
  • Rainier III. (1923–2005), Prince of Monaco (1949–2005)


International organizations

Other politicians

Economy and finance

Culture, sport, journalism, literature

Left without a degree

Doctor honoris causa

Sciences Po has so far awarded honorary doctorates 15 times to the following personalities:

See also

Web links

Commons : Institut d'études politiques de Paris  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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  6. About GPPN ( Memento of May 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), on
  7. QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 - Politics & International Studies. In: Top Universities. Retrieved May 24, 2019 .
  8. Explanations of the legal relationship between FNSP and IEP Paris (French) ( Memento from June 20, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Archived copy ( Memento of November 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  10. -capacites-ideales-d-accueil-de-sciences-po  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  11. 300 partner universities
  12. ( Memento from October 15, 2009)

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′ 15 "  N , 2 ° 19 ′ 42.5"  E