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Admission to a PhD
Direct admissions for a PhD for the 2017 are now open
January 30, 2017, for admissions decisions by early April 2017
May 9, 2017 (Law: May 31, 2017), for admissions decisions by July 2017
Thesis admissions requirements
Thesis admissions process
The PhD application is open to students with a Master's degree, a postgraduate degree (Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies - DEA) or an equivalent degree. There must be a fit between the candidate's university studies and the discipline of the requested doctoral programme. For the record, the IEP awards PhDs in law, history, political science, economics, and sociology.
For candidates who do not have the required degrees to be directly admitted into the First thesis year, see admissions into Masters programmes offered by the Graduate School.
Key elements of the application
Thesis supervisor consent
Identifying a research unit
The candidate must identify a host research laboratory. See the list of Sciences Po's research units.
Sciences Po's Graduate School is careful to limit PhD admissions to students whose thesis proposal is likely to succeed. It is therefore important that the candidate have a developed vision of his/her thesis subject and the implications of this choice for his/her research and career plans.
The thesis topic might change during the first months of the PhD programme, but it is important that the candidate formulate in the most precise and coherent way possible the key elements to evaluating his/her research project.
These elements are:
The application is available exclusively online.
Attention: You must include the following documents in your application:
PhD applications are examined by the thesis committee, which makes recommendations to the executive committee of the Graduate School.
Admission results are communicated by mail from the general secretariat of the Graduate School.
Register required in French for the admission in thesis
Direct admissions for a PhD for the 2017 are now open.
Applicants who already hold a Master's degree, whether from France or abroad, and wish to enter a Sciences Po doctoral programme directly at the PhD level, must submit their 2017 application by one of the following two deadlines:
The application is available exclusively online.
For all students entering the PhD programme at the "thesis" level, the annual fee for 2016/2017 is 391 euros, irrespective of tax residency.
In addition to receiving guidance from their thesis supervisor, some PhD students receive assistance from another Professor or Researcher who may be based in a different institution.
The role of this co-supervisor must be formalised through a co-supervised thesis agreement established between the PhD student's institution and the co-supervisor if the co-supervisor works at a different institution, or between the supervisor and co-supervisor if both work at IEP Paris.
The PhD student will obtain a PhD from his/her home institution. The co-supervisors commit to following the PhD student's work and to sit on the thesis examining committee. The thesis will explicitly state it was co-supervised and include the names and titles of the co-supervisors on the thesis cover page. At Sciences Po the co-supervision is formalised through an exchange of letters.
The joint thesis involves guidance from two supervisors: a professor at IEP Paris and a professor from a foreign institution.
It allows the issuance of a dual PhD degree, or of a joint degree where applicable.
In France, joint theses are governed by the amended decree of 6 January 2005 on international joint theses
At Sciences Po, joint theses may only be permitted if:
Joint theses require the establishment of an agreement signed by all the partners (individuals and institutions). The three-year agreement must cover, among other things, the terms of registration, tuition, and the defence. It must be established in the first thesis year: see the section below on administrative procedures.
A joint thesis only makes sense and is only possible if the research project is shared by two institutions. In cases where this condition cannot be met, the student might consider a co-supervision, which also provides guidance from two supervisors, but does not allow the issuance of a dual degree.
A joint thesis allows the student to: have access to greater resources (documentary resources, networks) and pursue international career opportunities. Also, joint thesis scholarships covering the costs of joint theses (student's residence and defence fees) are available.
Joint theses may be difficult if the thesis supervisors have divergent views on the PhD student's work, or if the institutions' rules are too far apart.
In this case, the student might consider a co-supervision, which also provides guidance from two supervisors, but does not allow the issuance of a dual degree.
Even if the student is already enrolled in a foreign university, he/she must also be admitted to Sciences Po's at the thesis level.
Upon admission, the student must submit his/her joint project to the administration (administrative manager).
The agreement must include the following information:
Once the agreement is signed, all parties will receive a copy.
If any breach of agreement should arise, management should be contacted.
Tuition will be paid in accordance with agreement. However, until the agreement is signed, the student is liable for the tuition at both institutions.
The organization of the defence is governed by the agreement.
For the presentation of the thesis, certain specific rules must be observed.
For more on submitting a thesis in a foreign language, click here.
Some foreign universities require a pre-defence. Inquire with the relevant academic authorities.