Doctorate in International Relations


The PhD program in international relations encourages a broad definition of international, a methodology mindful of empirical research, and an effort to conceptualize an increasingly complex world of changes.   


This program teaches research through research to students who plan to pursue: 

  • academic careers (research and teaching)
  • careers as experts in public or private international organizations;
  • entrance examinations for international or European civil services, and diplomatic careers.

Skills targeted

The program seeks to develop research and critical analysis skills, very high-level expertise in various methodological tools, and a solid command of the discipline’s fundamental questions.

Structure of the 2016-2017 program

The programme is split into a two-year master's and a three-year doctoral programme.

The first year of the Master's is given over to the acquisition of the basics in international relations as well as an initiation to research through lectures on method and, from the second semester on, through more targeted classes and personalised tutoring.

The second year of the Master's course completes previously acquired knowledge through specialised classes and seminars in parallel with a general research seminar and the continuation of tutoring. The combination tends essentially to accompany the student in the preparation of their dissertation, the high point of this second year. Click here for more information on the two years at Master's level.

=> See the programme catalogue 2016-2017

After two years students graduate with a master's in Political Science, option International relations.

Students who apply to the doctoral programme come before a jury that takes in account their grades, the quality of their master's dissertation and the candidate's capacity to commit to a research project. The doctoral programme is open not only to students who have followed the initial Sciences Po programme but also to those with master's degrees from another French or foreign establishment. However, it may be required of students who have not taken Science's Po's political science course to follow some basic or specialised classes that the jury deems necessary before beginning their doctoral research.

To choose a thesis supervisor, candidates are asked to get in touch with a member of the teaching staff and/or one of the members of Sciences Po's laboratories; in International Relations: the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI) or the Centre d'Etudes Européennes (CEE).

During the three-year thesis period, doctoral students are supervised by a thesis supervisor and are integrated in one of Sciences Po's research laboratories: the CERI or the CEE. Doctoral students must also take at least three doctoral seminars one of which must be outside the programme of their chosen option.

During the first year of doctoral studies, the PhD student will attend 3 seminars:

Two mandatory seminars:

Seminar of the host laboratory (LabSem): CERI

Seminar on doctoral training in IR: its goal is to help PhD students develop their thesis and learn about the current state of research in this subfield. Students must present and discuss their research in the presence of a panellist with expertise in their field.   

A specialty seminar: raising awareness of crosscutting programs involving IR: Sociology of diplomatic practices

Subject to the thesis supervisor’s approval, this seminar may be substituted with another specialty seminar. Options:

    • doctoral training on Africa
    • doctoral training on North America
    • doctoral training on Latin America
    • doctoral training on Asia
    • doctoral training on the Arab world and Middle East
    • doctoral training on the post-Soviet worlds

Diligence is required. IEP Paris rules regarding student attendance are applicable to this pedagogical framework.
Participation in these seminars allows PhD students to complete part of their required course load for doctoral studies (at least 60 hours).

Students receive a Doctorate in Political Science after three years studying, submission of a thesis and a viva.

Teaching staff 

Bertrand Badie, Professeur des universités, Sciences Po
Guillaume Devin, Professeur des universités, Sciences Po
Mélanie Albaret, Maître de conférences en science politique à l'Ecole de droit, Université d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand
Delphine Alles, Professeur des universités en science politique, Université Paris Est Créteil
Laurent Bonnefoy, Chargé de recherche au CNRS/CERI, Docteur en Science politique, mention Relations internationales, Sciences Po
Frédéric Charillon, Professeur des universités, Université d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand
Ariel Colonomos, Directeur de recherches, CNRS-CERI
Marie-Françoise Durand, Professeur agrégée de géographie, Sciences Po
Pierre Grosser, Professeur agrégé d'histoire contemporaine, Docteur en histoire, Sciences Po
Franck Latty, Professeur de Droit public, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité
Christian Lequesne, Professeur titulaire, Sciences Po
Marieke Louis, Maître de conférences en Science politique, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Grenoble
Ivan Manokha, Docteur en Relations internationales, enseignant-chercheur associé au CERI
Mohammad Mahmoud Mohamedou, Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva)
Delphine Placidi-Frot, Professeur des universités, Université Paris-Sud 
Karoline Postel-Vinay, Directeur de recherche, Sciences Po CERI
Frédéric Ramel, Professeur des universités à Sciences Po
Charles Tenenbaum, Maître de conférences en Science politique, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille
Catherine de Wenden, Directrice de recherche CNRS-CERI, Sciences Po

Le programme accueille également des professeurs invités venus des principales universités étrangères qui offrent chaque année un cours et/ou un séminaire à l'attention des étudiants en seconde année du Master: K. Olsen et P. Burgess (Oslo), W. Carlsnaes (Uppsala), A. Williams (St Andrews), E. Luck (Columbia), T. Inogushi (Tokyo), N. Lebow (Dartmouth College), etc.

Administrative Officer : Maud BIANCARDI


=> Consultez la rubrique Admission en 1ère année de thèse

Les financements

Des aides à la mobilité sont proposées aux doctorants pour participer à des colloques et pour effectuer des travaux de terrain et des séjours d'études à l'étranger.

=> Consultez la rubrique Droits de scolarité et financements

Contacts and students reception

Professeur Guillaume Devin, directeur du Programme doctoral (Ph.D.) en Science politique, mention Relations internationales.

Administrative Officer : Maud Biancardi
Tél : 33 (0)1 45 49 50 91
Fax : +33 (0)1 42 22 40 26

Student reception: Ecole Doctorale de Sciences Po - 199, boulevard Saint-Germain - 75007 Paris (3rd floor) - Office 328 – From Monday to Thursday, 9h30 to 11h30 and 14h30 to 16h30 – Friday from 9h30 to 12h30