Preparing for the Sciences Po admissions interview

Each year, half of new students at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College come from outside France. International applicants go through a two-step procedure. First, they complete and submit an online application. Based on this application, certain candidates are then pre-selected for an interview, which can be held in various cities around the world. 

The interview is divided into two parts: applicants are given 30 minutes to review a press article before providing a structured analysis in a 10-minute presentation. A 20-minute discussion ensues during which the panel will ask questions regarding the article and other more general questions. Here are a few tips to prepare for this interview.

Keep up with current events

The admissions panel expects you to be well informed about what is going on in your country, your region, and in Europe. They are looking for you to take a critical approach to the news you read or hear.

Prepare for the text presentation

Work on your critical thinking skills, your ability to analyse and interpret information in order to situate a text in its proper context and construct an organised presentation (introduction, thesis and conclusion). Bear in mind you will have 30 minutes to prepare your presentation and 10 minutes to deliver it.

Practice your public speaking skills

Have a friend, family member or teacher ask you some questions about current events, Sciences Po and/or yourself. Pay attention to your body language, speak distinctly in a confident voice and ask for feedback.

Get to know Sciences Po

The admissions panel expects you to be familiar with Sciences Po, the programmes we offer, our learning and teaching methods and student life on the campus you are applying for.

Arrive in advance, or at least on time

Make your travel or commute arrangements well in advance. Plan to arrive at least 15 or 20 minutes early. Dress for confidence and comfort. Bring a photo ID, your invitation to the interview, some paper, a pen, a bottle of water, and a wristwatch since you will not be able to access your phone during the preparation time or the interview.

And finally, stay calm and relaxed!

The purpose of the interview is both to assess whether you suit our programmes and study environment and to see if we are the right choice for your future plans and expectations.

Want to find out more about the admissions interview?

“For the right students, it is actually a fun exercise”. Listen to undergraduate student Vu Tran and Assistant Dean Kyle Schneider talking about the admissions interview at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College.

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