Guidelines for minors

Legal framework

Since 1974, the age of civil, political and legal majority in France is set at 18 years.

It corresponds to the age at which an individual is considered by law to be responsible, that is, capable of entering into a contract or other legally binding agreements (subject to exceptions). Prior to this, the individual is considered to be a minor.

In France an individual must be of the age of majority to:

  • vote;
  • purchase cigarettes at a tobacconist's;
  • purchase alcohol (Evin Law 1991);
  • open a current bank account without the consent or the presence of their legal representative (parent or guardian);
  • leave French territory unaccompanied (minors should be in possession of an authorisation to travel abroad signed by their legal representative, parent or guardian);
  • enter a nightclub unaccompanied (in theory, as in practice this can be tolerated depending on the establishment).

Certain specific rights are recognised without regard to age, such as the right to:

  • purchase condoms;
  • be prescribed and purchase contraceptives;
  • receive emergency contraception;
  • obtain a voluntary interruption of pregnancy;
  • belong to a trade union;
  • act as a delegate;
  • open a savings account without the intervention of a legal representative (parent or guardian).

Welcome guidelines and procedures for minors

Minors may be underage students from France or elsewhere who wish to register for the 1st or 2nd year of undergraduate studies at Sciences Po. 

Welcome procedure

During the Open Days organised on each campus, the academic and administrative teams are available to welcome parents and give advice about procedures at the institution.

Students under 18 years of age will receive additional support during the integration weeks which take place at the beginning of each semester.

A specific support system will also be put in place by management, with particular regard to administrative and practical issues, such as available accommodation for underage students (via the CROUS but not the Cité Universitaire Internationale in Paris), as well as trips or travel which may be scheduled during their studies. Please note that, at Sciences Po, the Maif en civil responsibility insurance is open to all students.

Required documents for the completion of administrative registration

Administrative registration is a procedure which appertains to the terms and conditions of exercising parental authority (Titre IX of French Civil Code – in French only). Underage students must include in their administrative registration file a completed document authorising registration of a minor. This document must be signed by the student's legal representative (father, mother or legal guardian). It is valid for the academic year.*

Find out more

Guidelines for minors wishing to study at Sciences Po (PDF, 33 Ko)