International graduate admissions: academic and professional references

Last Update: 
30 July 2020

Academic and/or professional references required

We advise you to start your application by filling out the reference section. This will ensure referees have adequate time to reply and fill out the recommendation form.

Academic and/or professional references are an essential part of your application. Without these at the deadline of the programme, your application will be deemed incomplete.

Make sure you check the specific requirements of your programme(e), as the number and kind of references required can vary from one programme to another.

As a candidate, you commit to ensuring that the recommendations completed by your referees in your Sciences Po application are sincere and accurate.

Any doubt as to the authenticity of their drafting may lead to the invalidation of these recommendations in your application file and to the deletion of the related referee account. Please make sure that your referees are aware of it when you ask them to refer you.

Choosing your referees

The references provided in the application form matter greatly to us; you should therefore take the utmost care when choosing your referees.

We therefore recommend that you make arrangements with your referees beforehand and make sure they will be able to respond to your request to fill out the recommendation form sent by Sciences Po in a timely manner. Bear in mind that your referees receive many such requests.

Make sure your referees know the deadline to fill out the forms and in what language they must do so. The references can be written in French or English, if you are applying to a Master programme. 

However, the references must be written in English if you are applying to a dual degree programme or to both a Master programme and a dual degree programme. 

Make sure: 

  • You choose someone who knows you well and who can evaluate your skills and personal qualities. Do not choose someone only because of their title or position. 
  • The referees you have chosen are prompt to give a positive reference. Use the time to meet your referees in order to explain the reasons and motivation behind your choice. Use this time to remind them of the strong elements of your personality, interpersonal skills, leadership qualities and/or of your experience that you would like them to highlight.
  • The referees must have assessed you academically (written work in particular) and must be able to evaluate you in an impartial and precise manner. Please note that referees must be teachers or immediate superiors. Academic advisors will not be accepted. References from personal acquaintances will not be taken into account.
  • If your referees are teachers, choose those who have taught the main disciplines you have studied or disciplines that are taught at Sciences Po. Do not choose language teachers, as indications of your language level are provided elsewhere in your application. If you have been enrolled in several institutions in the last two years, it is recommended you choose referees from each one of them. 
  • We expect a detailed assessment (10 lines minimum).

Please note 

You can remove or add a referee until your application has been submitted.

Confidentiality

Candidates are not allowed to view their reference letters. They are strictly confidential and will only be read by those people responsible for assessing your application.

As a candidate, you commit to ensuring that the recommendations completed by your referees in your Sciences Po application are sincere and accurate.

Any doubt as to the authenticity of their drafting may lead to the invalidation of these recommendations in your application file and to the deletion of the related referee account. Please make sure that your referees are aware of it when you ask them to refer you.

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