Undergraduate Admissions for applicants from foreign secondary schools: the academic reference

Last Update: 
12 October 2020

How to choose your referee

The academic reference letter is very important to us, therefore you should choose your referee with the utmost care. Do not choose someone only because of his/her title or position. What matters most is that he or she knows you well and is able to vouch for your skills and personal qualities. He or she must have assessed you on an academic level (written assignments in particular) and must be able to evaluate you in an impartial and accurate manner.

Your referee should not be a personal acquaintance. He or she must be a teacher, preferably from one of your main classes or a subject taught at Sciences Po. Do not choose a language or physical education teacher, as indications of your skills in those fields are provided elsewhere in your application. If you attended several schools during the last two years, you might want to add optional referees from each one of them.

Make sure that the person you choose is prone to provide a favourable reference. Take the time to meet with him/her in order to explain the reasons and motivation behind your choice. This will also give you the opportunity to remind him/her of the features of your personality or experience that you would like him/her to highlight, in order for the letter to be as detailed and accurate as possible.

Practical information

After you enter the information about your referee, the page is marked as complete. However, you may still add a second referee if you wish to do so.

Once you enter your referee’s contact information and save the page, an email is automatically sent out, inviting him/her to complete a reference form. It is your responsibility to make sure that your referee has received the email and that he or she fills the form in due time. You can follow up with your referee through your application platform.

Reference letters may be written in French or in English.

Please note

If you copy/paste the email address of your referee in the space provided, make sure that you do not space before providing the contact information. Failure to enter the information correctly would disable the link which is later sent to the referee. Once the page is submitted, registered information cannot be modified.

If your referee is unable to use the online form, and only in this exceptional case, he or she should contact us to request the Word version of this form. The completed form should then be returned to us directly, in a confidential manner and from the referee’s professional address, through our contact form.


We kindly suggest that you start your application by filling in the reference section. This will ensure that your referee has sufficient time to reply.


Applicants cannot view the reference letter. It is strictly confidential and will only be read by those responsible for assessing your application.

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