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

Last Update: 
19 September 2022

How to choose your refereeS

The academic references are very important to us, therefore you should choose your referees with the utmost care. They 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.

Do not choose someone only because of their title or position. What matters most is that they know you well and is able to vouch for your skills and personal qualities. 

Your referees should not be personal acquaintances. They 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 persons you choose are prone to provide a favorable reference. Take the time to meet with them in order to explain the reasons and motivation behind your choice. This will also give you the opportunity to remind them of the features of your personality or experience that you would to highlight, in order for the letter to be as detailed and accurate as possible.

Practical information

After you enter the information about your referees, the page is marked as complete. 

Once you enter your referee’s contact information and save the page, an email is automatically sent out, inviting them to complete a reference form. It is your responsibility to make sure that your referees have received the email and that they fill the form in due time. You can follow up with your referees 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 referees are unable to use the online form, and only in this exceptional case, they 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 referees have sufficient time to reply.


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

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