Undergraduate Admissions for applicants from the French secondary schools: the Equal Opportunity Programme (CEP)

Last Update: 
3 December 2020
Widening social diversity

At the start of the 2000s, Sciences Po decided to take action against the lack of social and cultural inclusion in the recruitment processes for the most competitive institutions of higher education in France. With the aim of diversifying its own student body, in 2001 Sciences Po launched its Equal Opportunity Programme (CEP), a selective admissions pathway targeting students from some of the most disadvantaged schools in France. Today, the programme works with 106 schools across France and French overseas territories, who help prepare, support and shortlist candidates for Sciences Po.

A major aspect of Sciences Po’s commitment to widening social diversity, the Equal Opportunity Programme is currently undergoing an ambitious redesign. After 20 years of existence and with more than 2,000 secondary school students accepted, this trailblazing policy is being extended and centralised. It will now be fully integrated in Sciences Po’s unified admissions procedure, the conditions of which, in many ways, it helped to inspire: from the consideration of candidates’ personal backgrounds to the image response activity of the interview.

Candidates from CEP schools apply through the Parcoursup platform and pass the same evaluations as all other candidates studying for the French Baccalaureate, but are admitted through a specific admissions pathway. The application phase allows for their specific academic background and training as part of the Equal Opportunity Programme to be taken into account.


You are eligible to apply through the CEP admissions procedure if:

  • You have been a student at one of the participating secondary schools (PDF) since the Seconde year of the lycée.
  • You participated in the workshop organised by your school.
  • Your school confirms your eligibility to apply through the CEP admissions pathway.
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