- Students listening to inaugural lecture in amphitheatre @Judith Azema
On your marks, get set… the start of the new academic year is upon us! Some students will be taking their first steps at Sciences Po as freshmen, others will be returning to familiar ground. Like every year, a back-to-school ceremony is held on each campus.
Among the novelties for the start of term at the Undergraduate College is the creation of an ‘Ocean Series’ dedicated to a maritime theme, piloted on three campuses: Poitiers, Le Havre and Menton. The blue wave hits with an inaugural lecture by oceanographer Francois Sarano on the Poitiers campus, and then with Anne Cullere, Vice Admiral of the French Navy, who will discuss “Ruling the Seas, our concern, our future” in Le Havre.
On the Paris campus, the new recruits will spend their week preparing a debate simulation on biodiversity, and attending lectures by anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour on “Politics of the Earth”, and by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climte expert, on the transition to renewable energy.
- Tuesday, 27 August: term starts at the Reims campus.
- Wednesday, 28 August: term starts for 1st year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Bruno Latour, anthropologist and sociologist - Read our article "It's no longer a question of ecology, but of civilisation"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts for 2nd year students at the Paris campus. Inaugural lecture by Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climate expert - Read our article "CO2 or GDP: The choice is ours"
- Thursday, 29 August: term starts at the Nancy campus. Inaugural lecture by Dr. Viviane Dittrich,Deputy Director of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy on the "Multilateral Vision of the EU".
- Tuesday, 3 September: term starts at the Le Havre campus. Inaugural lecture by Anne Cullerre,Vice Admiral of the French Navy.
- Thursday, 5 September: term starts at the Poitiers campus. Inaugural lecture by François Sarano, oceanographer.
- Monday, 9 September: term starts at the Menton campus.
- Thursday, 13 September: term starts at the Dijon campus. Inaugural lecture by Aleksander Smolar, journalist and political scientist.
- Sciences Po Updates Its Admissions for 2021
Starting in 2021, Sciences Po will update its admissions procedure in order to re-align with our world-class international partners, and for all candidates to be evaluated in the same manner and on the same criteria.
Applying for the Sciences Po Bachelor’s degree: 1 procedure for all
As of 2021, all candidates, whether French or international, will follow the same procedure when applying to the Sciences Po undergraduate college, and will be evaluated on the same criteria. (Previously, there has been a French procedure and an international procedure).
The selection criteria can be divided into four dimensions:
- Continuous assessment over the 3 final years of high school
- The average grade on written exams of the Baccalaureat
- The candidate’s profile and motivations
- An oral interview
Above academic excellence, “soft skills” will be more heavily emphasised in the selection process - allowing us to better identify candidates’ talent, whatever their background may be.
An admissions procedure that reflects Sciences Po's academic excellence and social openness
Like our international world-class university partners, this new admissions procedure aims to detect talent in our candidates and further strengthen the social, academic, and geographic diversity of our student body. Students will be assessed on their academic performance, on their experiences and civic engagements, as well as through an interview, in order to perceive candidates’ personality and identify their perseverance, motivation, and commitment.
The emphasis placed on soft skills is more relevant than ever, and Sciences Po wishes to go even further in recruiting the talents that our world will need tomorrow: talents that are open-minded, quick to adapt and capable of changing perspectives, able to communicate efficiently and manage conflict, time, and stress.
An admissions procedure that aims to attract all talents
This reform will allow Sciences Po to make our selection criteria more transparent, more efficient and more just in order to attract all talents. Developed in collaboration with researchers, professors and academic advisors, this update to Sciences Po’s admissions procedures aims to democratise access to our institution and diversify our candidates while continuing to raise the bar of excellence.
Studying at Sciences Po thanks to scholarships and the Equal Opportunity Programme
Sciences Po is committing to recruit a minimum of 30% of scholarship students in each new class. Sciences Po is also extending the Equal Opportunity Programme by doubling the number of partner high schools involved in our programme.
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- Portrait of Memphis Blue ©University of Sydney - International House
Memphis Blue is a student in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. At the beginning of 2019, she was awarded the Davis Projects for Peace, which she used to launch the initiative “A Different View” in New South Wales, Australia. In this interview, she tells us about the project and her plans to expand it further.
You are studying in the dual degree programme between Sciences Po and the University of Sydney. What led you to choose this programme and how do the experiences at these two universities complement each other?
I chose the dual degree programme as it allowed me to combine my wide range of interests into one degree. I always knew I wanted to study Arabic and the Middle East, but at the same time I loved learning French and wanted to study different religions. The wide range of subjects provided at Sciences Po’s campus in Menton gave me a breadth of understanding and has subsequently helped me in narrowing down my interests at the University of Sydney.
At the beginning of this year you were awarded the Davis Projects for Peace. Can you tell us about this grant and how it led you to launch your project "A Different View”?
The Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative connected to International Houses Worldwide where students are supported in starting an initiative for peace in any part of the world. A Different View is an organisation which facilitates talks given by individuals from refugee backgrounds. In these talks at high schools and community groups, the speakers explain where they come from and their experiences, giving participants the opportunity to understand to a greater extent what it means to be a refugee. The money from the grant has allowed me to undertake these talks at more than 10 schools so far and establish A Different View as an organisation, which will hopefully continue into the future.
What are the greatest challenges that you have come across while working on this project?
So far, the greatest challenge associated with A Different View has been learning how to establish it as an association. There is a lot of paperwork involved to allow it to operate and I feel like I have learnt so much going through this process. Recently A Different View became registered as a charity, which was fantastic, as that had been a long and repetitive application procedure.
What have you learned through this project? What has it brought you?
For me, the best part of A Different View is when students come up to the speaker after the talk has finished, and thank them personally for sharing their story. Many of the students have said that it has helped them understand so much more about the experiences of refugees. This is the most rewarding part of the programme, as it demonstrates to me the need for these kinds of activities to provide people the opportunity to learn about refugee experiences.
What ambitions do you have for the future, for "A Different View" or another project?
In terms of A Different View, I hope to continue going to high schools in New South Wales Australia, and talking to more students about refugees. It would be fantastic if the organisation could grow larger, and branch further from schools into community groups, especially in rural areas of New South Wales. I plan to apply for government endorsement for A Different View, as this would mean that more schools would be attracted to the programme and request it to come to them.
- Open House Days 2019
Visit Sciences Po and discover our Bachelor's degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences! You can study the Sciences Po undergraduate programme in one of our 7 campuses all over France. Get to know the programme, courses and all the benefits of studying at one of France's leading universities.
- Africa Week on our campus in Reims ©Sciences Po
The 2019 U-Multirank has placed Sciences Po in the Top 25 Universities for Student Mobility. Student mobility is an integral part of Sciences Po’s core values and curriculum, with a mandatory year spent abroad as an undergraduate, but also in most master’s programmes.
Thanks to a network of nearly 480 partner universities, Sciences Po sends and receives students from all over the world, creating a multicultural community of open-minded, outward-looking students. 25 languages are taught at Sciences Po, and over 150 nationalities are represented in our student body. Thanks to the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints - whether it be amongst professors or students, inside and outside of the classroom - studying social sciences at Sciences Po provides a global understanding of the world we live in.
*U Multirank was launched in 2014 by the European Commission as a means to compare universities based on a number of different criteria, making it an interesting alternative to most well-known higher education rankings.
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- Arturo Garcia Gonzalez @Judith Azema / Sciences Po
Arturo is a 2nd year undergraduate student studying on the Poitiers campus. He was born in France but has lived the majority of his life in Mexico. He got his baccalaureate from a Franco-Mexican school, and he chose Sciences Po because social engagement is an important part of the curriculum. Read the interview with Arturo who is engaged and committed, well beyond the confines of the campus, to mental health issues...
Can you tell us about your civic engagement?
This year, I am doing my community internship at the National Association of Alcohol and Addiction Prevention. We work on various projects focusing mostly on preventing and reducing risks, such as workshops on narcotics in the Vivonne prison. Our flagship project this year, run by the Regional Health Agency, is to develop a network of “student resources”, who will be given psycho-social training. These students will serve as links between the student community and Public Health Authorities, with regards to mental health issues.
How do you plan to train these students? How will they be selected?
We help them develop their psycho-social skills and teach them ways to deal with student welfare issues, for example interpersonal relationships, coping with stress, and managing emotions. The content of the training programme is in the development stage, and we hope to put it into place in time for the start of the 2019 academic year. Student mentors will be chosen according to their involvement in university life (health or social work, clinical experience, etc.) The University of Poitiers is a pilot site for this project which, if successful, we would like to deploy on a national scale.
You seem really committed to the cause. Beyond helping your community, what does it represent for you?
I feel that suicide is completely overlooked by the media, despite the fact that there are a million suicides a year. It is still a taboo subject. The National Observatory for Student Life reports many cases of student depression and attempted suicide. Students often struggle to find someone to talk to about their problems. Training students so that they can help their peers allows us to maintain the Institution’s Duty of Care, which people often do not know about. In addition, it is much easier to speak to another student, in an informal context, about complicated situations. This all helps to remove the controversy surrounding suicide.
Is this your first experience in this sector?
No, last year I did a 7 week internship in Bogota that allowed me to experience a range of institutions. First of all, I worked for a private foundation which helps young people, mostly from more privileged families, to overcome drug addictions. I then joined a public foundation which helps people in situations of poverty and social deprivation, which gave me a completely different perspective. Finally, I spent some time in the psychiatric ward of a public hospital in the south of Bogota, and at the National Institute of Prisons and Penitentiaries. Through all of this, I gained a more global vision, which I hope will help me with our current project which concerns about 25,000 students.
What’s next for you?
I am going to spend my 3rd year in the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania, in preparation for a master’s degree in management. Obviously, I will continue to be committed to causes I am involved in. I have already noticed that the University of Pennsylvania offers medical training: I will definitely try to make the most of my time there and take part in some mental health projects.
- The entrance to the new Poitiers campus ©Sylvain Rochas
Since 2001 Sciences Po has had a campus in Poitiers, but the undergraduate college was pushed for space at the Hôtel Chaboureau. There was a 15% increase in students in the space of 5 years, with the attractiveness of the Latin-American programme making new premises necessary. This became a reality in September 2018 at the heart of a new site built in the 18th century and reinvented for the 21st. Watch the guided tour on the occasion of the official inauguration which takes places on Wednesday, 10th April.
It’s not the first time that it has been a “school”
Built at the start of the 18th century, the former Jacobin convent occupied one of the buildings. The new campus reconnects the site with its educational vocation. Former home of the University of Poitiers, the institution created in the Middle Ages by clergymen, successfully survived the ups and downs of history right up to the French Revolution. In 1789, the convent became the seat of the Jacobin club (not to be confused with the previous tenants of the buildings), then barracks and a prison. In 1842, a philanthropist bought the property and transformed it into the Ecole Saint-Vincent de Paul. The owners were no longer religious, but the educative vocation tied in with the building remained. In 1902, the establishment became a boarding school and is renamed Pensionnat Saint-Jean-Baptiste de La Salle. It closed in 1905 and then reopened again, then returned as collège Saint-Stanislas, which it remains until 1980. Acquired and converted by the Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the site welcomed the ESCEM up until 2017. Thanks to the renovations financed by the region and the town, it once again becomes a “school” but this time, of higher education. Read below for a short summary of the history of this exceptional place, 23, rue Jean Jaurès.
Poitiers is the new Paris
By moving to this new site, designed specifically for Sciences Po, we have conceived an “ideal campus” for the needs of students and instructors of the 21st century. First of all, students have more space: there are 3 lecture halls whereas we could only fit 90 students in a lecture on the old site, and 10 classrooms instead of 5. But there is the added benefit of more spaces for other purposes: an art room, a cafeteria, associative offices, coworking spaces, common room etc. The classrooms are equipped with the latest in teaching technology, and students now have access to a health centre in dedicated premises.
The site is thus a pilot, which prefigures other campus improvements, and notably the new site l’Artillerie in Paris, which will open its door in 2021-2022. The signposting, which is entirely accessible, is another example of this.
“Meet you at Mafalda”
Yes, the student common room has been baptised “Espace Mafalda”. But we are not called Sciences Po for no reason…The famous comic character, created by Argentine artist Quino, is very popular in Latin America, and has a political aspect to her. Her editor, Julian Delgado, was tortured and killed.
In total, eight famous personalities from the Latin American and Iberian world give their names to spaces on campus. All of which were chosen from amongst student suggestions:
- Gabriela Mistral lecture theatre - a Chilean poet, the first Latin American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1889-1957)
- Rubén Darío lecture theatre - Nicaraguan poet, diplomat, and journalist (1867-1916)
- Paulo Freire lecture theatre - Brazilian academic (1921-1997)
- Gabriel García Márquez Library - Colombian novelist, short story writer, journalist, and political activist, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 (1927-2014)
- Cafeteria Mercedes Sosa, Argentinian singer (1935-2009)
- Luis Buñuel videoStudio - Spanish director and scriptwriter
- Frida Kahlo art studio - Mexican artist and painter (1907-1954)
- Ana de Castro Osorio room - Portuguese writer and politician (1872- 1935)
A Global Campus
With 30 different nationalities out of 187 students, the Poitiers campus in parallel with the other delocalised campuses of the Undergraduate college, is both international and anchored in the local framework. 60% of students are international - Brazilians and Spanish being the biggest contingent. But since 2007 the campus has admitted 950 students from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Students from all horizons, are both engaged in their local communities and fortunate enough to meet leaders from all over the world (since 2013, the heads of state of Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Ecuador have visited). These students, once they graduate, do not hesitate to become ambassadors of their campus the world over.
Cohabitation with the Region
The campus building also hosts the offices of 30 personnel from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. And with good reason too! The acquisition of the site was in part financed by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the deparmtent of Vienne and the urban community of Grand Poitiers. The restoration of the building has been overseen by the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region since July 2017 and co-financed by Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Grand Poitiers. Sciences Po furnished the buildings with the help of the Region and Grand Poitiers.
- 187 students
- 100 instructors each year
- 2,400 m2
- 15 classrooms
- 30 nationalities represented
- 58% international
- 25.5% scholarship holders
- +15% intake in the past 5 years
- Portrait of Charlotte ©Sciences Po
Charlotte Nørlund-Matthiessen did her undergraduate studies on the Dijon campus, which hosts the European specialisation programme with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe, before enrolling in the European Affairs Master’s programme at Sciences Po. Since graduating in 2012, she has worked on multiple projects inspired by her drive to build a stronger Europe. Today she works as a Parliamentary Assistant for a French MEP at the European Parliament in Brussel
- Master in European Affairs
- School of Public Affairs
- "We must fight to defend Europe": in 2016, European Parliament President Martin Schulz came to Sciences Po
- Two students at the Vienna Opera House ©Sciences Po
Every year for the past 15 years, undergraduate students of the Nancy campus have had the opportunity to go on one-week study visits to Vienna, Berlin, and Brussels. The goal of these visits is to give them a glimpse into how European and International institutions work behind the scenes.
The Nancy campus hosts the Europe & Franco-German concentration programmes; thus these cities are of particular interest for students. This year, it was the first-year students who travelled to Vienna, whilst the second year students went to Berlin.
The five-day programme was divided as such:
- On Monday: visit of the Opera.
- On Tuesday, students visited the Diplomatische Akademie (the Viennese equivalent of PSIA) and the University of Vienna, where they listened to a social democrat politician speak about Austrian political life.
- On Wednesday, students visited the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, created in 1975 to ease tensions during the Cold War).
- Thursday, a visit was organised to the Viennese Headquarters of the United Nations, complete with meetings with French and German ambassadors at the United Nations Vienna base.
- On Friday morning, students got to peak inside the OPEC, The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Outside of this rich programme, students were also given free time to explore. Some visited the cities’ numerous museums and art galleries, filled with large collections of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Others returned to the opera to see a performance.
- Caroline a student participating in a community internship ©Sciences Po
Since 2018, Sciences Po requires all of its undergraduate students to participate in the Civic Learning Programme, a compulsory civic engagement over the three years of the Bachelor’s degree. This Programme offers them the chance to learn and understand citizenship and social responsibility through a community internship. Here, two students share their testimonies about their internships and how this has benefited them.
Caroline Pernes, in her first-year internship, worked in a prison and organised a recycling programme with the help of the prisoners. Michaël Saillot helped to organise leisure activities for residents of a retirement home.
These internships show students the value of working in the community and gets them to take social responsibility. Students use their pre-existing academic knowledge and put it into practice in the real world. The community work is usually a month long and carried out over summer. These community projects are assessed in final year, through an analytical report.
Be it focused on education, the environment, culture, social justice, or health, the first-years have engaged with their communities and gained experience in a wide range of sectors. To help students find their projects, an internship forum with partner institutions and associations took place on the 25th January on the Paris campus.
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- Students posing for a selfie on the Pont des Arts ©Didier Pazery / Sciences Po
The Summer School is an opportunity for students from around the world to discover Sciences Po over the course of a summer on our Paris and Reims campuses. Here’s what you need to know before starting your application!
In 2019, the Summer School offers two programmes:
University Programme for students and graduates
- Location: Paris Campus
- Programme Dates: Two four-week sessions: 3-28 June & 2-26 July 2019. Held on the Paris campus in the heart of the historic Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood, the University Programme proposes two academic tracks in social sciences and French language. Students choose a core class from one track, plus an optional elective class; both tracks are offered during each session.
- Students in the social sciences track delve into one of Sciences Po’s core disciplines, with courses in international relations, political science, economics, public policy, sociology, history and more. Courses are taught in English by Sciences Po professors.
- Students in the French language track are placed at one of six levels of French, from complete beginner to advanced. At all levels, students take a variety of courses to reinforce language learning while benefiting from immersion in Paris.
- Optional elective classes, open to students in both tracks, allow participants to combine the study of French language and social sciences.
Pre-College Programme for high school students
- Location: Reims and Paris campuses
- Programme Dates: One three-week session, 7-27 July 2019
The Pre-College Programme is a unique opportunity for secondary school students to discover university life and academics at Sciences Po. Master classes, taught entirely in English by Sciences Po professors and researchers, address current international issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, while elective classes allow students to delve into one of Sciences Po’s core disciplines (international relations, political science, law, etc.) or to study French as a foreign language.
The first two weeks of the Pre-College Programme take place on Sciences Po’s campus in the historic city of Reims, in the heart of France’s Champagne region. During the final week in Paris, students take classes on Sciences Po’s Paris campus and explore the capital’s landmarks and cultural sites.
- Gaelle Fournier at the Missouri School of Journalism ©Gaelle Fournier
At Sciences Po, students automatically spend their third year abroad. It’s a time for students to get to know a new culture, practice another language, expand their skill set, and open their minds. Gaëlle Fournier, who spent two years studying on our campus in Reims, chose to spend her third year at the Missouri School of Journalism, one of the world’s oldest dedicated journalism institutions. In her first term, she won the School’s prestigious undergraduate photojournalism contest, along with two other students. We asked her about her experience on exchange in Missouri and her plans when she returns to Sciences Po.
- Discover the Undergraduate College
- Sciences Po School of Journalism
- “Succeeding in a different academic environment”: Study Abroad at UCL, London
- Sciences Po's girls rugby team ©Sira Thierij
Tabea Biesemeier, a student from Germany, sees joining Sciences Po’s all girls rugby team as the best decision she made while an undergraduate on the campus of Nancy. Playing rugby has allowed her to practice her French and meet new people, from Sciences Po as well as outside. Now enrolled in a Master’s in International Security at the Paris School of International Affairs, Tabea is still an active member of the team, training alongside 50 other female students. Watch the video.
- All you need to know about the Sciences Po Undergraduate College
On Monday 26 November 2018, undergraduate students and staff went live to answer all your questions and queries on the Sciences Po Undergraduate College. What and where will I study? How and when do I apply? Find all this out and more by watching the Q&A replay below.
- Eve Isambourg, Ocean Ambassador ©Eve Isambourg
This week is Oceans Week at Sciences Po and alongside a series of events on the topic, we spoke to Eve Isambourg, a third year undergraduate student and ocean activist. After two years of study at the Sciences Po Paris campus, Eve spent her third year abroad raising awareness of oceanic issues around the world. The last stop on her mission: a conference of the UN in New York.
“If someone had told me,"Eve, this summer you will be speaking at the UN to defend the ocean," I would never have believed it. But, it turns out that the most unexpected paths open up to those who fight to achieve it, and then, meetings multiply, opportunities arise, projects are born, and the virtuous circle is engaged.”
A few months ago, Eve Isambourg was still a second-year student taking her exams in environmental governance and oceanic issues. Last May she decided that she would spend her third year abroad on a mission she would dedicate to the planet. It was on Twitter that Eve launched the #IspeakBlueToo movement, in support of International Ocean Day, on 8 June, 2018. Several thousand people raised their voices for a global cause, to stand up for the blue planet that we inhabit. Today the #IspeakBlueToo movement is a growing human wave, a community of actors who are committed to protecting the oceans.
"When we hear that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, yes, that worries me. But above all, it makes me want to raise my voice and take action!"
Of French origin, Eve grew up in Mauritius, and it is there that she first got involved with humanitarian work, by working as an intern for the local Let's Do It Foundation. She was put in charge of communications and public relations for the WorldCleanUpDay 2018, an event that received international attention on 15 September. More than 15 million people, gloves and bags in hand, united to clean up the planet. In Mauritius, more than 8000 people committed to more than 70 clean-ups, a first for the small Indian Ocean island! During that time, Eve received a phone call announcing that she had been selected to become an "Ocean & Climate Youth Ambassador" aboard the Peace Boat.
"After some internet research, it did not take me very long to understand that I needed to seize this unique opportunity! I am lucky to have a family and parents who support me in my projects and believe in me. So a few days later, I took off for Stockholm.” The programme: crossing the Atlantic, from Stockholm to New York, with stops in Copenhagen, Bergen, Reykjavik, and Halifax. There were seven young ambassadors of the Pacific Islands, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, there to raise their voices, to fight for justice. "When water rises, erosion is visible to the naked eye in front of our homes, so questioning climate change is not an option!"
On board, these young ambassadors had several jobs: "closed-session" discussions amongst themselves on various topics (global warming, coral bleaching, the erosion of biodiversity, geostrategy of the seas, plastic pollution...); presentations and conferences for the passengers of the ship (more than 1000 passengers travel on the Peace Boat, which travels around the world in three and a half months.) On top of this, at each of the various ports on the journey, volunteers held meetings with local actors, both public and private, engaged in the fight for a healthy environment and a clean and preserved ocean. "The experience was enriching on both a human and intellectual level. With no internet connection for three weeks, I enjoyed living the moment, learning more and more, sharing, meeting, discovering, it was truly awe-inspiring... This voyage opened my eyes; I met dozens of positive and committed people! I am extremely grateful." After docking their ship at its final wharf, the Ocean Ambassadors set off for the UN with a mission: to speak at the High-Level Political Forum conference. There, the youth of today, adults of tomorrow, raised their voices in an urgent invitation to act and unite.
Fint out more
- Sarah Indahy Malgasy student ©Sciences Po
As of 2017, Sciences Po and the Mastercard Foundation provide full scholarships to students with great academic potential and limited financial resources. Over six years, this program will support 120 students from Sub-Saharan Africa admitted to its undergraduate, graduate and summer programs. This exceptional scholarship program aims to recruit talented students who aspire to shape the future of the African continent and help them develop their full potential.
- Student from the Sciences Po Menton Campus ©Sciences Po
It’s the start of the academic year at Sciences Po, which means welcoming another cohort from across the globe to each of the seven undergraduate campuses. What do our students think of their new university? Why did they choose Sciences Po and what do they hope to achieve before the end of their studies? Hear their responses.
The Undergraduate College
Sciences Po offers a three-year Bachelor of Arts degree with a multidisciplinary foundation in the humanities and social sciences and an emphasis on civic, linguistic, artistic and digital education. Undergraduates spend their first two years on one of Sciences Po’s seven campuses, at Dijon, Le Havre, Nancy, Menton, Paris, Poitiers, and Reims, before pursuing their third year at any of its 470 partner universities abroad. They can also opt to spend their time abroad completing an internship.
On each of the campuses, undergraduate students are introduced to the disciplines and methods central to Sciences Po’s pedagogy: economics, history, humanities, law, political science, and sociology. Certain courses are related to the regional focus of the campus.
Find out more
- Rosalyn Jeffries, dual degree student ©Sciences Po
Undergraduate College student Rosalyn Jeffries chose the dual degree between Sciences Po and the University of California, Berkeley to get the “best of both worlds”: a strong base in the social sciences with an international exposure and a precise geographic focus, enriched by a traditional American college experience.
The Dual BA degree with University of California, Berkeley
Students spend two years at Sciences Po, on the Reims, Menton or Le Havre Campus and two years at UC Berkeley. Students focus on the social sciences at Sciences Po, and are free to choose their major at UC Berkeley. The Programme is in English with no prior study of French required.
Find out more
- Agathe Grégoire, overseas student at University College London ©Agathe Grégoire
Agathe Grégoire has just returned from her third year abroad at University College London, where she received the John Pencavel Prize for her outstanding performance in Economics. Here is her interview on her time spent at UCL and her plans for the future.
Sciences Po and University College London have been partner universities since 2011. Today, the Dual BA degree between Sciences Po and UCL is one of the most attractive programmes for students. UCL is also the most requested exchange programme for Sciences Po students' third year abroad, with 6 exchange agreements: ESPS, Arts & Sciences, Anthropology, Economics, Urban Planning, Education & Social Policy.
What motivated you to study abroad at UCL?
My choice to study at UCL was very rational. The primary goal was to improve my English, as this was my main academic difficulty. I had never had the opportunity to travel, so any English-speaking country seemed perfect for me. I decided to stay in Europe: I am very close to my family, and did not want to spend a year without seeing them at all, which would have been the case if I had chosen to study in a country too far away from France. That's why I decided to spend my year abroad in the UK or in Ireland.
I also wanted to use the year abroad to clarify my professional goals. I was at the time strongly interested in economics, and considering undertaking a career in this field, in the public, private, or research sector. As a result, I wanted to study economics deeply, in a well-known university, so as to ensure this was the right choice to make. The Economics Department of UCL met all these criteria, which is why I applied - and I was lucky enough to be accepted.
How has your education been enriched by the opportunity of studying at both Sciences Po and UCL?
Sciences Po, at least at the Undergraduate College level, is not a professional school, but rather teaches individuals to think critically, and adapt to any kind of professional environment. UCL, on the other hand, offers modules that tend to be more technical, enabling students to define the economic field they wish to enter directly after their studies.
I think studying at Sciences Po has given me the opportunity to discover the most important aspects of every social science, and thereby acquire the cultural background necessary to succeed in most types of jobs at quite a high level of responsibility. This has given me the time to grow, before focusing on my professional goals more specifically. However, as most of the subjects I studied at Sciences Po were incredibly interesting, I completed my two years at the Undergraduate College quite indecisive about my future. My year at UCL has given me the opportunity to attend modules corresponding to actual jobs - Economics of Competition Policy and Regulation, for instance - which allowed me to clarify my professional plans and make a clearer choice for my Master’s degree.
This year abroad has also given me the opportunity to focus on my remaining academic weakness, English, so as to reach, at least to some extent, the level required for the remainder of my studies. In this sense, I have fully reached the goals I set myself for the year abroad.
You have finished the year at UCL receiving the John Pencavel Prize for overall best performance by an overseas student in Economics, what about this achievement has made you most proud?
At first, I was just very surprised. Up until receiving the email from UCL informing me that I had been awarded the John Pencavel Prize, I had never heard of it. Also, throughout my year at UCL, I had had difficulty assessing my level. In the economics department, most modules are assessed during 2 or 3-hours written exams that happen at the end of the semester. As a result, I had no idea of the grades I could expect. At Sciences Po, my highest marks had been in home-written essays. I had studied economics far less than the other students from my modules, and was lacking some important bases - in particular in microeconomics and econometrics. I also didn’t speak English very well. I was therefore expecting to obtain average grades in most modules, and to fail in the hardest ones.
In hindsight, I think I am most proud of having succeeded in an academic environment very different from the one I am used to in France. Receiving the John Pencavel Prize has proved to me that I am able to do well, academically speaking, when competing with students from all over the world in highly technical subjects.
Do you plan to pursue a further focus in economics and do you have any ideas about your future career plans? Will they be in France, or the UK, or somewhere else?
In September I am beginning a Master’s in Public Affairs, in order to join the École Nationale de l'Administration (ENA) and work in the public sector. Beyond this goal, my career plans are still quite unclear. My year at UCL has shown me that I do like applied economics but I am much less interested in pure theory. Furthermore, during the past year, I have really missed the other social sciences I used to study at Sciences Po. Yet, I remain interested in economic matters, and I am currently considering joining the French Cour des Comptes (Court of Auditors), if I succeed in the French civil service entrance examinations.
The only thing I am sure of is that I want to stay in France. I would like to travel across the world in the next few years, but I am very deeply attached to the French culture and way of life. So for the time being, I will stay in Paris, close to my friends and family.
- Director Frédéric Mion and Justice Betty ©Columbia University
The 2018 Columbia University Valedictorian is Justice Betty, a graduate of the Dual BA degree from Sciences Po and Columbia. Watch the speech she gave at commencement (beginning at 1:58:50) and read the interview of an inspiring young citizen.
You have just graduated Valedictorian with a Dual Degree from Sciences Po and Columbia. Can you tell us what has been the most impactful learning experience of your journey so far?
Joining the Dual BA Programme was one of the best decisions I have ever made. At Sciences Po, I learned that life is problématique, and Columbia taught me that there is no royal road. In the past four years, I experienced a great deal of personal and intellectual growth, found lifelong friends and enjoyed all that college should be and more. I chose the Programme for several reasons, but mostly because it would force me to go drastically outside of my comfort zone and explore the unknown. I had never been to France before or lived on my own, and knew very little about Reims. But, in taking this risk to move across the ocean, I, like many of my peers, cultivated a spirit of resilience, curiosity and confidence. Looking ahead, I will use these past four years as a reminder of the value of embracing the uncertain and the necessity of expanding one’s comfort zone whenever possible.
What did you enjoy most about living and studying at Sciences Po in Reims and then at Columbia University in New York?
I loved our campus in Reims and the unique community we made ourselves. Friends quickly became family, and we studied together, travelled together and grew immeasurably close in two short years. Sciences Po is special in that the university brings together a collection of highly motivated students interested in the social sciences and committed to solving some of the world’s toughest challenges, but at the same time, the student body retains a diverse array of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and approaches. This reality fostered an ideal learning environment and a campus that felt like a home for me.
When I moved to New York, Columbia’s twenty-four-hour libraries made me miss our beloved bibliothèque that closed at 20h00, and the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps was a drastic change from my former town that rests every Sunday. But, studying at Columbia was a perfect mix of collegiate experience with exposure to a world-class city. I was thrilled to get involved with a few of Columbia’s 500+ clubs and organisations, including Youth for Debate, a program that teaches public speaking skills to students in New York City high schools, and the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs. Our classes would frequently venture outside of the uptown oasis with field trips to institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Opera. Living in New York also gave me the opportunity to go to the United Nations on two occasions as a representative of both Sciences Po and Columbia, intern for Arianna Huffington at her New York-based startup, and enjoy all that the great city has to offer with my friends from both of my universities.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to pursue this path or follow in your footsteps?
Regardless of which path you choose, I think it is crucial to define success on your own terms and optimise for it, rather than try to maximise it. Although things can get hectic, take the time to reflect and figure out what makes you happy and fulfilled, and what you need to be more of your true self. Cultivating a sense of purpose will provide you with the fuel to persevere and overcome any roadblocks you may face, now and in the future.