The three years of PhD (D1, D2 and D3) are dedicated to the elaboration, writing and presentation of a PhD thesis in law, to the participation in an active and international scientific community, and to the introduction of pedagogical skills that are required to consider an academic career.
The first year allows the elaboration of the thesis; the second, which takes place entirely abroad, gives the student the opportunity to start writing it, and the third to complete it; through two academic defenses: private the first time, public the second.
Elaboration, drafting and defense of the thesis
The student's objective is to achieve the final draft of his/her research project and a more elaborate draft of an outline for the thesis. He/she is advised by one principal supervisor and by two secondary supervisors. Each of the supervisors sees the student at least 4 to 5 times in a year, guides his/her readings, and can possibly give him/her assignments (readings reports, summaries).
At the end of the year, an oral exam evaluates the work accomplished during the year. Passing this exam gives access to the second year of the PhD, and influences the choice of the foreign university in year D2.
The second year takes place in one of the partner universities. Under the direction of a supervisor of the host university, in connection with the principal supervisor, the PhD student writes at least one chapter of his thesis and presents the work accomplished at the seminar of the PhD program as soon as he/she returns.
The objective of this third and final year is to complete and defend the thesis. The academic defense consists of two phases. At the beginning of the second semester, a private defense is organized. The public defense takes place at the end of the second semester or sometime during fall. The principal supervisor is not part of the jury.
Pedagogical Skills and Participation of the Students in the Academic Community of Sciences Po
Sciences Po Law School is a small, dynamic and international scientific community. The PhD students who have offices within the university can very easily engage with faculty members and visiting professors. They are encouraged to participate in the scientific activities of the School (seminars, symposiums, conferences) and can contribute to their design and organization, as long as their participation enriches their research.
- The PhD students in D1 and in certain cases, in D3, assist a professor and can teach a seminar course, to gain pedagogical experience. These activities remain limited in order to avoid affecting their research.
- The PhD students have access to courses and scientific activities offered by other schools and departments of Sciences Po.
Students who successfully defend their thesis are awarded the Sciences Po PhD in Law degree by the Sciences Po PhD Department. This national degree confers the rank of Doctor in Law.