Doctorate in Political Science
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The political science doctoral programme is designed to provide:
- A complete international level training course in all of the areas relevant to political science ;
- A research methodology in the social sciences including classes in qualitative and quantitative analysis;
- A personalised supervision process within the Doctoral school and in the research centres, by an internationally recognised and involved academic staff.
The political science programme trains academics and researchers for careers in France and abroad, as well as high-level professionals for all levels of politics: public politics, opinion survey analysts, territorial administrations, journalism, political consulting, diplomacy, foreign diplomatic academies, specialists in specific cultural areas, etc.
Professionalization in research is ensured by the doctoral students getting a chance to work in one of the Sciences Po laboratories where they can meet with the teams, take part in research projects and take specialised seminars. They are also invited to take part in contracts and projects financed by the European commission. To do so, they can rely on the advice of the Mission Europe de la recherche de Sciences Po.
Doctoral students in the Political Science department also benefit from the activities of the CEVIPOF, the CERI and the CEE. Professionalization in teaching is also available thanks to the tutoring they carry out voluntarily, to the introductory teaching they do and the method conferences given by the monitors.
Doctoral students can also follow all of the professionalization seminars proposed by the Doctoral school.
Support from research centres
The political science doctoral programme receives the support of Sciences Po's three biggest laboratories who also take in doctoral students:
- The Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po (CEVIPOF): It covers three main fields: political behavior, political sociology and political theory. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are used at different levels of observation: local, national and European. The CEVIPOF has a permanent faculty of 24 researchers and professors, approximately 25 PhD students, and 20 associate researchers. The CEVIPOF is also responsible for the French National Election Studies. The centre is chaired by Martial Foucault, Professor at Sciences Po.
- The Center for International Studies (CERI): this centre works on social sciences on an international level by combining a number of different approaches: international relations, comparative political sociology, the political economy, political anthropology. The researchers at the CERI produce work that is anchored in the field, where they speak the language and know the territory. It is run by Alain Dieckhoff, Research Director at CNRS ;
- The Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE): as a multidisciplinary research centre, the CEE develops comparative studies on European societies and political systems and on the impact of European integration. It covers political issues by emphasising the link between policy and politics and by investing in the question of methods. It is run by Renaud Dehousse, Professor at Sciences Po.
The political science PhD is split into a two-year master's course and three-year doctoral course ending with a thesis.
The two years of the master's course provide a complete, high-level, fundamental, theoretical and methodological qualification. Students must choose a section that corresponds to one of the three main sub-categories in political science studies :
- Comparative politics
- International Relations
- Political Behaviour (New!)
- Political theory
- Public Policy (New!)
- Political Science (General Track in English) (New!)
As part of each category, they follow basic classes aimed at providing them with the methodological and epistemological basics in order to consolidate their discipline. In addition, they follow specialised classes that correspond to the areas covered by each sub-category. During the last semester of the second year, students must write a research dissertation that displays their capacity to order their knowledge, to grasp an issue and treat it in a coherent and informed manner. At the end of the two year period, students graduate with a master's in political science.
Students who apply to the doctoral programme come before a jury that takes in account their grades, the quality of their master's dissertation and the candidate's capacity to commit to a research project. The doctoral programme is open not only to students who have followed the initial Sciences Po programme but also to those with master's degrees from another French or foreign establishment. However, it may be required of students who have not taken Science's Po's political science course to follow some basic or specialised classes that the jury deems necessary before beginning their doctoral research.
During the three year doctoral period, students are supervised by a thesis supervisor from one of the three political science laboratories at Sciences Po: the Centre de Recherche Politique de Sciences Po (CEVIPOF), the Centre de recherches internationales (CERI) or the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE). Doctoral students must also follow at least three doctoral seminars. Finally the three-year thesis period is linked to the Sciences Po research centres but also to our overseas university partners. In particular, it is possible for some to obtain a double PhD Sciences Po/Columbia University after sharing time between France and the United States. The Political Science doctorate is awarded after this three-year period and after the viva.
Admission to a PhD
Des aides à la mobilité sont proposées aux doctorants pour participer à des colloques et pour effectuer des travaux de terrain et des séjours d'études à l'étranger.
See Tuition Fees
Consult the list of doctoral students:
Quelques liens utiles
- Les centres de recherche de Sciences Po
- Les Chaires de Sciences Po
- L'Observatoire politique spécialisé sur l'Amérique latine et les Caraïbes
- Paris School of International Affaires (PSIA)
- La revue Raisons politiques