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Doctorate in Sociology

Section #presentation


The doctoral program in sociology, with substantial support from two major Sciences Po laboratories (the Centre for the Sociology of Organizations (CSO) and the Centre for Research on social InequalitieS (CRIS, ex : OSC)), and et The Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE), is designed to provide:

  • the theoretical foundations and most recent developments in international sociological analysis;
  • opportunities to specialize in fields of sociology: public policy, consumption, culture, education, employment, exclusion, markets, risks and health, segregation, stratification, social uses of time, cities, etc.;
  • deep, high-level quantitative and qualitative methodological work  based on fieldwork and data, with the support of leading experts;
  • an international and comparative scope of training;
  • tailored support at the research centers from a strongly committed and internationally recognized academic team.
Section #objectives


The doctoral program in sociology trains excellent sociologists for both academic and university careers, as well as careers as experts in major public and private organizations and NGOs.

Section #skills

Skills targeted

The program provides both theoretical and practical sociological research and analytical skills, as well as high-level expertise in various methodological tools.

Section #research-centres

Research centre support

The programme draws on support from Sciences Po's two sociology research centres, which host PhD students:

  • Centre for the Sociology of Organisations (CSO): the centre is key to the French school of sociology of organisations, developing creative thought on private, public, market and non-market regulations from research on organisations, markets and occupational groups.  The centre was founded by Michel Crozier and is headed by Christine Musselin, research director at CNRS.  
  • Centre for Research on social InequalitieS (CRIS, ex : OSC): researchers here study transformations in contemporary societies, such as social stratification, intergenerational relations, migrations, the spatial dimension of inequalities, lifestyles, socialisation and deviance, and educational policies and dynamics.  The centre was founded by Henri Mendras and is headed by Alain Chenu, Professor at Sciences Po.

PhD students interested in political sociology or public policies can also join the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE), a Sciences Po research centre that uses a multidisciplinary approach to explore political issues such as European integration and the relationships between policy and politics.  The centre is headed by Renaud Dehousse, Professor at Sciences Po.

Section #structure

Programme structure

The PhD in sociology is open to students from Sciences Po Masters in Sociology as other students with a master's level degree (for more details, see admission conditions).

See the programme catalogue

The three thesis years

During the next three years PhD students are mentored and included in the research centres, where they take part in the research, and participate in three seminars:

  1. "Current trends in sociology research" provides a thematic overview of contemporary sociology research with prominent contemporary authors;
  2. a specialty seminar organised by the research centre allows students to regularly present work;
  3. workshops on advanced methods.

Thesis writing takes place at the research centres or international partner universities.  Partners include the Max Planck Institute Cologne, the Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research, Northwestern University (Chicago), Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, and Oxford.

Beyond these partnerships, students may seek invitations from renowned institutions at foreign universities in Europe, North America (Harvard, Columbia, etc.), Brazil (IUPERJ: Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro), China (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing), etc.

Students may also earn a dual PhD Joint PhD en Sociologie Sciences Po/Northwestern.

The PhD in sociology is awarded after completing these three years.

Section #admissions


See Admission to a PhD

Section #financements

Tuition fees

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

Section #enseignants

Teaching staff

The teaching staff made up of internationally recognized sociologists. While teaching benefits from outside Sciences Po, the core of the teaching team comes primarily from Sciences Po research centers.

Section #doctorants
Section #contacts


  • Jérôme Pélisse
    Head of doctoral studies in Sociology,
    Full Professor at Sciences Po,
    Researcher at the CSO
  • Carine Boutillier
    Administrative Officer
    Ph.: +33 (0)1 45 49 59 82