Last updated: 25 September, 2020
The Situation at Sciences Po: Latest Updates
IMPORTANT - Due to a significant number of positive cases of Covid-19 :
- Our Paris campus is temporarily closed to students from Monday 21 September 2020 until Sunday 4 October 2020.
- Our Reims campus is temporarily closed to students, from September 11 to 27 included.
Despite this restriction of access to our premises, and thanks to the efforts of both administrative and teaching staff, we are able to guarantee that all teaching will continue as scheduled. Students will be able to follow their courses remotely. We ask that students avoid attending any meeting or gathering during this time. Throughout the suspension of student access, our campus will remain open to all staff members and doctoral students.
Throughout this period, staff at Sciences Po will be mobilised to organise the PCR testing programme, to assist any students encountering difficulties and to prepare for the reopening of our campus. We will be communicating the dates and details of the testing programme over the course of next week.
> Read details in messages sent to students, professors and staff members on the 18/09/20
TO ALL STUDENTS & STAFF MEMBERS: If you have tested positive for Covid-19 or if you have been in contact with a person who has, please fill out the following form, which will allow us to help the Regional Health Agency more effectively in the case of a tracing campaign:
The Fall 2020 semester will begin on 14 September 2020 on a “dual campus” model, allowing all 14,000 students to follow their courses regardless of their physical location and the sanitary conditions. Despite this unprecedented context due to Covid-19, academic continuity and the quality of education continue to be ensured. The Spring 2020 Graduation Ceremony will be rescheduled; see the "Classes, Exams, Internships" tab for more information.
For employees, all of our sites are open and accessible. As of 28 September and until 31 December 2020, all eligible staff continue to be allowed to work from home up to a maximum of three days per week (occasional or regular remote working). See details under the Staff & Faculty tab.
A monitoring committee made up of members of Sciences Po’s management meets daily to review the situation and the needs of all of our communities, in France and abroad.
Health Regulations and Recommendations to Follow
COVID-19 is still circulating actively in France and around the world. In accordance with the latest instructions from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, health regulations in higher education establishments are being strongly reinforced. We ask the members of all our communities, student, employees, and faculty, to respect these rules scrupulously in order to preserve the health of all, and in particular the most fragile.
Wearing a mask is compulsory for everyone on all campuses, inside and outside, on a continuous basis, even when speaking in front of a group. To protect yourself and others, it is necessary to apply all barrier gestures and physical distancing measures within campuses:
- Wash your hands very regularly or use a hydro-alcoholic solution before and after manipulating your mask;
- Respect a distance of 1 metre with other people;
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue (and immediately dispose of it afterward); or otherwise into your elbow;
- When greeting, do not shake hands and avoid hugging or kissing;
- Respect the flow and directions of traffic;
- Avoid gatherings;
- Respect the layout of rooms so as to leave an empty space between each person;
- Respect the maximum authorized number of people in each space;
- Do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth;
- Throw away disposable masks and handkerchiefs in the gray waste bins;
- Avoid loaning equipment; if necessary, disinfect shared equipment;
- Air out premises;
- In areas dedicated to eating, only remove your mask when eating or drinking;
- If symptoms appear, stay home and contact your doctor.
To fight against the spread of COVID-19, we recommend that all members of our communities also apply these barrier gestures (distance, masks, hand hygiene) off campus, and avoid participating in gatherings of over ten people. More than a quarter of infections take place at private gatherings.
> Consult all health measures and regulations pertaining to France on the government information site.
Please note that a virological test only establishes a diagnosis at a given time. Also, a negative test does not in any way exempt someone from respecting barrier gestures and physical distancing.
For those who wish to perform an individual screening, virological tests - which can determine if you are ill - are available to everyone, without a prescription, and reimbursed by Health Insurance. It is however recommended to obtain a prescription from your doctor for the test in order to receive results more quickly. These provisions are also applicable to people who are not covered by social security. You can find all the screening locations on the sante.fr website. The test is recommended as a priority if you are a person at risk, if you are in contact with fragile people or if you have participated in a large gathering. Take advice from a doctor.
Campus screening campaigns will be organized if decided by health authorities. We are in contact with them to establish the terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I show symptoms?
If you are showing any signs of COVID-19 (fever or feeling of fever, cough, difficulty breathing):
- Contact your general doctor or any doctor available via teleconsultation, or the care centre number of your region
- Isolate yourself in your home; avoid any physical contact with others.
> If you are having difficulty breathing, dial 15. In all cases, follow your doctor's recommendations.
What should I do if I am sick?
If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19, whether you are showing symptoms or not, you must remain strictly at home for the duration prescribed by your doctor. In the case of difficulty breathing, dial 15 (SAMU emergency services).
It is necessary to inform and send your medical certificate by email to:
- For staff members: your manager and the HR department (email@example.com);
- For Professors and permanent faculty: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique) and the HR department (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- For part-time teachers: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique);
- For students: your programme manager (responsable pédagogique)
Latest Communication sent by Sciences Po
Last updated: 11 September, 2020
Given the evolving context of this issue, your questions and suggestions are essential to help expand and develop these FAQs. Do not hesitate to address them via the email address: email@example.com
Back to School September 2020 & Fall Semester
What are the modalities for the start of the upcoming 2020-21 academic year?
The fall semester begins on the 14 September 2020. Inaugural lectures will take place online. For the first time, some will be open to the general public via livestream. Back-to-School meetings were held face-to-face on the various campuses, with live broadcast for all students. Consult the schedule of inaugural lectures here.
How is the fall semester being carried out?
Throughout the semester, all Sciences Po students will have access to a dual campus:
- A digital campus, providing all course content in a variety of formats, adapted to each class. Any student will be able to complete their entire course remotely.
- A physical campus, in the seven cities where Sciences Po is present, will be open and will focus on student activities in small groups: course sessions, tutorials, group projects, small group work, supervised community activities, etc. This physical campus will, of course, remain connected to the rest of the community in order to guarantee the participation of students unable to reach our premises.
> Find out more about the modalities of the fall 2020 semester
Classes & Academic Life
How are classes taking place?
Sciences Po continues to guarantee academic continuity and the quality of its education and degrees thanks to various tools and innovative methods supported by the Institute of Skills and Innovation. Academic continuity has been based upon three principles:
- Maintaining the quality of teaching leading to the validation of your semester;
- Reducing the weekly course load in order to leave more time for independent study and for the organisational constraints you are faced with;
- Reinforce follow-ups and communication with all our students on an individual basis.
In addition, teaching time and evaluation methods have been made more flexible.
On what platform do remote classes take place?
All students have a personal access to the ZOOM platform,. This tool is in addition to a variety of educational materials which help to maintain regular living and working routines, while still taking into account the variable conditions of internet access.
Can we access library resources?
As of September 14, the Paris libraries are open at the usual times but access may be different depending on the building: see detailed information here (FR).
Please note: The wearing of a mask and the respect of barrier gestures are compulsory in all areas of the library at all times.
The library at 30 rue Saint Guillaume on the Paris campus is open from 9:30 am to 6 pm. The research library is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
All Sciences Po students, teachers, researchers and employees have access to the reading rooms, depending upon availability of spaces in respect to physical distances (affluence is monitored at the entrance according to occupancy rate).
External readers only have access to the loan of documents at the desk at 30 rue Saint Guillaume. Please note: there are no new registrations at this time. All active accounts of external readers have been extended until the end of September.
The library's online resources remain accessible via the Digital Resources page or the catalog.
When will the 2020 graduation ceremonies take place?
The graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 were not able to take place as originally planned on 26 and 27 June 2020 at the Philharmonie de Paris. Alternatives are however being studied and will be communicated to students concerned as soon as possible.
Events on our campuses are authorized, with the agreement of Sciences Po and within the limit of the number of participants defined by the prefectural authorities, on the condition that they respect health regulations - in particular the wearing of a mask and a physical distance of 1 meter between each person.
> For Sciences Po staff or faculty members who wish to organize an event: contact the Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org and consult the instructions for organizing an event.
Consult the list of upcoming events (physical, virtual or both) on our Events page.
Internships / Professional Opportunities
Last updated: 11 September, 2020
Incoming international students for the 2020-21 academic year: Student visas and resident permit applications are being processed as a priority. We invite you to regularly check official information for updated information on specific countries.
> How to apply for a visa and residence permit
> Press Release by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Third-Year Students - Fall 2020
My university is allowing me to go ahead with the exchange semester (semester 5), either in-person or online. What are the implications of my choice?
Students with an offer for an exchange semester (either in-person or online) from their host university may carry out the semester according to the arrangements proposed by their host university.
The possibility of carrying out the semester abroad in person will depend entirely on the possibility of travelling to and staying in the host country.
In either case, the continuation of your studies will be ensured by your host university according to the pedagogical arrangements that they propose. Provided that all conditions are met for both semesters, you will be able to validate your 3rd year having completed two exchange semesters at that university. On the Sciences Po side, you will remain under the tutelage of the geographic programme manager responsible for your host university’s country within the Direction of International Affairs.
What does the 5th semester taking place at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College consist of?
The Undergraduate College is fully aware that some third-year students will not be able to undertake an international exchange next semester.
During the autumn 2020 semester, we will offer classes equalling a total of 30 ECTS, according to the following layout:
- a lecture (cours magistral) with workshop (conférence de méthode);
- a Master’s level core course;
- the choice between: 2 seminars + 1 language course linked with your exchange project, or 3 seminars, either based on diversified academic themes or on specialised themes (ex: planetary transformations, media/media literacy, gender studies, European Union, etc.);
- and finally, it will be possible to undertake the Grand écrit during S5.
The class schedules and specific academic modalities will be communicated at the beginning of June, before class registrations, as for all Sciences Po programmes.
Do we have the option to take part in an internship next semester, alongside or instead of the planned semester?
Although it will not be possible to replace a semester of study with a semester of internship, requests for optional internships that would be carried out in parallel with the S5 at the Undergraduate College may be examined and authorised, if necessary. Such internships will not give additional credits.
Given the specific format of this hybrid year, students alternating between studying and internship will be permitted to swap the order of their study and internship semesters. This change will only be possible in certain circumstances outlined by the Undergraduate College, especially relating to the validation of students’ Majors. If you wish to swap the order of your semesters, the request needs to be made using the form for request for change of situation by 2 June 2020. Your application will then be considered by the Undergraduate College alongside the Sciences Po Careers department.
What’s happening with semester 6?
At the moment, university exchanges in semester 6 are planned to go ahead for all students, regardless of their situation and decision for semester 5 (except in exceptional cases where students are reassigned to a different partner university for the whole year). This is, of course, dependent on the conditions permitting the exchange, which may be subject to changes in sanitary, safety and transport conditions, government guidelines, and any other factors related to the current situation. The status of exchanges for semester 6 will be confirmed during the autumn semester.
What about the Capstone project? (Grand écrit)
Naturally, all educational requirements, independent of the 3rd year on exchange abroad or internship, will be maintained under conditions previously communicated to you. This concerns in particular the Capstone project, which is a pillar of the culmination of your studies at Sciences Po’s Undergraduate College.
I am having difficulty continuing my semester online with the course offerings proposed by my host institution, what can I do?
First and foremost, please contact the respective Department of International Affairs teams whose programme managers may contact your host institution and / or make a personal assessment of your situation.
My host institution has switched to a pass/fail grading system. Will Sciences Po accept credits obtained in this form?
Due to the exceptional circumstances of Covid-19, and if this is a set decision of your host university in the current context, Sciences Po will exceptionally recognise credits obtained by a pass/fail evaluation - corresponding to full course credit and ensuring that you may validate your semester.
Return & Repatriation
I fear that I will be stuck in my host country due to travel restrictions, and that I will not be able to return to my home country at the end of the semester. What are Sciences Po's guidelines?
Many countries have restricted international travel. Whatever your decision for the rest of your semester, we recommend that you keep us informed, in conjunction with the local authorities and your consulate.
Naturally, for those who fear being stuck in a host country, we strongly encourage them to return as soon as possible to their country of permanent residence, where they can continue to pursue their education remotely, according to the instructions of the Sciences Po teaching teams.
The country I am currently in has closed its borders, what should I do?
If you haven’t already, immediately contact the Sciences Po International Affairs (DAI) representative of your host country for assistance.
What steps need to be taken regarding medical insurance and the MAIF repatriation from Sciences Po?
If you are not affected by Covid-19 yourself, there are no steps to be taken with the MAIF, which does not cover early returns.
If you are sick, you must immediately notify Sciences Po and the MAIF as Sciences Po students benefit from medical and repatriation insurance during their study abroad. Sciences Po's contract number with MAIF is N°4089550K, and the support services can be reached at 0800 875 875 from France and 0033 5 49 77 47 78 from abroad.
Last updated: 25 September, 2020
> For any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Human Resources Department (email@example.com)
Work arrangements for staff & faculty
How is work being arranged?
As of the 28 September 2020 and until 31 December 2020, all eligible staff are allowed to work from home up to a maximum of three days per week (occasional or regular remote working). The allocation of each employee’s days of remote working will be decided in agreement with their manager. It will be the manager’s responsibility to ensure that their department is permanently staffed and, particularly for those departments whose work involves contact with the public, that an on-site reception desk is manned at all times.
As an exception, any employees deemed particularly at risk (as per the Haut Conseil de la Santé publique’s announcement (FR) on 13 March 2020), anyone living with a person at risk, and pregnant women may continue to work from home on an extended basis.
If, after a thorough study of the options, remote working is not deemed possible, employees needing to attend our sites will be provided with additional protective equipment. A stock of medical masks will be made available to employees at risk, which they will be required to wear on our premises, on public transport when travelling to and from work and during all professional trips. In addition, where necessary, workstations may be adjusted so as to reduce potential risks. The occupational health doctor may be consulted in order to facilitate the employee’s return to work.
Any employees deemed particularly at risk due to serious underlying health conditions, as listed in the government’s decree n°2020-1098 of 29 August 2020, may, if their general practitioner deems it necessary, have their working hours reduced.
Finally, wherever possible, managers will encourage that working hours be adjusted so as to reduce the number of people using public transport at peak times.
The Sciences Po Intranet for staff members is available remotely (authentication required with Sciences Po username and password). Read our guidelines for remote work (FR).
If remote work is not performed at your usual address, colleagues are encouraged to declare their new address to the Human Resources Department in compliance with collective telework agreements (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Am I able to come into work on the Sciences Po sites?
All sites are accessible to employees.
Health regulations in the workplace
What are the rules to follow if I come into work on the Sciences Po sites?
It is compulsory for staff on every campus to wear a mask at all times both inside (passages, meeting rooms, shared offices etc.) and outside, even while addressing a group.
Only employees working alone in their office are exempt from wearing a mask.
A distance of one metre (or every second desk space) must be maintained between staff members at all times across our premises. This includes staff offices, teaching spaces, student spaces, canteen areas or any other communal space used by staff or other university members. Social distancing must also be maintained during all group events, whether these be organised inside or, where necessary, outside.
In order to reduce the risk of contamination and to facilitate the maintenance of social distancing measures and barrier gestures while the virus is still actively circulating, we recommend that any drinks events, work breakfasts or lunches on any of our campuses be postponed until a later date. This includes both indoor and outdoor events. Such events will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and with the express consent of university administration.
Under no circumstances will the maintaining of physical distance between staff members exempt them from wearing a mask that fully covers their mouth, nose and chin.
Are masks distributed to staff members and faculty?
The distribution of reusable masks will take place over three days: the 28 and 29 of September and the 1 October, from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
Employees are invited to go to Room 27 in the 27 rue Saint-Guillaume building (staircase on the right after reception) at any one of these timeslots.
A first batch of six fabric masks (machine washable up to 100 times) will be provided to you upon signature. You will also be able to collect masks for one or more of your colleagues. In this case, you will be required to sign on their behalf.
You will need to bring your institutional badge and a pen with you in order to collect the masks.
The distribution process will, of course, respect all social distancing measures.
If you are unable to attend the above collection dates, you will be able to collect a mask from reception at 27 rue Saint-Guillaume as of Monday 5 October.
To ensure that all staff are equipped with a total of eight reusable masks, a second distribution of two reusable masks is to be organised over the next two weeks. The details of this second distribution will be communicated to you shortly.
What if I have symptoms and I am at work?
Any staff on our premises suspected of having contracted Covid-19 due to showing the related symptoms must self-isolate and contact one of the university’s first-aid representatives (SSTs). A bottle of hand sanitiser and 10 pairs of gloves will be supplied to the SSTs.
In the absence of any serious symptoms, either the occupational health doctor will be contacted, or the employee will be requested to contact their médécin traitant for medical advice immediately. Their journey home will be arranged so as to avoid taking public transport.
If the symptoms are serious (e.g. respiratory distress), the SAMU (emergency services) should be contacted immediately (by dialling 15).
Once the person’s needs have been taken care of, the university’s employee health and safety services should be contacted. Full guidance will be provided, including regarding the cleaning and disinfection of the employee’s workspace and the tracing of any colleagues who may have been in contact with them.
If the person is confirmed as a case of Covid, the process of identifying and tracing contacts will be organised by the doctor in charge of the person and those services provided by Assurance Maladie. Contacts deemed to be “at risk”, as per the health authorities’ definition, will be alerted and required to self-isolate for 14 days (starting from the date of their most recent contact with the confirmed case and in accordance with all measures in force at that time).
Employees are encouraged to remain alert as to the appearance of any potential symptoms in either themselves or their colleagues.