Home>2020 Admissions: a new record high of applications despite an unprecedented context


2020 Admissions: a new record high of applications despite an unprecedented context

In an unprecedented and turbulent context, the results of the 2020 admissions process show Sciences Po remains highly attractive, with a record number of applications of nearly 22,000. In total, nearly 4,800 new students from 132 countries joined our Undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral programmes, keeping selectivity stable at 22%.

> Read the full Admissions Report on Calameo

Undergraduate College (Bachelor): 11,000 applicants from all backgrounds

Applications steady or even increasing despite an unprecedented context

Nearly 11,000 high school students applied for undergraduate entry in 2020 (including national and international dual-degree programmes), a figure close to the 11,123 applicants in 2019. 

Remarkably, in the midst of a global pandemic, applications for the international procedure even increased by more than 7% compared to 2019, with 2,347 applicants. For 2020, the French national procedure (exam procedure) attracted 5,791 candidates, a figure almost identical to the previous year (5,794 in 2019). The Equal Opportunity Programme procedure attracted 896 candidates (857 in 2019). With 170 admitted in 2020, the Equal Opportunity Programme has welcomed 2,264 students in the 20 years since its launch. 

As a whole, 2,195 students were admitted to Sciences Po, compared with 1,960 admitted in 2019, which makes a selectivity rate of 20% (compared with 18% in 2019).

Who are the applicants and the admitted students?

Undergraduate applicants come from 1,600 high schools in France and 1,300 high schools around the world. Overall, the students newly admitted at the undergraduate level represent 132 different countries, and 34% of them come from high schools abroad. Of these, almost half come from another European country, 20% from Asia, 14% from the American continent, and 17% from Africa. 

In France, two thirds of those admitted now come from regions outside Île-de-France (58%). 

At the Master’s level, increasingly diverse applicants and admissions

This year, 9,814 candidates applied for admission to our Master's programmes: 10% more than in 2019 (8,952). 

The international admissions procedure saw a remarkable increase, with 4,633 applicants in 2020: 22% more than in 2019 (3801 candidates). The French admissions procedure remains stable with 3,806 applicants (against 3,771 in 2019). The trend also remains stable for the 1,375 students who applied for national and international graduate double degrees (1,380 in 2019). The selection rate remains stable at 24% (against 23% in 2019). 

Applicants through the French procedure come from a wide range of backgrounds with around twenty fields of study represented, including Law (16% of French applicants), classes préparatoires in Literature (13%), or Political Science and Sociology (11%). Some fields of study continue to make progress among applicants: +19% from Engineering schools, +13% from Business schools and +9% from Economic studies.

An increasingly international student pool

2,344 students were admitted to Master's programmes (2,047 in 2019). Stemming from 93 different countries, two thirds (68%) of these newly admitted students entered through the international procedure or international dual degrees. The United States, China and Germany are the three most represented countries of origin among the new graduate students, 61% of whom are female. 

Another record in 2020 was the number of PhD applications: 459 applicants, i.e. an increase of almost 40% in one year, and 61 admitted to a doctoral degree in one of the five disciplines taught at the School of Research. 

> Read the full report

The Sciences Po Editorial team

Evaluations adapted to the health crisis 

Overall, the admission procedures were able to take place in compliance with the selection requirements. 

At the undergraduate level, the admissibility phase was able to proceed in its regular format (the written exams for the French procedure took place on 22 and 23 February 2020). 

The final admission phase was adapted: 

  • For the French procedure: the admissions interview was replaced by a second detailed review of the application.
  • For the Equal Opportunity Programme and the international procedure, the admissions interview was maintained but took place over video conference.

At the Master’s level, in the French admission procedure: the admissibility phase was conducted in its regular format. Admissions interviews were replaced by a second review of the application (except for candidates applying to the School of Journalism).

International graduate, dual degrees, one-year Master’s programmes admissions or PhD admissions: the procedures were carried out in their regular format.