Home>All You Need to Know About Learning Languages at Sciences Po

18.01.2023

All You Need to Know About Learning Languages at Sciences Po

Sciences Po's international dimension is unique in France and well known abroad. With half of the student body coming from abroad, representing 150 universities, and more than 470 partner universities, Sciences Po stands out today as a world-class institution. 

As part of this ambition, Sciences Po has set in place an outstanding offer of languages courses, from the very first year at the Undergraduate College.

Discover the answers to the 8 most asked questions about language learning at Sciences Po.

1. what are the languages offered by campus?

The Undergraduate College offers more than 20 different languages to its students in Bachelor. They mirror the geographical minor of each campus. 

Find the details below:

  • Dijon Campus, European Union, Central and Eastern Europe minor: Czech, English, French as a Foreign Language (FLE), German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish
  • Le Havre Campus, Asia-Pacific minor: Chinese, English, FLE, Japanese, Korean
  • Menton Campus, Mediterranean-Middle East minor : Arabic, English, FLE, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish and Turkish
  • Nancy Campus, European Union and Franco-German relations minor: Arabic, English, FLE, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish
  • Paris Campus: Arabic, Chinese, English, FLE, French Sign Language, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
  • Poitiers Campus, Latin America-Caribbean minor: English, FLE, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Reims Campus, North America - Africa minor: Arabic, English, FLE, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili

2. what are the obligations and possibilities regarding learning languages at sciences po?

The obligations and possibilities are different depending on the status of the students.

For Undergraduate students:

  • First year, regular degree : 1 compulsory language course + 1 optional
  • Second year, regular degree : 1 compulsory language course + 1 optional
  • First and Second years, dual degree : 1 compulsory language only

For Master students:

1 compulsory language course + 1 optional

Exceptions : optional languages are offered at PSIA, learning a second language is not possible at the Journalism School and the Research School.

For Doctorate students:

Up to two optional languages.

3. What is the weekly volume of language learning hours?

All languages offered at the undergraduate level last two hours minimum per week except in Dijon where they have a one hour and a half duration.

Most of the campuses, due to their specific minors, offer an augmented volume of classes (in particular for beginners and non-romance languages) and, as much as possible, linguistic reinforcement, particularly in French and English which are the work environment languages of Sciences Po.

4. what are the expected languages levels and the teaching methods?

All languages, except for French and English, are optional when applying, however, learning and speaking other languages prove to be a strength throughout a student's journey.

Be reminded that in order to apply to the course corresponding to their level, students must auto-evaluate themselves at the beginning of the semester by using Sciences Po's charter based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). 

If the levels in French (B1 for non French speaking students) and in English (B2 for non English speaking students) are met, a second language can be chosen from the campus catalog.

The required levels for FLE and English depend on the campus:

CampusFrench for ForeignersEnglish
Dijon
  • B2
  • or A2/B1 with an English level of at least B2/C1 and an intensive FLE learning during the first semester of the first year
  • B2 recommended
Le Havre 
  • C1
Menton, programme in French
  • C1
  • B2 recommended
Menton, programme in English
  • B1
  • C1
Nancy
  • B2
  • B2 recommended, B2 in German recommended
Paris
  • C1
  • B2 recommended
Poitiers
  • B2
  • B2 recommended, B2 in Spanish recommended
Reims, North America minor 
  • C1
Reims, Africa minor
  • B2
  • B2 recommended

5. Can a student be exempted from learning english or french (for foreigners)?

It depends on the level in English or French. Students with a  C1 level in English and a B2 level in FLE, are not required to attend courses for those languages.

6. what is the language used to teach a foreign language?

All language courses, regardless of the level, are taught in the target language. From time to time, grammatical explanations can be given in English or French in the beginners levels.

7. is it possible to get a certification?

Is is mandatory for non English speaking students, in order to graduate at Sciences Po at the Master level, to have reached a certified level of CECRL C1 in English. It is a prerequisite to get their Sciences Po degree. Second year undergraduate students can also benefit from this opportunity if it can be useful for their third year abroad.

To this end, Sciences Po sets up the TOEFL iBT exam (the score expected is from 100 to 120). This certification English test is entirely financed by the institution and can only be taken once in the course of every student studies.

Regarding other languages, especially FLE, it is possible to get a certification from private organisations, without any financial aid from Sciences Po. The institution does deliver its own language level certificate to students that have attended and passed a course.

8. what is the main language in which the regular courses are taught?

The languages of Sciences Po's work environment are French and English, depending on the curriculum of the chosen programme. On the Nancy campus, some courses may be taught in German and on the Poitiers campus in Spanish.

DOWNLOAD OUR BROCHURE

Virtual and Face-to-face Undergraduate Open House days, February 2023

Open House Day Undergraduate College 2023

Discover Sciences Po and our Bachelor's degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences! Get to know the programme, courses and all the benefits of studying at one of France's leading universities.

Sign-up

(credits: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock)

18.01.2023

All You Need to Know About Learning Languages at Sciences Po

Sciences Po's international dimension is unique in France and well known abroad. With half of the student body coming from abroad, representing 150 universities, and more than 470 partner universities, Sciences Po stands out today as a world-class institution. 

As part of this ambition, Sciences Po has set in place an outstanding offer of languages courses, from the very first year at the Undergraduate College.

Discover the answers to the 8 most asked questions about language learning at Sciences Po.

1. what are the languages offered by campus?

The Undergraduate College offers more than 20 different languages to its students in Bachelor. They mirror the geographical minor of each campus. 

Find the details below:

  • Dijon Campus, European Union, Central and Eastern Europe minor: Czech, English, French as a Foreign Language (FLE), German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish
  • Le Havre Campus, Asia-Pacific minor: Chinese, English, FLE, Japanese, Korean
  • Menton Campus, Mediterranean-Middle East minor : Arabic, English, FLE, Hebrew, Italian, Spanish and Turkish
  • Nancy Campus, European Union and Franco-German relations minor: Arabic, English, FLE, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish
  • Paris Campus: Arabic, Chinese, English, FLE, French Sign Language, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
  • Poitiers Campus, Latin America-Caribbean minor: English, FLE, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Reims Campus, North America - Africa minor: Arabic, English, FLE, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili

2. what are the obligations and possibilities regarding learning languages at sciences po?

The obligations and possibilities are different depending on the status of the students.

For Undergraduate students:

  • First year, regular degree : 1 compulsory language course + 1 optional
  • Second year, regular degree : 1 compulsory language course + 1 optional
  • First and Second years, dual degree : 1 compulsory language only

For Master students:

1 compulsory language course + 1 optional

Exceptions : optional languages are offered at PSIA, learning a second language is not possible at the Journalism School and the Research School.

For Doctorate students:

Up to two optional languages.

3. What is the weekly volume of language learning hours?

All languages offered at the undergraduate level last two hours minimum per week except in Dijon where they have a one hour and a half duration.

Most of the campuses, due to their specific minors, offer an augmented volume of classes (in particular for beginners and non-romance languages) and, as much as possible, linguistic reinforcement, particularly in French and English which are the work environment languages of Sciences Po.

4. what are the expected languages levels and the teaching methods?

All languages, except for French and English, are optional when applying, however, learning and speaking other languages prove to be a strength throughout a student's journey.

Be reminded that in order to apply to the course corresponding to their level, students must auto-evaluate themselves at the beginning of the semester by using Sciences Po's charter based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). 

If the levels in French (B1 for non French speaking students) and in English (B2 for non English speaking students) are met, a second language can be chosen from the campus catalog.

The required levels for FLE and English depend on the campus:

CampusFrench for ForeignersEnglish
Dijon
  • B2
  • or A2/B1 with an English level of at least B2/C1 and an intensive FLE learning during the first semester of the first year
  • B2 recommended
Le Havre 
  • C1
Menton, programme in French
  • C1
  • B2 recommended
Menton, programme in English
  • B1
  • C1
Nancy
  • B2
  • B2 recommended, B2 in German recommended
Paris
  • C1
  • B2 recommended
Poitiers
  • B2
  • B2 recommended, B2 in Spanish recommended
Reims, North America minor 
  • C1
Reims, Africa minor
  • B2
  • B2 recommended

5. Can a student be exempted from learning english or french (for foreigners)?

It depends on the level in English or French. Students with a  C1 level in English and a B2 level in FLE, are not required to attend courses for those languages.

6. what is the language used to teach a foreign language?

All language courses, regardless of the level, are taught in the target language. From time to time, grammatical explanations can be given in English or French in the beginners levels.

7. is it possible to get a certification?

Is is mandatory for non English speaking students, in order to graduate at Sciences Po at the Master level, to have reached a certified level of CECRL C1 in English. It is a prerequisite to get their Sciences Po degree. Second year undergraduate students can also benefit from this opportunity if it can be useful for their third year abroad.

To this end, Sciences Po sets up the TOEFL iBT exam (the score expected is from 100 to 120). This certification English test is entirely financed by the institution and can only be taken once in the course of every student studies.

Regarding other languages, especially FLE, it is possible to get a certification from private organisations, without any financial aid from Sciences Po. The institution does deliver its own language level certificate to students that have attended and passed a course.

8. what is the main language in which the regular courses are taught?

The languages of Sciences Po's work environment are French and English, depending on the curriculum of the chosen programme. On the Nancy campus, some courses may be taught in German and on the Poitiers campus in Spanish.

(credits: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock)

DOWNLOAD OUR BROCHURE

Virtual and Face-to-face Undergraduate Open House days, February 2023

Open House Day Undergraduate College 2023

Discover Sciences Po and our Bachelor's degree in the Humanities & Social Sciences! Get to know the programme, courses and all the benefits of studying at one of France's leading universities.

Sign-up