PSIA First 10 Years
Established in 2010, the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) builds on Sciences Po’s century-long tradition of cultivating the minds of leading government officials, diplomats, and international stakeholders. Indeed, as early as 1872, the Ecole libre des sciences politiques created a “section internationale”, of which 30% were foreign students.
PSIA became Sciences Po’s fourth professional graduate school as part of a series of reforms by (then) Director Richard Descoings both to internationalise a predominantly French institution and to better prepare students for professional life. As Descoings explained on his blog: "The creation of PSIA, more professional and in line with the needs of large companies, NGOs and international institutions will improve the number and quality of opportunities for graduates".
In January 2010, Ghassan Salamé, former Minister of Culture of Lebanon, was appointed the inaugural dean of PSIA. He oversaw the first intake of 500 graduate students onto four Master’s programmes in September 2010. Shortly after the School launched, Dean Salamé explained why PSIA was a school focused on "international affairs":
There are problems that can no longer be solved by the nation-state. Environment, migration, nuclear proliferation, global health, the development of epidemics, conflict resolution: these are questions whose diagnosis and solution are necessarily global. So we built our masters based on these problems. … That's why we're talking about international affairs rather than international relations.
Since 2010, PSIA has grown dramatically into one of the largest schools of international affairs in the world. It has also become one of the top 3 universities globally for international studies (QS 2019 rankings).
Our extraordinary community includes truly outstanding students, world-renowned professors and leading practitioners. PSIA’s 1500 strong student body is amongst the most diverse anywhere, and includes over 110 nationalities and more than 60% women.
The School has expanded its offer to seven Master’s programmes in the most salient fields of international affairs. Our innovative curriculum excels at bridging the gap between theory and practice, which enables our students to understand, navigate and engage with a complex world.
Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy, succeeded Ghassan Salamé and served as Dean from September 2015 until March 2021. Dean Letta launched PSIA’s flagship Youth & Leaders Summit in 2016, to provide students the chance to challenge leading international affairs personalities about complex international issues.
We are proud of the difference that our School has made over the past decade in training and shaping our students to be future global actors and, through them, to making the world a better, more secure place.
As we celebrate our achievements of the past decade, we also commit ourselves to an even more promising future !