Apply for mastercard foundation scholarships for graduate study

Students receive the scholarships and financial aid throughout the two years of their Master’s programme.

You can apply to any of the Master’s degree programmes offered at Sciences Po’s seven Graduate Schools.

Admissions timeline for 2024-2025 academic year

  • Applications open: mid-October 2023
  • Deadline for requesting eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship: 23:59 (Paris time) on 26 November 2023
  • Deadline for applying to Sciences Po: 3 December 2023
  • Admissions outcome released: between the 10 and 22 February 2024
  • Scholarship allocation outcome released: from 8 March 2024

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Show a willingness to commit to bringing about change in Africa and making a genuine impact on the region in the areas of public policy and major political, environmental and societal transitions.
  • Have a demonstrable need for higher education funding (please note that proof of your financial circumstances will be required as part of your application).
  • Provide a recommendation from your university.
  • Have obtained a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) in the social sciences, by the following academic year. 
  • Apply for a two-year Master's programme at one of Sciences Po's seven Graduate Schools through the international graduate admissions procedure.
  • Have attained a minimum of C1 level in French or English, depending on the programme you are applying for (see the language requirements for each programme). Please note that programmes are either taught entirely in French, entirely in English, or in both languages.
  • Not have obtained a Master’s degree, nor being registered in a  Master’s program
  • Be under 35 at the start of the graduate academic year.
  • Applicants to one-year Master's programmes, dual degree programmes or joint Master's programmes are not eligible for the scholarship.

Procedure for graduate applicants

You must first check that you are eligible for the scholarship by providing the required information on the scholarship website. Once your application has been submitted and examined by our staff, you will be informed of whether or not you are eligible for the scholarship.

If you are declared eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, you will not have to pay the processing fee for your application to Sciences Po.

On the scholarship site, you will need to provide:

  • Personal details
  • A letter of recommendation from the academic advisor at your university to support your application. For this, you will need to ask the person to complete and sign this form (Word).
  • Full information and evidence regarding your financial circumstances.
  • Information regarding your academic record and extra-curricular attainments.
  • A statement detailing your various experiences and view on challenges affecting Africa, and explaining how you want to become a changemaker on the continent. The quality of this statement will be a deciding factor for the panel in charge of allocating the scholarships.

You must have completed this step by 26 November 2023 in order to receive your approval of eligibility for the scholarship, and to waive the processing fee for your application to Sciences Po (the deadline for which is 3 December 2023).

To apply to Sciences Po, you will need to follow the international graduate admissions procedure.

If you think you meet all of the above eligibility criteria, you should start your application to Sciences Po (step 2) at the same time as your request for eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship (step 1).

However, you must wait to receive approval of your eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, together with confirmation that your application processing fee has been waived, before submitting your application to Sciences Po (end of step 2). This will mean you can submit your application without paying the fee.

You must submit your application to Sciences Po by 3 December 2023.

Please note that if you are not eligible for the scholarship, you may still apply to Sciences Po. In this case, you will be required to pay an application processing fee at the end of the online application process.

We recommend also applying for the Émile Boutmy Scholarship.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application to Sciences Po between 10 and 22 February 2024, and of the outcome of your scholarship application from 8 March 2024.

Please note:

  • Admission to Sciences Po does not guarantee allocation of the scholarship.
  • If you decide to defer your admission to Sciences until the following year, you will forfeit your Mastercard Foundation Scholarship.