Pre-College Programme Electives

  • Pre-College Programme students in class (Photo: Manuel Braun)Pre-College Programme students in class (Photo: Manuel Braun)

Due to the suspension of residential summer camps in France, the Summer School has decided to move the Pre-College Programme online. 

The overall structure (tutorials, Master Classes and elective) and content of the programme have been maintained and classes will be held in a live, synchronous format to allow for maximum interaction among students and their professors. Courses are scheduled to accommodate various time zones,  to allow students to participate throughout the world.

In addition to the core courses in the social sciences, Pre-College Programme students participate in one elective course of their choice (about 14 contact hours). Students can choose one elective course among different  introductory workshops within Sciences Po’s key disciplines, such as political science, international relations, public policy or sociology.

Admitted students rank available elective courses in order of preference. The Summer School makes every effort to accommodate students' preferences, but cannot guarantee that students get their first choice. Elective courses are allocated by the Summer School academic team according to the student’s profile, motivation and availability. When an elective course reaches its full capacity, the course is no longer open to registration. 


Social science workshops introduce students to one of the disciplines taught at Sciences Po, through a specific topic. Elective courses are taught in small groups, which provide students the opportunity to think critically, express their opinions and debate. 

All courses are available for both sessions, except for Problem Solving 101, which is only available for Session 2. 

Schedules have been adapted to accomodate different time zones. Elective courses are either taught before the core courses from 9:00 to 11:00 or after from 17:00 to 19:00 (Paris time, CET). Students' ranked choice of elective courses determines in which schedule they participate. Detailed schedules per course are available below. 

Courses taught in 2021 are the following:

La Démocratie en Europe (taught in French)

To participate in this course, a B2 level in French is required and should be added to the applicant's file. 

  • Professor: Mathieu Fulla
  • Overview (in French): Enseigné en français, ce cours entend discuter l’idée selon laquelle l’histoire de l’Europe au XXe siècle serait celle de l’avènement irrésistible de la démocratie libérale et de l’économie de marché, la chute du Mur de Berlin scellant la « fin de l’histoire », pour reprendre la célèbre formule de Francis Fukuyama. Il interrogera enfin les causes du rejet de plus en plus massif par les Européens des structures traditionnelles de la démocratie libérale et les réinventions du politique. View the course overview for La Démocratie en Europe (PDF, FR, 77 Kb) 
  • Schedule: The elective course is taught from 9:00 to 11:00 (Paris time, CET). Consult the schedule for La Démocratie en Europe (PDF, 313 Kb)

Foreign Policy and International Relations in a Globalized World 

  • Professor: Carl Rihan
  • Overview: This foundational course introduces students to foreign policy and international relations. Throughout the course, students address how the foreign policy of individual States influences the international order and learn how to elaborate foreign policy action proposal and discuss foreign policy challenges in an informed manner. View the course overview for Foreign Policy (PDF, 100 Kb)
  • Schedule: The elective course is taught from 9:00 to 11:00 (Paris time, CET). Consult the schedule for Foreign Policy (PDF, 113 Kb)

Get a Deal: International Negotiations in Practice 

  • Professor: Barthélémy Michalon
  • Overview: In this workshop, students are exposed to a wide variety of scenarios and challenges, especially in an international context, and they need to use negotiation to overcome them. Students are faced with various role-playing situations, such as trade or diplomatic negotiations. This way, theoretical explanations provided in each class are immediately put into practice through interactive exercises and negotiation models. View the course overview for Get a Deal (PDF, 97 Kb)
  • Schedule: The elective course is taught from 17:00 to 19:00 (Paris time, CET). Consult the schedule for Get a Deal (PDF, 163 Kb)

Problem-Solving 101: Understanding Public Action in the 21st Century 

Course only available for Session 2 

  • Professor: Fatoumata Diallo
  • Overview: This course is a first venture into the world of public action and policy-making. It is designed to help students understand what policies are and why we care to understand how they are made. The theoretical concepts used throughout the course will help them understand the link between daily governmental actions and wider political science debates, such as democracy and globalization. View the course overview for Problem-Solving 101 (PDF, 65 Kb)
  • Schedule: The elective course is taught from 9:00 to 11:00 (Paris time, CET). Consult the schedule for Problem-Solving 101 (PDF, 111 Kb)

(Re)Thinking Social Identities: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Politics

Social Class: How Inequalities Shape our Lives 

  • Professor: Benjamin Brundu-Gonzalez
  • Overview: What is social class? Throughout the course, students examine how economic inequality has risen to record levels and why it matters. After taking the course, students will understand how class shapes our lives in a variety of domains. They will be able to recognize misconceptions about class and stratification whenever and wherever they will be encountered, in political discourse, in the news or on social media. View the course overview Social Class (PDF, 79 Kb)
  • Schedule: The elective course is taught from 9:00 to 11:00 (Paris time, CET). Consult the schedule for Social Class (PDF, 114 Kb)

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