A word from the President
“It is widely said that we must remake men, that is to say remake in men a cult of lofty things and a taste for arduous study. This is most assuredly a pressing necessity. But must we not ﬁrst create an elite, which would, step by step, set the tone for the entire nation? To remake the head of a people, it all comes back to that. Higher education gets right to the heart of our foremost and most pressing political problem”, wrote Émile Boutmy to Ernest Vinet in 1872, the year in which the École libre des sciences politiques was founded. One hundred and forty-ﬁve years later, it would seem that little has changed.
And yet… from the days the École libre was founded in 1872, to Sciences Po in 2017, everything has changed. It began as a private institution and became a public one—the Institut d’études politiques de Paris—in 1945, supported by a private foundation—the Fondation nationale des sciences politiques, or FNSP—which establishes the general orientation for the institution. It was a school with a class of a thousand students per year; it has become a university of excellence, with a student body of 13,000 students. It was an essentially national institution; it has become a global university, with 47% foreign students coming from 150 countries and 410 partner universities around the world. It was a Parisian institution, if not one essentially rooted in the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; it has become a university with six regional campuses throughout France, each dedicated to the study of a particular area of the world: Nancy, Dijon, Poitiers, Menton, Le Havre and Reims. The École libre was a school hosting just a few research centers; Sciences Po is now a global social science research university with an academic community of more than 200 permanent faculty members, ten research centers, and nearly 4,000 adjunct faculty who bring the beneﬁt of their professional activity to their teaching at Sciences Po. It was a school with a homogenous student body, reserved to those of privileged backgrounds; it is today an institution committed to socio-economic diversity, with 30% of its students receiving ﬁnancial aid, ﬁve times more than in 2000. In this time of ascendant populism, clichés about Sciences Po persist. However, they are contradicted by reality more and more every year. Nothing is more foreign to the spirit of Sciences Po than conventional thinking. Nothing is more central to it than teaching students to think for themselves and to instill in them the precept of the surrealist poet Jacques Rigaut: “And though I assert, I question still.” The following pages will provide you with all the useful information you might require: conditions of admission, programs offered, courses taught, academic rules. You will also ﬁnd in them the open-mindedness, rigor and excellence that characterize an institution whose mission is not only to instruct but also to raise up.