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Sciences Po Paris

Program Site: Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, within walking distance of the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Musée d’Orsay.

Eligibility: Minimum 3.3 cumulative USC GPA, junior standing and IR, ECON or POSC major. Successful applicants will demonstrate independence and high motivation.  The language requirement depends on chosen language of instruction:

  • Three semesters (or the equivalent) of French for the English-only academic year program
  • Four semesters of French for the English-only spring program
  • FREN 330 and a satisfactory grade on the Sciences Po language placement exam for the French-only or English/French program

Applicants are highly encouraged to consider spending fall semester with USC Paris and spring semester at Sciences Po.  Read about one USC student's experience in both programs here.

Description: Students majoring in International Relations, Political Science or Economics have the opportunity to spend a semester or year at the prestigious Institut d’Etudes Politiques, or Sciences Po. With a reputation rivaling American Ivy League schools or the London School of Economics, Sciences Po is the leading French university for teaching and research in the social sciences. Its notable alumni are a who’s who in French politics and industry, including Jacques Chirac, François Hollande, François Mitterand, and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Academics: Sciences Po offers the unique opportunity to take courses entirely in French*, entirely in English, or a combination of the two. There are two types of courses offered: lectures (composed of a lecture and discussion session) and electives (which meet for fewer hours). Students will take a combination of lectures, electives, and language courses depending on their language track:

  • Students taking all courses in French choose one 5 unit lecture course and four 2-unit electives
  • Students taking all courses in English choose one 5 unit lecture course and four 2-unit electives
  • Students taking courses in both English and French choose one 5 unit lecture course in French or English, one 2 unit elective course in French, one 2 unit elective course in English, and two 2-unit elective courses in English or French

All students are also required to take a 2 unit French language course as their sixth class. USC students study alongside their French peers and are free to choose any course offered during the semester.

* Note that not all French-taught courses are eligible for French major or minor credit.

Sample lecture courses:

  • Une histoire politique de l'Europe au 20ème siècle
  • Globalisation, Etats et marchés financiers
  • Les grandes questions de l'Union européenne 
  • International and European Economics
  • Politics and Media
  • International Organizations and Global Governance

Sample elective courses:

  • Initiation aux techniques financières. Corporate finance et finances de marché
  • L'Union Européenne en action : les grands projets et les nouvelles politiques pour l'Europe
  • L'Afrique Sub-Saharienne et le développement 
  • The Integration of Sustainable Development in Corporations: a New Business Model?
  • China and India in International Relations
  • Violence, Memory and Amnesia : Political Conflicts in XXth Century Chile

Course Load and Credit: Students can earn a maximum of 15 units for the spring semester or 30 units for the full year.  Students must obtain a grade of 10/20 to receive USC credit.

Activities and Other Program Features: USC students are fully integrated into university life, and are encouraged to join one of the many student organizations which focus on everything from politics, the environment, and development to culture, religion and sports. There is also an active student arts association which organizes regular events such as theater festivals and concerts. Sciences Po also has a speaker series, which has included world leaders and policy makers such as Condoleezza Rice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Romano Prodi and Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

Accommodations: Sciences Po does not provide university-owned housing. Students must make their own housing arrangements in Paris.

Dates: Spring or Year. Spring semester runs from mid January to late May and the academic year runs from late August to late May.

Estimated Year Cost:
Additional Expenses*.............$27,596

Cost Updated: 5/28/15
Text Updated: 9/9/15

*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance (both American and government-required French), and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information

Video on Sciences Po
Sciences Po Guide for International Students
Sciences Po Curricula
Sciences Po Course Listings
French Consulate in Los Angeles
France Tourist Information

USC Graduates interested in graduate studies at Sciences Po are encouraged to apply for the M. David-Weill Scholarship.