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Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po), Paris
Paris, France (Exchange Program) (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Fall Semester,
Spring Semester
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Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
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Fact Sheet:
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Dept Offering Program: Study Abroad OIP Program Type: Study Abroad (semester)
Language of Instruction: French Language Prerequisite: YES
Program Features: Academic Study Degree Level: 3 - Sophomore, 4 - Junior, 5 - Senior
Time Away: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester Housing options: Student responsibility
Program Group: Study Abroad OIP Program Adviser: Jordan Zilla
Program Description:
Program Description:


Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

We are not accepting applications to this program for the fall 2020 term. Please contact Jordan Zilla for information and guidance about alternate options.

Sciences Po is a prestigious institution in Paris that focuses on the Social Sciences, specifically the areas of international relations, public policy, politics, and economics. Students with an advanced level of French will take their courses alongside other domestic and international students in a very academically rigorous environment and will experience Paris through independent-living across the city. Through the program, Princeton students can develop their understanding and knowledge of contemporary European society.

The University

For over a century, the Institut d’Études Politiques, commonly known as “Sciences Po,” has been training the best young minds of France in the areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences. One of Europe’s most distinguished grandes écoles, Sciences Po prepares its graduates for careers in international business, multi-national organizations, the public sector, and other areas. Students—including increasing numbers of students from abroad— are drawn to Sciences Po for its commitment to understanding the contemporary world through an interdisciplinary approach in the social sciences. 

The Setting

Sciences Po Paris has an urban “campus,” composed of 17th- and 18th-century mansions located in the heart of the city. Its neighbors include ministries, embassies, corporate headquarters, publishing houses, and the Assemblée Nationale. In addition to the professional advantages that the setting provides, students are also exposed to the strong cultural flavor of the St. Germain district with its renowned cafés, art galleries, shops, cinemas, and restaurants.


Overall, the academic environment of Sciences Po is very different to that of Princeton. The expectation is that students are  pro-active, independent, and receive far less guidance from their professors and the university than in the North American university system. Not only 


A full course load for Princeton students consists of 30 ECTS with two core courses (2 cours magistraux OR 1 cours magistraux and 1 seminar) plus elective courses that complete the required credit load. Students will register for courses online either in July or January prior to their arrival in Paris. On-line registration is first-come, first-serve, so we recommend that students have back-up courses in mind. After the online-registration, there will be a brief "schedule adjustment period" that consists of a few days to a week in which students can contact the Registrar's Office directly and asked to be added into a course. After this period, students can only drop courses; there is no option to add. 

At the end of each semester, Sciences Po will issue an official transcript, which will be reviewed by the Office of International Programs for credit. Credit is not given for courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Courses may be taken to fulfill departmental requirements and up to two general education requirements, but they must be in two different areas. Courses are listed on the Sciences Po website. Students must select courses taught in French.

Sciences Po offers an optional, week-long Welcome Program at the beginning of the semester that is designed to help students prepare for the academic environment, discover the university, and get to know fellow students and the city of Paris through social and cultural immersion. In this orientation, students will receive 10 hours of methodology support throughout the week, learn about French current events over the past year, attend a forum on the different student associations at Sciences Po, go on cultural excursions throughout the city, and much more. Princeton highly recommends that students attend the Welcome Program and will cover the registration costs for students. 


For Princeton approval, participants must have at least a 3.0/ B average for the fall and spring semesters prior to the semester of study abroad. Students almost must have taken at least up to the 207 level of French and passed 207 with a B+ or higher. 

Grading & Credits:

For information regarding credits, grading, and other academic policies, read the Academic Policies on the Study Abroad website.

Academic Calendar

Fall Semester: late August to mid-December
Spring Semester: mid-January to mid-June

Please refer to the Sciences Po website for updated academic calendars


Sciences Po, like most French universities, does not have housing of its own. Students from Paris generally live at home with their parents or rent apartments on their own if they have the resources. Students from elsewhere in France usually get a room as a lodger in someone’s house, or, more frequently, obtain government subsidized housing in the Cité Universitaire or in a student hostel.

Due to recent visa changes, students are required to produce evidence of housing as a part of their visa application, so students will need to have secured accommodations in Paris prior to their appointment. The Sciences Po Housing website provides resources to assist students with finding housing, so we strongly recommend that students start there.

Students are offered help in finding accommodation through a list of contacts. The state-subsidized “Caisse d’Allocation Familiale” (CAF) also provides rent rebates for all students, regardless or their nationality or income, if their residency permit lasts more than four months. The CAF can reimburse students up to half the rent of your apartment. These rebates are called APL (Aide Personnalisée au Logement) or ALS (Allocation au Logement à Caractère Social). Sciences Po organizes sessions to help students fill in the forms for APL and ALS. Princeton does not accept final responsibility for living arrangements for students who attend Sciences Po.

Money Matters

Students who receive financial aid at Princeton continue to receive Princeton financial aid for the approved costs of study abroad programs during the academic year. For detailed information about financial aid, program fees, and billing for study abroad, please visit the Money Matters section of the Study Abroad website.

For estimated program costs, please click on the Budget Sheet at the top of this brochure.

Passport and Visa

Students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are valid for their entire stay in France. For further information on renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, please consult the U.S. State Department passport website.

All students wishing to pursue studies in France for more than 90 days must first register with Campus France first to obtain a student visa. After that time, students will complete an online application and then schedule an in-person for one of the VFS Global Centers in the U.S. The visa cannot be issued once you are in France. Please schedule your appointment as early as possible but within 60 days before departure to France. You may not apply more than 90 days prior to your departure.

The VFS administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant. Submitting the following documents, while required, does not guarantee issuance of a visa.

International students (other than European Union nationals) residing in France for more than three months must obtain a “student” residence permit (which is distinct from a visa), within two months of their arrival in France.

Application Process

In order to apply, the appropriate study abroad adviser from Princeton must review your qualifications and nominate you for the program.
  1. Make an appointment to see a study abroad adviser to discuss your interest in Sciences Po.
  2. Once you confirm that the nomination has been completed, you will receive application instructions directly from Sciences Po.
  3. Complete the study abroad application items in GPS no later than the deadline listed in GPS. You can access the GPS application by clicking "apply now" at the top of this page. 


Start planning your study abroad experience!

Testimonial: - unrelated header
What would you say to a student considering this study abroad program or study abroad in general?
DO IT - you will not only have amazingly transformative experiences abroad but, you will also learn to appreciate the amazing institution that Princeton is when you return.
     — Taylor Pearson, Fall Semester 2015
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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2021 10/16/2020 10/20/2020 TBA TBA
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