Institut d'etudes politiques de Paris

Introduction

Introducing Sciences Po

For over one hundread years, Sciences Po has been training the best young minds of France and Europe for leadership service. As one of Europe's most distinguished universities, Sciences Po prepares its graduates to take their place in international business, multilateral organizations, positions of public responsibility, and other fields of endeavor.

Students are drawn to Sciences Po - including increasing numbers (over 25% of the student body) of students from abroad - for its commitments to understanding the contemporary world through a plurisdisciplinary grounding in the social sciences. International students in particular stand to benefit not only from solid training in contemporary history and the synthetic core curriculum, but also from Sciences Po's famous method-training seminars and other features of an intensive pedagogical approach.

As Sciences Po accepts the challenge of joining the ranks of the great international university centers, students from France and around the world find whithin its walls the rare opportunity to develop a global focus on the great questions of the day.

At the same time, they will continue to imbibe a rigorous observation and analysis of the world that draws on the best traditions of European education.


Sciences Po Today and Tomorrow

Sciences Po has always preferred to draw on rather rest on its position at the top of French education for leadership. Pursuing its longstanding vision of education across discipline lines, Sciences Po is busy at work to adapt its broad approach for technical expertise, its pathbreaking teaching style, and its strong research base to an increasingly European and international context.

In a nutshell, the school's goal is to remain able to respond to the demand for increasingly specialized expertise with a broadbased yet highly focused professional education. Sciences Po alumni typically distinguish themselves by their ability to seize the essential and to bring a sharpened set of social science skills to bear upon it. Proof of the effectiveness of the Sciences Po approach is found in the wide range of sectors that employ the school's graduates: from business or public administration to research, communications, and media.

Sciences Po is in fact a full-fledged, self-governing university which enrolls some 5,000 students, including 1,300 students from abroad, in a variety of degree programmes. Half of these students pursue Master's level or professional degree programmes. In addition, several thousand working professionals each year benefit from Sciences Po's highly developed programme of specialized mid-career training courses. In general, instruction at Sciences Po aims to impart an understanding of social sciences principles sufficient to equip its students not only to comprehend but also to have an impact on the world they inherit. Comparative and cross-disciplinary vantage points are central to a curriculum that strives to comprehend global coherence and conflict, as well as the implications of current social, political, and economic debate.

Instruction is provided by a staff of some 1,200 teachers, a great majority of whom are solidly established as practitioners in their respective fields. This unusual type of faculty is anchored by a small nucleus of tenured professors teaching full-time at Sciences Po.

The research arm of the fondation is composed of seven research centers which provide a framework for some 200 researchers. Research account for 20% of the annual budget of the fondation; taken in a national perspective this effort represents one of the most important initiatives in social science research in France today.

The library at Sciences Po houses a nearly million-volume collection of works in the various social sciences and 20th-century history, one of europe's richest collections of its kind. The library is in fact the hub of the Documentary Service which maintains 16,000 press dossiers on a wide range of sub-topics ranging back over most of the century, and which each years abstracts and indexes some 17,000 articles from the 6,000 periodicals to which the Documentary Service subscribes.

Finally, as a university, Sciences Po is doted with an invaluable tool for the dissemination of new knowledge in the social sciences: the Presses de Sciences Po, which publishes thirty new works each year along with six academic journals of international standing and readership. The Press maintains a backlist of 750 titles.