Sciences Po’s new and “reformed” admissions procedure will open in autumn of 2020 for applications for the 2021/2022 academic year. All candidates, both French and international, will be evaluated in the same ways on identical and transparent criteria.
This plural and demanding assessment process is based on four separate evaluations: students are required to have an excellent academic record, confirmed in the results of their final secondary school exams. They should be able to present themselves and express their motivations in writing, and convince a jury in an interview.
Four equally weighted evaluations to identify the best talents
The first three evaluations of the admissions procedure are assembled in a single application that shows the full diversity of the candidate’s academic and extra-curricular skills. The application should demonstrate that the candidate is both knowledgeable and well-rounded. It consists of three marks out of 20:
- A mark out of 20 for the candidate’s results in the Baccalaureate exams or foreign equivalent
- A mark out of 20 for his or her academic performance in the last three years of secondary school: this takes into account all grades obtained over the three years, but also the student’s overall progress and feedback from teachers.
- A mark out of 20 for three written pieces: a personal statement in which the candidate describes his or her activities and areas of interest, another in which he or she defend his or her motivations and reasons for applying to Sciences Po, and an essay.
In order to proceed to the interview, the fourth and final evaluation of the admissions procedure, candidates must obtain a mark equal to or higher than a minimum mark out of 60 to be defined by the Sciences Po admissions jury each year.
The interview: a guided exercise to complete the evaluation process
The interview provides an important opportunity for the institution to meet the candidate. It gives a new perspective on the candidate, which is distinct from the other evaluations since the examiners are not given access to the application. Students will be assessed on their ability to engage in discussion, their attitude in response to questions, and the strength of their potential for success at Sciences Po.
The discussion will be conducted remotely. It will last 30 minutes and consist of three sequences:
- The candidate introduces him or herself
- The candidate is asked to choose from two images that he/she will comment on and analyse
- The candidate discusses his or her motivations with the examiners
After the interview, the four marks out 20 are added to give a final admission mark out of 80. For the candidate to be offered a place, this mark must meet or exceed a minimum admission mark set by the Sciences Po admissions jury each year.
At every stage of the admissions process, decisions are made by an experienced panel of evaluators, combining secondary school teachers and members of the teaching and academic staff at Sciences Po. This panel conducts a deep and detailed assessment of each application, without the input of any algorithm.
Secondary school students preparing to sit the French Baccalaureate must apply via the Parcoursup admissions platform, following the platform’s own deadlines. For international secondary school students who will obtain a foreign high school diploma, admissions will continue to be conducted through the Sciences Po admissions website, with results announced to candidates on a rolling basis.
- Applying via Parcoursup, following the French platform’s deadlines
From mid-January to late March: applications open
During April/May: applications evaluated
May: interviews and admissions results
- Applying on the Sciences Po admissions website
From late November: applications open
Between November and June: evaluation of applications and interviews
Applications are assessed on a rolling basis and the timeline for announcing decisions varies depending on when the completed application is submitted and to which admissions jury it is allocated. On average, candidates receive their response between six and eight weeks after submitting their application.
More information: https://www.sciencespo.fr/admissions/en/undergraduate.html
An extension of Sciences Po’s policy of social inclusion and equal opportunities
Candidates from secondary schools participating in Sciences Po’s Equal Opportunity Programme (CEP) apply through the Parcoursup platform and pass the same evaluations as all other candidates, but are admitted through a specific admissions pathway. The application phase allows for their specific background as part of the CEP to be taken into account.
The number of secondary schools participating in the programme will increase from 106 to 200 by 2023, taking the proportion of CEP admissions from 10% to 15% of each new cohort. The aim is for scholarship holders to make up 30% of all incoming undergraduate classes.
Application costs have now been harmonised: all candidates will pay 150 euros to submit their application, with the exception of scholarship holders, who will be exempt. With interviews conducted remotely, candidates will not need to cover any transport costs.