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Grad Semester Programs: Sciences Po

Photo of Paris

The Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), founded in 1872, is an internationally recognized center of academic excellence and is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). Sciences Po’s reputation as a leading institution in the field attracts elite students from all over the world; over 30% of the full-time student body are international students. With an urban campus composed of 17th and 18th century buildings in the heart of Paris, students are exposed to the cultural flavor of the Saint Germain district, and world-class historical and cultural attractions such as the Louvre and Notre Dame are all within walking distance. Participate in the SIS Graduate Semester Abroad Program at Sciences Po and have a life-changing experience at a world-class French university.


AU students who participate in this one-semester program enroll as full-time students in regular courses alongside Sciences Po graduate students. Students must take a full courseload at Sciences Po and can earn up to 9 credits toward their MA program at AU. Programs of study at Sciences Po include:

  • International Development
  • International Security
  • International Public Management
  • International Economic Policy
  • Environment, Sustainable Development and Risks
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Action
  • European Affairs
  • Public Affairs
  • Communication
  • Economic Law
  • Finance and Strategy
  • Regional and Urban Strategies

Students are required to choose one program of study at Sciences Po, a choice which will influence the courses that are available to them.

Language Requirement

AU students enrolled in the Program typically take the majority of their courses in French. However, it is also possible to take courses in English and certain programs of study at Sciences Po have all of their course offerings in English. 

Students who wish to take courses in French must demonstrate proficiency in French at a high intermediate level at the time of application and are encouraged to reach advanced proficiency before enrolling at Sciences Po. Students are required to submit their TOR language exam results as part of the application. Students who are admitted to the Program should also be prepared to complete a basic language assessment administered by Sciences Po.

Student who will not be taking any courses in French do not need to provide any proof of language proficiency and may write their statement of interest in English, which will be submitted with their application materials.

Regardless of whether students plan to take courses in French or in English, it is recommended that all students study the French language before going to France in order to gain communication skills for daily life in Paris.

Academic Calendar

Fall: September – December
Spring: January - May

Students may spend one semester at Sciences Po.


Students are registered through the SIS Office of International Programs for up to nine (9) AU-Sciences Po exchange credits (SIS-698). These exchange credits cover the Program credits only; research and/or internship credits are registered under normal AU guidelines. NB: Students must carry a full courseload of 9 AU credits while studying at Sciences Po.  

  1. Students are required to meet with their AU academic advisor and obtain formal pre-approval for the Sciences Po courses they choose before enrolling at Sciences Po. This ensures that credits earned on the Program can be applied toward the student’s AU degree.
  2. Students register for Sciences Po courses via an online portal prior to the start of the semester and then meet with the Sciences Po advisor of their chosen program to confirm their courses. NB: Students are required to take a full courseload at Sciences Po.

Credit articulation: Grades and credits earned at Sciences Po are articulated through the SIS Office of International Programs upon receipt of an official transcript from Sciences Po. For conversion purposes, students should expect 2 Sciences Po credits to equal 1 AU credit. The grading scale used at Sciences Po is different from that used at AU and will be explained to students prior to their departure.


Tuition and Fees

Students pay regular tuition, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to AU. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or SIS fee while studying at Sciences Po. Students are billed directly by Sciences Po for the Welcome Program fee, student health insurance (sécurité sociale), and other student fees as applicable.  

Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program. Students are responsible for all personal expenses including housing and transportation.


Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements and for all housing costs. Sciences Po’s Accommodation Office can provide students with some resources for locating housing. Similarly, the SIS Office of International Programs may be able to connect students with past program participants who are willing to provide information about housing in Paris. However, students should expect to work independently to find housing in Paris.

Visas and Immigration

Once admitted to the Program, students are issued a letter of acceptance by Sciences Po. Students use this document to apply for their student visa at the nearest French embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens must initiate the visa application process via an online procedure.

Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents.

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the Program, the SIS Office of International Programs conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, and cross-cultural issues. Sciences Po holds an optional one- to two-week Welcome Program for international students at the beginning of each semester. AU students are strongly encouraged to participate, as it is designed to facilitate adjustment to the Sciences Po academic methodology and life in Paris.

How to Apply


Complete and submit the Program application to the SIS Office of International Programs by the application deadline. Remember to submit your TOR exam results with the application and a statement of interest written in French, if your plan to take any courses in French.

  1. After applications are processed and reviewed, students are selected by SIS for nomination to Sciences Po. Once nominated, students are directed to the Sciences Po website to upload supporting documents and information.
  2. Sciences Po makes the final admissions decision and corresponds directly with Program participants regarding course registration, orientation programs, etc...


The Program is competitive and applying does not guarantee admission.

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