Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po): Paris, France

a. General Information

The Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (known as “Sciences Po”) was established in 1871 and is one of France’s leading universities for social sciences. Traditionally known for its academic focus on political science, Sciences Po also offers graduate programs in law, finance, journalism, communication, and urban studies. Of its 13,000 students, 47% are international and represent 150 countries. Within the Law School alone, 40% of the students are now international.

Sciences Po Law School (SPLS)’s main areas of academic focus are economic law, the law of globalization, and legal theory.  It offers specialized courses of study that feature small group teaching with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary approaches.

Sciences Po is located in one of Paris’s most famous districts: Saint Germain des Prés, just off the Seine River and within walking distance of many famous French sites, including Musée du Louvre and Notre Dame de Paris.

b. The Exchange Program

Exchange students can visit Sciences Po Law School for either one semester, in accordance with Stanford Law School policies. Exchange students will be pay tuition to their home university.  Exchange students will be fully integrated within the Sciences Po student body and will be considered as part of the Sciences Po community. SLS students will earn credits towards their Stanford JD degree in accordance with Stanford Law School policies for converting credit for courses taken at a foreign law school.

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c. Academic Calendar

The academic year at Sciences Po Law School is divided into two semesters that run from September through mid-December and January through April/May.

Visit SciencesPo Exchange Program website for a copy of their academic calendar.

d. Language of Instruction

Courses are offered in both French and English and exchange students may choose the language of instruction.

If your first language and/or the language of your studies is not French and you wish to enroll in French courses, you must have:

  • At least European language level C1;
  • the equivalent of a score of 500 on the TCF; or
  • a DALF C1.

Any student who does not have evidence of official test results may complete a languages self-evaluation form. Information about this will be provided when students complete their online applications. The minimum level required to enroll in courses taught in French is French Level 3 at Sciences Po.  (A Sciences Po level 3 corresponds to a European language level B2.)

e. Eligible Courses

Exchange students enrolled in the program can choose from Sciences Po Law School’s graduate-level course offerings. Courses in the Master in Economic Law program are available on the Law School’s website at:  Courses on this website are keyed to the year of study for Sciences Po degree students.

For more information, please contact Sciences Po’s Student Exchange Unit (

f. English-language Courses

See sections (d) and (e) and the Sciences Po Law School website.

g. Academic Requirements for Admission to the Exchange Program

Exchange students must have successfully completed at least one full year of law studies at their home law school and shall be in good standing.  Although Stanford Law School may nominate students for study at Sciences Po Law School, the admission of students will ultimately be determined by Sciences Po.

h. Standard Course Loads

Graduate exchange student take a maximum of 24 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits per semester. Students are highly encouraged to take a French language class. There are no imposed majors or degree programs specifically associated with exchange students. Therefore, incoming students can enroll in any of the classes offered at SPLS, according to their personal interests and their home university’s requirements.

i. Course Enrollment and Registration

Course registration for your classes and seminars is to be completed online:

Online application for the Autumn semester:

  • end of April

Online application for the Spring semester:

  • by mid-October

j. Grading System

Sciences Po uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and grades students on a scale of 0 to 20, with 10/20 as the lowest passing grade. If a student is awarded credits for (passes) a course, he or she will be graded in relation to the rest of the class: the first 10% are given an A, the next 25% a B, the next 30% a C, the next 25% a D, and the remaining 10% receives an E.

Although many SPLS courses are evaluated by written examination, some Sciences Po courses determine grades on the basis of papers, class participation, or other criteria, or some combination thereof. Just as at Stanford Law School, Sciences Po evaluation methods may vary from course to course depending on the professor and subject matter.

k. The Application Procedure

A Stanford Law student who wishes to study at Sciences Po as an exchange student must first be nominated by Stanford Law School.  Stanford Law School will nominate their students online. Nominated students are then required to complete their online application before the indicated deadline and attach the required supporting documents: CV, motivational letter, ID photo, university grade transcripts, and evidence of French/English language levels (if applicable).

l. Application Deadlines

Online nominations and applications:

  • For the Autumn semester: from March 7, 2023 – March 31, 2023
  • For the Spring semester: from September 26, 2023 – October 10, 2023

m. Housing Information

Located in the heart of Paris, Sciences Po does not have housing on campus to offer its students. As a result, you must make arrangements to find your own accommodation. Sciences Po has made available numerous housing offers and information to help guide you in your search. One section also provides information regarding housing benefits to which you may be entitled. You will find on this site accommodation listings and information on finding housing in Paris, as well as practical and legal advice on renting in France:

n. Visa/Immigration Information

As an incoming international student at Sciences Po, you will need to complete some mandatory administrative formalities to regularize your immigration status.  Students are required to complete both a “Campus France” application and apply for a visa.   Information about the Campus France application process can be found on the Campus France USA website at:

Visa application information (who is covered, how to apply, cost, etc.) can be found at:  Please plan ahead to apply for a visa, as the process can take some time.

o. Fees

Required health insurance – see section (q).

p. Estimated Cost of Living

Housing costs an average of 800 Euros a month depending on your location and your apartment’s amenities.  After including the cost of food, transportation, books and leisure activities, you can expect your monthly expenses to be approximately 1,150 Euros. A chart regarding cost-of-living expenses can be found at

q. Health Insurance Requirements

There has been a reform of the health care system in France, and international students no longer need to be affiliated with the “Sécurité Sociale”, however it is still available to international students, free of charge. Find the details on the Sciences Po website.

r. Program Contacts/Advisors at the Partner School

For further information, please contact:

Sciences Po’s Student Exchange Unit

Sylvain Quatravaux, International Affairs Manager

Josephine Flossaut, Exchange Program Coordinator

Julie Babin d’Amonville, Sciences Po Law School Academic Advisor

s. Library Information

Please visit: