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SciencesPo Paris

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MPP and MPA Programs

Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), School of Public Affairs - MPP

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: Sciences Po has partnered with many leading universities to offer dual public policy degrees. Sciences Po is also the founding member of the Global Public Policy Network (GPPN), a partnership between Columbia University, University of Tokyo, The Hertie School of Governance, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and the Institute of Public Affairs at the LSE. 

Curriculum Design: TO COME

Professional Program Features: TO COME

Program Summary


University: Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

Location: Paris, France

Degree: Master of Public Affairs (MPA), four other public policy related Masters degrees, as well as numerous dual policy degrees with foreign Universities.

Degrees Awarded per Year:  Master of Public Affairs: 52 (2013), other degrees TBD [Information will be requested from the School]

Academic Unit within University: Sciences Po

Posted Tuition: EUR 24,000 for the academic year (2013)

Concentration/Curriculum Overview

The Sciences Po MPA sees public affairs as a process embedded within a structure of formal rules and informal power dynamics and situated within specific organizational and institutional contexts. This "actor-based" approach pairs field-based learning with a solid grounding in analytical and quantitative tools. In addition to courses in applied sociology, economics and policy-specific areas, all MPA students travel for a major research field trip in the first year and then participate in a year-long capstone project in the second year.  

Degree Requirements

Summary: The Master of Public Affairs at Sciences Po is grounded in analytical skills, applied to public affairs issues at local, national and global scales, with an emphasis on learning from a comparative perspective. The MPA curriculum stresses the importance of institutions and organizations, as shaped by politics, economics and strategy.

In the first year, students are required to take six mandatory courses. These courses lay the theoretical and methodological foundations for the rest of the program. In the second year, all students, including students who have chosen the thesis option are required to take the Capstone Course which is a supplement to the capstone or thesis project.

All first-year MPA students participate in a study trip. The trip complements what students have learned about the design and analysis of policies and emphasizes the complexity inherent in policy-implementation.
The second-year capstone course a client-based research project, whose subject is a concrete policy issue. Capstones are carried out by small groups of three to five students. Capstones involve research, tutoring, policy study visits, and a professional outcome or "deliverable." The capstone demands effective team work and it is graded according to norms of academic quality.
In the second year, students must also choose a concentration.  The MPA is a generalist degree designed to ensure broad knowledge of policy processes as well as the range tools that make public affairs professionals effective.  It is nevertheless important to take the theories and tools that you learn in the MPA and apply them in depth to particular areas within the field of public affairs. Concentration areas include: Economic and Territorial Development, Governance of the European Union, Human Security and Sustainable and Global Governance.

Each concentration requires students to take at least six related electives; three tools electives and three policy electives.  Elective courses offer further study in particular policy areas, specific analytical tools or organizational leadership capabilities. Graduate students must fulfill an organizational management requirement by choosing among several options. In the second year, students can pick electives concentrating on leadership, policy tools and various policy topics.

The MPA also allows a limited number of students to gain in-depth academic research experience necessary for admission to a doctoral program.

Duration: 2 years (four terms of full-time study, one summer internship).

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 24 Science Po one-semester courses equivalents (including a required summer internship). This is equal to approximately 16 North American one-semester course equivalents.

Note 1. The formal Science Po requirement for graduation is "a passing grade in courses totaling 120 credits" (, where most one-semester courses have a value of 5 credits. The number of "North American one-semester course equivalents" could be estimated as 2/3 this number given that a full course load at Science Po is 6 courses each semester and a full course load in a North American MPP or MPA program is 4 courses each semester.

Note 2. At Science Po, the summer internship is required and is given the same 5 credits as a regular one-semester course. This is a lower weight than we are giving other mandatory summer internship courses which are not formally given a course equivalency by the institution, such as those at Duke University and the University of Oxford, where we are assigning 2 one-semester course equivalents, based on the formal provision for the University of Toronto summer internship.

Number of Required Courses: 10 (6.67 North American one-semester course equivalents). 

Number of Electives Typically Taken 14 (9.33 North American one-semester course equivalents)

Number of Electives Offered within Program: 36 (24 North American one-semester course equivalents)

Comprehensive Examination: No

Thesis Required: Not required, but students interested in pursuing a PhD may complete a Thesis.

Internship Required: Yes

International Study Required: No but students participate in a study trip in the first year. Sciences Po also offers dual public policy degrees, granting students the opportunity to spend a year at a partner university abroad.

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Yes

Student-run Journal: Yes

Applied Projects: Yes

Pro Bono Consulting: No

Courses Offered: The full list of 2013-2014 Sciences Po couses can be found on the dideicated MPA website. Required course are found at:   Electives are at: List of past Capstone projects is found at: Courses related to second year concentration topics are found at:

The courses offered by the Sciences Po have been assigned to Atlas subjects in the map below. Required courses are indicated by (R). Where the required course has two options, they are both designated with (R/2); where they have three options they are designated with (R/3) and where there are four options they are designated by (R/4). Courses used by the Atlas as "compass courses" are marked with an asterisk (*).

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Scores): The distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the CourseMap below, weighted by estimated enrolment based on the number of electives offered (36) and number of electives typically taken (14) is as follows:




I. Courses Required and Offered

Number of one-semester courses required for degree


Number of required courses


Number of elective courses taken


Number of courses offered


Enrolment weight of elective courses


II. Distribution of Courses (Enrolment-Adjusted) among Atlas

     Domains and Subjects

Tools and Skills


  - Strategy and Structure


  - Economic Analysis



  - Quantitative Methods and Management Sciences


  - Leadership, Communication, Professional Practice


Institutions and Context


  - Democratic Institutions and Policy Process


  - Ethics and Accountability


  - Socioeconomic, Political, and Global Contexts


Management Functions


  - Public Financial Management


  - Evaluation and Performance Measurement


  - Other Management Functions


Policy Sectors


  - Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


  - International Development


  - Health


  - Other Policy Sectors




III. Number of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student in NASPAA Required Competency Domains

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Total Course Equivalents taken in Required Competencies


IV. Ratio of Courses in "NASPAA-required Subjects" taken by

      Typical Student to Estimated Requirement for Competency

Lead and Manage in Public Governance


Participate and Contribute to the Policy Process


Analyze, Synthesize, Solve Problems and Make Decisions


Articulate and Apply Public Service Perspectives


Communicate and Interact with Workforce and Citizenry


Ratio of Total Instruction in Competencies to Amount Needed


V. Number of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics or Quantitative

      Methods Courses taken by Typical Student

Economic Analysis


Fiscal, Monetary and Tax Policy


Quantitative Methods





Source: At 13 September 2013).

Page Created By: Khilola Zakhidova on 13 October 2013; updated by Ian Clark on 14 November 2013 and Dave Marshall on 3 April 2015. Updating and editing may consist of substantive and/or formatting changes. Unless otherwise noted, however, information regarding a program's structure, curricular offerings and PEACO score is based on the program as it was on the date of page creation. The content presented on this page, except for the assignments of courses to Atlas subjects, the Instructional Distribution analysis, and the Commentary is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.

Sciences Po MPA CourseMap
 C o u r s e s  O f f e r e d  l i s t e d  b y  P u b l i c  M a n a g e m e n t  S u b j e c t

Analysis and Skills

 Policy and Management Analysis

  Policy Analysis (R)
  From Analysis to Policy (R)
  Comparative Public Management (R)
  Risk Governance: Policy, Politics and Organization

 Economic Analysis

  Microeconomics for Public Policy (R)
  Economic Choices

 Quantitative Methods

  Statistics and Data Analysis for Policymakers (R)
  Research Method Course (R)

 Analytic Methods

  Geospatial Information: GIS and Beyond (R/2)
  Negotiation Theory and Practice in Multi-stakeholder Context
  Culture and Negotiation

 Leadership Skills

  Managing and Anticipating Change: Scenario Planning and the Exercise of Leadership in an Increasingly Volatile World
  Leadership in International Organizations

 Communication Skills

  Managing Conflict and Negotiations

 Professional Practice

  First Year Pro Seminar (R)
  Summer Internship (R)
  Capstone (R x 2)

Institutions and Context

 Democratic Institutions and the Policy Process

  Comparative Political Institutions (R)
  Institutions, Organizations and Complexity (R)

 Ethics, Rights and Accountability

 Social and Political Context

 International and Global Context

  Frameworks for Global Governance
  Global Dimensions of the Rule of Law and Democracy
  Going global? The EU and the International Governance
  Policy Making in the EU
  Policy-making in Transition: Tools and Strategies
  Governing Change: Greece, Europe and the World
  EU / Asia from a Comparative Perspective
  Gender and Global Governance

Management Functions

 Public Financial Management

Public Finance

 Evaluation and Performance Measurement

 Human Resources Management

 Information Management and Technology

 Program and Service Delivery

 Regulatory Policy and Management

 Nonprofit Management and Advocacy

Policy Sectors

 Macroeconomic Policy

  Economic Policy in the EU
  Principles of Macroeconomics (R/2)

 International Development

  Economics of Development (R/2)
  Infrastructure and Project Finance (R/2)
  Development Economics for Policymakers
  Economic and Territorial Development: Managing Geography from a National and International Perspective
  Trade and Development in Low Income Countries

 Social Policy and Welfare


  International Public Health - Governance, Policymaking, and Standardization


 Employment, Labour and Immigration

  Migration and Policy

 Cities, Urban and Regional Development

  Economic and Territorial Development (R/2)

 Environment and Sustainability

  Global Governance for Sustainable Development
  The Science, Economics, Policies and Politics of Climate Change

 Agriculture and Resources

 Science, Technology and Innovation

 Industry, Trade and Investment

  Economics of International Trade
  Global Supply Chains
  Trade and Economic Diplomacy (R/2)

 Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

  Infrastructure Finance
  Globeal Energy and Sustainability (R/2)

 Defence, Security and Foreign Relations

  Human Security (x 2)
  International Security
  Language and Power

 Policing and Justice Administration

 Financial Markets

 Other Policy Sectors

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance