- Annual Enrollment:
- approximately 750 new degree seeking students each year
- Minimum GPA required:
- 3.5/4.0 for graduates from U.S. universities
- % International:
- 70% of PSIA students come from over 110 countries; 30% are French
- Degrees offered:
- Master in International Security, Master in International Public Management, Master in International Economic Policy, Master in Environmental Policy, Master in International Development, Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, Master in International Energy, Master in Journalism and International Affairs, Master in Advanced Global Studies (1-year)
- Info here
Paris School of International Affairs – Shaping Global Actors for a More Secure World
At Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), our goal is to train and shape global actors to understand and respond to the complexities of our world.
Since 2010, PSIA has continued Sciences Po’s century-long tradition of cultivating the minds of leading government officials, diplomats, and key international stakeholders.
As we prepare for PSIA’s 10th anniversary in 2020, we celebrate three main achievements:
- we are ranked in the top 3 universities globally for international studies;
- we attract truly outstanding students from more than 110 countries;
- we have become one of the largest schools of International Affairs in the world.
With 70% of our 400 courses offered in English, students may take a full course of study in English. PSIA classes are taught by world-renowned professors and leading practitioners. The result is a versatile mix of current scholarship and innovative operational training founded in best practice.
PSIA students have frequent opportunity to challenge world leaders and engage with global policy through our extensive series of events, notably at our flagship Youth and Leaders Summit.
By the end of their two-years with us, PSIA graduates are well positioned to pursue high-profile careers in a range of fields and sectors. Our graduates work across the globe, in governments, NGOs and the private sector. They become political advisors, public servants, analysts, researchers, diplomats, consultants, entrepreneurs and innovators.
At PSIA, our students learn to understand, navigate and engage with a complex world. Together, we work towards making the world a better, more secure place.
To receive information directly from the Admissions Department, click here.
What encouraged you to take up the position as dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po in September 2015?
By 2015, PSIA was already recognized as one of the world’s leading professional schools in international affairs. With my experience in European politics and public affairs, I was eager to contribute to PSIA’s outstanding, multilingual community, which is designed to train and shape global actors to understand and respond to the complexities of our world. Our approach of combining theory and practice is, from my perspective, essential when training tomorrow’s leaders and changemakers. By bringing together the best and brightest students from across the globe with world-renowned faculty and practitioners, PSIA has created a space that fosters dialogue, understanding, and, most of all, action for the twenty-first century.
What new projects and innovations have you instigated during your time as dean?
A first priority was to further develop the school as a platform for public debate. We launched our Youth and Leaders Summit in January 2016, which has become an annual conference for leading international affairs personalities to engage PSIA students in an open dialogue about a major global policy. In November 2018, PSIA students and faculty were important contributors to the Paris Peace Forum, a new initiative spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. Through such events, PSIA students have the chance to challenge world leaders and engage with global policy directly.
We have also launched new, collaborative initiatives relating to economic diplomacy and science diplomacy with our university and institutional partners. Our aim is to contribute and raise awareness of the study of these important fields and to develop world-leading training for students and professionals.
As you prepare to celebrate PSIA’s tenth anniversary, what is your vision for the next decade?
Our aim in the coming years is to ensure that PSIA goes from strength-to-strength. We are all proud of what PSIA has accomplished so far—notably, our top-three global ranking for international studies, from the 2019 QS World University Rankings. This is the result of continuous improvement to our curriculum, our collaboration with leading university partners, and, of course, our ability to attract incredible students from across the globe.
Degrees and courses at PSIA will continue to evolve, including in response to student feedback, to ensure we provide the most relevant and effective training so that our graduates learn to understand, navigate, and engage with a complex world, with a view to making it a better, more secure place.
What encouraged you to take up the position as Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po in September 2015?
PSIA is today recognized as one of the world’s leading professional schools of international affairs, and with my 25 years of experience in European politics and public affairs I was eager to contribute to such an outstanding community, in a multilingual environment that is indeed designed to prepare for our world’s changing landscape. PSIA truly manages to combine both theory and practice, and from my perspective, this is essential to best train tomorrow’s leaders and change-makers at a national and international level. Bringing together brilliant students from more than 100 countries and world-renowned faculty and practitioners, PSIA has created a space that fosters dialogue, understanding and, most of all, action for the 21st Century.
What new projects and innovations did you instigate during your first year as Dean?
PSIA was already a highly successful school when I joined as Dean. One priority was to further develop the school as a platform for public debate, building on the strong existing foundation of over 100 high-level events already offered each year. Working with a dedicated team of 40 students, we launched the annual Youth & Leaders Summit in January 2016, which welcomed over 2 days more than 40 of the world’s most prominent international actors and over 2000 PSIA students for a series of debates on the Agenda for the future UN Secretary General. Our students were also at the epicenter of the first edition of the Youth & Leaders Talks, held in April 2016 and which saw selected student speakers take to the stage, after several weeks of professional training, to share their own very personal interpretations and experiences of Crossing Borders. Through these events and more, PSIA’s students are in fact already actors contributing to a changing world, both present and future.
What is your vision for PSIA in the years to come?
Our aim in the coming years is to ensure that PSIA continues to nurture ever richer and more diverse opportunities offered to our community to study, learn and act in a meaningful way in a highly complex global environment. At PSIA, students can design their very own course of study thanks to our programs, which are both highly specialized but also flexible. We provide the most up to date combinations of expertise to our student community, preparing them for tomorrow’s challenges as they pursue their careers across continents. One pillar of PSIA’s strategy in the coming years will be to further develop the support we provide to outstanding students from the emerging world. They already represent 30% of our student body, but still many more could join PSIA, the beating heart of global affairs in Continental Europe.
What did attending PSIA change for you?
Prior to Sciences Po, my background was rather diverse. It included studies in Denmark, Singapore, and England, as well as substantial field experience from sub-Saharan Africa. I was 24, had strong analytical skills, but lacked direction. What I did not lack was curiosity and that is the alpha and omega at a place like Paris School of International Affairs, where stimulation is in abundance and diversity is the rule. I graduated with cum laude honors from the Master in International Security with concentrations in Africa and Middle East. I am about to begin a PhD at EUI in Florence, with full scholarship, and I am also launching the MENA Analysis network with another PSIA graduate.
How would you describe PSIA’s community?
The PSIA community is characterized by extreme diversity. You meet fellow students from all over the world and for me that is extremely stimulating as well as something we as students benefit immensely from. People came to Sciences Po with different backgrounds and different stories, and were constantly challenging each other. This had a great impact on my development not only as a student, but also as a person. It was from vibrant discussions with my peers that the idea to establish MENA Analysis came about. I wanted to harness the diverse talents, which has now taken the form of a network of young graduates with different expertise, who each have enormous analytical potential to offer. PSIA is a great example of how diversity fosters curiosity, development, and talent.
To what extent is PSIA’s curriculum preparing students for global careers?
Students leave PSIA both as educated generalists and experts in specific fields. This is a result of how the programs are structured, with a Master’s degree and 2 concentrations. This is also a product of the academic environment, the faculty being half academics and half practitioners. At PSIA, I was able to delve into the field of political Islam and its militant expressions to a degree that I now feature regularly in Denmark as a commentator on related issues. The thematic and regional concentrations are vital for this, allowing students to focus and apply their expertise. Students are also encouraged to study languages to enhance their professional and academic potential, and prepare for a life as global citizens.
At PSIA, you completed a Master’s thesis. Could you tell us more about this experience?
While other students select the internship track, I opted for a Master’s thesis. I focused on the diffusion of religious doctrine from Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran to sub-Saharan Africa, and for which I spent several months in Nigeria and South Africa conducting interviews and observing Islamic practices. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial this has been in my decision to pursue a PhD, and also my outstanding supervisor Stéphane Lacroix’s essential contribution.
The opportunity to embark on true research, the value of a prolonged period of fieldwork and the close collaboration with Pr. Lacroix were extremely important in shaping my profile, providing me practical experience and competencies to complement those I gained in the classroom.
Ghassan Salamé is the Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po and the Chairman of the Board of the International Crisis Group (Brussels). He is also the former Lebanese Minister of Culture.
How does the faculty composition of PSIA reflect innovation in learning approaches and curriculum?
PSIA is a leading professional school of international affairs, where theory truly meets with practice. PSIA students interact with academics of the highest level as well as with leading practitioners who have truly had impact on their field: each group makes up half of the teaching staff. In the classroom are highly distinguished faculty from Sciences Po and from partner universities, as well as leading diplomats, former army generals, development specialists, leaders in the energy sector, writers, directors of international organizations, entrepreneurs, mediators, founders of NGOs, economists, and experts in seven different area studies.
The diversity of our faculty contributes to a very rich experience for our students, most of whom come with prior experience and whose learning curve is exponential.
Any specific examples of practitioners teaching at PSIA and at the forefront this year?
In the upcoming academic year, 350 faculty members will once again join us. Let me mention for example Ambassador Laurence Tubiana (Ph.D.), recently appointed Special Representative of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, COP21. A professor teaching climate negotiations at Sciences Po, Laurence Tubiana is also the Scientific Advisor of our master’s programs in International Development and in Environmental Policy, the president of the Agence Française de Développement, and the co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Leadership Council.
At PSIA, we are honored to welcome other remarkable practitioners such as, amongst so many others, Laurence Boone, Economic Advisor to French President François Hollande and who teaches European Economic Policy, Rony Brauman, a co-founder and former president of Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, France), the scientific advisor for the Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action and who teaches humanitarian crisis response, and Miguel Angel Moratinos, Former Foreign Minister of Spain and EU Special Representative to the Middle East Process, who teaches the practice of diplomacy.
From your perspective both as academic and diplomat, how does PSIA stand today on the world scene?
I am proud to share that PSIA has become a magnet for the best and brightest minds in international affairs. World leaders come to lecture, distinguished professors come to teach, great professionals share their experience, and last but not least, outstanding students apply in great numbers. Every year PSIA welcomes students from 100 countries, creating a very vibrant and diverse multicultural community. Along with our professors, I thus have the utmost confidence that our students, past, present, and future, will be joining the ranks of the CEOs, presidents, ministers, entrepreneurs, activists, professors and leaders of international organizations.
“I truly feel that so many doors have been opened to me both in terms of opportunities but also in terms of ambitions which previously seemed so out of reach, but are now within reach, thanks to the drive and the encouragement of the PSIA team. I’ve had some really fantastic teachers, and great courses that I would never have been exposed to studying elsewhere.”
— Lucy, PSIA ‘2013, Master in International Security, Sciences Po