SciencesPo SPA

… a summary of one of the Master’s Programs on the Atlas


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SciencesPo-Paris, School of Public Affairs (SPA) – MPP

Program Comparison Highlights

Institutional Structure: The School of Public Affairs (SPA) is one of 7 graduate schools in the Paris campus of SciencesPo, the others being the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), the SciencesPo Law School, the SciencesPo Urban School, the SciencesPo School of Communication, the SciencesPo School of Journalism, and the SciencesPo Doctoral School.

Note 1 (History). “The École Libre des Sciences Politiques (ELSP) was founded in 1872 by Émile Boutmy in response to the political and moral crisis in France in the aftermath of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. It was intended to educate the new elite and generate modern knowledge for a new France. Sciences Po possesses three unique qualities in French higher education. Thanks to its status as a private institution incorporated as a joint stock company, it had the freedom to choose its students, faculty members and programmes. Thanks to its scientific ambition, it implemented a pluralistic approach to “political sciences” (law, history, sociology, geography, economics) and an original focus on contemporary and foreign societies, thereby linking research and practical teaching. … in the late 2000s Sciences Po proved its ability to reinvent its approach to education and research, investing in pioneering fields of political science, international relations, sociology of organisations and post-1945 history, as well as political arts, scientific humanities and digital studies. Always true to its original mission of promoting dialogue among scientific and applied knowledge, Sciences Po has maintained its unique identity as a prestigious institution of higher learning for the elite and a world-class research university in the field of social sciences. (At, accessed 1 July 2016.)

Curriculum Design: With a 18-course degree, the SciencesPo MPP has an upper range course requirement among the MPP/MPA programs. Our PEACO calculations place the SciencesPo MPP in the “high course requirement, policy-oriented, higher math-economics content” curricular type, along with such programs as the Columbia MPA and the Toronto MPP (see MPP/MPA Curricular Types). Among peers in its curricular type, the SciencesPo MPP has as a medium number of courses and a high proportion of courses taught within the school. 

Professional Program Features: The website for the SciencesPo School of Public Affairs does not list career development services at but its academic coordinators and academic assistants are listed at The Research page for the whole of SciencesPo is found at

Program Summary


University: SciencesPo–Paris

Location: Paris, France

Degree: Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Marketing Approach: “The Master in Public Policy is a two-year degree designed to prepare future professionals of public affairs for a great diversity of careers worldwide. Anchored in social sciences, with a focus on exploring the intersection between public affairs and cutting-edge technologies, it develops an emphasis on policy and decision making 2.0. To equip our students with a multidimensional and panoramic vision, the curriculum is built around a thorough core module in public economics, public policy, ethics, technology, management, international governance and law, with a choice of a multitude of electives that examine current policy debates with insights from academics and practitioners. In all of these core courses, the teaching fuses frontier research and pedagogical innovation to equip new actors to harness today’s increasing complexities and to surmount the boundaries of clustered knowledge.The School offers multiple policy streams for students to specialize in critical policy challenges.” (At, accessed 1 July 2016.)

Degrees Awarded per Year: TO COME

Academic Unit within University: The School of Public Affairs

Related Academic Units and Degrees: The SciencesPo’s graduate programs are listed, by graduate unit, at In addition to the MPP, the School of Public Affairs offers a two-year Master in European Affairs (see; a one-year Master in Public Affairs (see Note 4 below and and short executive certificates (see

Posted Tuition: For 2016-17, students whose tax residence is in the European Economic Area pay fees according to a sliding scale, from and from € 0 to € 13,970 for the Master’s programmes; students whose tax residence is not in the European Economic Area will pay fees of € 13,970 for the Master’s programmes. (At, accessed 17 July 2016.)

Concentration/Curriculum Overview: The MPP curriculum is built around a thorough core module in public economics, public policy, ethics, technology, management, international governance and law, with a choice of a multitude of electives that examine current policy debates with insights from academics and practitioners. The School offers multiple policy streams for students to specialize in critical policy challenges.

Students also choose courses among a broad offer of electives and case studies. Starting in the academic year 2016-2017, a policy lab will give students the opportunity to collaborate with clients to co-develop and test practical solutions for public policy challenges in the field. This culture of innovation and exploration is the cornerstone of our philosophy. The Master in Public Policy curriculum is rounded off by the inclusion of:

  • Two courses chosen among Sciences Po’s hallmark common core curriculum
  • Sciences Po’s “in house” language courses
  • The personal project semester (internship, academic exchange, thesis, individual project)
  • The final oral exam, Sciences Po’s “grand oral”
MPP Degree Requirements

Summary: In the course of the four semesters, students must complete courses worth a total of 138 ECTS credits (34 in the first semester, 34 in the second, 40 in the third and 30 in the fourth).

Note 2 (Equivalencies). Using the Credit and Course Equivalencies of one 1 one-semester course in US and Canada = 7.5 ECTS credits in Europe, this is equivalent to 18.4 one-semester courses.

Duration: 2 years (four semesters of full-time study).

Academic Prerequisite: “The MPP is a rigorous two-year training program. We look for candidates who will contribute to our community as students and later, as public policy professionals. Successful applicants have an excellent academic record at the bachelor’s or master’s degree level. Professional experience is very much valued in the admission process and we seek a rich diversity of educational and professional backgrounds.” (At, accessed 1 July 2016.)

Number of One-Semester-Equivalent Courses Required for Completion: 18.4

Number of Required Courses: 8

Number of Electives Typically Taken (difference between above two entries): 10

Number of Electives Offered within Program: xx

Comprehensive Examination: Yes, the final oral exam, SciencesPo’s “grand oral”.

Thesis Required: Not necessarily, but a “personal project semester (internship, academic exchange, thesis, individual project)”

Internship Required: No, but option available

International Study Required: No

Co-curricular Activities Supportive to Degree

Professional Development and Career Support: Not mentioned on website

Student-run Journal: Not mentioned on website

Applied Projects: Not necessarily, but a “personal project semester (internship, academic exchange, thesis, individual project)”

Pro Bono Consulting: Not mentioned on website

Courses Offered: The courses on the core curriculum are listed at, and the elective courses are listed at, accessed 1 July 2016.

Course Material Online: Some of the elective courses include links to syllabi that include a paragraph-length description of the course.

Course Map for SciencesPo MPP

Note 3 (Course Map).

  • R indicates required course for an MPP student in the Politics and Public Policy Stream
  • R* indicates a SciencesPo Common Core course, assumed to be selected
  • only courses delivered in English are listed below – many others are available in French
  • The 4 ECTS courses are equivalent to just over one-half a one-semester course in North America (see Note 1 above)

and Skills

Policy Analysis and Process

KAFP 3175 – Public Policy 4 ECTS (R)

IFCO 2300 – Advanced Political Analysis 6 ECTS (R*) Syllabus

Strategic decision making 4 ECTS (R)

Implementation and Delivery 
Economic Analysis

KAFP3415 – Public economics – Beginner 6 ECTS (R/3)

KAFP3350 – Public economics – Intermediate 6 ECTS (R/3)

KAFP3355 – Public economics – Advanced 6 ECTS (R/3)

IFCO2255 – Economics and Society 6 ECTS (R*)

Quantitative Methods

KAFP 3170 – Policy Analysis & Policy Evaluation 6 ECTS (R/2)

KAFP 3435 – Policy Analysis and Policy Evaluation – Level 2 – Advanced 6 ECTS (R/2

Analytic Methods 

OAFP4430 – Big Data and Disruptive Analytics 4 ECTS

OAFP 4400 – Economics of Public Procurement 4 ECTS

Leadership Skills

Leadership 4 ECTS (R)

Communication Skills

Communication, Media and Politics 4 ECTS (R)

Multiple Subjects

Capstone Courses, etc.

A modern foreign language 2 x 4 ECTS (R)

Case Study 4 ECTS



and Context

Governance and Institutions

KEUR2340A – Political economy and comparative politics 4 ECTS (R)

OAFP3835 – Introduction to European Institutions 4 ECTS (R)

Public decision making 4 ECTS (R)

Changing Face of Politics 4 ECTS (R)

Public decision making 4 ECTS (R)

Changing Face of Politics 4 ECTS (R)

Public decision making 4 ECTS (R)

Changing Face of Politics 4 ECTS (R)

Law 4 ECTS (R)

Ethics, Rights and Accountability

Ethics and Public Policy 4 ECTS (R/2)

Socioeconomic and Political Context

KEUR 2340A – Political economy and comparative politics 4 ECTS (R)

OAFP4470 – Equal opportunity and Antidiscimination Policy 4 ECTS

Global Context

OAFP4405 – Euro Zone Governance 4 ECTS

International Economic Policy and Governance (R)

OEUR 2755 – France & the Memberstateness of the European Union 6 ECTS


Public Financial Management
Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Human Resource Management

OEBU2015A – Strategic Human Resources Management 4 ECTS

Information and Technology Management
Regulatory Policy and Management
Local Government Management
Nonprofit Management and Advocacy


Macroeconomic Policy

OAFP3915 – Economics of Money and Banking 4 ECTS

OAFP4420 – Banking system and European supervision 4 ECTS

International Development
Public Finance and Social Policy

OAFP4465 – Social innovation in Health 4 ECTS


OAFP4415 – Economics of Education 4 ECTS

Employment, Labour and Immigration
Cities, Urban and Regional Development

OAFP4410 – Urban Economics 4 ECTS

Environment and Sustainability
Agriculture and Resources
Science, Technology and Innovation

OAFP4290 – The Future of Work and Organizations in the Network Economy 4 ECTS

Technology and Public Policy 4 ECTS (R/2)

Industry, Trade and Investment
Energy, Transport and Infrastructure

OAFP4555 – Energy & Public Affairs in the Middle-East 4 ECTS

Defence, Security and Foreign Relations
Policing and Justice Administration
Arts and Culture

OAFP4445 – Heritage and international relations: tools, policies and practices 4 ECTS

OAFP2860 – Public Service Broadcasting in a changing environment 4 ECTS

Financial Markets

Instructional Distribution (PEACO Profile): The table below indicates the distribution of instruction offered, based on the course assignments to subjects in the Course Map below, weighted by estimated enrolment determined by the PEACO Algorithm.


Note 4: The one-year Master of Public Affairs

“The Master in Public Affairs (MPA) is Sciences Po’s flagship full-time one-year programme for mid-career professionals interested in public policy and the interaction of public and private sectors. It prepares students for today’s policy environment which is co-developed, co-produced and co-managed by empowered individuals.”

The MPA curriculum uses the same courses as the MPP for the fall and spring semesters, supplemented by a one-week orientation, a two-week session in January and a summer session (see

  • One-week orientation period in August to refresh students’ quantitative skills, to introduce major policy issues which will be discussed throughout the year, and to launch their individual projects.
  • Fall Semester consisting of:
    • two core courses, Public Policy and Macro Economics for Public Policy;
    • one common core curriculum course;
    • and two courses to be chosen among the policy streams offer or the electives.
  • Two-week session in January to develop practical skills and focus on specific policy issues.
  • Spring semester consisting of:
    • three core courses, Policy Implementation, Public Economics and Leadership & Organizational Change;
    • combined with two elective courses to be chosen among the policy streams offer or the electives;
    • and the Policy Lab.
  • Summer session consisting of advanced courses and focusing on developing practical leadership and management skills.

In addition to the above, students may choose to enrol in a language course. Non-French speakers are particularly encouraged to enrol in French language classes.

The overall required number of credits is 80 ECTS (or 20 standard Sciences Po courses).

Source: At and related sites (accessed 17 July 2016).

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 17 July 2016.