2020 Admissions: A New Record High Of Applications Despite An Unprecedented Context

15/04/2021 | 12:00 Press Releases  
Paris, 15 April 2021 - In an unprecedented and turbulent context, the results of the 2020 admissions process show that Sciences Po remains highly attractive, with a record number of nearly 22,000 applicants (compared to 20,809 in 2019). This increase is particularly strong in applications for Master’s programmes, PhDs and international admission procedures.
Through admissions processes that maintained Sciences Po’s selection standards despite the challenging context, 4,758 new students from 132 countries joined our Undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral programmes, keeping selectivity stable at 22%. Similarly to previous years, 61% of those admitted were women.
Admissions to the Undergraduate College (Bachelor)
Nearly 11,000 high school students applied for undergraduate entry in 2020 (including national and international dual-degree programmes), a figure close to the 11,123 applicants of 2019. 
Remarkably, in the midst of a global pandemic, applications for the international procedure even increased by more than 7% compared to 2019, with 2,347 applicants. For 2020, the French national procedure (exam procedure) attracted 5,791 candidates, a figure almost identical to the previous year (5,794 in 2019). 
The Equal Opportunity Programme procedure attracted 896 candidates (857 in 2019). With 170 admitted in 2020, the Equal Opportunity Programme has welcomed 2,264 students in the 20 years since its launch, reaffirming Sciences Po’s historical commitment for equal opportunities.
All admissions procedures combined, 2,195 students were admitted to Sciences Po, compared with 1,960 admitted in 2019, which makes a selectivity rate of 20% (compared to 18% in 2019). The students newly admitted at the undergraduate level represent 132 different countries, and 34% of them come from high schools abroad. Of these, almost half come from another European country, 20% from Asia, 14% from the American continent, and 17% from Africa. 
In France, 58% of those admitted come from regions outside Île-de-France.
73% joined one of Sciences Po’s six regional campuses.
As a reminder, in 2020 the admissibility phase was able to proceed in its regular format (the written exams for the French procedure took place on 22 and 23 February 2020). The final admission phase was adapted: 
  • For the French procedure: the admissions interview was replaced by a second detailed review of the application.
  • For the Equal Opportunity Programme and the international procedure, the admissions interview was maintained but took place over video conference.
Admissions to the Graduate Schools
This year, 9,814 candidates applied for admission to our Master's programmes: 10% more than in 2019 (8,952). 2,344 students were admitted at the graduate level (compared to 2,047 in 2019), maintaining the selectivity at 24% (23% in 2019).
Stemming from 93 different countries, two thirds (68%) of these newly admitted students entered through the international procedure or international dual degrees. The United States, China and Germany are the three most represented countries of origin among the new graduate students.
The international admissions procedure saw an increase of 22% in applications, with 4,633 applicants in 2020 compared to 3,801 in 2019. The number of candidates through the French admissions procedure remained stable with 3,806 applicants (against 3,771 in 2019). The trend also remains stable for the 1,375 students who applied for national and international graduate double degrees (1,380 in 2019).
Applicants through the French procedure come from a wide range of backgrounds with around twenty fields of study represented, including Law (16% of French applicants), classes préparatoires in Literature (13%), or Political Science and Sociology (11%). Some fields of study continue to make progress among applicants: +19% from Engineering schools, +13% from Business schools and +9% from Economic studies.
PhD Admissions
Applications at the PhD level saw a very strong increase with 459 applicants, i.e. an increase of almost 40% in one year, and 61 admitted to a doctoral degree in one of the five disciplines taught at the School of Research.
As a reminder, in 2020 the admissibility phase was conducted in its regular format. Admissions interviews were replaced by a second review of the application (except for candidates applying to the School of Journalism).
International graduate admissions, dual degrees, one-year Master’s programmes admissions or PhD admissions procedures were carried out in their regular format.
> Read the full Admissions Report

About Sciences Po
Founded in 1872, Sciences Po is France’s leading research university in the social sciences. Sciences Po offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels, and developed 42 dual degree programmes with its network of 470 partner universities.
Today, half of Sciences Po’s 13,000 students are international and represent 150 nationalities. Education at Sciences Po is multidisciplinary, multilingual and outward looking. It also places great emphasis on professional exposure. Following completion of their degree, 80% of the graduates are hired within six months of graduation and 39% start their career abroad. Sciences Po holds a high standard of social responsibility, and plays a pioneering role in the promotion of diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. Sciences Po has an array of financial aid for students of all origins and 26% of the student body hold a scholarship. For more information on Sciences Po: www.sciencespo.fr/en
Media contacts
Sciences Po: Marie Frocrain, marie.frocrain@sciencespo.fr, tel. +33 (0)1 49 54 37 71
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