Paris School of International Affairs

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Sciences Po - Paris School of International Affairs

The Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) is a division of Sciences Po (also referred to as the Institut d'études politiques de Paris) based in Paris, France, and it is generally considered to be one of the top graduate schools for international relations in the world.[1][2] Located in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the school has an international student population of 70%, with 1200 students coming from nearly 100 countries.[3]

Taught primarily in English and optionally in French, PSIA offers traditional two-year Master's degrees in international affairs that amount to 90 ECTS credits.[4] Additionally it hosts a number of international dual degree programs with the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Georgetown University, the London School of Economics, the Free University of Berlin, Bocconi University in Milan, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Peking University, the Stockholm School of Economics and the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.


The Paris School of International Affairs was established in 2010 in the context of the previous Sciences Po Director Richard Descoings' reforms to expand and internationalize Sciences Po and to diversify its student body. These reforms were effectively seen by the international media as a bold move away from the traditional grandes écoles French university system.[5][6] As many Masters programs have been transformed into entire schools within Sciences Po, PSIA replaced Sciences Po's former master d’Affaires internationales.[7] PSIA's original precursor is the section internationale created as early as 1872 by the Ecole libre des sciences politiques and which welcomed more than 30% of foreign students.[8]

In January 2010 Ghassan Salamé was appointed the first dean of PSIA. In September of the same year, the school had a first intake of 500 graduate students. Within one year, international applications doubled and PSIA now has an enrollment of 1300 students from over 100 countries.[9]

On April 20th, 2015 it was announced that Enrico Letta, former Prime Minister of Italy, would succeed Ghassan Salamé as Dean starting in September 2015. [10]

Mission Statement[edit]

“PSIA graduates are trained to be the most competent decision-makers, as well as engaged world citizens who think reflexively, who interconnect issues and articulate ethical dimensions,” Ghassan Salamé, Dean of PSIA.


In 2014, QS World University Rankings ranked Sciences Po as the 13th best university in the world for Politics and International Studies.[11] In 2015, Sciences Po was ranked 5th best university in the world for Politics and International Studies by the QS World University Rankings.[12]

Degree programs[edit]

Master's Degree[edit]

PSIA awards eight different degree programs:

  • Development Practice

Scientific Advisor: Laurence Tubiana.

The Master in Development Practice, a joint project with the MacArthur Foundation, provides innovative, cross-disciplinary academic training in the health, social, natural and engineering sciences and management, along with rigorous, hands-on field training experiences, for young professionals in development.

Topics include impacts of climate change, mitigation, and adaptation strategies; ecology and conservation strategies; international institutions of sustainable development; agriculture; health and policy in North-South relations; governance and the politics of biodiversity; aid effectiveness; water access and management; and public development assistance.

  • Environmental Policy

Scientific Advisor: Laurence Tubiana

The Master in Environmental Policy emphasizes environmental economics and climatology, environmental modeling, and environmental law to understand the complexity of the political, economic, scientific and democratic challenges of the environment.

Topics include climate, energy, and population; biodiversity and resources; international politics of climate change; history of the environment; oceanography; meteorology; biogeochemical cycles; migration and the environment; environmental engineering; and sociology of the environment and natural protection policies.

  • Human Rights and Humanitarian Action

Scientific Advisor: Rony Brauman

The Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action blends core social science approaches to humanitarianism and human rights, and aims at deconstructing the intuitive familiarity between the two fields and renewing debate concerning universalism and political neutrality of human rights and humanitarian action through empirical study.

Topics include figures of the victim; sociology of NGOs; philosophy of human rights; ethical dilemmas in warfare; international human rights; country risk analysis; right to food; forced migration, displacement, and refugees; genocide and mass violence; history of humanitarian intervention; the global system of protection of human rights; and impunity, accountability, and rule of law.

  • International Development

Scientific Advisor: Laurence Tubiana

The Master in International Development builds on a renewed approach of development policies and practices, at the global level, that focus on the endogenous drivers of development and the consequences of globalization.

Topics include negotiating sustainable development in the Global South; critical approaches to development studies; state versus market dynamics in development issues; risk analysis and crisis management; gender, culture, and development; design, management, and evaluation of development projects; local financing and decentralization.

  • International Economic Policy

Scientific Advisor: Thierry Mayer

The Paris School of International Affairs’ International Economic Policy Master program is intended for students who wish to specialize in questions related to applied economics at the international and European levels and that structure market economies. Special attention will be paid to the economies of emerging and developing countries.

Topics include game theory in the international arena, economics of European integration, development policies, international finance, corporations in a global world, econometrics for decision-makers, and the Euro and European monetary policy.

  • International Energy

Scientific Advisor: Giacomo Luciani

The Master in International Energy encompasses a cross-discipline, cross-sector approach to the field of energy. Energy supply and use remains a major development challenge for developing and developed countries alike, in relation to economic growth, sustainable development, stability of financial markets, climate change, security, and technological solutions.

Topics include politics and economics of international energy; energy companies; financing of energy projects; nuclear energy; energy markets; renewable energy sources and rational use of energy; politics of natural gas and electricity; history of the international petroleum industry; access to energy resources: the dynamic of states and companies; and energy modeling.

  • International Public Management

Scientific Advisor: Richard Balme

The Master in International Public Management focuses on developing advisory and advocacy skills to facilitate and coordinate policy in sectors at the intersection of local, national, and international interests.

Topics include leadership in a globalized world, sociology of international relations, WTO negotiations, public policy evaluation, transformational diplomacy, ethno-political conflict and international law, economic challenges in Russia and in the post-Soviet states, gender and international relations.

  • International Security

Scientific Advisor: Ghassan Salamé.

Building on a long-standing tradition at Sciences Po surrounding security issues in the global realm, the Master in International Security cultivates critical analysis of changes in the international environment, conflict regions, and the specific internal transformations in security and defense activities.

Topics include transitional justice, the new nuclear order, ethical dilemmas in warfare, diplomacy and ethics in crisis management, WMD counter-proliferation, politics of intelligence, industry of political and security analysis, international mediation — third party intervention in violent political conflicts, the UN Security Council, Barack Obama's foreign policy, and European foreign and security policy.


Students select two concentrations from among the following.


Defense and Security Economics
Emerging Economies
Global Economic Policy
Global Health
Global Risks
International Energy
Human Rights
Project Management


China and East Asia
Latin America
Middle East
North America
South and Central Asia

Dual degree Masters[edit]

Dual Degree Programmes are offered in international partnership with:

Additionally, PSIA offers a dual degree with Sciences Po’s School of Journalism, as well as a dual degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy with the University of Pierre and Marie Curie.

Noteworthy Faculty and Visiting Professors[edit]

Among PSIA's scholars, practitioners, and world-renowned leaders in international affairs, are:


External links[edit]