Sciences Po is one of the most selective schools among France’s premier league of Grandes Écoles, and is considered one of Europe’s most distinguished universities. Sciences Po enrolls over 7,000 students, including 2,000 exchange students from all over the world. Sciences Po is dedicated to shaping future leaders of our global society. The University offers a wide variety of courses in the social sciences.
The Boston College in Paris program consists of up to 30 BC students across six schools. Academic and cultural support are provided by the BC resident director and the exchange coordinator at the host university.
All students are required to participate in the Welcome Programme
an orientation for exchange students offered at the beginning of each semester and organized by the International Office. The Welcome Program helps students adapt to their studies at Sciences Po and their life in Paris.
While providing basic orientation services such as information on health insurance, banks, administrative and course registration, and the library, the program’s main focus is to sharpen students’ linguistic skills in French and introduce them to the teaching methods used at Sciences Po.
Students have the option to take courses taught in French and in English.
Academics & Support
BC Resident Director - BC in Paris
27, rue Saint-Guillaume
75337 PARIS Cedex 07 FRANCE
Students may study at Sciences Po for one semester or a full year, admission preference is given to full year students and there are limited spots for the Spring semester.
Sciences Po offers exchange students six disciplines of study, listed below. Students may choose one discipline, or select courses from a variety of disciplines.
- International Relations
- Political Science
The different types of courses available at Sciences Po are:
: (48 semester hours/10 ECTS)
- 1 course taught by a professor in an amphitheater, usually with around 150 to 300 students
- 1 course by a maître de conférence in smaller groups of 20 to 24 students
: (24 semester hours, 5 ECTS)
- groups of 60 to 100 students
- a dedicated teaching assistant with 6 sessions of tutorials
: (24 semester hours, 5 ECTS)
- groups of 20 to 24 students
Students enroll online in courses prior to arrival in Paris (July for the fall semester, November for the Spring semester.) Students should choose two to three alternative choices per course prior to registration as courses are filled on a first come, first served basis. Students must also be aware of the time difference when registering.
Registration should occur in the following order for best results as courses fill up quickly in this order:
Electives in English
Lectures (Cours Magistraux) in English
Electives in French
Lectures (Cours Magistraux) in French
A course catalogue is available at this link
Students attending Sciences Po for one semester take a minimum of 25 ECTS at Sciences-Po + the mandatory BC Art History course, worth 6 ECTS. Two classes must be in French, one can be a French language class and the other must be a regular curriculum course. One semester students must live in a homestay.
Students attending Sciences Po for the full academic year follow the one semester credit requirements above for the Fall semester and in the Spring semester take 30 ECTS minimum at Sciences Po, 3 of these courses must be in French. Full year students must live in a homestay during the fall semester and can either stay in a homestay during the spring semester or arrange to live in an apartment.
This French requirement is important for students to continue improving their French. In the past students who have taken most of their courses in English have been very disappointed in their French level at the end of the year.
Students may obtain a Certificate in Social Sciences and Humanities by registering for 30 ECTS at Sciences Po each semester.
- Year Term: Starts in mid-August and ends in late May.
- Fall Term: Starts in mid-August and ends mid-December.
- Spring Term: Starts in January and end in late May.
Students are required to live with a French host family during their first semester in Paris. Students studying in Paris for the full academic year may choose to live in an apartment during their second semester, if students choose this option they will be responsible for finding an apartment.
Housing is arranged by a housing agency in Paris. The housing agency reviews students’ housing questionnaires and notifies students of their host family placements approximately one month prior to departure for Paris. Each host family lives close to public transportation. It is very common for students to walk 10-15 minutes from their homestay to the closest Metro stop and then take the Metro 30-40 minutes to the host university.
A one month security deposit is required immediately after students submit the housing questionnaire and full payment will be due prior to the start of the semester, all housing payments are made directly to the housing agency not to Boston College. Cost estimates are available here. Cost varies depending on the number of dinners students have each week with their host family. Students are provided breakfast every morning and may choose to have from1-5 dinners per week with their family. Students purchase their own lunch each day.
In addition, tenant Insurance is required under French law, students will make this payment directly to the housing agency, the cost is approximately 110 Euros.
The French government requires foreign students to enroll in social security regardless of any health insurance they already have. This regulation means that while studying in France, BC students are required to maintain their domestic insurance, the GeoBlue insurance purchased through BC and to enroll in French social security. This coverage is required as each individual insurance covers different things. For example, French social security only covers you while you are in France, which means that if you travel outside of France you would not be covered. GeoBlue covers you worldwide for existing conditions as well as repatriation, two things most domestic insurance does not cover. The cost to enroll in French Social Security is 200-220 Euros.
In addition to university-sponsored events, clubs, and sports, of which there are several, BC students may participate in some activities organized by the BC resident director. Activities may include museum visits, dance, theater, opera and weekend excursions to the countryside. The BC resident director will inform you of your option upon arrival.