Monday, December 02, 2013

PhD Partnership between Sciences Po and Columbia University

Dear Patrick O'Neil,

I am writing to inform you of an exciting new opportunity for students seeking to begin work on their PhDs in political science.  Recently, Columbia University and Sciences Po in Paris established a PhD Partnership that enables students in the PhD program at Columbia to earn a PhD at Sciences Po as well.

Building on a set of close relationships that have existed between Columbia and Sciences Po for more than a decade, the PhD partnership grants students access to the faculty and resources of two of the most highly regarded departments of political science in the world.  The partnership seeks to take advantage of the complimentary strengths of the two institutions to provide a unique and innovative graduate training experience that opens up new intellectual and career opportunities for students in political science.

The program allows students to spend two years at the partner institution where they take courses, serve as teaching assistants, pass qualifying exams, conduct research, write dissertations under the direction of joint Columbia-Sciences Po dissertation committees, and become eligible to receive the PhD degrees of both institutions. Students will be granted unique opportunities to broaden and deepen their knowledge of their discipline in an international intellectual environment and pursue their doctoral research under the supervision of joint faculty teams of the highest academic quality.

The program is much more than just the kind of exchange arrangements that exist between many universities.  Both institutions make deeper investments in students in the partnership, who formally enter the Doctoral School/Graduate School of the host institution and are treated in the same manner as students in single-degree programs with respect to rights, privileges, access, responsibilities, and registration status.  During the two-year stay at the host institution, the student pursues a course of study and research not available at the home institution. The student and the adviser at the host institution design a course of study that advances the student's intellectual interests and career goals.  After fulfilling the requirements of the partnership, students are awarded both a PhD from Columbia and a PhD from Sciences Po.

Given that Sciences Po is an academic and professional hub of the discipline of political science in France and Europe, Columbia students in the program will become members of an extensive network that is not widely accessible to scholars trained only in the United States. Since students will be fully enrolled at both Columbia and Sciences Po--and not simply exchange students--the faculty at the host school will be more invested in and familiar with their work and therefore will be better able to support them in their applications for positions in the United States and in France and Europe.  This will significantly expand the job market opportunities for students in the partnership.

In the links below, I have provided some suggested courses of study that will give potential applicants an idea of the scholarly opportunities available to them through the partnership.  Additional information may be found at

We have recently expanded the program to enable students who want to pursue the educational opportunities offered by the partnership to apply for admission when applying to the Columbia PhD program (in previous years, students had to first be enrolled in the PhD program and then wait until the third year of their graduate careers to apply).  On the Program of Study page in Columbia's online application system, students should select “Political Science” for their Program of Study and then select the “Autumn Ph.D. partnership with Sciences Po 2013” as their Degree.

Please forward this information to any students who you think might be interested in the program.  I would be happy to answer any questions that you or interested students may have about the PhD Partnership.


Gregory Wawro

Professor and Deputy Chair
Department of Political Science
Columbia University


For more information:
·         Presentation brochure (.pdf)
·                                 FAQ for Sciences Po Student (.pdf)