Sciences Po Aix

Sciences Po Aix, also referred to as Institut d'Études Politiques (IEP) d'Aix-en-Provence, is a Grande École of political studies located in Aix-en-Provence, in the South of France. It is associated with Aix-Marseille University and is part of a network of ten Institut d'études politiques, known as IEP.

Sciences Po Aix
Institut d'Etudes Politiques d'Aix–en–Provence
MottoUne Grande école en Provence
TypePrestigious and highly selective institute
Budget14 million Euros[1]
PresidentChristine Lagarde
DirectorRostane MEHDI
Academic staff
ColoursRed and Yellow
AffiliationsAix-Marseille University

Sciences Po Aix is renowned on a national level for its law studies and defense & international security studies[3].


Sciences Po Aix is housed in a hôtel particulier, considered a Monument historique, designed by architect Georges Vallon in 1734.[4][5] The building is located on the Place de l'université ("town square of the university"), opposite Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur on the rue Gaston de Saporta in Aix-en-Provence. This building previously housed the Faculty of Law of Aix-Marseille University.


As a grande école, its admissions process is highly selective. Entry to Sciences Po Aix is conditioned by selection tests. The main test is designed for students who would like to join the institute as freshmen. Each year, there are more than 10 000 candidates. The selection rates are inferior to 10%[6]. Sciences Po Aix specializes in political sciences. Therefore, the institute offers courses in economics, history, law, international relations, social sciences and business.

The IEP provides students with a general training in law, economics, general knowledge and history. Its students are selected through a competitive entrance examination. Some of its students have become company directors or government officials. Many students move on to careers in journalism, finance, state administration, diplomacy or communications.

The academic course lasts five years. It is composed of a three-year undergraduate programme and a two-year graduate programme. The primary diploma is equivalent to a master's degree. The third year of the Sciences Po Aix curriculum is a year of mobility abroad. Students have the choice, they can spend two semesters in a foreign university, one semester in a university and one semester internship or they also have the opportunity to spend two semesters as a trainee.

Thereby, Sciences Po Aix have concluded more than 130 exchange partnerships with different universities around the globe so that Sciences Po students can study in many countries during their third year. All continents of the world are represented, there are some partnerships in the United States (Wellesley College, Loyola University Chicago, Arizona State University, Florida International University...), in Canada (University of Montreal, University of Ottawa) in South America (University of Buenos Aires, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Africa (Rhodes University), in Asia (Shanghai International Studies University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Waseda University in Tokyo), in Oceania (University of New South Wales in Sidney, University of Canterbury) and also in Europe (Free University of Berlin, LUISS University in Roma, Middlesex University in London...).


Sciences Po Aix was established in 1956. It is the heir of the École Libre des Sciences Politiques, created by Émile Boutmy in 1872, in response to a need for reform for the society and the republican state that has just been born, after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.

In September 2007, Philippe Séguin (1943–2010), then President of the Court of Audit (in French Cour des comptes), was elected President of the Administration Council, succeeding Jean-Paul Proust (1940–2010), Minister of the Principality of Monaco. In July 2010, the former French minister of economy and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, member of the Administration Council since 2008 and 1977 graduate, was elected President.[7]


  • 1956-1974: Paul de Geouffre de la Pradelle
  • 1974-1979: Charles Cadoux
  • 1979-1984: Yves Daudet
  • 1984-1996: Jacques Bourdon
  • 1996-2006: Jean-Claude Ricci
  • 2006-2014: Christian Duval
  • 2015-: Rostane Mehdi

The directors of Sciences Po Aix are elected for a five-year term by the executive board of the school. Some members of this board have been elected such students, teachers and staff representatives. The executive board votes the pedagogical and administrative orientations and reforms proposed by the director, the budget of the school as well as the conventions with the foreign universities.

Notable alumni

Many top-tier politicians were students at Sciences Po Aix:

In addition to the politicians, there also some alumni of Sciences Po Aix that have occupied major positions in the culture, the state administration and also the business world.


  1. Camille Stromboni (31 October 2012). "Sciences po : le premier banc d'essai des IEP de région". L' (in French).
  2. Sciences Po Aix (2012). "La taxe professionnelle... une ressource pour votre entreprise !" (PDF). (in French). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-16.
  3. "Aix : Sciences Po, nid d'espions". (in French). 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  4. French Ministry of Culture: Faculté de Droit
  5. Dominique Auzias, Aix-en-Provence, Le Petit Futé, 2008, p. 142
  6. "Les recommandations du jury pour entrer en IEP" (in French). 2014-01-08. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  7. (in French)Communiqué de presse de l'IEP d'Aix-en-Provence, « Christine Lagarde succède à Philippe Séguin à la tête du CA de Sciences Po Aix» "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. Sciences Po Aix website's "Who is who" Archived 2012-08-02 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2014-11-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. (in French) Philippe Grangereau, "La femme de Colombo", 23rd Septembrer 2000, Libération
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