Since2017, Sciences Po is part of the three European universities (the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Since then, the partnership has enabled 138 students from Sub-Saharan Africa to enroll in a degree programme in the social sciences at Sciences Po, with the aim of training a new generation of change-makers in their home countries.
Sciences Po MasterCard Scholarships is designed for students who demonstrate academic excellence and strong leadership potential, but who face difficulties or do not have the funds to access higher education.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has three major strategic objectives: providing specialised support for students, developing their soft skills outside of the student experience and, lastly, building a strong alumni network.
Application Deadline: November 26, 2023
Value & Duration of Award: Scholarships cover the full cost of tuition and living expenses in France throughout the period of study at Sciences Po.
Specialized Support: In addition to funding scholars’ studies, Sciences Po provides a range of specialised resources to support them during the process, and to facilitate their transition into the working world. In particular, scholarship students have access to:
- Support in the run-up to their departure, specialist support on arrival and an official welcome programme.
- Housing in Paris reserved for scholarship holders.
- Personalised support throughout their studies, ensuring that every student has the best possible experience at Sciences Po.
- Careers support: guidance to help students identify their professional aspirations; a careers fair focusing on employment and internship opportunities in Africa; access to the university’s business incubator (FR) and its network of employers and alumni working in Africa; careers support workshops; participation in conferences, etc.
- A mentoring programme co-run with the Africa Division of Sciences Po Alumni.
- Access to the wide range of general resources that Sciences Po provides to guide students through every step of their studies.
Eligible Countries: All Sub-sahara African Countries
Eligibility: To be eligible for the Mastercard Foundation scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a resident or citizen of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. You must be legally resident in the region or be able to prove that you are temporarily studying or working elsewhere.
- Show a willingness to commit to bringing about change in Africa and making a genuine impact on the region in the areas of public policy and major political, environmental and societal transitions.
- Have a demonstrable need for higher education funding (please note that proof of your financial circumstances will be required as part of your application).
- Provide a recommendation from your university.
- Have obtained a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) by the following academic year.
- Be applying for a two-year Master’s programme at one of Sciences Po’s seven Graduate Schools. Applicants to one-year Master’s programmes, dual degree programmes or joint Master’s programmes are not eligible for the scholarship.
- Have attained a minimum of C1 level in French or English, depending on the programme you are applying for (see the language requirements for each programme). Please note that programmes are either taught entirely in French, entirely in English, or in both languages.
- Not have obtained or be working towards a prior Master’s degree.
- Be under 35 at the start of the graduate academic year.
How To Apply:
STEP 1: REQUESTING ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP
You must first check that you are eligible for the scholarship by providing the required information on the scholarship website. Once your application has been submitted and examined by our staff, you will be informed of whether or not you are eligible for the scholarship.
If you are declared eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, you will not have to pay the processing fee for your application to Sciences Po.
You must have completed this step by 26 November 2023 in order to receive your approval of eligibility for the scholarship, and to waive the processing fee for your application to Sciences Po (the deadline for which is 3 December 2023).
STEP 2: APPLYING TO SCIENCES PO (MAIN ADMISSIONS PROCEDURE)
To apply to Sciences Po, you will need to follow the international graduate admissions procedure.
If you think you meet all of the above eligibility criteria, you should start your application to Sciences Po (step 2) at the same time as your request for eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship (step 1).
However, you must wait to receive approval of your eligibility for the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship, together with confirmation that your application processing fee has been waived, before submitting your application to Sciences Po (end of step 2). This will mean you can submit your application without paying the fee.
You must submit your application to Sciences Po by 3 December 2023.
STEP 3: ADMISSION TO SCIENCES PO AND ALLOCATION OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
You will be informed of the outcome of your application to Sciences Po between 10 and 22 February 2024, and of the outcome of your scholarship application from 8 March 2024.
- Admission to Sciences Po does not guarantee allocation of the scholarship.
- If you decide to defer your admission to Sciences until the following year, you will forfeit your Mastercard Foundation Scholarship.
Required Documents: To apply, candidates must be ready to submit the following documents;
- Personal details
- A letter of recommendation from the academic advisor at your university to support your application. For this, you will need to ask the person to complete and sign this form.
- Full information and evidence regarding your financial circumstances.
- Information regarding your academic record and extra-curricular attainments.
- A statement detailing your varied experiences of and view on issues specifically affecting Africa, and explaining how you plan to achieve change on the continent. The quality of this statement will be a deciding factor for the panel in charge of allocating the scholarships.