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Partner Universities

We currently support partnerships with six of Europe's most prestigious francophone institutions of higher learning. Each partnership emphasizes disciplinary orientations that reflect strengths at both institutions.

Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris

Image of students standing on the street outside a building on the Sciences Po campus.

Northwestern maintains a special and well-established partnership with the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, or Sciences Po, dating back to 1997. Sciences Po is a highly selective Parisian center of humanistic and social scientific study with over 200 faculty members working in five overarching disciplines:

  • Law
  • Economics
  • History
  • Political science
  • Sociology

Some of the institution’s Paris-based research units include:

Exchanges and programs

We organize short-term exchanges between the two institutions for undergraduates, graduates and faculty members as well as coordinate a dual PhD program.


In addition to organizing many short-term exchanges, we facilitate many long-term collaborations, as well.

Research projects

Among the ongoing research projects, scholars from Northwestern and Sciences Po are currently studying Security and Governance in Africa.

Joint publications

Our collaborations are not always limited to the seminar room, but also result in publishing successes. For instance, the conference “Law and Globalization in a Comparative Perspective: The Interwar Versus the Post-Cold War Periods,” organized by Grégoire Mallard (Northwestern) and Jérôme Sgard (Sciences Po), was convened in Paris in December 2013.

The proceedings from this conference went on to be published by Cambridge University Press as Contractual Knowledge: One Hundred Years of Legal Experimentation in Global Markets in 2016.

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Image of students walking in on the ENS Lyon campus.

Research carried out at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, or the ENS de Lyon, covers fields of exact sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Northwestern’s collaboration with the institution based in the city of Lyon began with a focus on medieval and early modern studies; this initial concentration has since expanded. Today, graduate and faculty exchanges are loosely organized under the interdisciplinary umbrella of literature, theory and philosophy.

This rubric has allowed participation in several of the ENS de Lyon’s research groups including:


Current opportunities include faculty exchanges and graduate student exchanges. Joint areas of research interests currently include:

École Normale Supérieure

Image of students standing in a campus courtyard.

The prestigious École Normale Supérieure, or ENS Paris, located in Paris’s Latin Quarter hosts research in a number of humanistic fields including:

  • Archeology and the science of texts
  • History of the medieval
  • Modern and contemporary worlds
  • French and comparative literature
  • Philosophy
  • Critical theory
  • Sciences of contemporary societies: sociology, economics, political science, law and geography

Northwestern’s strong relationship with ENS Paris has flourished recently with the establishment of the Tri-University Dissertation Workshop. This multi-year series of workshops between Northwestern, ENS Paris and Goethe University in Frankfurt provides a space for Northwestern graduate students in the critical theory cluster to connect with peers working in related fields in Europe.

In addition to benefiting from the rich network of friends and collaborators at ENS Paris, Northwestern graduate students and faculty members may make the most of libraries and archives through enrollment in a dual PhD or a graduate exchange.

Sorbonne Nouvelle University

Image of a building that says Sorbonne Nouvell Paris III.

A leading institution for education and research in the humanities, the Sorbonne Nouvelle University is especially known for its programs in Cinema and Audio-Visual Studies, Contemporary Literature, Theatre Studies and Communication Studies. The Sorbonne Nouvelle University promotes scientific strategies in modern humanities with an emphasis on three key themes:

  • Artistic and literary processes in modern and contemporary creations
  • Codes, discursive practices, types of representation and didactics
  • The construction of cultural zones (Europe, the Americas, the Orient) and their interaction
Summer Institute: Psychoanalysis and the Media

Northwestern University and the Sorbonne Nouvelle University co-host an annual Summer Institute that brings doctoral students from around the world. The Summer Institute expands on the two universities’ interdisciplinary strengths in media studies and psychoanalytic theory, as students in art, history, English and other fields discuss the new ecology of media and the self. 

The first annual Summer Institute: Psychoanalysis and the Media took place in Paris from June 25 to 28 in 2018. Isabelle Alfandary, a professor of American Literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, and Alessia Ricciardi, a professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Northwestern, planned this original Summer Institute after eight years of academic and pedagogical collaboration. Click here to learn more about the Summer Institute.

École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Image of building on EHESS campus with a blossoming tree out front.

Research at the internationally-recognized Parisian institution École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, or the EHESS, encompasses: history, sociology, anthropology, economics, geography, archeology, psychology and linguistics

The focus on interdisciplinarity across fields, as well as the EHESS’s connections with other Parisian institutions, allows a good deal of flexibility for Northwestern faculty exchanges and students in the dual PhD program. There are particularly strong and ongoing collaborations with scholars in Northwestern’s Department of Sociology and Program in African Studies.

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Image of building of Graduate Institute of international and Development StudiesAdvanced doctoral students in Political Science, Sociology, and History, please be aware of a new opportunity to do dissertation research as a formally enrolled student at the
Graduate Institute in International and Development Studies.

The Graduate Institute ranks with Sciences Po and LSE for research and education in international affairs.

Our arrangement enables interested students to spend one to three quarters at Geneva as non-degree but formally enrolled doctoral students, with all the rights and privileges attached to that status.

Enrollment enables students to attend classes, seminars, workshops and other scholarly gatherings at the Institute. It provides students with faculty mentors who can assist students in their dissertation research in Geneva. It facilitates access to the UN and other IO’s in Geneva (see list below). It enables students to network internationally with scholars doing work that is meaningful to them.

Tuition and administrative costs are waived. Inversely, no stipend is provided. NU students would have to use their second fellowship year (or part of it) or apply for other grant support in order to take advantage of this opportunity.

This exchange should interest our internationalists and comparativists whose dissertation work has a legal, diplomatic, or political economy dimension. It should prove particularly helpful to students in International Law and Organization. English is widely and commonly used. It is potentially interesting to students working in the area of developmental economics.

The Institute is three short tramway stops from the central station and downtown Geneva. It's across the street from the UN, which houses the archives of the League of Nations. The WTO and the Red Cross are a block or two away and other international organisations are in very close proximity.

If interested, please contact Michael Loriaux, FIG Director.