Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Selection process

The admission form gives enough information to provide to a precise ranking of the candidates:

The minimum requirements to be ranked

  • bachelor with one background at least (political science, community and public health, history, sociology/anthropology, philosophy, demography, epidemiology, economics, education, public administration, law);

  • English as a written and spoken language and at least a second language among French, Portuguese, Spanish.

Final ranking

In the final evaluation of the candidates and their ranking the academic excellence (degrees, CV, experience, references) will be taken into account for 70% and the research proposal for the other 30 %, it is the reason why a guideline is provided to write it.

If the merits, CV and capacity are equivalent the priority is given to:

  • the number and quality knowledge of languages;

  • the underrepresented sex.

To allow a really ranking of academic merits, the grading system for the bachelors of different countries and disciplines will be translated by specialists of each academic system and disciplines as close as possible in diploma supplement term with marks and ranking. Moreover the double bachelor with excellent ranking will have a higher priority than a post graduate.

The same selection process is applied to scholars

In their case nevertheless, the ranking is weighted by the degree of complementarity (discipline, knowledge, scientific different culture context) will be the second criteria and the third one is the experience of collaboration in pluridisciplinary teaching and research.

The candidates are requested to indicate three choices for the location of the main university and their choice is followed as indicated by their ranking. This system allows to conciliate the excellence and the language ability.

The selection process and the ranking are achieved by the scientific board including the external assessment panel.

Guidelines for the research project (30% of the final evaluation)

Task: To write a proposal for a research project on a topic related to a question relevant for the field of knowledge. Maximum 3000 words.


  • 1. Present a precise question to be further investigated. This question could be formulated within your own plans for further studies, for instance a part of a master thesis or another project you are already involved in or planning/wanting to get involved in. Linking questions, approaches and methods within different disciplines is a merit.

  •  2. Argue for the importance of your question from at least two perspectives: its scientific relevance and its relevance for a welfare and health perspective.

  •  3. Present a framework for the question, making the connection between specific question and its wider social context. Refer to theoretical works and empirical evidence (join a bibliographical list of ten important references), suggesting a “modele” indicating that such links exist. You should make a convincing case for the reader implying that there is a good reason to carry out further investigations in order to test hypothesises or further deepen the knowledge.

  •  4. Refer to types of data which would be valid for information and further understanding. Indicate theories and/or hypothesises that can be tested by these data and the methods to be used (content analysis of texts, statistical analysis, questionnaire/survey, open interviews, 'anthropological' community studies, etc.).

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