Economics serving society

PPD FAQ

1 / I don’t speak French: can I apply to the PPD programme?
All compulsory courses and most optional courses are offered in English. Depending on your choice, you can thus follow 100% of your coursework in English. As a result, a certificate of English language ability (minimum level B2 or equivalent) is required for all applicants who aren’t native English speakers, except for those who are graduates of universities where coursework is in English. In class, not speaking French isn’t a barrier, but like any time abroad in a francophone country, participation in the PSE master’s implies a complete immersion in a French-speaking cultural environment...

2 / How much are the registration fees?
The university fees are annual and set by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in France.The amount of the registration fees for students from the European Union or students already enrolled at the Master level, are around 250 euros per year, plus 90 euros contribution to the student and campus life (CVEC), that you need to pay to the CROUS. There are no additional charges for studying at PSE.

The French government has announced an increase in registration fees up to € 3,770 for the Master’s degree for foreign students coming outside the European Union who are entering a new cycle of studies. Most intitutions provide waivers for those fees, please consult their registration services for more information.

3/ Are there grants available?
The PPD master offer four scholarships to M1 students who are (exclusively) citizens of a middle or low-income country (see the list of eligible countries), subject to their financial ressources - the M1 grant could be extended to M2 if the 1st year is validated in 1 year. If you are eligible, you can apply to this scholarship while applying to the PPD program. More information on the Practical page.

Moreover, depending on your nationality, financial aid may be available from different institutions (central banks, embassies, foundations, etc.) We invite you to explore the different possibilities available on the websites of Campus France.

4/ How many seats are available for the PPD Master’s programme? What is the average acceptance rate?
Each year we offer about 30 slots in the first year of the PPD master’s program and around 5 to 10 slots for candidates applying for a direct admission into the second year. For instance, in 2019, we received 354 applications at M1 level, and 23 admitted students registered; at M2 level, we received 74 applications and 14 (external) students registered (the M2 class comprises 35 students in total in M2, including former M1). The M2 required entry level is very demanding, notably due to a rigorous and thorough training in quantitative methods (over 100 hours) in M1. In the 2019-2020 cohorts (M1 and M2), around 50% of students are foreigners.

5/ In practice, how can I apply?
Applications for the year 2020 open on January 1, 2020 via the www.pse-application.eu platform until March 2, 2020 at 11 pm (Paris time). The admission results will be available between the 6 and the 10 of April 2020.

6/ How can I be sure that my application has been taken into account?
Once you’ve completed and validated your application, you will receive an automatic email of confirmation. Then, on your candidate profile, you will be able to check the status of your application: in progress, missing files…

7/ What are the prerequisites for M1 entry?

  • A Bachelor’s degree in economics, with good knowledge of micro, macro and economestrics
  • A strong level in mathematics. The required level of mathematics corresponds to appendices B and C of the book: “Introductory Econometrics” of J. Wooldridge. These appendices include some exercises that you are strongly advised to try before considering applying.. See also the “Mathematical Prequisites” for the Master APE program
  • The M1 is very demanding: you will have many assignments, tutorials and projects each week. Be ready to work every day after class including most of the week-end and the holidays. There will be at most one week revision break before the exams: you are expected to be able to organize yourself during the year and work for the exam while learning new materials and preparing your assignments.
  • Upon admission, you will be required to validate your knowledge in Statistics and Microeconomics using an online platform, Didask. This online platform provides tests and exercises meant to refresh your memory before school starts. This is not a course: you are assumed to know these notions already and work on a series of (sometimes tough) questions while referring to a textbook or a previous course. You may also go through materials in a Macro textbook. Please organize your summer schedule accordingly.

8/ Is it possible to apply into M2 directly?
All candidates are individually evaluated by the admissions committee. Certain applicants can enter directly the M2 year, if they have already taken and passed coursework that provides a level of preparation equivalent to that of Year 1 of the PPD program (microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics). As a result, students who request direct admission into M2 must provide a clear and complete list of their past coursework. The committee can also extend an offer of admission into M1 for candidates with interesting profiles but an insufficient background.

9/ Why is it necessary to submit a detailed description of past coursework?
Transcripts don’t provide sufficient information as to the content of applicants’ previous coursework in other institutions of higher education. Please provide a detailed description of courses that you have taken. Only chose courses pertinent to your master’s application. If you have gone to engineering school, there is no need to list all of your coursework, only those courses which are relevant to economics. It is useless to photocopy your entire university curriculum brochure; 5 to 10 lines per course are sufficient to explain the concepts and textbook(s) used in class. This information is very important for the evaluators who will have your application in hand as they make an admission decision. Therefore, be clear and precise in your presentation.

10/ How to proceed with my letters of recommendation?
Please note that there is no specific format for letters of recommendation: the more personalized and detailed they are, the better we can learn to know the candidate’s skills. When you fill the information in your online profile, you enter details (name, email) about your referees. They will receive an automatic email with a link allowing them to upload their letter of recommendation. Therefore, inform them about that before confirming their details in your application profile.

Please note that you cannot upload a reference letter on the website on your own.
Also, it sometimes happens that our server does not recognize some foreign email addresses and send our automatic messages into spam. Please ask your referee to also check their spam boxes. If they still do not find the message, you can submit the form again. Another email will be automatically sent. If even like this they don’t receive the upload links let us know as we will give you more instructions.

11/ After the application is sent, is there an interview?
No. Candidates are admitted exclusively on the basis of their application.

12/ Is there a distance learning option or a night programme?
PPD is a full-time programme. There is no distance learning option, nor is there a night programme. However, candidates who think they might want or need to take an extra year to complete the master programme can request it. In total, only one extra year can be granted over the course of the master (which has to be completed in maximum three years starting from M1 or two years starting from M2). Such extra time will not be granted automatically and if so, it will require individual study plan arrangements and approval from the program director. Candidates who wish to continue working part time in addition to the master should bear in mind that it will also require adjustments in their work schedule approved by their employer. Under no circumstances is it possible to work full-time and complete the master at the same time. Candidates wishing to take advantage of this option, must state clearly their motivation for such a request in a dedicated letter.

13/ Useful tips for a successful M1
PPD is a very intense experience. You will learn a lot! You will also work at lot, mostly in small groups and you will make friends for life. You will benefit from dedicated advice from the Master secretariat and close supervision from the pedagogical team (with many tutorials and individual guidance). The program directors welcome you to their weekly office hours to discuss any question.
Foreigners are advised to come at the end of August so as to adjust to life in Paris. You may consider to look for a housing near PSE (in the South of Paris, in Paris or the near suburb) and sharing it with other students. so as not to feel alone for instance during the end-of-the year break. We also recommend you to look closely at the students guide that the administrative office will send you during the summer. You will find there some practical information on transport, housing, health insurance, visa procedure in Paris. Finally, international students may follow a FLE class (French for beginners class) at the EHESS, our partner institution (without earning credits for the Master diploma). We highly encourage you to follow it if you are interested in learning the language.