“Since 1899, understanding people, shaping the world”

The story begins in 1899. A woman, Jeanne Weill, better known under the pseudonym Dick May, created the “Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales” [School of Advanced Social Studies] with premises situated rue de la Sorbonne in Paris. The aim of the institution: to train young people, in particular state primary school teachers, in a new science – sociology; to open their minds and lead them to think for themselves rather than applying the precepts of traditional teaching and the press.

This is just after the “Dreyfus Affair”. Both the faculty and the students believed that the “Affair” was first and foremost the sign of a flaw in the academic system. It was time to go beyond the traditional way of educating students. Within HEIP, Sorbonne professors, politicians, leading intellectuals – Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu and Georges Sorel to name but two – began tackling this major project.

It has been a proven success, year after year. The School diversified and became a School of Moral Philosophy, a School of Journalism and even a School of Fine Art.

Distinguished academics, such as Émile Durkheim, who formally established sociology as an autonomous, academic discipline, Anatole France, French writer, who won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1921, Paul Deschanel, President of the French Republic in 1920, were among the faculty members. Léon Bourgeois, like Charles Peguy were regular contributors. Romain Rolland, the famous author of “Jean Christophe” became a director of the Arts Faculty. Gabriel Fauré, Ravel, Debussy was to lead musical evenings.

After the 1914-1918 war, there was a change of direction, the School turned into the School of Advanced International Studies, School of Advanced Political Studies and School of Journalism. Moral Philosophy and Fine Arts disappeared.

Throughout the 20th century, prestigious figures from the worlds of politics and academia headed the Association which oversees the schools. To name but a few from the long list: Albert Lebrun, Paul Painlevé, Maurice Schumann, Léon Duguit, Arthur Fontaine, Henry Jouvenel.

France’s leading figures in politics, social issues or economics lectured at the School.

Today, HEIP, Hautes Etudes Politiques et Internationales has taken up the torch.

visuel site dick may Background


At the beginning of the 20th century, our school could already pride itself on distinctive features:

  • a specific, pioneering teaching approach in international relations and social sciences;
  • the diversity of the teaching approach – combining economists, historians, philosophers, geographers, sociologists and legal experts;
  • and the constant efforts to provide a complete, holistic education, key to understanding what’s at stake in the modern world.

Some of the professors who have built the school’s reputation:

1.BASCH Victor 150x150 Background

Victor Basch

Co-founder of the Human Rights League
« Mort pour la France » in 1944 [died during a conflict, in the service of the country].

Professor of “Political and artistic theories ” at HEIP from 1903 to 1921

2.BOURGEOIS Leon 150x150 Background

Léon Bourgeois

President of the [French] Senate from 1920 to 1923
Nobel Peace Prize in 1920

Professor of ” Democratic Doctrines ” at HEIP from 1901 to 1911

3.BRIAND Aristide 150x150 Background

Aristide Briand

President of the Council of Ministers 1909 – 1929
Nobel Peace Prize in 1926

Professor of ” Social Issues ” at HEIP from 1901 to 1902

4.DESCHANEL Paul 150x150 Background

Paul Deschanel

President of the [French] Republic in 1920
Member of the “Académie française” from 1899 to 1922

Professor of “Political and international current affairs ” at HEIP from 1908 to 1918

leon duguit professeur heip inseec u 150x150 Background

Léon Duguit

French legal expert
Founder of the Civil Service School

Professor of ” General law ” at HEIP from 1907 to 1911

6.DURKHEIM Emile 150x150 Background

Émile Durkheim

One of the founders of modern French sociology
Founding member of the Human Rights Ligue.

Professeur de “Sociologie” à HEIP de 1903 à 1909

7.FONTAINE Arthur 150x150 Background

Arthur Fontaine

Author of the Versailles Treaty (1919)
First President of the International Labor Organization from 1919 to 1931

Professor of “Right to Strike” at HEIP from 1900 to 1915

8.FRANCE Anatole 150x150 Background

Anatole France

French Writer
Nobel Prize for Literature 1921

Professor of ” Journalistic writing ” at HEIP from 1902 to 1903

9.HERRIOT Edouard 150x150 Background

Édouard Herriot

President of the “Assemblée Nationale” [Parliament of France] from 1947 to 1954
Mayor of Lyon from 1905 to 1957

Professor of ” Municipal Law ” at HEIP from 1907 to 1908

10.DINDY Vincent 150x150 Background

Vincent D’Indy

French composer

Professor of “Contemporary Music” at HEIP from 1903 to 1905

11.JOUVENEL Henry 150x150 Background

Henry Jouvenel

High Commissioner of the French Republic in Syria and the Lebanon 1925-1926
French Ambassador

Professor of “French Political Reform” at HEIP from 1923 to 1925

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Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu

Member of the Academy of Political and Moral Sciences
President of the “Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques” (Sciences Po Paris) from 1906 to 1912

Professor of “Theory of International Relations ” at HEIP from 1900 to 1904

14.MENDESFRANCE Pierre 150x150 Background

Pierre Mendès-France

President of the Council of Ministers 1954-1955

Professor of “Financial and Banking Studies” at HEIP from 1930 to 1940

15.PAINLEVE Paul 150x150 Background

Paul Painlevé

War Minister 1917 and 1925
President of the Council of Ministers 1917 and 1925

Professor of “Contemporary Societies” at HEIP from 1906 to 1916

16.PEGUY Charles 150x150 Background

Charles Péguy

French writer, poet and essayist
Founder of “cahiers de la quinzaine” [Fortnightly Notebooks] on the HEIP campus

Professor of “Political anarchism ” at HEIP from 1902 to 1904

17.POINTCARE Raymond 150x150 Background

Raymond Poincaré

President of the French Republic from 1913 to 1920

Professor of “Parliamentary Law” at HEIP from 1907 to 1909

23.VIDAL DE LA BLACHE Paul 150x150 Background

Paul Vidal de La Blache

Founding member of Modern Geography
Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences

Professor of “Geography” at HEIP from 1901 to 1917

21.SIEGFRIED Andre 150x150 Background

André Siegfried

Founding member of electoral sociology
Member of the “Académie française”

Professeur de “Systèmes démocratiques” à HEIP de 1902 à 1905

19.RUSSELL Bertrand 150x150 Background

Bertrand Russell

British Philosopher
Nobel Prize for literature 1950

Professor of “Anglo-Saxon Political Philosophy” at HEIP from 1910 to 1911

18.ROLLAND Romain 150x150 Background

Romain Rolland

French Writer
Nobel Prize for literature 1915

Professor of “Literature and literary and musical criticism” at HEIP from 1902 to 1911


While the founding ambition remains the same – producing enlightened citizens to shape the world – the school has opened up to new disciplines and pedagogical methods. This project offers students a course providing fundamental skills while working closely with the professional world.

The programs, which comply with European and International standards, are constantly enhanced.

HEIP students are passionate about the world they live in. Very early on, they are aware of the complexity of the world surrounding them. Their intellectual curiosity and their critical faculties are always in demand for team work, group workshops, debates and involvement in the campus associations.

The teaching faculty, made up of graduates of Universities or French “Grande Ecoles” with a background in Politics or Diplomacy, are there to guide them, to foster their passion, to help them choose and embark on their career.