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Our history

A tradition: innovation

Since 1956, Sciences Po Aix has been educating its students in the long tradition inherited from Émile Boutmy’s project and is committed to providing excellent teaching.

“We asked ourselves whether it was not possible to make the generation that was growing up better understand the complexity and difficulty of political issues

Émile Boutmy, a man of knowledge, defined his project to create the École Libre des Sciences Politiques in this way. The republican state and society that emerged from the defeat of 1870 had a need for reform, which was met by the creation of this school in February 1872, with the mission of training the nation’s ruling elite.

Less than a century later, it was the same spirit that presided over the creation of Sciences Po Aix.
Created in the early 1950s under the impetus of Professor Paul de Geouffre de la Pradelle, the Centre for Political and Administrative Studies became the Grande École of the South. The decree of 27 March 1956 transformed it into an Institute of Political Studies.


Since 2006, Sciences Po Aix has named each of its graduating classes after a personality who has left a mark on their time through their work or commitment.

  • Class of 2006-2011: Lucie Aubrac
  • Class of 2007-2012: Victor Hugo
  • Class of 2008-2013: Claude Lévi-Strauss
  • Class of 2009-2014: Philippe Séguin
  • Class of 2010-2015 : Albert Camus
  • Class of 2011-2016: Robert Badinter
  • Class of 2012-2017: Nelson Mandela
  • Class of 2013-2018 : Aristide Briand
  • Class of 2014-2019 : Hannah Arendt
  • Class of 2015-2020: Machiavelli
  • Class of 2016-2021: Malala Yousafzai
  • Class of 2017-2022 : Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Class of 2018-2023: Frida Kahlo
  • Class of 2019-2024: Marcel Pagnol
  • Class of 2020-2025: Gisèle Halimi
  • Class of 2021-2026: Joséphine Baker
  • Class of 2022-2027: Arnaud Beltrame