Pantheon-Sorbonne University

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Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Template:Lang-fr), also known as "Paris I", is a public research university in Paris, France. It is one of the thirteen inheritors of the world's second oldest academic institution, the University of Paris (often referred as the Sorbonne), shortly before the latter officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1970, as a consequence of the French cultural revolution of 1968, often referred to as "the French May". It is one of the most prestigious French universities, mainly in the areas of humanities, political science, social sciences, law and economics.

Pantheon-Sorbonne's headquarters is located on the Place du Panthéon in the Latin Quarter, an area in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements of Paris. The university also occupies part of the Sorbonne and other renowned French university buildings. Some forty thousand students (including internationals) are enrolled in fourteen teaching and research departments (Unités de Formation et de Recherche), as well as five institutes offering degree courses in law, political science, economics, management and humanities.

A major pole of research and learning, Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne is one of the most prestigious universities in France and the best one in its main domains. On that basis among others, it was rated by the 2014 QS World University Ranking 13th in History and Archaeology (1st in France), 22nd in Philosophy (1st in France), 27th in Law and Legal Studies (1st in France), 43rd in Geography and Area Studies (1st in France), 44th in Economics and Econometrics (1st in France), 51-100th in Accounting and Finance (1st in France), 51-100th in Politics and International Studies (2nd in France), 51-100th in Modern Languages (2nd in France), and 151-200th in Statistics and Operational Research (4th in France).

The University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne supports a modern approach of humanities, political, social and economic sciences on the basis of research, fieldwork, participant observation and ethnography. The dual master's degree (such as "Economics and Psychology" or "Economics and Quantitative Economics", among others) in partnership with other important french academic institutions such as the Paris Descartes University or the Sciences Po, among others, emphasizes opportunities offered as far as research is concerned.


thumb After the ideological, cultural and social fever which took hold of France in May and June 1968, a new university scene emerged; the law of 12 November 1968 instituted autonomous, multidisciplinary universities.

Paris I University was founded on the basis of a profound wish for change to produce an original academic project bringing together humanities, law and economics. Instead of having separate faculties, the university was divided into much more specialized departments (UFR). For instance the UFR of international law has the same relationship with the UFR of geography as with the UFR or commercial law. This was a revolutionary change, as those subjects had previously been taught in highly distinct and hierarchical faculties. To the traditional degree courses in France in history, geography, philosophy, art history, archaeology, economics, law and political science, new disciplines were gradually added, including visual arts, mathematics applied to social sciences, business management, tourism, culture and communications.

The name of the university embodies this triple tradition: the Sorbonne is the traditional seat of the Humanities studies in Paris (hence it is also used by Paris III and University Paris-Sorbonne, and the Place du Panthéon building is the seat of the law school (hence it is also used by Panthéon-Assas). Business studies had no traditional seat, as they were taught by law faculties.


The University of Paris I shares with the others inheritors of the university of Paris some of the most prestigious university buildings in France. Since the sixties, the university has expanded at an unprecedented rate and has built on or acquired nearly twenty new sites in the capital and immediate suburbs.

  • Sorbonne : Paris I occupies part of the historical seat of Paris University, rebuilt at the end of the 19th century. It houses also the University of Paris: University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris-Sorbonne University and Paris Descartes University, and the Chancellerie des Universités. The great lecture hall is the scene of lectures and traditional university ceremonies and is also the venue of important international conferences. The Senate and Vice-Chancellor’s Office are located in the former Paris Faculty of Law building which dates back to the end of the 18th century.
    • Albert Châtelet Center : commonly called Calvin, it is a secondary building of the Sorbonne.
    • Rue d'Ulm Center : like Calvin, a secondary building of the Sorbonne.
  • Place du Panthéon Building (commonly called Panthéon, not to be confused with the actual Panthéon : Paris I occupies part of the historical seat of the Law Faculty of the University of Paris. It is shared with Panthéon-Assas.
  • Institute of Geography : located in the Rue Saint-Jacques, it houses one of the oldest and richest collections of maps in France.
  • Institute of Philosophy of Sciences and Techniques (IHPST) : located in the Rue du Four.
  • Mahler Center : located in the IVe arrondissement, it houses an historical and legal studies institute.
  • Saint-Charles Center : located in the XVe arrondissement. Founded in 1973, it houses the Art School and the School of Cinema.
  • Pierre Mendès-France Center : commonly called Tolbiac, it is located in the XIIIe arrondissement. Founded in 1973, it is the main center of the University. Freshmen and Sophomores in Humanities are educated at Tolbiac.
    • Tolbiac Center : a secondary building of the Mendès-France Center (which confusingly is also called Tolbiac).
  • René Cassin Center : located in the XIII arrondissement. Founded in 1990, it houses the main part of Law School.
  • Economical Studies Building : located in the XIIIe arrondissement. It houses the Economics Graduate School.
  • Broca Center : Located in the Ve arrondissement. It houses the Business School.
  • International Building : located in the Boulevard Arago, commonly called Arago. It houses the International Relations Institute.
  • Michelet Center : an exotic Mesopotamian-style building in the 5th arrondissement, it houses the Art History and Archeology School.
  • Fontenay Center : located in the suburban town of Fontenay-aux-Roses, in the old buildings of the École Normale Supérieure. It houses the School of Work Social Sciences.
    • Sceaux Center : in the suburban town of Sceaux, it is a secondary building of the Fontenay Center.
    • Bourg-la-Reine Center : located in Bourg-la-Reine, it is a secondary building of the Fontenay Center.
    • Nogent Center : located in Nogent-sur-Marne, it is a secondary building of the Fontenay Center.


Recent constructions and acquisitions

The main buildings are the Centre Pierre Mendès France, the Centre René Cassin, the Centre Saint-Charles, the Centre Arago which houses the new International Relations Building; the research centers have been relocated, in particular in the Rue Malher and the Boulevard de l’Hôpital, where the Economics Building is currently located.

Academic programs

The University Paris I is the second biggest university in France where humanities and social sciences can be studied, the first one being Paris-Sorbonne University, which inherited the Arts and Humanity department of the university of Paris after 1971.

There are three main families of subjects:

  • Economics and Management, taught in the three departments of Economics, Business Management, Mathematics and Computer Science, plus the Sorbonne Graduate Business School (IAE PARIS).
  • Humanities, taught in the departments of History, Geography, Philosophy, Art History and Archaeology, the Arts.
  • Law and Political Science, taught in the departments of Administrative and Public Sector Law, Business Law, International and European Studies, Political science and Economics, Labour and Social Law.

All legal studies merged into the Sorbonne Law School in 2009.

In addition, Paris I comprises five institutes: the Institute for the Study of Economic and Social Development (IEDES), the Paris Demography Institute (IDUP), the Institute for Research and Advanced Studies in Tourism (IREST), the Institute of Labour Studies (ISST) and the Institute of Philosophy of Sciences and Techniques (IHPST).

Research at the University

thumb The following sampling of statistics demonstrate the importance of research at Paris I:

The eleven hundred members of faculty, 200 researchers who are attached to major research institutions, mainly the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), and 150 technical and administrative staff are grouped in 68 research groups recognised by the CNRS and the Ministry of Education and Research.

Every year around 400 PhD theses are defended and 1,700 pre-PhD post-graduate degrees are awarded in 74 subjects divided between 15 graduate schools.

The scope of research is vast, as can be seen by the number and variety of high quality conferences and colloquia organized by the different research centers. The themes provide a meeting point between science and culture and cover different aspects of the relationships between the individual and society.

Research programs exist in economics, management and applied mathematics; in law and politics; in philosophy and the arts; in history, art history and archaeology; in geography, demography and sociology, to name but some.

Documentary resource centers

Pantheon-Sorbonne University manages one of the largest documentary resource centers in France, the Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne. The Sorbonne library has a collection of almost three million books, 100,000 of which are more than 200 years old, and 17,500 periodicals covering all the humanities. The library and map collection of the Geography Institute are the oldest such collection in France. In addition, the 400,000 volumes in the specialist libraries offer users one of the largest collections in France and Europe.

The Cujas Library, co-administered with Panthéon-Assas, with its computerized documentation service, provides access to over 500 data banks and is the largest law and economics library in France.

The new economics building houses another resource center, and the library at the Centre Pierre Mendès France offers students free access to its large collection.


The University Paris 1 has signed over 150 conventions with foreign universities across five continents. These exchanges revolve around international networks such as Europaeum which bring together some of Europe's best universities in Oxford, London, Bologna, Bonn, Geneva, Helsinki, Leiden and Prague. The University of Paris I also heads a number of consortia which bring together French universities and professional organisations. The consortia are responsible for major international projects in Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul (Galatasaray), and Moscow.

Six thousand international students, mainly from Europe, come to study as part of the SOCRATES or TEMPUS programmes. African students are joined by increasing numbers from Asia and America, and take part in specific programs organised in conjunction with universities across the world.

Staff mobility is another priority and every year some 130 academics from foreign universities come to teach and do research at the University of Paris I.

Finally, international research at the University of Paris I is paramount. Many researchers and members of faculty take part in major international research programs abroad; the University also hosts many annual international conferences.

Dual and double degree programs

Alternatively, students can apply for admission into one of the school's dual degree or double degree programs designed in conjunction with partner universities in France and abroad. Double degree programs confer two degrees to students, whereas dual degrees confer only a degree from the host university.


A human competitiveness index & analysis by the Human Resources & Labor Review, and published in Chasecareer Network, ranked the University of Paris system 33rd internationally in 2010. In the global 2011 QS World University Rankings, the University is ranked 213th overall, ranking 34th for Arts and Humanities and 42nd for Social Sciences. In the Times Higher Education Ranking 2010 Pantheon-Sorbonne University was rated 32nd for Arts and Humanities and 37th for Social Science.

Moreover, in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2011 Pantheon-Sorbonne was rated 37th for "Politics and international studies" (2nd in France), 41st for "History" (1st in France), 47th for "Philosophy" (2nd in France) and it was ranked among the Top 100 Universities for "Modern Languages", "Accounting and Finance" and "Economics".

In the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2012 Sorbonne Paris 1 University was rated 81st in "Politics and international studies" (2nd in France), 87th in "Finance" (2nd in France), 85th in "Economics" (1st in France), 26th in History (1st in France), 31st in Philosophy (2nd in France)and 89th in "Modern languages" (2nd in France).

In the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2013 Sorbonne Paris 1 University is rated 44th in "Politics and international studies" (2nd in France), 47th in "Economics" (1st in France), 19th in "History" (1st in France), 26th in "Philosophy" (1st in France), 18th in "Law" (1st in France).

Notable alumni

  • Giorgos Kaminis: Mayor of the capital of Greece (Athens) and Greek Ombudsman from April 2003 until September 2010.
  • Michèle Alliot-Marie: State doctorate in political science, former director of the Faculty of Political Science, former Minister (Defense, Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs) and former UMP MP in the National Assembly.
  • Yves-Marie Adeline: PhD in Arts and art writer.
  • Samir Assaf: DEA Money Finance Bank, CEO of HSBC Global Banking & Markets
  • Maurice Benayoun: "Agrégation" and PhD in Arts and Art Sciences, media artist, Professor at City University of Hong Kong.
  • Ali Bongo Ondimba: President of Gabon, the son of former President Omar Bongo and the Minister of Defence from 1999 to 2009.
  • Jean-Louis Borloo: former minister, LLB
  • Rosi Braidotti, contemporary philosopher and feminist theoretician, distinguished Professor in the Humanities at University of Utrecht
  • Jorge Castañeda: Professor at New York University and former Foreign Minister of Mexico.
  • Luc Chatel: Master of Science in Management, Master of Marketing, Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Tourism to the Minister of Economy, Finance and Employment and spokesman for the UMP, former Minister of National Education
  • Alpha Condé: politician and current President of the Republic of Guinea.
  • Christian de Boissieu: doctor in economics, professor and director of the Council of Economic Analysis
  • Régis Debray: ENS, Doctor of Philosophy
  • Thierry Derez: CEO Covéa
  • Harlem Désir: degree in philosophy, now MEP
  • Daba Diawara: PhD in public law, currently Malian politician and former Secretary General of the Government of Mali
  • Mamadou Diouf: Senegalese historian, currently director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University
  • Taieb Fassi Fihri: Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
  • Sylvie Faucheux, president of the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
  • Laurence Ferrari: Master of political and social communication, journalist
  • Hervé Gaymard: LLB, former MP and Minister of Economy and Finance
  • René Gutman: Ph.D., a former philosophy student, Rabbi of Strasbourg
  • Théodore Holo: President of the High Court of Justice of Benin and former Minister
  • Chantal Jouanno: Minister of Youth and Sports, control of economic and social administration
  • Franck Julien, president of the TFN
  • Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki: PhD in public law, politician, former Prime Minister of Niger
  • André Mba Obame: former interior minister in Gabon, losing the presidential election in 2009
  • Arnaud Montebourg: LLB, French Minister of Industrial Renewal
  • Daniel Ona Ondo Ph.D. in Economics, academic and politician Gabon
  • Vincent Peillon: Bachelor, CAPES, aggregation and doctorate in philosophy. Former MEP, former member of the Somme and the current Minister of National Education.
  • Yazid Sabeg: CS executive and communication systems, and Commissioner for Diversity and Equal Opportunities since 17 December 2008
  • Dominique Senequier: DEA Money Finance Bank, CEO of Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity)
  • Manuel Valls: Degree in History. Mayor of Évry, Essonne and current Minister of the Interior
  • Laurent Wauquiez: Masters in History, former Minister of Higher Education and Research
  • Nasser Yeganeh: PhD in public law, former President of the Supreme Court of Iran
  • Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia

Points of interest

  • Sorbonne
  • Latin Quarter, Paris
  • Panthéon, Paris


See also

  • Higher education in France
  • University of Paris



External links

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