Paris-Sorbonne University

Paris-Sorbonne University
Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)

Logo of Paris-Sorbonne University
Type Public
Established 1970 (1970)
Budget 118,800,000[1]
President Barthélémy Jobert
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 23,505
Undergraduates 13,900
Postgraduates 6,916
Location Paris, France
48°50′55″N 2°20′34″E / 48.84861°N 2.34278°E / 48.84861; 2.34278Coordinates: 48°50′55″N 2°20′34″E / 48.84861°N 2.34278°E / 48.84861; 2.34278
Campus 12 urban campuses
Newspaper Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne
Colours      Indigo,      Gold
Athletics Association Sportive de Paris IV
Nickname Paris IV
Affiliations Sorbonne University
France Paris

Paris-Sorbonne University (also known as Paris IV; French: Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV), is a public research university in Paris, France. It was established in 1970 as the main successor of the University of Paris (the Sorbonne),[1] which ceased to exist following student protest in May 1968. It took over the Humanities and Languages faculties of the University of Paris.

The university enrolls about 24,000 students in 20 departments specializing in arts, humanities and languages, divided in 12 campuses in Paris. Seven of the campuses are situated in the historic Latin Quarter, including the historic Sorbonne university building, and three in Marais, Malesherbes and Clignancourt respectively. Paris-Sorbonne also houses France's prestigious communication and journalism school, CELSA, located in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, maintains about 400 international agreements, and is a founding member of the Sorbonne University alliance with Pierre and Marie Curie University.

The universities of Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris 6) and Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4) have announced a merger with the intention to create a new university including three faculties: Sciences, Medicine (currently belonging Paris 6) and Human Sciences (currently belonging to Paris 4). This new university will start first January 2018.[2][3][4][5][6]


At the head of Paris-Sorbonne is the President, elected by members of the Council of Administration for a four-year tenure. The current president is Barthélémy Jobert.

La Sorbonne main building

The President of Paris-Sorbonne presides over the Council of Administration which meets multiple times during a school year who heads Paris-Sorbonne's administration and academics and votes upon its annual financial budget. The President is assisted by two Vice-Presidents and several professors elected by their respective academic departments.

Central Councils

Three Central Councils made up of elected members from the student body, professors and the administration reflect on important questions concerning the University's current and future projects and academics. Each member serves a two-year tenure and is elected by the student body.

Scientific Council

Scientific Council, composed of professors elected by the Council of Administration, reflects upon various possible changes to current research techniques and standards of the University. It ensures a strong link between the University's teaching and research.


Unité de Formation et de Recherche

The Savary Law of 1984 restructered academic departments in French universities. Each department was made into a UFR, "Unité de formation et de recherche" or Research and Formation Unit that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Each UFR at Paris-Sorbonne is governed by a director elected from the department, who presides over a council of elected professors who control its curriculum. Students must already have acquired an intermediate profiency in any foreign language before choosing to major in it. One-year intensive language programs are offered in Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Belarusian and Arabic to newcomers who wish to acquire basic proficiency in order to major in one of the listed languages. These programs are certified by a university diploma outside of the Bologna Process. Language programs certified by a university diploma outside of the Bologna Process that do not lead to a major program are also offered in modern Greek and Catalan.


Main article: CELSA Paris

Paris-Sorbonne hosts one of France's most prestigious communication and journalism school, CELSA, Centre d’études littéraires et scientifiques appliquées located in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. However, admissions to CELSA are made directly to the school and not to Paris-Sorbonne. Approximately 700 students attend classes at CELSA and obtain degrees in journalism, corporate communications, intercultural management, marketing and advertising, human resource management, and multimedia studies. CELSA's faculty is a combination of academics from the Sorbonne and professionals from a variety of business sectors. Faculty members use a variety of teaching methods including case studies, lecture/discussions, team projects, simulation exercises and independent studies. The journalism section admits students with a three-year post-secondary school qualification. It is one of the most selective and prestigious programmes in journalism in the country. Each year, around 850 candidates apply for admission, though only 25 are offered a place

Sorbonne University (alliance)

It is a founding member of Sorbonne-Universités, an alliance with two other prestigious French universities specializing respectively in law and Sciences, Panthéon-Assas University and Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University. This alliance allows Paris-Sorbonne University students to study sciences, law and political sciences in several Dual Degrees. In 2012, two Graduate Certificates in Law are accessible for all the students member of the alliance "Sorbonne University" (Paris-Sorbonne University, Panthéon-Assas University, Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University).

Rankings and reputation

The university is ranked 222 in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2015. By faculty, it was ranked 9 in modern languages, 36 in arts and humanities (1st in France), and 127 in social sciences and management (5th in France).[7] By academic reputation, it was ranked 80 (2nd in France), according to the QS World University Rankings, and 2nd in overall highest international reputation of all academic institutions in France, according to the Times Higher Education 2015.[8][9]

In 2014 Paris-Sorbonne ranked 227 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings, 115 for Social Sciences and Management, 33 for Arts and Humanities.[10]


Paris-Sorbonne has twelve campuses and six libraries spread across Paris


The University's central campus is the historic central Sorbonne building in the Latin Quarter. Before the 19th century, the Sorbonne occupied several buildings. The chapel was built in 1622 by the then-Provisor of the University of Paris, Cardinal Richelieu, during the reign of Louis XIII. In 1881, politician Jules Ferry decided to convert the Sorbonne into one single building. Under the supervision of Pierre Greard, Chief Officer of the Education Authority of Paris, Henri-Paul Nénot constructed the current building from 1883 to 1901 that reflects a basic architectural uniformity. The integration of the chapel into the whole was also Nénot’s work with the construction of a cour d'honneur. The Sorbonne building is generally reserved for undergraduate students in their third year and graduate students in certain academic disciplines. Only students in Semitic studies, regardless of level, take all their classes at the Sorbonne campus.

The Library of the Sorbonne is shared by several Parisian universities. It is open exclusively to undergraduate students in their third year and graduate students. With the former archives of the now-defunct University of Paris, 2,500,000 books, 400,000 of them ancient, 2,500 historical manuscripts, 18,000 doctoral dissertation papers, 17,750 past and current French and international periodicals and 7,100 historical printing plates, the Library of the Sorbonne is the largest university library in Paris.

Maison de la Recherche

Inter-university Library of La Sorbonne

The Maison de la Recherche campus is the central building for doctoral studies that hosts the history and geography departments. It houses the Serpente Library that has 55,000 works and 292 past and current French and international periodicals. All doctoral dissertations since January 1, 1986 have been stored at the Serpente Library.

Clignancourt and Malesherbes

The two biggest campuses apart from the main Sorbonne building are the Clignancourt and Malesherbes centers. Undergraduate students in their first and second years of study in Philosophy, History, Geography, English and Spanish take their classes at the Clignancourt center. The Clignancourt Library contains 78,000 works, 210 French and international periodicals and 800 educational DVDs.

Undergraduate students in their first and second years of study in French literature, French language, Latin, Ancient Greek and Musicology take their classes at the Malesherbes center. All undergraduate students in these academic disciplines study in the central Sorbonne building in their third year. Undergraduate and graduate students in German studies, Slavic studies, Italic studies and Romanian studies, regardless of level, take all of their classes at the Malesherbes center. The Malesherbes center also hosts three research centers in Italian culture, the cultures and literature of central Europe and the Balkans and the Germanic, Nordic and Dutch centers. The Malesherbes Library contains 200,000 works specializing in the study of foreign languages and cultures and 1,200 past and current French and international periodicals. More than 50,000 doctoral dissertations are available for public viewing.

Institut d'Art et d'Archéologie

Undergraduate Art History and Archeology students take their classes at the Institut d'Art et d'Archéologie, located at the main entrance of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Constructed by architect Paul Bigot between 1925 and 1930, the Mesopotamian-style building was classified as a national historical building in 1996. It hosts the Michelet Library that contains 100,000 volumes of work on art history and archeology with 100 French and international periodicals. Only 10,000 of the art history and archeology works are open to students, the others requiring special authorization of usage. Graduate Art History and Archeology students take their courses at the Institut National de l'Histoire de l'Art in the Galerie Colbert, a partnered national institution of the University.

Other campuses

Both the Institut d'Urbanisme et d'Aménagement and the Institut d'Etudes hispanique in the Latin Quarter host third year and graduate students of Geography and Iberian and Latin American studies. The Marcel Bataillon Library houses the Institut d'Etudes hispaniques' collection of 25,000 works on Iberian and Latin-American culture. Catalan studies take place at the Centre d'Etudes catalanes in the Marais.

Paris-Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi

An exclusive international agreement between Paris-Sorbonne and the government of Abu Dhabi was signed on February 19, 2006, starting plans to bring Paris-Sorbonne University to Abu Dhabi. The Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) was established on May 30, 2008 on Reem Island by a decree of the ruler of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates. All programs are taught in the French language. An intensive French language programme is offered for one or two year(s) to students who do not meet the French language requirement for registration. The establishment of the university demonstrates the keenness of Abu Dhabi to create an international hub in culture and education, having also signed a contract with the Louvre in 2007 to create the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and with New York University in 2007 to create New York University Abu Dhabi. PSUAD is jointly governed by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) and by PSUAD's board of six members, three of whom are appointed by the home Paris-Sorbonne University, the other three appointed by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The President of PSUAD and Chairman of the Board is the President of the home Paris-Sorbonne University, currently Georges Molinié. Academic programs are offered at the undergraduate level only in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts.

Student life

Student life is centered on Paris. The central locations of Paris-Sorbonne's campuses allows for easy access to the cultural and social lives of the Capital.

The Service Culturel des Étudiants (SCDE) or Cultural Service of Students ensures free access to all permanent exhibitions of Parisian museums for students under the age of 25. Reductions are available for membership cards to Parisian museums that allow for access to all temporary exhibitions and discounts on guided visits. The SCDE organizes a yearly calendar of free theatrical, musical and cultural events. 250 tickets to the Paris Opera and other Parisian theaters are bought each year and are given to students on a first come, first served basis. Art History and Archeology students have free access to all the châteaux in the Parisian region, including the Palace of Versailles. The SCDE hosts several cultural ateliers open to all students.

Students of Music and Musicology make up the official Choir and Orchestra of the Sorbonne. Several public concerts are given each year in the Richelieu Amphitheater of the Sorbonne and in other public venues in Paris.

Notable people



See also


  1. 1 2 "Rapport d'évaluation de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne — Paris IV" (PDF). Agence d'évaluation de la recherche et de l'enseignement supérieur. November 2009. p. 7.
  2. "L'UPMC et Paris-Sorbonne veulent créer une méga-université parisienne". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  3. Marie-Estelle Pech (2015-09-16). "Universités: rapprochement en vue dans le quartier latin - Le Figaro Etudiant". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  4. "Vers une super-université à Paris". 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  5. Alain FUCHS (2015-09-15). "L'UPMC et l'université Paris Sorbonne s'engagent sur la route de la fusion - Educpros". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  6. "Open letter from the University" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  7. "QS World University Rankings Arts & Humanities 2013 Results". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  8. "Cinq universités françaises parmi les plus réputées au monde". 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  9. "Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  10. "Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  11. "M. Michel Sapin : Assemblée Nationale". Retrieved 2016-11-13.
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