Doctoral School

The EPHE PhD Program leads to the doctorate now entitled “PSL (Paris Sciences et Lettres) PhD prepared at the EPHE”. The Program takes place in the Doctoral School (école doctorale) which is a member of the College of PSL Doctoral Schools. The faculty is composed of 242 advisors, which includes 200 EPHE Research Professors (directeurs d’études) and assistant or associate Professors (maîtres de conférences) as well as 42 scholars attached to other institutions who supervise EPHE PhD students. The Program has an average enrollment of 600 doctoral students, with approximately 100 PhDs awarded every year.

In accordance with EPHE’s original vocation, the Doctoral School provides research training in the broader sense including practical workshops, seminars, lectures, training courses, introductory and methodology sessions to assist PhD students with their investigations. The general aim is to provide students with the scientific autonomy that is inherent in the future evolution of knowledge-based careers. The Doctoral School has a policy of fostering the personal work of its PhD students and of helping them to gradually become active participants in professional research through various forms of financial grants and support for the organization of scientific meetings and for research publications. Upon enrolling, every PhD student is therefore attached to one of the EPHE’s research institutes or laboratories.

The current Director of the Doctoral School is Professor Christophe Grelard.

3 specializations:

History, Documents and Texts

The “History, Documents and Texts” (Histoire, textes, documents - HTD) specialization covers subject areas relating to history, history of art, archaeology, philology and linguistics and embraces a broad chronological (from Antiquity to the contemporary era), geographical and cultural spectrum (Europe, the Mediterranean world, Near East, India Central Asia and the Far East). Its originality is derived from this great variety and, in keeping with the philological-historical method, it encourages academic exchanges as well as the development of transversal studies and gives students the chance to learn, as thoroughly as possible, in rare subjects which are not taught in French universities or in other higher education institutions. Its other innovative feature is the key role that documents play: here, students learn the techniques and methods that are indispensable for exploiting primary sources, through direct contact with, often original, documents (tablets, inscriptions, papyri, manuscripts, etc.).

Religions and Thought Systems

The “Religions and Thought Systems” (Religions et systèmes de pensée - RSP) specialization covers all the religious phenomena of the world, over all periods of time, by using the different approaches of the Social Sciences and Humanities (history, sociology, ethnology, anthropology, philosophy), by synthesizing them methodologically and by striving to promote comparisons that highlights invariants and specificities. By linking together “Religions” and “Thought Systems”, the faculty members who coordinate this specialization intend to examine the category of the religion and bring to light its interaction with philosophical systems, wisdoms and cosmologies.

Integrated Systems, the Environment and Biodiversity

The purpose of the “Integrated Systems, the Environment and Biodiversity” (Systèmes intégrés, environnement et biodiversité - SIEB) specialization is to ensure that doctoral students develop a high level of expertise in specific biological fields and, at the same time, to provide wider training that goes beyond the subject area of the doctoral program. Priority is given first, to integrative neuroscience and to the evolution of complex molecular systems and, secondly, to the biological subjects including cognitive processes and memory, neurological aging processes, oncogenesis, immunology, genetics, virology and related pathologies, the anthropization of aquatic and marine environments, mechanisms that affect biodiversity. SIEB doctoral students are integrated into EPHE research laboratories or into national or European research structures accredited by the Doctoral School 472. Research training is completed by specific doctoral tuition and by joint cross-specialization teaching.



At the EPHE, PhDs are awarded following the successful defense of a dissertation and attendance of the supervisor’s research seminar.