Humanities and Management

Program type : Initial Training
Degree : Post-master
Discipline(s) : Economics, Business Administration - Management, Literature, Marketing
Place : Paris
Domains : Humanities & social sciences
Teaching language : French
Internship required
Prerequisites : Master

Born out of a collaboration between École normale supérieure (ENS) and Paris-Dauphine, one of the finest universities in organizational and decision science, the new PSL “Humanities and Management” program is a high-level graduate degree (post-master).
Designed for Master’s level students in the humanities and social science who wish to join the corporate world, this one-year program is designed to groom a new generation of high-potential managers - managers who are more responsive, creative, and sensitive to complex societal issues. Based on an innovative teaching model that blends instrumentality and reflexivity, the program provides students access to a vast network of partnering companies in search of brilliant minds capable of bringing a different approach to managerial issues.

Learning outcomes

In a clean break from the traditional stovepiping of education paths, this program provides Master’s level literature students the opportunity to learn the management professions, bringing a fresh perspective to corporate management. The goal? Promote corporate acceptance of an alternative profile of high-level manager--one equipped with complementary sensibilities, skills, and knowledge.
The goal of this program is not limited to simply learning the tools of management. Rather, it seeks to promote dialogue between traditionally detached cultures. Through tailored teaching and original content, the program exposes students to the issues faced by companies today, with discussion of contemporary challenges and how backgrounds in the humanities can help inform resolution of certain complex problems companies are currently facing.


1-year program

  • First semester: Seminars + Contribution of a chapter to a book
  • Second semester: Professional workshops and case studies with partner companies + Corporate internship (6 months)

Who should apply?

The program is open to applicants holding a Master’s or equivalent in the humanities and social science (history, geography, literature, philosophy, sociology, art, etc.). PhD students wishing to take their career in a new corporate direction are also eligible.


At the close of the program, students receive a PSL university degree.
This intensive program prepares students for entry into managerial posts at the most senior levels, in the private and public sector alike, and in a variety of sectors and areas of expertise, including communications and media, the cultural industries, banking and insurance consulting, marketing and sales, NGOs, human resources, and the luxury goods industry.


  • World-class, intensive, professional program divided into 5 areas: integration, coursework, seminars, study tours, internships.
  • Close links to the corporate world throughout the full program: lectures, workshops, business cases, and a mandatory 6-month internship facilitated through the ENS and Paris-Dauphine network of corporate partners.  
  • A comprehensive overview of the major management functions: finance, economics, marketing, communications, human resources, corporate social responsibility, etc.
  • An innovative teaching approach to quickly cultivate an understanding of the issues faced by companies (combination of an instrument-based approach, teaching students the classic tools of management, and a reflexive approach, integrating humanities concepts into one’s understanding of management tools).
  • Top-tier faculty drawn largely from PSL institutions.  
  • Close supervision of each student, with small class sizes and individual mentors to help guide students throughout the year in their academic and professional pursuits alike.  
  • A class of brilliant students with diverse backgrounds, facilitating healthy competition and class spirit.

This one-year program includes approximately 300 hours of instruction (60 ECTS).  
Students take three different subsets of seminars and in addition attend lectures given by professionals. 


- Subset 1: Major management functions and tools (16 ECTS)
Corporate Finance; Strategy and Management; Challenges and Perspectives; Marketing; Disruption and Continuity; Capitalism and Accounting
- Subset 2: Companies and society (16 ECTS)
Key Contemporary Issues in Economics; Introduction to Business Law; Companies and Social Responsibility; Corporate Communications; Modern-Day Challenges
- Subset 3: Humanities-informed management (13 ECTS)
History of Leadership: from Charlemagne to Steve Jobs; Sociology of Organizations and Human Resources Challenges; Cultural Spaces and Globalization; Corporate Impact; Art and Entrepreneurship.

Professional workshops (4 ECTS)  

A number of corporate partnerships supplement the curriculum. Corporate executives and consultants will periodically visit to give presentations on their work, methods, and challenges encountered. They will lead case studies based on real-life situations. Students must then propose convincing, concrete solutions, which will be evaluated by an expert from the company and an academic advisor.

Contribution of a chapter to a book: Humanities and Management (5 ECTS)

With support from an academic advisor, students will be required to contribute a chapter to a book, based on their area of specialization. The best of these chapters will actually be published as part of a group publication. The goal will be to shed light on a contemporary managerial issue, either on a theoretical level or in relation to an actual case, with a perspective informed by the humanities.
The courses include required reading prior to each class session as well as classroom discussions. Students will be required to prepare media reviews on current topics in the business world and explain articles on management science (from the Harvard Business Review, etc.) for a broad audience. The students will examine numerous case studies designed to enhance their understanding of key sectors of the economy as well as the specific features of various French and international companies.  

The second semester is spent completing a 6-month internship, allowing students to further specialize in a specific field. The corporate relations departments at Paris-Dauphine and ENS will offer a list of proposed internships with partner businesses.

Admissions process

The Humanities and Management program is intended for applicants holding a Master’s degree or equivalent or a doctorate in the humanities and social science (history, geography, literature, philosophy, sociology, art, etc.).
Candidates must have a particular interest in contemporary economic issues and be seeking to supplement their knowledge of the humanities with multidisciplinary instruction in managerial topics. 

Selection procedure

Based on an application and interview. Eligible candidates will be asked to sit for an interview (in person or remotely) with faculty representatives.

1 - Online application through PSL portal. Submission deadlines: from March 12, 2018 to April 30, 2018 
2 - Interview (for preselected candidates) : from 4 to 16 May 2018.


€4500 for the 2016/2017 academic year. Scholarships designed to offset tuition costs in whole or in part may be awarded to students who demonstrate need, on the basis of social criteria and academic excellence.
PSL students may qualify for a grant of €2000 (i.e., total tuition of €2500).

Antoine Blanc, Université Paris-Dauphine / Fanny Henriet, ENS 

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