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Last Updated: July 05, 2022

Universities in France

Candidates who wish to study in France will be able to explore the rich culture and history of the country. They will also be able to immerse themselves in the locality and master the language before they complete their education. The country receives an ample amount of European funding for research and innovation which has resulted in the country being the fourth-best for the impact they make through scientific publications. Candidates who study in this country will receive the best career opportunities with the qualifications that the internationally acclaimed universities provide them with.

France is a country that provides both domestic and international candidates with the best undergraduate and postgraduate programs in disciplines like arts, fine arts, humanities, business, and sciences. The country has over 80+ universities and more than 200 engineering and commerce schools out of which most of the commerce schools are private. The popular programs in the country are offered in both full-time and part-time modes which enable candidates to choose whether or not they want to study alongside their careers. The courses are often provided with a flexible schedule which allows candidates from all wakes of life to enroll in and complete their desired education in a university of their choice.

Higher Education System in France

The higher education system in France has three levels starting from the bachelor’s degree which is referred to as the License and License Professionelle after which candidates will be able to do a master’s program. The master’s programs that are offered allow candidates to choose specialties after the completion of which they will be able to take a Doctorate if they are willing to pursue a total of 8 years of study.

The country has over 3,500 higher educational institutions out of which more than 80 are public-funded and offer degrees in different fields of study. These public universities also provide candidates with research options through their academic research centers. France also has a Grandes Ecoles system which runs parallel to the public university system. This system deals with courses in the fields of science, business, and art. The programs offered as part of the Grandes Ecoles have a duration of 5 years and are considered to be equivalent to a master’s program when completed. The country also provides candidates with specialized schools which offer programs in miscellaneous fields of study like fashion, culinary arts, tourism, social work, etc.

The duration of a License program is 3 years in all unless it is a professional program in the case of which the duration can be anywhere between 3 to 4 years. A Master’s program in the country typically takes 2 years depending on the program the candidate has chosen. A doctoral program takes 5 years in general depending on the research topic the candidate has chosen and the field of study. France's universities and educational institutions do not distinguish between international students and French students, admission criteria and tuition fees are the same for international and local students.

Documents and Eligibility Requirements for Universities

The documents and eligibility requirement varies from university to university and also according to the program and field of study the candidate has chosen. Due to the difference in eligibility requirements, it is recommended that candidates enquire about the necessary documents at the admissions office of their desired universities before they apply for the same. The eligibility requirements for EU candidates and non-EU/EEA candidates are different in most universities. It is also required that candidates have a basic level of knowledge of French before they enter the country irrespective of the program they have applied for.

A few of the documents and eligibility requirements include-

Cost of Education in France

France is considered to be an affordable place for international students mainly because the tuition fee here remains consistent in every public university. The fee varies according to the level of education one is enrolling in. Private universities on the other hand are allowed to set their own tuition fee which can seem expensive for all students.

The fee per year at the License/Bachelor's level is estimated to be around 2,770 euros whereas that of a master's level degree is around 3,770 euros.

10 Recommended Universities in France

A few of the top universities in the country are-

College de France

This college was established in the year 1530 and is a public university focusing on the fields of arts, literature, and sciences. They provide courses in the fields of Mathematical, Physical, and Natural Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. Under the former field, they have subsections for Mathematics & Digital Sciences, Physics & Chemistry, Sciences of the Universe, and Life Sciences. The latter field contains subsections for Literature, Linguistics & Philosophy, History & Archaeology, and Sociological Sciences. They offer programs at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels to both domestic and international candidates.

The research programs that are offered by the college are through the institutes for Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics & Digital Sciences, Contemporary World, Philosophy, Literary & Linguistic Studies, and Civilizations. The research programs are offered for 5 years.

Universite d’Orleans

This university was established in the year 1306 and is one of the oldest universities in France. It is a public university that deals with the fields of engineering, technology, sciences, and even physiotherapy. The university has over 19,000 students out of which over 2,000 of them are foreign nationals. The courses they offer are from the fields of Law, Economics, Management, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Science, Technology, and Health along with Arts, Literature, and Languages. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and research programs in the above fields with the bachelor’s program having a duration of 3 years and the master’s program having a duration of 2 years.

The engineering programs they provide include Mechanical and Production Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Heat, and Energy Engineering, Civil Engineering, etc.

Nantes University

This public university was established in the year 1460 and has a student population of over 37,000 students along with over 2,000 academic staff. Out of the student population, over 10 percent of candidates are foreign nationals. The courses that they offer come in the fields of history, art history, archaeology, economics, management, geography and planning, French, etc. They also have schools for fields of study like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, polytech, psychology, science and technology, sociology, etc. The university offers candidates with undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programs in the above fields with a duration of 3, 2, and 5 years respectively.

The research programs that are offered by the university are from two main fields of Letters, Languages, Human and Social Sciences, and Biology, Medical Research, and Applications.

Ecole Polytechnique

This university was established in the year 1794 and has the Polytechnic Institute of Paris as its parent institution. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, executive master’s, and Ph.D. programs to candidates along with polytechnics engineering programs. The university has departments for Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Computer Science, Languages and Culture, Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Mechanics, Physics, etc. The engineering program they provide is Master of Engineering, Science and Technology program which is 4 years long.

Ecole Polytechnique has a strong focus on research with the campus promoting even multidisciplinary research. The research areas that are offered include bioengineering, biology, & health sciences, digital society, energy, transportation, & environment, nanoscience, etc.

Ecole Centrale Paris

This university was established in the year 1829 and is a public university that offers postgraduate and research programs in different fields of study. This university was merged with the Supelec to form the CentralSupelec in 2015. The campus has a student population of over 4,300 students out of which more than 3,000 students are part of engineering programs. They have over 70 academic staff and over 400 teacher-researchers on campus. They offer an engineering program and an accelerated engineering degree at a master’s level along with master’s programs in subjects like data science, business analytics, and artificial intelligence.

Research programs are offered to candidates in the fields of applied physics, applied mathematics, technologies and information systems, mechanics, energy and combustion, etc. The campus has over 18 laboratories.

Ecole Centrale de Lyon

The university was established in the year 1857 and is a research university that provides postgraduate and doctoral programs only. The campus is known for the programs they offer in applied science and engineering though they further delve into topics like biosciences, nanotechnology, etc. as part of their research programs. The university offers 16 master’s degrees in the field of science, technology, and health, 1 master’s degree in humanities and social science, and another 1 in law, economics, and management.

Research opportunities are provided to candidates in the fields of nanotechnology and nanomaterials, transport, energy, environment, and bioengineering. They have 6 laboratories which are considered to be joint research units.

American University of Paris

This university was established in the year 1962 and is a private university which is located in the city of Paris. They have a student population of around 1,200 students along with around 140 academic staff. The campus is rooted in the study of liberal arts and they offer programs at undergraduate, graduate, and research levels. They also offer cultural programs for candidates. The departments in the university include Art History and Fine Arts, Communication, Media and Culture, Comparative Literature and English, Computer Science, Mathematics and Environmental Science, Economics and Management, etc.

The campus offers candidates research opportunities in subjects like democracy, social justice, diplomacy, environment, etc. through the research centers for democracy studies, writers and translators, the study of genocide, human rights, conflict prevention, and environmental science.

Strasbourg University

This university was established in the year 1538 and is a public university with a population of 52,000 students out of which over 3,000 students are doing doctoral programs. The University of Strasbourg has 37 departments that deal with 5 main academic fields. The academic fields include arts, literature & languages, law, economics, management, & political science, humanities & social sciences, science & technologies, and health. Each of these fields is considered to be faculties, schools, or institutions of their own which contain different subjects of study. The campus offers candidates with dual study programs, bachelor’s programs, technical diplomas, medical degrees, and engineering degrees along with master’s and doctoral programs.

The research programs come under the fields of Life Sciences & Health, Sciences & Technologies, Law, Economics, Management, Humanities, & Social Sciences. The campus has around 10 doctoral schools in fields like Humanities, Mathematics, Information Sciences & Engineering, Physics & Physical Chemistry, Chemical Sciences, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Life & Health Sciences, etc.

Ecole Normale Superieure

This university was established in the year 1794 and has a population of over 2,500 students along with over 1,000 academic staff. They offer graduate and doctoral programs in fields like mathematics, physics, philosophy, social sciences, economics, history, literature, government, politics, etc. They have departments in the field of science and letters with the former including geosciences, chemistry, biology, environment, etc., and the latter including departments in economics, history, philosophy, geography, literature, etc.

The research centers are also split into a center in Letters and a center in Sciences. The centers in Letters include antiquity sciences, social sciences, philosophy, economics, literature and language, history, arts, etc. The centers in Sciences include departments for biology, mathematics, chemistry, geosciences, cognitive sciences, etc.

University of Rennes 1

This is a public university that was established in the year 1970 and has a student population of over 26,000. The university also has over 1,700 people as academic staff. They offer License/Bachelor’s programs, diplomas, language teaching courses, digital skills certifications, and doctoral programs. The bachelor’s programs provided are for subjects like biology, environment, and life chemistry, physics, chemistry and geosciences, computer, mathematics, health access, philosophy, etc.

The university has doctoral schools for biology health, law, and political science, ecology geosciences agronomy food, education, languages, interactions, cognition, clinical, mathematics, matters, molecules and materials, engineering sciences, societies, time, territories, economics, and management sciences.

Universities in France

The top universities in France are-

Studying in France

Best of France...