France UNIVERSITIES

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France universities offer a wide range of programs. France universities are known for the diversity of their educational programs, from general education to field-specific majors, academic excellence and research, providing a world-class education and training future professionals. France universities also have strong ties with industry, providing students with internship opportunities, the opportunity to work on research projects with world-class faculty members, post-graduate professional training programs and career guidance. The best universities in the country are listed below. You can contact us for free preliminary information about France and universities.

Study In France

High quality education, low tuition fees, employment opportunities after graduation and the world-famous French lifestyle make France one of the most popular study destinations among international students who want to study in Europe. The French higher education system is one of the most well-established in all Europe and institutions like Université PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Sorbonne University, and Université Paris-Saclay are in the top 100 in world university rankings. 

Higher education institutions in France offer programs to nearly 2.5 million students, 12% of which are from abroad. The quality of education in French universities is the result of a political vision that has been upheld for a long time and is constantly being developed. Every year public authorities make substantial investments for both education and research activities and the resources allocated for education make up more than 20% of the state’s annual budget. The policies implemented by the French government enable France to maintain one of the best higher education systems in the world, and above all, one of the most accessible for national and international students alike.

University Education in France

France hosts more than 3.500 higher education institutions both public and private in nature. These institutions include 72 universities, 25 campuses housing a plurality of institutes, 271 doctoral schools, 227 engineering schools authorized to grant the title of engineer, 220 business and management schools, 45 schools of art, 22 schools of architecture and design, and about 3.000 private higher education institutions. Among all the higher education institutions, Grandes écoles come to the fore as specialized and highly selective universities.

In recent years, many French higher education institutions have been merged into clusters, also called PRES (research and higher education institutions), which serve as educational institutions that bring together local universities, research institutes and specialized schools for specific fields. Following the Bologna process, the degrees awarded by French universities have evolved into a three-tier structure. These, in general, consist of three-year bachelor's degrees awarded at the end of undergraduate programs, which usually last three years, two-year master's degrees awarded at the end of two-year master's programs and three-year doctoral degrees awarded at the end of three-year doctoral programs. In addition, there is also a state license, the 'Diplômé d'Etat', for medical and medical-related programs.

Another reason why French universities are preferred by international students is the programs in which the medium of instruction is English. In French universities, many undergraduate and postgraduate programs are taught in English and there are more than 1,200 courses available in English.

How Long Does It Take To Complete Your Studies?

As mentioned above, among the programs categorized into bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs, bachelor's programs can usually be completed in 3 years, master's programs in 2 years and doctoral programs in 3 years. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), which is the standard credit system in all European Union member states bar a couple of exceptions, is of course also in effect in French universities as well, and students are required to accumulate 180 - 240 ECTS course credits over a 3-year study period, depending on the department, in order to complete their undergraduate program. 

The number of course credits required in a semester is 30 ECTS and the number of course credits required in an academic year is 60 ECTS. Analogously, for master's programs, which generally last 2 years, students are required to accumulate 120 ECTS credits. In French universities, an academic year, though subject to change depending on the institution and the program, usually starts in September or October and ends in May or June with the end of the second semester.

Cost of Studying in France

As in almost every country, the cost of living in France varies from region to region and from city to city. Tuition fees are much lower for international students as well as for French nationals compared to other countries in Europe, as higher education at public universities is funded by the French government.

Deciding to study at a French university means gaining access to high-quality study programs designed specifically for many different fields. Tuition fees at public universities are quite low, as these higher education institutions are financed by the French government.

Although students from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area pay higher tuition fees than students from member states of the European Union and countries within the European Economic Area, tuition fees for international students at French universities are much more reasonable than tuition fees for international students at universities in other European countries.

Students from outside the EU and EEA have to pay €2,770 per year for bachelor's programs and €3,770 per year for master's programs at French public universities. Tuition fees at private universities, on the other hand, vary from university to university and program to program, but average between €3,000 and €20,000 per year.

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to adopt and, more importantly, which city you are going to live in. The cost of living in cities such as Paris, Nice, Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Toulouse is slightly higher than other cities. For Paris you will need a budget that amounts between €1,200 and €1,800 per month, while your monthly overhead costs are likely to be between €900 and €1,400 per month in Nice and between €800 and €1,000 per month in cities such as Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Accommodation in France

Accommodation costs are, of course, the biggest part of the monthly living expenses. While the average cost of resident halls of universities is around €200 per month, the capital city of Paris is an exception with an average of €400 per month. Rents range between €400 and €700 per month on average in cities such as Nice, Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux and Toulouse, while in Paris the range is between €800 and €1,000 per month.

Why Study in France?

Attracting international students from all over the world, France is a country where people of different nationalities and cultures come together and where individuals who want to see new places and discover different cultures find what they are looking for. Geographically located in the heart of Europe, France is within a 2-hour drive of most other European countries and European capitals.

France is internationally recognized for its educational excellence and French universities offer world-class, high quality education programs. France is particularly recognized in the field of higher education and research because of its long academic history, which has so far been crowned with 13 Fields Medals and 65 Nobel Prizes.

France is the world's fifth largest economy and home to 31 of the world's 500 most powerful companies. The industrial dynamism of large French companies comes from their dedication to innovation and research. Companies such as Airbus, Total, Orange, Sanofi, LVMH, L'Oréal, Danone and many more are creating a huge job market for new graduates.

How to Apply as an International Student?

International students who wish to apply for undergraduate and graduate programs offered by French universities must meet certain academic and language requirements. Although these requirements may vary depending on the university and the program, general admission requirements may be summarized as follows;

Admission Requirements - Academic (Bachelor’s Degree)

  • To Have Completed 11 or 12 Years of Primary and Secondary Education
  • Certificate of Secondary Education
    • Please note that a certificate of secondary education awarded by a foreign institution  requires an equivalency review by the relevant authorities in France.
  • A High Grade Point Average
    or
  • French Baccalaureate Diploma
    or
  • European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma
    or
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    or
  • GCE A-Level / International A-Level Diploma

Please bear in mind that international students who are going to apply to programs that are directly or indirectly related to the fields of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, civil engineering, industrial engineering, bioengineering, mathematics, physics and pharmaceutics may be asked to apply and take the relevant exams administered by the French government or by the respective university.

Admission Requirements - Academic (Master’s Degree)

  • Bachelor’s Degree (of a 3 or 4-year undergraduate program)
  • High Grade Point Average
  • To have accumulated at least 180 ECTS course credit during your university studies

Please note that you may be asked to submit GRE or GMAT test scores depending on the admission requirements specific to the program you are applying to.

Admission Requirements - Language

  • Certificate of Proficiency in English (for programs taught in English)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic, CAE, CPE, etc.
  • Certificate of Proficiency in French (for programs taught in French)
    • You will be asked to submit the scores of at least one of the internationally recognized proficiency tests like DILF, DELF or DALF.

Application Deadlines

The application process to French universities follows the 'Etudes en France' procedure for international students, especially for students from non-European Union countries. International students from non-European Union countries who will begin their first year of university studies must apply directly through the 'Parcoursup' platform if they are enrolled in one of the French Baccalaureate/European Baccalaureate/International Baccalaureate or GCE A-Level/International A-Level programs.

International students who are not enrolled in diploma programs and who wish to apply to French universities with a different academic qualification must first submit a 'Demande d'Admission Préalable - DAP', in other words, a Request for Preliminary Admission, and their academic qualifications must be evaluated by the relevant authorities. After the evaluation, the process continues just like the 'Etudes en France' procedure.

If you wish to commence your studies in the next academic year, you need to start preparing for your application in the previous year. Accordingly, the application process and deadlines for French universities would look like;

  • Parcoursup platform opens for applications at the end of December
  • The period for the completion of the application process comes to an end between the end of January and the beginning of March
  • The period for completing your list of academic choices ends at the beginning of April
  • Main admissions phase launches at the beginning of June
  • Main admissions phase ends in the middle of July

Students who will submit a 'Demande d'Admission Préalable - DAP', in other words a Request for Pre-Admission, can do so from the beginning of October until mid-December.

International students who wish to apply for art, design, fashion, music, architecture, and similar programs at French universities must apply through the 'CampusArt' platform and the application period starts in November and ends in February.

Top Universities in France

Top universities in France according to World University Rankings 2023

  1. Université PSL
  2. Institut Polytechnique de Paris
  3. Sorbonne University
  4. Université Paris-Saclay
  5. École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
  6. Ecole des Ponts ParisTech
  7. Université Paris Cité
  8. Sciences Po
  9. Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  10. Université Grenoble Alpes

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Université PSL

0 likes Quality Score: 85

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 3
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Master Program: 45
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

POPULAR

Sorbonne Université (Sorbonne University)

0 likes Quality Score: 72

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 33
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Master Program: 26
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 3

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Universite Paris-Saclay

0 likes

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 53
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Master Program: 127
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 10

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Pantheon-Sorbonne University

0 likes

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 26
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 9

Popular Universities

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Université PSL

0 likes Quality Score: 85

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 3
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Master Program: 45
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 1

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Institut Polytechnique de Paris

0 likes Quality Score: 79

France

City: Palaiseau
ESL Offered: YES
Undergraduate Program: 1
Undergradute Fee: 18.200 EUR

Master Program: 24
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 2

POPULAR

Sorbonne Université (Sorbonne University)

0 likes Quality Score: 72

France

City: Paris
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 33
Undergradute Fee: 2.770 EUR

Master Program: 26
Status: STATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 3

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POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

New York University (NYU)

0 likes Quality Score: 83

Malta

City: New York
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 152

Status: PRIVATE
TIMES UNIVERSITIES RANKING: 27

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

Harvard University

0 likes Quality Score: 98

Malta

City: Cambridge, Massachusetts
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 56

Status: PRIVATE
SHANGAI LIST RANKING: 1

POPULAR
Scholarship Opportunity

University of Pennsylvania

0 likes Quality Score: 95

Malta

City: Philadelphia
ESL Offered: NO
Undergraduate Program: 103

Status: PRIVATE
NATIONAL RANKING: 6

Frequently Asked Questions About France Universities

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