Universities in France

The French higher education system is one of the best in Europe, and the world. Dozens of French universities are regularly placed high in international university rankings. Among the well-known universities are École Normale Supérieure, École Polytechnique, Pierre and Marie Curie University, and University of Paris-Sud.

There are also many great options to study for an MBA in France: The country is home to many of the best-ranked elite business schools in Europe. Among them are HEC Paris, Insead, ESCP Europe (which also has campuses abroad), and Edhec Business School, to name but a few.

Top Universities in France

University QS Ranking 2024
Psl Universite Paris 24
Institut Polytechnique De Paris 38
Sorbonne University 59
Université Paris-Saclay 71
Ecole Normale Superieure De Lyon 184
Ecole Des Ponts Paristech 192
Université Paris Cité 236
Université Grenoble Alpes 294
Sciences Po Paris 319
Pantheon-Sorbonne University 328
Université De Montpellier 382
Aix-Marseille University 387
National Institute Of Applied Sciences In Lyon 392
Université De Strasbourg 421
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 452
University Of Bordeaux 465
Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III 511
Université De Lille 631
Université De Rennes 1 711
Universite De Lorraine 721
Nantes University 771
Cy Cergy Paris University 851
Universite Paris-Pantheon-Assas 851
Université Toulouse 1 Capitole 951
Paul Valéry University Montpellier 1001
Université De Caen Normandie 1001
Université De Poitiers 1001
Université Lumière Lyon 2 1001
Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès 1001
Jean Moulin University – Lyon 3 1201
Paris Nanterre University 1201
Université De Franche-Comté 1201
Université De Limoges 1201
Université Paris 13 Nord 1401

Applying for admission to a higher education institution in France is a streamlined process, allowing foreign students to submit a single online application to as many as 20 different universities. Given the constraints of applying in person from another country, this approach significantly simplifies the application process for all students aspiring to enroll in a French university. Additionally, navigating the available colleges in France is made easy through online resources. Every university in France maintains a website that provides comprehensive information. By visiting the website of a prospective university, you can gain valuable insights and assess its suitability for your specific requirements.

France boasts a diverse array of over 3,500 institutions of higher education, encompassing:

  1. 77 publicly-funded universities, offering degrees across various disciplines and serving as the primary hubs for academic research.
  2. A parallel system of Grandes Ecoles that provides specialized programs in fields like science, business, and the arts, awarding 5-year diplomas equivalent to Master's degrees.

Schools of architecture: Over 3,000 specialized schools offering degrees in a wide range of subjects, including hotel management, culinary arts, tourism, and social work.

Various educational institutions are scattered throughout the country, whether you seek to study in Paris or prefer locations closer to the northern or southern borders. Each university specializes in different fields of study, requiring you to base your decision on your preferred area of focus. Furthermore, some schools deliver courses in English, while others use French as the medium of instruction, necessitating an early decision in this regard. These institutions present a range of exciting benefits and challenges, with the ultimate reward being the degree earned.

There are numerous compelling reasons why attending a college in France appeals to individuals worldwide. These include the comparatively low tuition costs, the opportunity to explore the enchanting country, and the advantage of receiving prestigious education and training from esteemed instructors. However, it is crucial to recognize that the benefits extend well beyond those listed above. Regardless of your background or learning objectives, opting for a university in France stands out as one of the most impactful decisions you will ever make in your life.

France Intakes

There are 2 student’ intakes in France, spring and autumn.

Intakes Study Program Admission deadlines
Autumn Undergraduate and Postgraduate September and January
Spring Undergraduate and Postgraduate  January to September

Intakes for Graduate and Masters Courses in France

Higher Study Options Duration Intake Months Deadline to Apply
Bachelors 3 Years Sep (Major) & Jan (Minor) 6-8 months before the intake month
Masters (MS/MBA) 2 Years

France University Fee

Attending a public university in France costs less than that of a private university. Public universities charge between 250 and 1200 EUR/year, depending on the course and level of study.

While French private universities charge:

Bachelor’s Degree: 7,000 – 40,000 EUR/academic year
Master’s Degree: 1,500 – 35,000 EUR/academic year

Why study in France

To put it simply, the French higher education system is one of the best in the world. It is also one of the most accessible ones. With low tuition fees, studying in France is more economical for international students. French universities are near the top of renowned university rankings each year. Their institutions offer an education that easily competes with other countries.

France is particularly a good choice for those wanting to study business related subjects. The country is a hub for international business and management education, and has lots of business schools in the worldwide rankings.

France has 71 public universities and they are all funded by the national government, offering excellent education at a very affordable price to all students, domestic or international. There are also a number of private universities (grandes écoles). The academic year begins in September or October and ends in May or June, depending on the program and institution. There are two semesters, divided by a break following final examinations at the end of the first semester. There are two main types of courses offered at French universities: large lecture courses, where the professor speaks and students take notes, and sections & labs, designed for smaller groups of students where the material covered in lectures is explored in greater detail. Usually, attendance in sections & labs is mandatory. Some career-oriented programs also require internships and practical training.

When it comes to degrees, French universities use a format popular throughout EU: licence, master, doctorate. Licence refers to undergraduate studies and it lasts for 6 semesters (3 years), with 180 ECTS earned. Master studies last for an additional 4 semesters (2 years), for a total of 5 years of study and 300 ECTS earned. Doctorate can be obtained after the additional 6 semesters (3 years).

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