French Higher Education In Brief

There are different types of higher education institutions in France:


French students applying at university must have the French Baccalauréat or an equivalent diploma. Universities offer academic, technical, and professional degree programs in all fields, preparing students for careers in research and professional practice . French universities use the European standard with 2 levels of studies: L (licence), M (master) and D (doctorate). International students make up about 10 percent of total enrolments, one of the highest percentages among OECD countries.

Technological & vocational training

There are two types of higher education institutions specialising in technology-oriented courses: University Institutes of Technology (Institut Universitaire de Technologie, or IUT), and special technology college departments (Section de Techniciens Supérieurs, or STS). Both admit students with the Baccalauréat or an equivalent diploma, and both offer short two-year courses. Graduates from an IUT or an STS may start working or continue with further studies.

Engineering Schools

Engineering Schools like Polytech Paris-Sud recruit students who come from special preparatory classes and students holding  a DUT, a “licence” (eq. To a BSc) or a BTS. Training in engineering combines a solid background in science with practical experience. Engineering schools cover every  engineering speciality, but each school has its own specialties.Engineering schools are periodically reviewed and accredited by the national committee of engineering degrees (Commission Nationale des Titres d’Ingénieurs, CTI). The “Diplôme d’Ingénieur” is a degree that may be earned through engineering programs of universities (including the several universities of technology) or in independent schools of engineering, known as Grandes Ecoles d’Ingénieur. Grandes Ecoles d’Ingénieurs is another name for Engineering schools.

You will find useful information to help you organize the administrative, financial and language aspects of your stay in France on these web sites: