Published Date: 14th March 2023


France is known for its world-class universities and higher education system. France is one of the leading destinations for international students seeking a high-quality education. The French education system is considered to be one of the best in the world, and many international students choose France for its academic excellence, multiculturalism, and research opportunities. In this blog post, we will explore higher education in France, including the types of institutions, degree programs, admission requirements, and costs.



Types of Institutions in France

France has a wide range of higher education institutions, including universities, grandes écoles, and specialized schools. 

  • Universities in France offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields, including social sciences, humanities, sciences, engineering, and business. Some of the most prestigious universities in France include the University of Paris, Sorbonne University, and the University of Strasbourg.
  • Grandes écoles are specialized higher education institutions that offer engineering, business, and management degree programs. These institutions are highly selective and offer rigorous academic programs that prepare students for high-level careers in their respective fields. Some of the most prestigious grandes écoles in France include École Polytechnique, École des Mines de Paris, and HEC Paris.
  • Specialized schools in France offer degree programs in a variety of fields, including art and design, fashion, music, and culinary arts. Some of the most prestigious specialized schools in France include École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, and Le Cordon Bleu.

Degree Programs in France

Higher education in France offers a wide range of degree programs, including Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate degrees. 

  • Bachelor's degree programs in France typically take three years to complete, and students are required to choose a major field of study. 
  • Master's degree programs in France typically take two years to complete and require students to complete coursework and a research project. 
  • Doctorate degrees in France typically take three years to complete and require students to complete original research and defend a thesis.



Admission Requirements for Universities in France

Admission requirements for higher education in France vary depending on the institution and program. Most universities and grandes écoles require students to take an entrance exam, which tests their knowledge in the field of study they wish to pursue. Some institutions also require students to take a language proficiency exam, such as the TOEFL or the IELTS, if their native language is not French.


In addition to entrance exams, most institutions require students to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. International students may also be required to obtain a student visa, which requires them to provide proof of financial support and health insurance.

Costs of Studying in France

The cost of higher education in France varies depending on the institution and program. Public universities in France are subsidized by the government, making them more affordable for students. International students can expect to pay between 170 and 610 euros per year for undergraduate programs, and between 243 and 380 euros per year for graduate programs.


Private institutions in France can be more expensive, with tuition fees ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 euros per year. However, private institutions often offer more specialized programs and smaller class sizes, which can be beneficial for some students.


Living expenses in France can also be high, with the cost of rent, food, and transportation vary depending on the location. International students should budget between 800 and 1,200 euros per month for living expenses.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Studying in France

International students studying in France can apply for scholarships and financial aid to help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses. The French government offers scholarships to international students, including the Eiffel Excellence Scholarship, which provides funding for Masters and Doctorate degree programs. Many universities and grandes écoles also offer scholarships and financial aid to international students, so it is important to research the options available at each institution.


In addition to scholarships and financial aid, international students can also work part-time while studying in France. Students from within the European Union are allowed to work without restriction, while non-European Union students can work up to 964 hours per year.



Language Requirements in Universities in France

French is the primary language of instruction in most higher education institutions in France. Therefore, international students who wish to study in France must have a good command of the French language. Many institutions require international students to take a French language proficiency exam, such as the DELF or DALF, as part of the admission process.


However, some institutions offer degree programs in English, particularly at the graduate level. International students should research the language requirements for each institution and program before applying.

Student Life in France

France is known for its rich culture and history, and international students can experience this firsthand while studying in France. Students can visit iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, and the Louvre Museum, or explore the countryside and coastal regions of France.


France is also known for its cuisine, and students can enjoy a variety of delicious foods, from croissants and baguettes to regional specialties, such as bouillabaisse and coq au vin. France also produces some of the world's finest wines and cheeses, making it a food lover's paradise.


France has a diverse student population, and international students can meet students from all over the world while studying in France. Many institutions have student organizations and clubs that offer a variety of activities and events, such as sports, cultural activities, and volunteer work.




Higher education in France offers international students a unique opportunity to study in a world-class academic environment and experience the rich culture and history of France. With a wide range of institutions, degree programs, and scholarship opportunities, studying in France is an excellent choice for students who seek academic excellence and multiculturalism. However, international students should research the admission requirements, language requirements, and costs before applying to ensure a successful academic journey in France.


1. What is the culture of higher education in France like?
Higher education in France is known for its academic rigor and emphasis on theoretical knowledge. Students are expected to be independent and self-directed in their studies, with less emphasis on group work and class participation. However, there is also a strong tradition of research and innovation in French higher education


2. What is the duration of higher education programs in France?
The duration of +higher education programs in France varies depending on the level of study and the field of study. Bachelor's degree programs typically last for three years, while master's degree programs can range from one to two years. Doctoral programs usually last for three years, with an additional year for dissertation writing. However, some fields such as medicine and architecture have longer programs that can last up to seven years.


3. What are the popular fields of study for higher education in France?
The popular fields of study for higher education in France include business and management, engineering and technology, arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. France has a reputation for excellence in these fields, with some of the world's top-ranked universities. Additionally, French universities offer a wide range of programs taught in both French and English to attract international students.


4. What is a "grande école" in France?
A "grande école" is a highly selective and prestigious institution of higher education in France, typically specializing in a specific field such as engineering, business, or political science. Admission is highly competitive, and graduates often hold high-level positions in French society.


5. What is the language of instruction for higher education in France?
The language of instruction in most higher education programs in France is French. However, there are also several programs taught in English and other languages, especially in the fields of business, engineering, and sciences. You can check this out: Study in France in English.


6. What is the grading system used in higher education in France?
The grading system in France typically uses a scale of 0 to 20, with 10 as the minimum passing grade. Grades of 16 to 20 are considered excellent, while grades below 10 are considered insufficient.


7. What are the opportunities for international students to learn French in France?
International students can learn French in France through language courses offered by their institutions, private language schools, and cultural organizations. There are also several immersive programs, such as homestays, language exchanges, and language-focused travel programs.


8. What is the process for obtaining a degree in higher education in France?
The process for obtaining a degree in France typically involves completing the required coursework, taking exams, and completing a final project or thesis. The specific requirements may vary based on the institution and program of study. Upon completion, students are awarded a diploma or degree.


9. What are the requirements for obtaining a student visa for higher education in France?
International students are required to obtain a student visa to study in France, which requires a valid passport, proof of acceptance from a French institution, financial support, and sometimes proof of language proficiency. Specific requirements may vary based on the student's country of origin.


10. How do I apply to higher education in France?
The application process varies depending on the type of institution you are applying to. Generally, you will need to have completed the baccalauréat or equivalent and pass a competitive entrance exam. You can find more information on the website of the institution you are interested in or you can check here: Application Process for UG & PG Courses in France


11. What are the benefits of studying in France?
France has a long history of academic excellence and is home to many highly regarded institutions of higher education. Studying in France can provide students with valuable international experience, cultural immersion, and the opportunity to learn a highly sought-after language. Additionally, France is well-positioned in Europe and offers easy access to many other countries.


12. Can international students work in France while studying?
Yes, international students are allowed to work part-time while studying in France. However, there are restrictions on the number of hours they can work, and they must obtain a work permit from the French government. International students are allowed to work up to 964 hours per year. 


13. How much does higher education in France cost?
Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and program of study, but they are generally lower than in other countries. The tuition fees for international students admitted to public universities is €2,770 per annum at the bachelor's level and €3,770 per annum at the master's level. Read more: Cost of Studying in France


14. What is the academic calendar like in France?
The academic calendar in France typically runs from September to June, with breaks for holidays in October, December, and February. The exact dates vary depending on the institution and program of study.


15. What types of degrees can I earn in France?
There are a variety of degrees available in France, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. These degrees are recognized internationally and can lead to a range of career opportunities. Some of the popular courses to study in France are MBA, Engineering, Information Technology, Medicine, etc.


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About the Author:

Twinkle is an active listener and observer. She has a boundless curiosity to improvise her all-round knowledge. She is always open about her thoughts and her personality is filled with thirst for acquiring knowledge about different fields. Her favourite pastime is to pen down her thoughts and knowledge. Her strength is the simplicity of language yet being artistic.

Categories: France

Tags: Study Abroad

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