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Top Universities in France

Top Universities in France – University Rankings, Courses, Admission

by Anamika Sharma
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Top universities in France – Known around the world as a great learning destination, France has a rich heritage of history, literature, arts, research and education. This European country also boasts of producing several Nobel laureates in the fields of Literature, Physics and Medicine. Students flock to France in large numbers every year to pursue higher education from top universities in France which provide diversity and volume when it comes to educational programmes. Students can choose from a vast array of programmes at different levels of study. The French education system is credit-based in which every module of study amounts for certain European credits (ECTS). 180 ECTS helps students earn a Licence (Bachelor’s degree) and an extra 120 ECTS is needed to earn a Master’s degree. 

Here in France, students have the option to pursue higher education from either a public university or a private university. What they must know before going ahead with the application process to get into a French university is that the tuition fees in public universities are relatively lower than that of private French educational institutions. 

We have listed the names of top universities in France along with details like their world rankings, popular courses, average tuition fees and scholarships.

Top Universities in France – World University Rankings 2019

France has been a land of great thinkers and innovators like Voltaire, Pascal, Salmasius, Marie Curie and Frédéric Ozanam. The educational institutions of this European country which include universities, Grandes Ecoles and schools of art & architecture impart students with knowledge under interactive and creative study setting. Several universities of France have found their way into the QS and THE world university rankings because of their quality education. Some of the top universities of France are listed below.

List of top universities in France

Name of University QS World University Rankings 2019 THE World University Rankings 2019
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris 50 41
Sorbonne University 75 73
École Polytechnique 65 108
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon 153 201-250
CentraleSupélec 137 401-500

Top Universities in France – Popular Courses

Well-known for its cutting-edge technology and research studies, France is a perfect place to give boost to a student’s career. The universities in France offer a vast array of subjects across different disciplines for students to choose from. Students are provided the best learning opportunities under the programmes selected by them to give them best possible start to flourish in their career. 

Find vast and rich overseas study content on our study abroad page

Highlighted below are some popular courses that international students opt for when they come to France to pursue higher education. 

Popular courses offered by top universities in France

S.No. University Name Popular Courses
1. (Université PSL) Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris Université PSL is known for its academic excellence in the fields of arts, science and engineering. Given below is a list of some popular courses preferred by international students.

Mathematics

Computer Science & Information Systems

Chemical Engineering

Mineral & Mining Engineering

Philosophy

Materials Science

Accounting & Finance

History

Statistics & Operational Research

2. Sorbonne University Varied courses are offered for study at Sorbonne University. Some of them are which are popular among students are listed below:

Classics & Ancient History

Modern Languages

Philosophy

Anatomy & Physiology

Biological Sciences

Medicine

Chemistry

Environmental Sciences

Mathematics

3. École Polytechnique One of the famous educational institutions of France, École Polytechnique offers several courses for students to choose from. Some of its famous programmes are as follows:

Physics and Astronomy

Economics & Econometrics 

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

Materials Science

Mathematics

4. École Normale Supérieure de Lyon École Normale Supérieure de Lyon is mostly known for courses related to humanities and sciences. 

Earth & Marine Sciences

Biological Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts & Humanities

5. CentraleSupélec CentraleSupélec is famous around the world for research-driven engineering and science courses. The most-sought after courses of this institution is as follows:

Electrical & Electronics Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Modern Languages

Civil & Structural Engineering

Mathematics

Engineering & Technology

Beside the institutions mentioned above for providing specialisation in various subjects, there are few others like INSEAD, HEC Paris School of Management, ESSEC Business School and Emlyon Business School that are ranked quite high in world rankings for providing management courses.

Top Universities in France – Average Tuition Fees in College

International students who wish to study in France need to know that the public institutions of France are a lot cheaper than the private ones. The public institutions providing higher education are funded by French government which reduces the cost of degree programmes considerably for students. The French government subsidises higher education and bears two thirds of the cost tuition fees. Given below is a brief account about the cost of higher education in French universities.

  • For Non-EU students wishing to pursue a bachelor’s level of study, the tuition fees costs EUR 2,770 per annum. 
  • The tuition fees for master’s level of studies at public institutions is EUR 3,770 per year.
  • The tuition fees for doctoral level studies is as low as EUR 380 per annum for both EU and non-EU students.

As for private institutions of France, the tuition fees can start from EUR 3,000 and go up as high as EUR 20,000 depending on the types of programme students opt for.

Top Universities in France – How to apply for French universities 

There’s a very simple way to apply to a desired institution of France for Indian students. Since India falls under the ‘Etudes en France’ (Studying in France) procedure, students residing in India can follow a single online service to apply for an institution of higher education in France. They just need to create their electronic file and follow the instruction to complete their enrolment process. Follow the instruction given below to apply for a university programme in France.

  • Indian students can complete ‘Etudes en France’ procedure through Campus France India webpage which can be accessed through Campus France website. Click on ‘Countries Sites’ given on the top corner of the website to go to the site for Indian students. 
  • Students need to register on the ‘Etudes en France’ whose link is available on Campus France India. Upon registration, students can use the registered username and password to login to their account and apply for the institution they want to study in. 
  • Students must pay the processing fee of INR 15,000 to complete the application process. 

Students need to keep track of their profile on regular basis for further updates and instructions. 

Top Universities in France – Scholarship for International Students

There are a number of government, private and other scholarships available to attract international students to study in France. Given below are a few scholarships that Indian students can apply for.

List of scholarships to study in France

S.No. Name of Scholarship Award Details
1. Charpak Master’s Program, France Tuition fee waiver upto EUR 5000 and other benefits
2. French Academic Cooperation and Excellence (FACE) Scholarship Up to EUR 5000
3. HFSP Post Doctoral Fellowship, France Living allowance, relocation, research & travel allowances and other benefits 
4. INSEAD Diversity Scholarships EUR 13,000
5. Eiffel Scholarship Program of Excellence A monthly allowance of EUR 1,031 and other benefits


For more information, read the article ‘Study in France’.

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