Why should I study in France?

The world's most visited country ever with beautiful cities, language and vineyards... 

How to Study in France

With its capital Paris and a large variety of landscapes, France is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. Yet it also offers wide-ranging possibilities for studies to international students. In 2019 U-Multirank presents comparative data on 62 French higher education institutions.

French University system

Other than most EU member states, France’s HEI landscape is divided into four parts: around 250 grandes écoles (usually small, public or private institution with very selective admission), more than 80 public universities, institutes of technology, and a number of schools specializing in arts, music, and architecture.

During the last years, there were many merges of French institutions into clusters, called PRES (pôles de recherche et de l’enseignement supérieures). They bring together local universities, research institutes, and specialized schools. Sometimes students have to enroll and degrees are awarded by the PRES, sometimes by individual institutions.

Following the Bologna process, the degree-structure is three-tiered: the license (three years, equivalent to a bachelor degree), the master (additional two years) and doctorate degrees (usually another three years). Furthermore, there is a degree for the medical professions, a ‘state license’, the Diplôme d´Etat.

France’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

Here we highlight the overall performance of French universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The below table shows the national breakdown of French universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), or below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture of the country’s strengths and areas for improvement.

French institutions perform better than the average of the global U-Multirank sample especially in international orientation, teaching & learning and knowledge transfer.

National performance: France

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 16% 72% Research 33% 46% Knowledge Transfer 34% 57% International Orientation 13% 77% Regional Engagement 34% 46%


How much does it cost to study in France?

Higher Education Institutions are relatively free in their decision on the height of the tuition fees they charge. Given this, you will need to check with the Higher Education Institution of your choice in order to establish the individual level of tuition fees.

In France approximately 64 % of students pay fees. Tuition fees are determined on the basis of the kind of degree and subject/programme you wish to pursue as well as the private or public character of a Higher Education Institution. The average rates for tuition vary from about 170 EUR per term to 2,770 EUR per term for the licence (Bachelor) level and 3,770€ per year at the master level. You can find further information here.

What are the entry requirements for French Universities?

As an EU/EEA/Swiss applicant, you will also supply the Higher Education Institution of your choice with your national secondary school/university entrance exam diploma. Furthermore, some Higher Education Institutions will ask you to write an essay as part of your application.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss applicants are required to submit their national secondary school/university entrance exam diploma along with copies of their visa, passport, passport-sized picture and birth certificate. Moreover, you are asked to prove that you possess enough means to support yourself for the duration of your studies.

How to get a Scholarship in France?

A scholarship database can be found here.   

Do I need a Student Visa for France?

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens do not need to obtain a visa. All non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must supply documentation on the reasons for their stay, how they plan to support themselves for the duration of their stay in the country as well as their accommodation arrangements. You must be in possession of the visa at the French border. Given this, you should apply for it at the respective French embassy or the respective consulate in your country of origin or residence. You can find further information here.



How do French Universities fare in U-Multirank?

  1. With regard to U-Multirank’s five performance dimensions, French institutions perform strongest in the dimensions International Orientation and Teaching & Learning: In both dimensions, more than 70% of all indicator scores of French institutions are ranked in groups “A” or “B”.
  2. 17 French institutions reached a top group position (‘A’ score) in more than 10 indicators. This includes business schools and technical universities/institutions, comprehensive institutions as well as an institution specialised in the Social Sciences.
  3. Among the French institutions with the highest number of top scores, Télécom Paris (18 ‘A’ scores), École Centrale de Nantes, IMT Atlantique and Montpellier SupAgro (16 ‘A’ scores each) hold the highest number of top positions.
  4. Those four top performers (Telecom Paris, École Centrale de Nantes, IMT Atlantique, and Montpellier SupAgro) are strong in Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Orientation.
  5. French institutions achieved 15 global ‘Top 25 Performers’ positions in a set of six (6) indicators; in student mobility, French institutions account for eight (8) out of the 25 global top performers, in co-publications with industrial partners for three (3).
France's Higher Education Performance in U-Multirank

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