Studying in an engineering school and how to enrol

Studying in an engineering school and how to enrol

Specific to the French system, engineering schools offer high-level education in the sciences. Awarded after five years of post-Baccalaureate education, engineering diplomas are the equivalent of the American Master's Degree.

A large choice of establishments

You are surely familiar with Centrale or Ecole Polytechnique, but did you know that there exist over 200 establishments offering engineering diplomas in France? Their programmes, which span five years, can be completed entirely in the same school, or be divided into two years of preparatory scientific courses and three years of training in engineering. Some forty schools offer degree programmes dedicated exclusively to computer sciences, while some thirty others offer electives in computer sciences to second- and third-year students. Engineering diplomas are subject to the approval of the Commission on Engineering Degrees (CTI), which ensures that their quality is uniform. The Passinformatique directory lists, for each engineering school, whether its diploma has received CTI approval.

Distinct Competitive exams for International students

At some schools, like Centrale or Supélec, hold a distinct competitive exam for foreign students. The special examination for the "international programme" is open only to international students who did not do their higher education in France. The written examination takes place abroad, in countries (Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Gabon, and Côte d'Ivoire) where there exist educational programmes on CPGE curricular.
The famous Ecole Polytechnique also holds a special competitive exam for international students, with admissions based on written and oral exams. The minimum requirement is two or three years of scientific university studies, or the equivalent ( Laurea breve in Italy, Bachelor's Degree in Great Britain ...). Excellent results in mathematics or physics are a must, as is proficiency in the French language.
Also of note : INSAs (National Institutes of Applied Sciences) in Lyons, Rennes, Rouen, Toulouse and Strasbourg, offer international degree programmes for international students during their first two years of training. Each degree programme brings together French students with students from Europe (EURINSA), Asia (ASINSA), America (AMERINSA), Norway (NORGINSA), Spain (IBERINSA) and from every countries (DEUTSCH INSA, FIRE, SCAN, SIB).
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Earning a Double Diploma

You can also take advantage of the many agreements signed between engineering schools abroad and those in France, with a view toward earning a double diploma. Coming under such programmes will make your paperwork much easier to complete, as you will be selected in your country.
Also of note: Some engineering schools also belong to the Conference of Grandes Ecoles ( ) and offer specialised Master's Degrees ("Mastères spécialisés"). These are top-flight educational programmes designed for students with five years of post-Baccalaureate study (Master in Germany, Higher Degree in Great Britain, Graduate diploma in the United States, etc.), distinct in that they offer a specialisation or skills in two areas. The programme lasts at least twelve months and classes are small. They consist of theoretical learning, four- to six-month internships in companies, and an oral presentation of a professional thesis. It should be noted, however, that inscription fees are high.

Useful Information: Registration Deadlines in Engineering Schools

Starting in March: applications to be requested from grandes écoles
Starting in July or September: final response

For more information about Engineering Schools

Annuaire des formations