Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Engineering in France
Among some of the most popular non-Anglophone destinations for international students, France is a world leader in the sphere of engineering. The country has an education system that attracts thousands of international students each year with not only the quality of education that is offered in its universities but also by offering great studying conditions for all students that wish to study there. These include affordable living conditions and tuition costs, outstanding academic staff, the panoramic views that can be found in every corner of the country, and the rich cultural life.
Reasons to Study Engineering in France
Highly Esteemed Degrees
France belongs to the group of countries with the most international students. This is due to the fact that the country has a reputation for having an excellent higher education system, as well as having some of the highest-ranked universities in the world. This fact has normally placed French degree holders at an advantage when it comes to securing some of the highest-paid, respectable jobs in engineering, and not only in France but also in many other countries of the world.
One of the main reasons to study Engineering in France is that the cost of your studies is quite affordable. Normally, the cost of pursuing higher education in other developed countries would be a lot higher, but since universities are largely paid by taxes and revenues the cost of tuition is lower. So, what makes France a great place to study engineering is the high quality of education you will receive by paying quite affordable and reasonable fees.
Apart from having great universities that offer an excellent education with very affordable tuition, France also has a reputation for having an excellent curriculum. International students will be able to benefit from some of the most prestigious, up-to-date courses offered in French universities. Some modules include applied mathematics, automatic control, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, structural engineering, product-process design, system design, and many more.
Engineering School Structure in France
There are two types of higher education institutions that you can choose from in France, and they are Conférence des Directeurs des Écoles Françaises d'Ingénieurs (CDEFI) - which are a collection of CTI recognized public and private colleges, and Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE) - which deliver courses for specialized fields. There are more than 85 Universities, and more than 300 Grande écoles in the country. The disciplines that are covered by CDEFI train students to do research in the future, whereas Grande Écoles prepare students for fields that can be applied directly in a career. In France, there is also the n+i network, where more than 70 French engineering schools offer master's programs with the aim of helping students build a successful career.
Requirements to study Engineering in France differ depending on the country of your origin. If you are coming from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland you will have to submit the following documents:
- High school diploma (for undergraduate studies)
- Baccalaureate or diploma (for postgraduate studies)
- Additional: Birth certificate
- Pass the exam
For studies in French, most universities require the B2 certificate in DELF or the TCF-DAP. Only a few of them require the C1 certificate. Once you obtain one of these certificates your diploma can be used for admission to an engineering degree program.
For studies in English you must provide scores from one of the following tests:
- Cambridge Examination
- Advanced Cambridge test
One of the main requirements for studying in France is obtaining a visa. This only applies to applicants coming from a non-EU/EEA country or Switzerland. So, if you come from a third country, in order to obtain a visa you should visit the French embassy in your country or the consulate that has jurisdiction over your country. That is where you will find all the necessary information for the application procedure. Usually, when you apply for a visa you submit the following documents:
- Your passport
- Proof of enrollment in a French higher education institution
- An offer of preliminary admission
- Proof of financial sustainability
- Proof of Insurance Coverage
- Parental Authorization
- Required Vaccinations
Note that if you have to take an exam in France you can apply for a visa called Étudiant-Concours visa. This type of visa is granted to students who wish to take an exam, and upon passing the test you can receive a full student visa without being obliged to return to the country of your origin.
When applying to a French higher education institution you first need to have your academic qualifications recognized by the university you are planning to attend. After having this confirmation, you can find all the application information you need on the website of your chosen university. Based on your qualifications, the university will then decide whether or not you are eligible to study engineering there. Note that as part of your application you might also have to take an entrance exam. In this case, you can apply for an Étudiant-Concours visa, and if you pass the test you will continue the remaining visa process in France.
If you are going to apply for an undergraduate program you will have to apply through the ParcoursUp platform. ParcoursUp is a centralized application portal for all students who seek admission into the first year of their studies in France. In this portal you will find more than 17,000 courses to choose from. If you come from a non-EU/EEA country you must file for a preliminary request for admission which in French is called Demande d’Admission Prealable - DAP. You will need to send your application to the French embassy in the country of your origin.
Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Engineering in France?
Higher education in France is regulated according to the Licence-Master-Doctorat (LMD) system. So, undergraduate studies in engineering will take three years to complete or six semesters and you will be awarded a Licence (L1, L2, L3) after graduation. Master’s degrees take 2 years to complete and they are awarded after a total of 5 years of study. Whereas a doctorate degree takes three years to complete and it is awarded after a total of 8 years of study.
Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Engineering in France?
Considering that universities in France are state-funded, tuition fees are not as high. Also, in comparison to other developed countries, tuition fees in France are quite low. If you decide to study in a public university you will have to pay:
|Level of Study||EU/EEA, Switzerland Applicants||Other International Students|
|Undergraduate||Euros 601||Euros 2,770|
|Postgraduate||Euros 243 (MA); Euros 380 (Ph.D.)||Euros 3,770 (MA); Euros 380 (Ph.D.)|
Note that there are autonomous universities in France, and they are not subsidized by the French government. This allows universities to set their own tuition fees. Usually, fees for undergraduate studies at autonomous universities are at the same level as public universities since they are set by the Ministry of Education. Whereas, the cost of your studies for postgraduate degrees can be set by the universities themselves.
Higher education institutions or Grande écoles as referred to in France charge higher tuition fees. They range from EUR 450 to EUR 1,100. Tuition fees in private universities start at EUR 3,000 per year for courses in engineering and can go up depending on the university you choose to study.
Engineering Career Prospects in France
Engineering graduates can go on and work in various areas. The skills that you have been equipped with during your studies such as being precise and logical, following instructions, project management, teamwork, planning, thinking critically, and not only, will most likely catch the attention of your future employers. Some of the industries you can find employment in include but are not limited to:
Salaries of engineering graduates in France vary. The lowest average salary for an engineering graduate is around EUR 13,300, whereas the highest average salary is around EUR 88,500 per year.