Higher education in France

With more than 3500 private or public establishments, the French higher education system provides a wide range of opportunities for French and foreign students.


75% of foreign students moving to France for their studies enroll in a university. Funded by the French state, universities deliver national diplomas: “Diplômes Universitaires de Technologie” (2-year degree), Licenses (3-year degree), Masters (5-year degree), and Doctorates (8-year degree).

Universities also deliver their own diplomas, such as the “Diplômes Universitaires et Interuniversitaires” (DU/DIU), and the Master of Science (MSc – 5-year degree).

Top business and engineering schools

20% of foreign students moving to France for their studies enroll in a top business or engineer school, which are either public or private. These schools deliver national diplomas of 5-year degree level. Admissions in top business or engineering schools are highly selective and require a previous two-year attendance at a preparatory school. Yet, for several years, it is possible to attend a top business or engineering school by attending a “DUT” (“Diplômes Universitaires de Technologie”) or a “BTS” (“Brevet de Technicien Supérieurs”).

Specialized schools and institutes

With more than 3000 public or private higher education establishments in various fields (Cinema, journalism, design, political sciences, health…), specialized schools and institutes are an interesting alternative. The studies usually last from 2 to 5 years.

Art & applied art schools

Attached to the Ministery of Culture or the Ministry of Higher Education, Art and Applied Art schools deliver education programs lasting from 3 to 5 years depending on the academic curriculum. These schools are public, highly coveted, and provide renowned artistic courses in various fields.