The French systems of Higher Education

Engineering Schools in France are referred to as “Grandes Ecoles”. They are outside the framework of the conventional university system, and are specific to France. 

In the University system, students are admitted after High School and follow a 3-year course for the Bachelor’s degree, a further 2-year course for a Master’s degree. A few of these students are accepted in a Ph.D program.


In the “Grandes Ecoles”, admission is based on the selectivity criteria. Based on academic high school records, students are admitted either in the “Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles” (CPGE) or INP specific Preparatory classes. In both cases, they get a special two-years training in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Under the Bologna convention, they are awarded 120 ECTS for the two years.


At the end of these, students from the “CPGE” take a national competitive examination and those from the “Prepa INP” are enrolled in one of the “Grandes Ecoles”, part of the INP group, such as the INP-ENSAT.


The ENSAT programme lasts 3 years and is semester-based. Students have a Bachelor’s degree after one year (180 ECTS) and the Engineering degree (equivalent grade of a Master’s degree) after two years at the ENSAT (300 ECTS in 5 years). French engineers having been trained in one of the “Grandes Ecoles” are valued by industrials and about 85% are employed two months after graduation.



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