- 2 million students in France
- 80,000 master graduates/year: 55% from universities, 45% from Grandes Ecoles (engineering and business schools)
Higher education is provided both by universities and the so-called “Grandes Ecoles”. The latter are third-level engineering or business schools. Admission from secondary school is highly competitive and the diploma granted is a master’s degree.
Unlike the situation in many other countries, French engineering and business schools have an excellent reputation, better than universities.
There are three levels of third-level training and education in the French educational system:
- Licence (Bachelor’s degree): after three years of study
- Master: after five years of study
- Doctorate: after eight years of study
The academic calendar of the French educational system
Autumn semester (September – December)
- September: classes start
- 20 December: end of classes
Spring semester (January – June)
- January: classes start
- 20 June (except degree courses): end of classes
- All Saints (autumn break in late October/early November): 1 week
- Christmas (end of December/early January): 2 weeks
- Winter break (February): 1 – 2 weeks
- Easter (April): One week
Some changes may occur for academic reasons in a given study programme.
A guide to understanding better the higher education system in France
An explanatory diagram to help you.