Top Universities in France: Ranking, Top Courses, Fees, Scholarships, Admissions

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    Arpita Das

    Study Abroad Expert | Updated On - Oct 20, 2021

    Home to 3,500 public and private institutions graded as universities and Grandes Ecoles, France is one of the most popular study destinations in Europe. With 83 globally renowned universities, France boasts 37 entrants that made it top-ranking universities in the world in 2022 by QS. Additionally, there are various top universities in France like Sorbonne University, PSL University Paris, Ecole Polytechnique, Grenoble Alpes University, Aix-Marseille University, Telecom Paris, and Paris Saclay University that make it to the list of THE World Rankings as well.

    France also is recognized for its top business schools like INSEAD, HEC Paris, that is not only famous within Europe but also have made their global standing strong. Adding to this contribution, the top universities in France are often recognized for their MS and Engineering courses as well.

    Admission to these top universities in France requires its applicants to send in an online application or apply through Study in France Procedure. International applicants planning to pursue education with these top universities in France must be prepared to present their academic scores, fulfill language proficiency requirements (English and French, based on the course opted), and have competitive scores in tests like GMAT when making admission applications to MBA courses.

    Top Universities in France Rankings

    When looking for options to pursue your higher education in France one of the criteria to consider while choosing an institution is the global and national rankings of the same. Rankings by agencies like QS and THE are decided with the help of a range of parameters being assessed. Discussed below are some of the top-ranking French universities in and around the globe. The rankings for these universities are mentioned for the year 2021.

    Universities THE Rankings QS Rankings
    PSL University Paris World-46 France-1 World-52 France-1
    Sorbonne University World-87 France-3 World-83 France-3
    Ecole Polytechnique World-87 France-2 World-68 France-2
    The University of Paris World-136 France-4 World-275 France-8
    Paris-Saclay University World-178 France-5 World-291 France-10
    Télécom Paris World-201-250 France-6 World-64 France-4
    Aix-Marseille University World-351-400 France-10 World-501-510 (2022)
    Montpellier University World-301-350 France-9 World-521-530 (2022)
    Grenoble Alpes University World-351-400 France-10 World-314 (2022)
    The Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) World-501-600 France-18 World-242 France-6

    Apart from making their recognition as an institution, universities in France are also recognized for courses like MBA, MS, and Engineering. Home to some of the top business schools, the country ensures that no MBA aspirant is disappointed with the diverse pool of courses offered.

    Top Universities in France for MBA

    With home to one of the most reputed business schools in the world, INSEAD, France makes a great study destination for MBA courses. Listed below are some of the French B-schools with their basic test score requirements: 

    Universities / Schools QS Rankings Score Requirements
    Rennes School of Business EMBA-48 in Europe, 101 Globally IELTS- 6.0 TOEFL- 80
    Audencia Business School EMBA-41 in Europe, 99 Globally GMAT-625
    INSEAD France EMBA-5 in Europe, 7 Globally TOEFL IBT: 105 IELTS Academic: 7.5 GMAT-670-750
    Grenoble Ecole de Management EMBA-24 in Europe, 51 Globally IELTS- 6.5 TOEFL IBT- 90, GMAT-550
    ESCP Business School of Paris EMBA-17 in Europe, 38 Globally IELTS- 7, TOEFL IBT-100, GMAT-710

    Top Universities in France for Engineering

    There are some Polytechnique universities in France, which makes it a perfect study destination for those looking to study engineering programs. Given below is a list of universities ranking for their engineering programs in France along with their fees.

    Universities/Schools QS Rankings 2021 Annual Fee(in EURO)
    Ecole Polytechnique #52 12,500
    Centrale Supelec #72 4,000-12,000
    Sorbonne University #96 No tuition fee.Only registration fee of 601 euros for one year of an engineering program
    PSL University #116 335
    Grenoble Alpes University #206 243
    Telecom Paris #218 4150

    Top Universities in France for MS

    Students planning to get enrolled in an MS degree from French Universities can opt for marketing, management, data science business analytics as there are the top-ranking MS programs in the popular schools and universities:

    Universities QS Rankings Top Program
    KEDGE Business School #23
    Masters in Marketing
    Masters in Management
    Neoma Business School #62 Masters in Management
    IESEG School of Management #21
    Masters in Marketing
    Masters in Business Analytics
    Masters in Management
    Audencia Business School #15 #45 Masters in Supply Chain Management
    Masters in Management
    Montpellier Business School #42
    Masters in Marketing
    Masters in Management
    ESC Clermont Graduate School of Management #101 Masters in Management
    Normandie Business School #71 Masters in Management
    Toulouse Business school #29 #51 #51 #80 Masters in Supply Chain Management Masters in Marketing Masters in Business Analytics Masters in Management

    Top Universities in France by Employability

    French institutions produce the most employable graduates and have been ranked in the Global University Employability Ranking. France is ranked second in the world, after only the US and ahead of Germany, and is followed by the UK and China. Below is the employability ranking of popular French universities and the average salary of graduates:

    Universities/ Schools QS Rankings Annual Average Salary( in EURO)
    Sorbonne University 141-150 30,000-50,000
    Sciences Po 161-170 67,000-1,30,000
    Ecole Polytechnique 18 72,000-135,000
    PSL University Paris 71 -
    The University of Paris - 49,000-2,06,000
    Telecom Paris 301-500 59,000-1,18,000
    Aix-Marseille University 301-500 40,000 -63,000
    Montpellier University 191-200 30,000-73,000
    Grenoble Alpes University 301-500 42,000-69,000

    Top Universities in France Admissions

    Every year over 3,00,000 students all over the world take admission in France. The admission process for international and domestic students is different. International students can check the information below to take admission at France Universities:

    Application Portal: CEF/ Study in France (Few universities accept online applications through the website as well) and the Intake Season is September and March

    Academic Requirements

    • Minimum 70% in Grade 12
    • Minimum 60% for Foundation and Diploma Program
    • French language proficiency- DELF/ DALF/ TCF
    • English proficiency- IELTS Academic/ TOEFL iBT/ PTE Academic
    • GMAT and GRE(the score varies depending on the university)

    Documents Required to Study in Top Universities in France

    • Academic Transcripts
    • CV
    • Copy of Passport
    • Passport Size Photograph
    • Two References
    • Test score reports
    • Proof of Finances
    • Letter of Recommendation
    • Portfolio
    • Essay
    • Cover Letter
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Visa
    • Insurance
    • Certificate of Achievement and award (if applicable)

    Cost of Living in France

    France is an expensive country to live in. International students must plan their finances well before arriving. However, the cost of living varies depending on the city and the institution of studying. Below is the estimated average monthly cost that a student has to bear while staying:

    Goods and Services Costs per month (in EURO)
    Accommodation 400-1300
    Food 150-600
    Transportation 50-150
    Entertainment 50-100
    Clothes 80-100
    Health Insurance 20-40

    Learn the detailed cost of attendance of studying in France, here!

    Top Universities in France Scholarships

    Indian students can apply for a plethora of scholarships for financial support to study in France. French Government Scholarships, Institutional Scholarships, and Co-financed or Joint Scholarships are available for international students. Candidates with good academics required score on standardized tests, other achievements, necessary documents, essays to state why it is needed will be considered for scholarship awards and financial support.

    Few scholarships provided via academic institutions in France to international students:

    Scholarships University/ School Eligibility Amount (in EURO)
    Emile Boutmy Scholarship Sciences Po Academic excellence, International students, First time applicant 3,000- 13,000
    IDEX Scholarship Paris-Saclay University International students below 30 years, living in France for less than a year enrolled into a non- certification program 10,000
    MBDA Scholarship Isae Suparo Academic excellence of Indian students enrolled in MSc in Aerospace engineering program 8,000
    EDHEC Global MBA Scholarship EDHEC Business School Academic excellence and Result of interview 20,900-33,440
    Talent Scholarship Renee School of Business Academic excellence 2,000-5,000
    Master of Science Excellence Scholarship SKEMA Business School Academic excellence, Result of interview, GMAT, GRE, TAGE, MAGE will be assessed 4,000

    Apart from these scholarships students with good academic record seeking to get admission for professional or technical programs in France Universities can also go for education loans.

    In addition, international students can work 964 hours of part-time work in a year. There are several student jobs available at colleges, such as assisting new students, assisting handicapped students, tutoring, IT support, working in the career centre, and so on.

    With a great business school presence and universities making their mark in the world, France has aced as a popular study destination choice in Europe among both international and Indian students. For those seeking European-style education at a cheaper rate that the UK, France is their perfect location to pursue higher education. With multiple top universities in France and their global recognition being boasted across the world, the country has managed to gain a tracking of around 358,000 international student population. The increasing popularity of the location as a study destination is often pointed with the help of universities reputation, where French universities lack no further than top countries like UK, US, etc.


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