How to Apply to Study at a University in France

 How to Apply to Study at a University in France

The process of applying to a college in France varies depending on whether you’re from Europe or not. For European students, things are usually simpler because of agreements within the European Union. They might have easier admissions and lower tuition fees. However, for non-European students, it’s a bit more complicated. They often have to get a student visa, show they can speak French or English depending on the course, and prove they have enough money to live in France. Also, non-European students might face extra requirements set by the colleges themselves. It’s important for them to research well and be prepared for the application process.

For European Students

  • Fill out the university application form
  • Provide an ID photo or driver’s license
  • Submit high school transcripts
  • Write an essay if required
  • Show English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, etc.)
  • Apply for any available financial aid
  • Pay the application fee if asked
  • Include any other necessary documents specified by the university

For Non-European Students

  • Complete the university application
  • Submit high school transcripts (college transcripts if applicable)
  • Provide a copy of your passport and a passport-sized photo
  • Write an essay if required
  • Demonstrate English proficiency
  • Include a copy of your birth certificate and certified translation of your parents’ birthplace
  • Show proof of financial support
  • Submit any additional documents requested by the university

After admission, non-European students need to obtain a French Student Visa.

Entry Requirements for French Universities

  • Obtain a Campus France authorization
  • Provide a passport copy and passport-sized photo
  • Submit transcripts and graduation diplomas
  • EU students may need a European health card
  • Pay application fees if required
  • Present a civil liability certificate and a cover letter
  • Show proficiency in French and/or English
  • Provide proof of financial resources to fund your stay in France

MA Entry Information

  • MA programs typically last for two years
  • Organized into teaching units covering various topics
  • Includes a dissertation or extended research project
  • Two types of Masters: Specialized Masters and MBA programs
  • Specialized Masters are four semesters long, competitive, and intensive
  • French MBA programs are highly competitive

PhD Programs

  • Most PhDs are part of doctoral school programs
  • Collaborate with research laboratories and centers
  • Duration is six semesters for a standard 3-year PhD
  • Find a thesis topic and supervisor
  • Consider funding options through the doctoral school

Tuition Fees for French Universities

  • Vary depending on the university
  • Some universities may require SAT results
  • Average tuition fees per year:
    • Bachelor’s degree: 2,770 euros
    • Master’s degree: 3,770 euros
    • PhD degree: 2,770 to 3,380 euros

For more information on tuition costs and funding, refer to resources on French Tuition Costs.

Do I Need a Student Visa in France?

If you’re planning to study in France and you’re not a European student, you’ll need to obtain a student visa. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need:

  • Acceptance Letter: You must have an acceptance letter from an accredited institution in France. This letter should be on official letterhead and include details of your program of study along with the start and end dates of your studies.
  • Proof of Financial Stability: You’ll need to prove that you can financially support yourself while staying in France. The current requirement is €615 per month. This can be demonstrated with a bank statement, a letter from a guarantor, or evidence of funding from a loan, scholarship, or grant.
  • Return Ticket: You must show proof of a return ticket to your home country. This can be an actual ticket or reservation with the departure date clearly indicated. Alternatively, you can provide a handwritten statement outlining your intended departure dates.
  • Medical Insurance: You’ll need to have proof of medical insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000.
  • Accommodation: Provide proof of accommodation, which can be in the form of confirmation from student housing, a certificate of board and lodging, or an ‘attestation d’accueil’ if you’ll be living with friends or relatives.
  • Proficiency in French: If you’re studying a French-language course, you’ll need to demonstrate proficiency in French.

Can I Study English in France?

While studying English in France might not be the most common option, it is possible. Public universities in France offer affordable education, with some offering English-taught programs. These programs provide a full French education in English, and some even offer French language instruction alongside your main studies. Popular institutions like “Sciences Po” have English-only programs available.

Popular Courses to Consider

  • Art: France is renowned for its contributions to the world of art. Pursuing an Arts degree in France can expose you to a rich cultural heritage and provide inspiration from some of the world’s greatest artists. This degree can broaden your horizons and deepen your appreciation of fine arts.
  • Business: International Business programs in France offer diverse career opportunities. With a degree in Business, you’ll gain valuable skills and knowledge applicable across various industries. France’s universities provide a solid academic foundation for aspiring business professionals.
  • Law: French universities attract students from around the globe, especially in the field of Law. The high academic standards and quality of education make France an attractive destination for law students. Affordable tuition fees and access to top educators make studying law in France appealing.


Choosing to study in France opens up numerous opportunities in different subjects. Whether your interests lie in art, business, or law, France offers a lively academic setting that welcomes international students. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse educational institutions, students can immerse themselves in their chosen field while experiencing the unique French way of life. From exploring renowned art galleries to delving into international business practices or studying the intricacies of French law, pursuing higher education in France allows students to broaden their horizons and gain valuable experiences that extend far beyond the classroom.

James Kerr