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French education system: grandes écoles

By Jean
Reading Time: 3 minutes
ECTS

The French education system is renowned for its high level of academic excellence, particularly its elite institutions known as the Grandes Écoles. These schools are the pinnacle of higher education in France, offering specialized programs that lead to highly respected degrees.

This guide is designed to illuminate the path for international students as they navigate through the intricacies of French Grandes Écoles, covering aspects like admissions, degree programs, and the LMD framework.

Admission Modalities

Admission to the Grandes Écoles is famously competitive, with a rigorous selection process that ensures only the most qualified students are admitted. Prospective students must excel in written exams and, often, face challenging interviews.

For many schools, preparation begins in the post-baccalaureate classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles (CPGE), 2 years of intensive study that prepare students for the entrance exams.

Learn more about prep classes and CPGEs in our article here: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/prep-schools-in-france/

Degrees Awarded and ECTS

Degrees from the Grandes Écoles are highly regarded, with the Master’s level being the most common final degree. These institutions also adhere to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), ensuring that their degrees are recognized across Europe and around the world.

Read more about ECTS Credits: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/european-credit-system-ects/

Grading System

The French grading system is out of 20, with 10 as the passing mark. However, in the Grandes Écoles, a higher standard is often expected, with grades above 14 signifying excellent performance. This rigorous grading ensures that students push themselves to achieve their best.

grandes écoles

Evaluation System

The evaluation system in the Grandes Écoles is comprehensive, including a mix of continuous assessment, exams, project work, and sometimes internships. This holistic approach not only assesses students’ academic knowledge but also their practical skills and adaptability to real-world challenges.

International Recognition

Graduates from the Grandes Écoles are highly sought after by employers around the world, owing to the schools’ rigorous academic standards and the comprehensive skill set imparted to students. This global recognition opens up vast opportunities for international careers, further study, and research opportunities.

Here are some of the most prestigious and internationally recognized Grandes Écoles:

  • École Polytechnique: École Polytechnique is renowned for its engineering programs. It offers a multidisciplinary education that covers mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering, among other sciences.
  • HEC Paris: HEC Paris is one of Europe’s leading business schools. It specializes in business and management education, offering programs such as Master in Management, MBA, and EMBA.
  • École Normale Supérieure (ENS): The École Normale Supérieure has a strong focus on the humanities and sciences. It is particularly renowned for its programs in literature, philosophy, social sciences, mathematics, and physics
  • Sciences Po: Sciences Po is a leading institution in the social sciences, offering programs that include political science, international relations, law, economics, history, and sociology.

grandes écoles

Future Bright Opportunities

A degree from one of the Grandes Écoles can be the key to a prestigious career, not only in France but globally. Alumni often find positions in top-tier companies, government, academia, and research institutions. Moreover, the extensive alumni networks provide valuable connections that can benefit one’s career for a lifetime.

According to the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE) last study, the net employment rate for all graduates from these institutions reached 90.5% in 2023, indicating a strong demand for their alumni in various sectors​. Graduates of Grandes Écoles often find themselves in high-demand, securing positions with attractive salaries and career advancement prospects soon after graduation. For those looking to study in France, the Grandes Écoles offer a pathway to both high-quality education and strong job prospects post-graduation.

Plan Your Study in France

For international students, the Grandes Écoles represent an opportunity to access one of the world’s most prestigious education systems. The journey to admission is challenging but offers unparalleled rewards.

At Go! Go! France, we’re dedicated to making your dream of studying in France a reality. Through our tailored services, comprehensive support, and student-first approach, we simplify the visa application process and pave the way for your educational adventure in France. When you feel ready to start, contact Go! Go! France team here to get your life and study in France journey started.

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