Choose your program
A number of different programs are available for students wishing to study abroad in the French system. Studies are organized into three basic levels: Licence: 3 years of study corresponding to 6 semesters and 180 ECTS credits. Master: 5 years of study, 4 semestres supplémentaires validés par l'obtention de 120 crédits ECTS.
At the master's level, two paths are possible. Students who choose a "research" master (formerly known as the DEA) typically intend to go on to earn a doctorate, whereas those who elect a "professional" master (formerly DESS) want to begin their careers directly after graduation.
Provided they have sufficient undergraduate experience, international students can enroll directly in a master's program for one or two years of specialized education.
Long programs in the grandes écoles represent 5 years of postsecondary study, starting with 2 years of preparation within the grande école or in a preparatory class at a secondary school.
Preparatory classes for the grandes écoles, also known as CPGE or prépa, are demanding programs that enable graduates to sit for entrance exams for 3-year programs at one or more grandes écoles.
Upon the successful completion of a total of 5 years of postsecondary study, graduates are awarded their school's diploma, which is formally equivalent to a master's degree.
Graduates of private specialized schools receive a diploma that is specific to their school. That diploma may or may not be recognized as the equivalent of a master.
Short programs are designed to enable graduates to begin their careers in the shortest possible time, without forgoing the possibility of continuing their higher education… Short programs, most of which require 2 or 3 years of study, are abundant in the areas of business, manufacturing, and services. Many short programs are offered in multidisciplinary institutes affiliated with universities or specialized schools.
Because the curriculum always includes at least one internship with a commercial enterprise, short programs offer a practical, relevant introduction to the job market. Most short programs are highly selective in their admissions.
Offered in the upper technical sections (STS) of vocational secondary schools, BTS programs require 2 years of study (120 ECTS credits). They are designed to train middle managers in one of 145 defined specialties. Upon graduation, more than 30% of students continue their higher education at a university, engineering school, or business school.
The DUT is awarded by France's 116 IUTs—university-based institutes of technology. Designed to train mid-level technical personnel in 2 years, IUT programs also allow graduates to continue on for a more advanced degree, such as a licence professionnelle. In fact, about 80% of IUT graduates do just that.
The DEUST is a career-oriented degree offered in 2-year university programs. Each of the 80-odd DEUST specialties is very specific, having been created in response to local labor-market needs. The curriculum of DEUST programs is often designed in consultation with employers and local governments. Practicing professionals carry a share of the teaching load. Graduates may continue on for another degree; the licence professionnelle is the most common choice.
The licence professionnelle degree is granted after 1 year of further study to students who had already successfully completed 2 years of postsecondary study. The content of the vast array of licence professionnelle programs is determined by partnerships of universities, employers, and professional associations. The teaching faculty includes many active professionals. The licence professionnelle is one of the best French degrees for individuals hoping to find a job immediately after graduation.
Long programs are offered in universities, grandes écoles, and specialized schools. How they are organized depends on the institution in which they are offered.
At the universities
More info: Doctoral departments and programs
Programs taught in English
Short courses Cultural and linguistic stays
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge
"The Paris Climate Deal: An Inside Account of How it Happened": a "behind the scenes" account presented by Ambassador Laurence Tubiana
One Silber Way - 9th floor
Boston, MA 02215