Top 10 Best Universities in France


As agreed in our article: “Are you considering studying in France? “, we have gathered all the necessary information for those who want to pursue their studies in France. And our topic today is the top 10 French universities.

There are 83 public universities in France, 27 of which are on the list of the best universities in the country. On the other hand, 22 of them are ranked in the top 500 best universities in the world.

The École Normale Supérieure – PSL

The École Normale Supérieure de Paris is both a grande école and a university. It has more than two centuries of history behind it. And it is not for nothing that it is at the top of our ranking of the 10 best universities in France. Not only does it embody the concept of “grande école” in France, but it is also a mecca for the arts and culture in the country.

Training at the ENS – PSL not only prepares students for many different professional opportunities. Graduates also have access to the highest responsibilities in public administration and in private companies in France and around the world. This is why the selection process is very competitive for local and international students.

Learn more about admission to ENS-PSL

Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University is a world-leading research university in France, officially created in 2018 by the merger of the University of Paris-Sorbonne and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie. The institution’s origins then date back to the 13ᵉ century, when both institutions were founded.

With more than 50,000 students, including about 20% international students, the institution is composed of 3 faculties: arts and humanities, science and engineering, and medicine. In addition, Sorbonne University offers a variety of disciplines of study through monodisciplinary, disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs.

Learn more about Sorbonne University, the admissions process, and areas of study.

The École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique is a member of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, which since 2019 brings together 5 of the most prestigious French engineering schools. Founded in 1794, École Polytechnique is a leading scientific and technological research higher education institution in France.

This grande école offers an interdisciplinary education. It offers programs that combine undergraduate education and graduate research in many different specialties. In addition, as a grande école, admission to the undergraduate program requires two years of preparatory courses after the baccalauréat. After this preparatory period, applicants have to take a week-long written exam and an oral exam.

Registration for studies at the École Polytechnique

The University of Paris-Saclay

Another world-class institution in our top 10 best universities in France. The University of Paris-Saclay is among the top 15 universities in the world. The institution is also ranked first in continental Europe, as well as first in the world in the field of mathematics. It is in fact a grouping of institutions and research organizations in France. These institutions include CentraleSupélec, AgroParisTech, ENS Paris-Saclay and the Institut d’Optique Graduate School.

The origins of the University of Paris-Saclay date back to 1150 when a branch of the University of Orsay was named Université Paris-Sud. It later became the Université Paris-Saclay in 2019. The institution is nestled in the south of Paris. In addition, the university offers cutting-edge programs in life and health sciences, science and engineering, and social sciences and humanities.

Learn more by visiting the institution’s official website.

Paris City University

Université Paris Cité is ranked 5th in our top 10 French universities. It is an institution that not only offers a wide range of study disciplines but also advanced and innovative courses in various fields. It was formed in 2019 from the merger of the University of Paris Diderot, Paris Descartes, and the Paris Institute of Globe Physics.

The university has more than 64,000 students, 20% of whom are international students. It offers programs in arts, humanities, and languages; humanities, economics, and social sciences; medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing; and science and technology.

For more information, visit the university’s website.

School of Ponts ParisTech

The Ponts ParisTech School, formerly the École Royale des Ponts et Chaussées, was founded in 1747. It is a grande école that offers a high-quality education in general engineering. It trains its students to a high level of general, technical, and scientific skills. Ranked among the top 10 public universities in Paris, the institution is also among the top 200 universities in the world.

It has 12 research laboratories, demonstrating its commitment to research. Students can pursue master’s and doctoral programs in mechanical and civil engineering, nuclear engineering, environmental sciences, economics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, sociology, transportation, and urban planning.

Learn more about The Ponts ParisTech School.

Aix-Marseille University

Like several other institutions in this top 10 universities, AMU is the result of the merger of 3 French universities. Created in 2011, but officially opened in January 2012, AMU is a public research university. The institution is also the largest university in the French-speaking world by the number of students.

Moreover, Aix-Marseille University has 5 campuses in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. It also has 19 faculties and 12 doctoral schools. Students can choose from approximately 600 programs in disciplines such as the arts, social sciences, humanities or science, and technology.

Apply to the University of Aix-Marseille

University of Bordeaux

The University of Bordeaux is among the top universities in France for the quality of its academic programs and research. The institution is also the third-largest university in France and one of the oldest in the country. Indeed, the origins of the University of Bordeaux dating back to 1441.

Moreover, the university is distinguished by its research field and its international profile, which are its strong points. It welcomes approximately 55,000 students, 14% of whom are foreign students. The university also maintains partnerships with nearly 700 universities in more than 80 countries around the world.

Find out more about the programs, degrees, and admission procedure at the University of Bordeaux.

École Normale Supérieure of Lyon

Another of France’s four ENSs, the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon is another elite institution. Founded in 1880, its campus is located in downtown Lyon. The institution trains professors and researchers for the university system. And it has the ambition to become a reference in education in the country.

Furthermore, the ENS de Lyon, through its programs, offers students the possibility to study in English for their master’s degree. Finally, students can also obtain an international double degree, which allows them to follow a unique curriculum.

See the admission requirements for the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon

MINES ParisTech School

The last institution in our top 10 French universities is MINES ParisTech. Officially named École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, it is also one of the leading engineering schools in France. The school was founded in 1783. It is also a member of ParisTech, a group of 12 prestigious teaching and research institutions, and engineering, and business schools in France.

The university offers programs in 5 main areas: energy and process engineering, earth sciences and the environment, economics, management and society, mathematics and systems, and mechanical and materials engineering.

Apply to MINES ParisTech