How much will I pay to study?
Annual tuition rates at public institutions are set by law. The rates for the 2017–2018 academic year are, by degree program:
Tuition rates at private institutions—particularly schools of business and management—are generally higher (from €3,000 to €10,000 annually). You should check on the websites of each institutions in the section tuition fees.
What are the scholarships am I eligible for?
CampusBourses delivers instant information on financial aid by allowing you to perform searches customized to your needs. From the licence (bachelor) to the postdoc levels, CampusBourses contains data on grant and scholarship programs of national and local governments, corporations, foundations, and institutions of higher education.
Aid from public institutions in France and from the European Union
Under the Erasmus program of the European Union European students are eligible for grants to support study in France or another EU country. The Erasmus Mundus program is open to non-Europeans: grants are offered under multilateral master's and doctoral programs and special partnership projects.
Funded from a budget of approximately €100 million (2008), the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs provides a large number of grants to international students. A quarter of the grants are awarded by the ministry's offices in Paris (e.g., grants under the Eiffel and Major programs. The rest are awarded by France's embassies. Information on all French government grants is available from the culture and cooperation service of France's embassies and consulates general. Since June 2009, information on these programs has also been available through CampusBourses.
The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research awards need-based and affirmative-action grants to French citizens and certain groups of foreign students, notably those who have lived in France for at least two years and whose residence for tax purposes is located in France. The ministry also funds doctoral contracts, which are managed by doctoral departments throughout France.
Publicly funded research in France takes place in institutions of higher education and public research organizations. Most prominent among the latter is the CNRS (national center for scientific research), which operates in all disciplines. Others specialize in, for example, economic and social development (IRD), energy and the environment (ADEME), or exploitation of the seas (IFREMER). France's pubic research organizations fund doctoral and postdoctoral research, often in partnership with the country's regional councils.
Regional councils award grants to students and scholars enrolled in institutions in their region. Most regions offer doctoral and postdoctoral support that is administered by institutions of higher education and research. Such support is usually funded in partnership with a public research organization or a private firm. Other regional grants may be available to international students under exchange agreements with educational institutions outside France.
Some higher education institutions offer grants and other financial assistance. Interested students should inquire at their institution's international office, which can also provide information on the aid programs of public institutions.
Financing my doctoral training
Are you planning to pursue a doctorate in France? Several financing options are available.
Doctoral contracts: true employment agreements
A new system of doctoral contracts has replaced the old systems of research allocations and teaching assistantships. Doctoral contracts have the features—and the legal force—of individual employment agreements.
Each doctoral contract specifies the objective and the duration of the mission of a particular doctoral candidate, as well as the type of activities in which the candidate will be engaged under the contract. Contracted candidates have the right to paid vacation and accumulate seniority, just like other civil servants.
Doctoral candidates who devote themselves solely to research earn less (€1,685 monthly) than those who take on other tasks such as teaching, popularization of research results, or consulting assignments (€2,025 monthly).
The amounts specified above are legal minimums that individual institutions are free to exceed depending on their recruiting goals and the qualifications of the candidate.
CIFRE: industrial agreements for training through research
Under a CIFRE agreement, young scholars and scientists perform their dissertation research in a corporate setting, working on a research and development program in collaboration with an external research team affiliated with a university or other noncommercial entity. To be eligible for a CIFRE agreement, you must hold a master's degree or the equivalent, such as the diplôme d’ingénieur.
International joint supervision of dissertation research
Candidates may work toward their doctorate in France and another country under an agreement between two (or more) institutions of higher education that provides for joint supervision of dissertation research. The basic terms of such agreements are as follows:
- Candidates perform their work under the supervision of a dissertation adviser in each of the countries involved.
- Candidates divide their time between the participating institutions.
- The language of the dissertation is specified in the agreement.
- The dissertation is defended only once, but successful candidates receive two degrees.
Joint supervision of dissertation research is not, in itself, a mechanism of financial assistance, but it may be (and often is) accompanied by such assistance.
The recent creation of joint doctoral colleges by French and foreign universities has enabled more joint-supervision arrangements to obtain financial support from programs designed to foster international mobility in science and academia.