How to apply to French Public Universities: Unlocking Opportunities

5 min read

As one of the most renowned education systems globally, France boasts a rich history of academic excellence and intellectual exploration. This blog is dedicated to shedding light on French public universities’ distinctive features and offerings, serving as a valuable resource for students, researchers, and education enthusiasts alike. 

France is currently home to over 65000 Indians, and the number is growing year on year. In 2019, as per the Embassy of France in India, 10000 Indian students chose to study in France and by 2025, the country wants to increase this number to 20000 each year.

Degrees in French Universities

  • A Bachelor’s Degree is called Licence in France, and the first, second, and third years of a bachelor’s Degree are called Licence 1, Licence 2, and Licence 3. 
  • There is something called a Professional Licence which allows a student who has already completed the first 2 years of a Bachelor’s and wants to top up with a Bachelor, this is very similar to a top-up degree in the UK.
  • For Masters, the first and second years are called Master 1 and Master 2.

What is Etudes en France?

The Etudes en France method is required for 67 nations, including India. You have to adhere to this to be admitted to a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme at a French university, and Campus France in India will assist you in getting through this process. It is a French government website that serves as a centralised location for the application and visa. You need to use this webpage to apply to public universities in France. You can apply directly to private institutions.

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Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a good student with a good academic record
  • English proficiency test is required (IELTS, TOEFL)

How to apply?

Step 1: Go to the Etudes en France website and create your account by clicking Register. Once you do that, you receive an email to confirm your email, choose your password, and your Campus France ID number starting with IN. Since I have already created my account, I can directly login, and this screen opens up.

Step 2: Click on Apply to a Program in France and fill in the online application form, which includes your details, education, language proficiency and some mandatory documents like your mark sheets, CV, Photo, passport, language results etc.

Step 3: Click on choose programs. The number of programs you can choose will depend on the level of the program. You can choose programs by clicking on Add a program to the cart, then choose the level of the program. The first option is for UG degrees, the second for architecture diplomas, and the 3rd option is ‘Other programs’ for all master’s degrees. Post that, you can search for the program from the search tab below. 

For example, the program I want to apply for is English Global MBA at EDHEC Business School, so I typed MBA EDHEC in the search box and selected EDHEC Global MBA year 1 from the list below. Then I select the campus and press Add program to the cart button.

Step 4: You submit your application by clicking the third tab.

Step 5: You will receive an update from Campus France on an interview date in which the officer will ask you the reasons for choosing France and the university you wish to study at. The officer will also validate the documents you uploaded earlier in the process, so do carry originals. Also, pay the 18000 processing fee by going on website. You must select Campus France processing fee and click next to add your name and Campus France ID number to make the payment.

Step 6: Once this is done, you will receive an interview completion letter from the Campus France officer and start getting responses from the universities. You can track your applications from here and check institution responses from here. 

Step 7: You choose the offer you want to accept, and once you do that, we start the visa process. The visa process video will be released next Tuesday, so subscribe to the channel to ensure you don’t miss out. 

Note: To give you a brief timeline, for both Bachelor’s and Master’s, you must apply on Etudes en France between October and December of the year before the intake start date. Universities will respond to your application maximum by April 30, and you will have to accept or decline the offer by May 31st. The whole application process may take up to 7-8 months. 

Documents required for applying

  • Completed university application
  • High school and college/graduation transcripts. (in the case of high school students, only the high school transcripts will do)
  • Copy of your passport
  • A passport-sized photo
  • Statement of purpose or letter of motivation
  • English proficiency test results (TOEFL, IELTS)
  • Copy of birth certificate (translated and certified in French)
  • A cover letter
  • A civil liability certificate
  • You must show evidence that you have the money to fund your stay in France (615 EUR/month, i.e. 54,461 INR minimum)
  • Any other required document depending on the University
  • Letters of recommendation

For more information regarding the universities, visit here.


Public Universities (Government Universities) in France are some of the most affordable institutions in the eurozone. As one of the most renowned education systems globally, France boasts a rich history of academic excellence and intellectual exploration. This blog has discussed the criteria and how you can apply to one of the French public universities. France has been an educational centre for Indians in the recent past, and it is growing every year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Are French public universities tuition-free for international students?

    Yes, French public universities offer affordable education, including for international students. Most programs have low tuition fees compared to other countries, and some programs are even tuition-free.

  • What are the language requirements for studying at a French public university?

    The language requirements vary depending on the program and university. Many undergraduate programs are taught in French, so proficiency in the language is usually necessary. Some universities also offer programs taught in English, and in such cases, a good command of English is required.

  • How can I apply to a French public university as an international student?

    The application process typically involves submitting an online application through the official admission portal of the university or the online application platform for international students in France. You must provide necessary documents such as academic transcripts, language proficiency test scores, a motivation letter, and sometimes letters of recommendation. Make sure to check the specific requirements of each university and program.

  • Are there scholarships available for international students in French public universities?

    Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in France, including scholarships offered by the French government, universities, and other organisations. These scholarships are aimed at supporting students financially and promoting cultural exchange.

  • What support services are available for international students at French public universities?

    French public universities provide various support services for international students, including orientation programs, language courses, academic counselling, career services, and assistance with administrative procedures. Student associations and organisations also help integrate international students into the campus community.

  • Can international students work while studying at a French public university?

    International students with valid visas can work part-time while studying in France. However, there are limitations on the number of hours students can work per week to ensure that studies remain the primary focus.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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