If you are looking to study in France, you are surely making a great choice. This location has a lot to offer for international students, including world-class universities and exciting student experiences. With more than 230 universities and colleges in France, you’ll surely have a wide range of choices.
To help you narrow down your school options, we’ve compiled the best universities in France. We based our rankings on academic reputations from reputable sources and the number of international students. By doing this, you’ll have an efficient way of comparing your target universities and choose your host university in France.
|2||Paris-Saclay University||1150||Public||Gif sur Yvette|
|3||École Normale Supérieure||1794||Public||Paris|
|4||Paris Cité University||2019||Public||Paris|
|5||Grenoble Alpes University||1339||Public||Grenoble|
|6||Toulouse 1 Capitole University||1229||Public||Toulouse|
|7||Paris Institute of Political Studies||1872||Public||Paris|
|9||École Centrale de Nantes||1919||Public||Nantes|
|10||University of Strasbourg||1538||Public||Strasbourg|
|12||University of Bordeaux||1441||Public||Bordeaux|
|13||University of Montpellier||1220||Public||Montpellier|
|14||Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University||1971||Public||Paris|
|17||Claude Bernard University Lyon 1||1971||Public||Lyon|
|18||Ecole des Ponts ParisTech||1747||Public||Champs sur Marne|
|19||Paris Dauphine University||1968||Public||Paris|
|20||Paul Sabatier University||1969||Public||Toulouse|
|21||Grenoble Institute of Technology||1900||Public||Grenoble|
|22||University of Nantes||1460||Public||Nantes|
|25||University of Lille||1896||Public||Lille|
How do I get admission to the best universities in France?
Applying to the universities in France involves submitting requirements and following specific admissions procedures set by your chosen university. The requirements often include a student visa, application packages, and language scores. Check out our guide for international students who want to study in France to learn more about applying for admission in this country’s universities!
How much are the tuition fees at the best universities in France?
Tuition fees at France’s universities can vary depending on which university, degree, and program you will be enrolling in. Generally, tuition fees for the bachelor’s level range from 0 Euros to 32,800 Euros , while tuition fees for the master’s level range from 0 Euros to 68,000 Euros. If you are interested, check out the affordable universities in France!
As we cover the best universities in France for international students, feel free to check out the university’s information on Admission, Tuition, Courses, and Language Requirements by looking at the individual university pages.
Top Universities in France for International Students
1 Sorbonne UniversityView Page
Located in Paris, Sorbonne University is a top-performing research institution in France. They have been globally recognized for their engineering and science programs as they produce excellent graduates in the field. More than that, they have a huge contribution to academic research in France and Europe.
2 Paris-Saclay UniversityView Page
The Paris-Saclay University is one of the highest-ranking academic institutions in the world. It offers excellent degree programs at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. levels. The university also has a strong reputation for research excellence and houses 275 of the best laboratories in the country.
3 École Normale SupérieureView Page
École Normale Supérieure in Paris is at the forefront of providing breakthrough innovations that will help the community to prosper in the coming years. The institution has strong relations with numerous enterprises and industry leaders, allowing it to invest significantly in research and development. It seeks to train intelligent students with a passion for science and technology.
4 Paris Cité UniversityView Page
Paris Cité University is an educational organization that is in pursuit of academic excellence. It aims to maintain its reputation of being a catalyst of change through its ambitious and comprehensive educational offerings. The university has various research sites and advanced educational tools to aid the students as they strive to become experts someday.
5 Grenoble Alpes UniversityView Page
Founded more than six centuries ago, Grenoble Alpes University has been traditionally known for its programs in the scientific field, but programs in humanities have recently been positioned among the best ones in France. The university has multiple campuses all over Grenoble, with a unique architecture that mixes modern and historical buildings, along with state-of-the-art academic facilities that include a tramway, a university hospital, and an observatory. One of the main objectives of the university is to address social needs through breakthroughs made in its research institutes and laboratories, as well as training professionals that are ready to solve the future problems of our world.
6 Toulouse 1 Capitole UniversityView Page
Toulouse 1 Capitole University is a public research university in Toulouse, the city known to be the best for students in France. The university is internationally recognized for its excellent academic and research programs in business, information technology, law, and communication. It also has more than 200 international partners and is part of several international alliances for conducting different projects and initiatives and encouraging student and staff mobility.
7 Paris Institute of Political StudiesView Page
The Paris Institute of Political Studies is a public research university offering degrees in social sciences and humanities. The university strives to help students, as future leaders of society, have a deeper understanding of different social phenomena and find out ways to make society better. Students at the university are given several opportunities to learn in an international environment through internships and exchange programs.
8 Aix-Marseille UniversityView Page
The Aix-Marseille University is one of the oldest universities in France. It offers excellent programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has produced several notable graduates in the fields of law, science, and arts. The university offers programs in both English and French language, making it a top choice for many international students.
9 École Centrale de NantesView Page
Also known as Centrale Nantes, the École Centrale de Nantes specializes in scientific and engineering education. It strives to train professionals who will apply their knowledge and abilities to better society and solve environmental issues. Its programs focus on providing international experience and fostering innovation. The former is done through cooperation programs with other countries and mandatory international internships; the latter is encouraged in their research centers and in the Business Incubator, which is a space where student startup projects are supported, developed, and improved.
10 University of StrasbourgView Page
Founded in 1538, the University of Strasbourg is a public research institution that houses more than 56,000 local and international students. This institution is highly recognized for its wide range of academic programs in undergraduate and graduate degrees. They take pride in having different research units for various academic fields as they contribute to the development of science.
11 ENS LyonView Page
ENS Lyon is a small public university in the city of Lyon, France, which ranks among the top academic institutions in the country. The university believes in the importance of research in providing high-quality education. ENS Lyon also has a vast international network of universities, companies, and research institutions to encourage student and faculty mobility and participate in collaborative research projects.
12 University of BordeauxView Page
The University of Bordeaux is among the prestigious public universities in France. Founded in 1444, the university has built several campuses in six cities. With more than 56,000 students, it’s also one of the largest in the country by total enrollment.
13 University of MontpellierView Page
The University of Montpellier was established in 1220 and is the 6th largest university in France. It is also known as one of Europe’s oldest yet most innovative universities and, in over 8 centuries of operation, has produced numerous notable alumni who became influential in different fields such as philosophy, politics, medicine, mathematics, and literature. With over 50,000 students, the university actively participates in the Erasmus+ program and other inter-university collaborations that would allow its students to gain international exposure and experience.
14 Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne UniversityView Page
Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University is known for being the main university in the areas of humanities and social sciences in France, not only for its wide variety of programs but also for its outstanding research performance. In fact, research is one of its main focal points, which is why it has 37 research teams and multiple institutes that specialize in areas like demography, labor, geography, and social development. The university is also known for the importance it gives to international collaborations. It has a large international student population, 150 partnerships with universities abroad, and dozens of foreign professors and researchers.
15 École PolytechniqueView Page
École Polytechnique is among the five prestigious academic institutions in Paris, France that constitute the Polytechnic Institute of Paris. École Polytechnique is well-known for its modern facilities, competitive research, and world-class education in different fields of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. The university also provides courses that enhance students’ core skills to make them well-rounded individuals that are sought after by employers around the world.
16 MINES ParisTechView Page
MINES ParisTech is a graduate school that is dedicated to training students with passion in the science and technology field. It is known for its research-intensive engineering programs that are being taught using work-based learning approaches. The institution has over 15 research centers that aid the students’ curiosity and innovative skills.
17 Claude Bernard University Lyon 1View Page
Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 is an expert when it comes to courses related to physics, chemistry, and mathematics, among others. The university is known for its exceptional research activities, which is why it has gained a lot of active international applicants in its exchange program. It is committed to supporting and creating a learning environment where respect flourishes and students can freely advocate for their passion for education.
18 Ecole des Ponts ParisTechView Page
Ecole des Ponts ParisTech is an active research institution internationally known for its excellence in offering science, engineering, and technology programs. The school prepares students for their dream careers by giving them the opportunity to use advanced equipment and explore the world through academic exchanges. It seeks to produce excellent graduates with a passion for the scientific discipline.
19 Paris Dauphine UniversityView Page
Paris Dauphine University maintains a multidisciplinary score of action and productive faculty, allowing students to indulge in high-quality education. Its comprehensive educational curriculum paired with intensive supervision enables student researchers to develop socio-economic projects. It aims to provide an environment where students worldwide can feel a sense of belongingness and enjoy shared values with intellectual co-learners.
20 Paul Sabatier UniversityView Page
Paul Sabatier University, commonly known as Toulouse III, is a high-ranking university that offers courses in engineering, physics, and chemistry, among others. The university is known for its exceptional research facilities that enhance the students’ curiosity and critical thinking. It also partners with various educational institutions and participates in exchange programs, allowing students to explore the world through academic excellence.
21 Grenoble Institute of TechnologyView Page
Grenoble Institute of Technology is a reliable institution if you want to pursue a career in engineering and development. The school has numerous engineering programs that are all open to both French and international students. It aims to maintain students’ productivity and research activity by investing in advanced equipment and resources.
22 University of NantesView Page
The University of Nantes is located in the city of Nantes ranks among the top 25 universities in France. The university provides over 200 interdisciplinary programs that encourage students to get involved in conducting research and to participate in activities and projects that would expose them to different social realities. The university aims to create a positive impact on society and tackle different social issues.
23 ENS Paris-SaclayView Page
ENS Paris-Saclay is an institution with a great focus on science and research. It aims to uphold its mission of offering exceptional education that will develop both the minds and skills of the students. The range of programs ENS Paris-Saclay provides showcases its utmost scientific field expertise, along with its numerous research centers and facilities.
24 AgroParisTechView Page
The Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences, or simply AgroParisTech is one of the public universities in France. Founded in 2007, the university offers degree programs in Agronomy, Life Sciences, and Engineering. It is home to around 2,300 students, with 16% international enrollment.
25 University of LilleView Page
The University of Lille, or Université de Lille in French, is one of the top public universities in France. The university was established in 1896, though its origins can be traced back to 1559 through the former University of Douai. At present, the university has more than 72,000 total enrollment, hosting over 9,500 international students.
We know that choosing your dream school in France not an easy task. After all, you need to consider other factors like the cost of your education, school background, and population, as it can be overwhelming on your part.
So, to help you out further in weighing your school options for studying in France, make sure to visit our list of the best public and private universities in France! These articles will surely help you in deciding your next study destination!