Admission requirements for studying in France: Step-by-step guide

Admission requirements for studying in France: Step-by-step guide

Wed May 08 2024 Asfandyaar Mazhar


Have you finalized the courses and institutes you wish to apply for? However, the battle has just started.

Remember the requirements for studying in France to ensure a smooth application procedure and experience.

In any college application, irrespective of the level (Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate), you will inevitably need to fill in your details and provide transcripts of prior degrees/certificates you may have.

To ensure that you are eligible for a course, this step is considered preliminary yet extremely important for any institute.

While that is not all, candidates are expected to provide results of several standardized tests, such as the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT, for some specialised courses, such as Law, Management, or Engineering.

Since these tests are internationally recognized and are standard throughout the globe, be prepared to have the results ready, just in case your course needs you to justify your knowledge in the said domain.

It is important to note that each institution has its application criteria, so one must research the respective college website and apply accordingly.

Here’s a quick guide on applying for a university in France.

  1. Entry requirements for French Universities

  2. Requirements for Masters in France

  3. PhD Programs in France

  4. Students from the EU

  5. International Students in France

  6. Can I Study English in France?

  7. Do I Need a Student Visa?

France Students

Students from the EU

To apply for admission to a French university as an international student from another European country, you will usually need:

  • Completed university application

  • ID photo or driver’s license

  • High school transcripts (or relevant equivalent)

  • Statement of purpose or motivation letter.

  • English proficiency test results (TOEFL, IELTS)

  • Application of the financial aid program (if the University provides one)

  • Application fee.

  • Any other required document depending on the University

International Students in France

If you are not from an EU country when applying for a university in France, you will generally need:

  • Completed university application

  • High school and college 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)

  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to fund your stay in France

  • Any other required document depending on the University

  • Letters of recommendation.

Entry requirements for French Universities

Once you have chosen the targeted universities and programs you want to apply to, you can begin the application process.

It should be considered that the application process and the entry requirements are different for different universities.

Some universities, for example, may ask for GRE, GMAT, or other entrance exams—these internationally used tests ensure that applicants are prepared for the challenges of advanced study.

Here are some general entry requirements when applying to a French University.

General Entry Requirements

Most French universities require you to submit the following documents:

  • An authorization from Campus France

  • A passport copy

  • A passport-sized photo of you.

  • Academic transcripts and graduation certificates.

  • A copy of your EU health card (for EU students)

  • Application fee.

  • A civil liability certificate

  • A cover letter

  • French and English language proficiency certificates.

  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to fund your stay in France (615EUR/month minimum)

French Universities

Requirements for Masters in France

If you want to apply for a Masters program in a French university, these are some things to take note of :

  • A master’s program in France is usually 2 years.

  • French Masters degrees are organized into teaching units to focus on different topics in a broader subject area (practical workshops, theoretical discussion, and independent project work)

  • Dissertation, internships, or a similar extended research project.

  • There are three types of Masters programs in France: Specialized Masters(MSc), MBA programs and MIM programs

  • Specialized Masters – is sometimes used to refer to advanced programs awarded by Grandes Écoles in which students pick a specialization they are interested in.

    MBA programs were developed initially in the US, but France was the first country to offer them in Europe. French business schools are among the most competitive schools. MBA programs require a minimum of two years of work experience.

  • MIM or masters in management programs are postgraduate programs that provide advanced general management knowledge for Business Bachelor’s graduates, whether or not they have studied Business before.

PhD Programs in France

266 doctoral schools in France offer PhD programs in collaboration with research laboratories and centres to provide doctoral training.

A standard doctorate program is 3 years, resulting in two teaching (or research) semesters per year.

Enrolling in a PhD program requires choosing an exciting thesis topic and finding a thesis supervisor.

Do I Need a Student Visa?

Depending on your country of origin, here are the general documents you’ll need to obtain a student visa:

  • A letter of acceptance from an accredited institution. This should be an official document from the university, detailing your program and the start and end dates of study.

  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to fund your stay in France. The current amount required is €615 per month, which can be shown with a bank statement, a guarantor’s letter, or a certificate of acknowledgement of funding from a loan, scholarship, or grant.

  • Proof of return ticket. Often, this is in the form of the actual ticket or reservation showing the date of departure, but it can be a handwritten statement of intent, including intended departure dates.

  • Proof of medical insurance (minimum cover €30,000)

  • Proof of accommodation. It can be a student housing confirmation, a certificate of board and lodging, or an ‘attestation d’accueil’ (if you’re living with friends or relatives).

  • Proof of proficiency in French if your course is taught in French.

studying in France

Can I Study English in France?

Although not the most common thing you hear, studying English in France is quite widespread. Public Universities (Government Universities) in France are some of the most affordable institutions in the eurozone.

Some have English-taught programs where you can get a complete French education in English. Most of them will also include learning French while you study in English but some universities like Sciences Po have English-only programs.


French university applications are full of possibilities, but thoroughness is vital in overcoming complexity. Whether you are a European Union (EU) student or an international applicant, it is crucial to decide the required entry prerequisites for yourself.

From filling in a university application form to giving all critical documents needed and helping to prove that you know the language, cautious preparation can make your way to a successful application a lot easier.

Knowing the peculiar details of the program you want to pursue and the university you want to attend will help you feel confident as you begin your academic journey in France.

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What are the requirements for studying in France?

To enrol in an undergraduate course, you must possess a diploma or its equivalent.

The applicant must also meet the requirements to be admitted to the university. Candidates will submit their IELTS/ TOEFL scores as well.

How much is the percentage required to study in France?

Most bachelor’s programs in France stipulate that they accept students only if they have a graduation GPA equal to or greater than 60% or 65% in their Bachelor’s degree.



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