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Masters in France : Top Universities, Courses, Fee & More

Updated on 09 April, 2024

Completing a master’s in France creates multiple opportunities towards embarking on a global career ahead. The French higher education system has won global recognition for its high standards. The country has the fourth-highest Nobel Laureate count worldwide and the highest number of international students in mainland Europe. An MS in France is a great option, considering research and innovation prospects, well-funded and acclaimed universities, and affordable tuition costs. 


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Why Study in France

Studying abroad is what many dreamt of, and that too in France is what excites and makes you go gaga over due to its beauty, culture and rich heritage.

Music, Cinema, Cuisine, and the French language is what gets on their mind when talking about France.

Listed below are some of the reasons why you should prefer France to study abroad-

Affordable and Novel Education System

France houses some of the world’s oldest educational institutions, including the University of Paris, operating since 1160. Like other countries in Europe, France has an education system which is quite affordable and quality oriented. If we compare France to other countries such as the USA, Canada, UK etc international students on an average tuition fee needed around €500 in most of the public universities, making it preferable to pursue higher studies. An MS in France automatically becomes a worthwhile educational option for students, given the novel pedagogies adopted by the universities there. The higher education system comprises smaller institutions with larger networks of universities in turn. It means that institutions are heavily specialized while drawing from shared resources of other research hubs and universities. 

English Taught Programmes

Although French is the native language, there are several English taught programmes that are available for international students giving them the opportunity to pursue their studies in France. English taught programmes are also increasing. One can pursue programmes from different verticals be it Science, Literature, Art, History, Business, Technology etc.

Learning French

When you’re going to study in a different country then it will definitely be an opportunity for you to learn a new language as well. French being a native language will make your life easier if you get your hands on it, and will surely help you go well along with your future in France and other countries where it is considered the language of communication.

Innovation Hub

France has been a country for a long time, be it fashion or technology. You will experience creativity and ideas which are their upper hand in the market. It has industry share with leading brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, L’Oreal, Garnier, and Cartier to name a few. And Talking about technology Orange, Renault, Schneider Electric, and Michelin are some of the top MNCs having their base in France.

Tourism and Travel

Last but the most talked about reason is the tourism industry in France, as being one of the desirest places to explore. The tourism sector which has lots of career opportunities can be utilized well as a career. The hospitality industry is booming and comes up with never-ending prospects. Historical places and cultural heritage are almost in each and every part of France to explore.

Top Universities for Masters in France 

Here’s taking a closer look at leading universities in France for masters along with their tuition fees: 

Private Universities€1,500-2,000 per year. 

Grande Ecole- €500-600 per year. May increase up to €10,000, depending upon the institution. 

  • Business Schools- €5,000-7,000 annually.

Universities in France are performing quite well in academic research and innovation. Here are some of the top 10 universities according to the area of studies-

Top French Universities for Social Sciences & Management Studies

QS Subject RankingUniversity
44HEC Paris School of Management
56Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
65Sciences Po
77Université PSL
122Sorbonne University
126ESSEC Business School
203Institut Polytechnique de Paris
220IESCP Business School – Paris
243Universit Paris-Saclay

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

Subjects that are offered in Social Sciences & Management are Accounting and Finance, Anthropology, Business & Management Studies, Communication and Media Studies, Development Studies, Economics and Econometrics, Education and Training, Hospitality & Leisure Management, Law and Legal Studies, Library & Information Management, Politics, Social Policy & Administration, Sociology, Statistics and Operational Research etc.

Top French Universities for Engineering & Technology

QS Subject RankingUniversity
21Institut Polytechnique de Paris
26Universite Paris-Saclay
44Université PSL
66Sorbonne University
137Université Grenoble Alpes
154Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA)
167Institut polytechnique de Grenoble – Grenoble Institute of Technology
236IMT Atlantique
243Ecole des Ponts ParisTech
255École Centrale de Lyon

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

Subjects that are offered in Engineering & Technology that are offered in Computer Science & Information Systems, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Structural Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mineral & Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering etc.

Top French Universities for Arts and Humanities

QS Subject RankingUniversity
23Sorbonne University
26Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
62Université PSL
170Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3
175Sciences Po
210Université Paris Cité
260Université de Strasbourg
263Aix-Marseille University
301Université Paris-Nanterre
310Université Grenoble Alpes

Top French Universities for Life Sciences & Medicine

QS Subject RankingUniversity
39Sorbonne University
81Université Paris Cité
90Universit Paris-Saclay
139Université de Montpellier
156Université PSL
166Aix-Marseille University
166University of Bordeaux
191Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
220Université de Strasbourg
250Université Grenoble Alpes

Top French Universities for Natural Sciences

QS Subject RankingUniversity
14Sorbonne University
17Université PSL
20Université Paris-Saclay
22Institut Polytechnique de Paris
58Université Paris Cité
71Université Grenoble Alpes
142Université de Strasbourg
179Aix-Marseille University
179Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
190University of Bordeaux

Types of Master’s Courses in France 

A master’s in France for Indian students and other international students span around two to six years. Students cannot get a master’s degree in France unless they meet the minimum requirements in the Bologna Declaration for masters.

Let us look at the types of masters in France available for students:

1. Master of Art (MA): These courses have arts and humanities as their subjects. They are usually taught in English and require the submission of a dissertation. 

2. Mastère Spécialisé (MS): These courses are evaluated based on professional needs, course content, and at least two semesters. Students need to complete an internship and present a thesis as part of this course type.  

3. Mastère en Science (MSc): Courses under this degree type may span between one to six years and a minimum of three semesters. Students are required to gather a total of 300 ECTS credits as part of this program. It is mostly taught in English. 

4. Master of Business Administration (MBA): This course type is for experienced professionals, and different areas of business administration are covered under it. 

Cost of Masters in France

France is one of the cheapest global educational destinations in Europe for master courses. The government fixes tuition fees at public universities while EEA/EU and domestic students pay similar amounts. 

Costs are usually €243 (INR 20,807) annually for MS degrees. From 2019-20, the government came up with slightly higher rates of €3,770 (INR 3,33,814) annually for non-EEA/EU students. Private universities may charge higher fees. 

Admissions Requirements for Masters in France

  • Interviews are necessary for courses with limited seats and competitive admissions mechanisms. 
  • Admission tests take place for specialized courses, including business schools and Grandes Ecoles (Elite institutes outside the university system).
  • Educational transcripts are necessary for students. 
  • Language proficiency test scores and visa/immigration papers are also crucial. 
  • DALF and DELF are acceptable for French-taught courses. 

How to Apply to French Universities for Masters

All bachelor’s degree holders can apply for admission to masters in France. Every university sets its admission criteria while procedures are more stringent for Grandes Ecoles and the like. You should be able to present the following documents:  

  • Academic Transcripts
  • Bachelor’s Diploma Copy
  • Essays
  • Test Scores
  • Passport Copy
  • CV
  • SOP or Qualifying Examination Scores
  • Scholarship and Funding Documents
  • LORs (Letters of Recommendation)

The regular application deadline is January 31st. At this time, universities also consider forecasted/predicted scores. TOEFL or IELTS scores are also accepted as proof of English language proficiency by universities. DELF or DALF scores are required by universities that conduct French courses.

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How To Apply For Student Visa

Applying for a student visa is an essential part of the process when you are looking forward to studying in France. After your successful acceptance to the university in France you need to follow given steps as to move ahead with your application to study-

Get yourself well informed about types of visas you need to apply for ie

  1. Short stay- For courses and programs up to 3 months duration
  2. Long stay (Temporary) – For courses that are of  3 to 6 months duration
  3. Long stay – For courses more than 6 months duration

File an application

You need to apply for a visa in person with the consulate nearest to you or you can also apply through Campus France,  which is an organization to promote higher studies in France with offices almost across the globe.

Scheduling an appointment

You need to schedule an appointment prior 90 days before your departure at least.

Visa fee payment

Pay a visa processing fee of €50 and wait for your confirmation to receive the visa. It takes a different timeline depending upon the country from which you’re applying

Document required for visa application

  • Application form
  • Passport size photo
  • Passport copies that are valid
  • Official letter of enrollment
  • Financial proofs
  • Medical insurance
  • Accommodation proof
  • Proof of visa fee payment
  • Proficiency certificate of French/English depending upon the course

Scholarship to Pursue Masters in France

The Charpak Scholarship Programme

This scholarship programme is named by the French government to honour George Charpak a french Nobel laureate in physics and is offered by the Embassy of France in India. It is offered to bachelors, masters, and doctoral students and exchange programmes as well.

La Femis

A joint scholarship programme offered by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and la Femis is  in order to promote enthusiastic students from foreign film and television students who are keen to enhance their skills and understanding in depth of documentary filmmaking in France.

For Indian students, The embassy of France offers a 2 monthly residency program including travel, medical insurance, monthly stipend etc

Eiffel Scholarship Programme of Excellence

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and International Development offers Eiffel Scholarship to international students. It is offered to Masters and PhD students only and is applied on behalf of the student’s institute/college.

Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA)

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation jointly offer MOPGA to Indian students for pursuing their masters program in France.

The Erasmus+ Mobility Scholarships for Foreign Students

The Erasmus+ scholarship programme is offered to support youth education, sport and training.  This is awarded to the best students globally and many institutes in higher education from France offer joint masters programmes.

Job Opportunities in France after Masters

France allows people from EU countries to work here without work permits. Non-EU nationals can work under the APS (Autorisation provisoire ire de Séjour) programme. It will enable graduates of MS programs to stay for a year after completing their courses. They can work for up to 60% of a regular full-time position without their work permits. 

The permission may extend for a longer period if applicants find positions linked to their fields of study. It only applies if their salaries are higher than the minimum wage in France. Students should have legal residence permits for employment after MS courses. There are placements offered at several universities, and students can register at local employment portals for job opportunities. Some emerging sectors include Engineering, Computer Science & Information Technology, Tourism Management, Hospitality, and Business and Management. 

Graduates can find work in roles like school teachers, research scientists, software engineers, computer science engineers, allied healthcare professionals, financial analysts, doctors, aerospace engineers, lawyers, automotive engineers, mechanical engineers, chief executive officers, bank managers, chief officers of financial affairs, college professors and many others, depending on their field of study. 

Top organizations/corporates in France that hire graduates from universities are as following-

  • Louis Vuitton
  • Chanel
  • LVMH
  • Hermes
  • L’Oreal
  • Garnier
  • Cartier
  • BNP Paribas
  • Orange
  • Bouygues Group
  • Renault
  • Engie
  • Schneider electric
  • Michelin

Study Abroad with upGrad Abroad

upGrad Abroad is a leading platform that offers curated programs for students who want to go abroad to study. Top universities from countries like Germany, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and France have collaborated with upGrad to make quality education available at a feasible expense. To know more about how to pursue your dream of studying abroad, you can get in touch with our counsellors.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why France for masters?

France is a suitable destination for global studies, with its diverse culture, architecture, and flourishing campus life. France offers a globally acclaimed education system, flourishing career prospects, and excellent quality of life. Tuition costs in the country are also comparatively affordable.

What are the requirements for masters in France?

One of the foremost requirements for students to study master in France is to have bachelor’s degrees or equivalent qualifications. French universities need standardized test scores, including GMAT, GRE, and SAT, to extend admission to international students.

Do universities in France teach in English?

Yes, French universities offer courses that are taught in English. Some top choices include the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, CentraleSupelec and Ecoles des Ponts Paris Tech. Courses like MA, MBA, and others are mostly taught in English. To study courses in English in France, aspirants will need to present scores of language proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and others.

How do you do MS in France?

Students have to find the best universities for their preferred courses while applying directly to official websites. They should sit for entrance tests like GRE or GMAT along with TOEFL or IELTS. They should apply with all the documents, SOP, LORs, and the like to earn admission. They should also get all visa formalities completed.

Are master’s degrees free in France?

No, a master’s degree isn’t free in France. However, the tuition fee is capped by law in public universities. Private universities may charge higher amounts for MS courses, although average fees are still low at approximately €3,770 annually. Costs may increase to €10,000 in some scenarios. Public universities charge nominal fees for EU and non-EU nationals.

Mohammed Anas Khan

Anas is a graduate in Economics and a post graduate in Mass Communication. He is a curious soul and loves to travel. Anas has a keen interest in movies and literature. He wants to be a globe-trotter, discovering various aspects of life.

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