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PhD in France – Universities, Fees, Eligibility & Jobs

Updated on 26 March, 2024

Gauri Agrawal

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

France is known for its excellent higher education system and globally reputed universities. The French universities are known for nurturing greats in science, economics, technology, arts, philosophy, and fashion. Moreover, the country is culturally rich and has spectacular architecture, music, cuisine, and dance, among other things. 


Thousands of aspiring international students come to France to learn from its rich culture and dive into the wide range of employment opportunities. It has an exceptional research environment; therefore, a Ph.D. in France for Indian students or any other international student is a great opportunity.

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Why Study PhD in France?

There are many reasons a graduate can choose to do a Ph.D. in France, and some are listed below:

1. Affordable Tuition Fees

Candidates enrolling for Ph.D. in France are not required to pay substantial tuition fees. The average cost is €380 per academic year. It applies to all Ph.D. programs offered in France.

2. Degrees taught in English

Public, and private institutions in France offer English-taught study programs to attract more international students.

3. Chance to improve your French

Remember that candidates who can communicate in at least two foreign languages have a better chance of earning well and being hired by top global organizations and institutions. Therefore, studying Ph.D. in France and gaining proficiency in French improves your portfolio.

Study and Settle in France : Get Free Consultation

Ph.D. Specializations Offered in France

Some of the famous Ph.D. specializations offered in France are in the following streams:

  1. Social Sciences and Economics
  2. Ecology, Biodiversity, Agronomy
  3. Management
  4. Mathematics 
  5. Health Sciences
  6. Energy and processes
  7. Earth and space sciences
  8. Information technology 
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Top Universities to Study Ph.D. in France

University Name Popular Ph.D. programsAverage Tuition Fees
Universite PSLPh.D. in Economics, Literature, Geography, Health, etc.380 EUR/year
Institut Polytechnique de ParisPh.D. in Physics, Biology and Chemistry, Mathematics, etc.Annual registration fee ( 256 EUR- 391 EUR/year)
Toulouse School of ManagementPh.D. in Finance, Marketing, Human resource management, organizational behavior, etc.Tuition fee waived. Annual registration fee ( 243 EUR- 980 EUR/year)
HEC ParisPh.D. in Management, Finance, Accounting, etc.12,000 EUR- 30,000 EUR/year ( Tuition fee waived)
Rennes School of BusinessPh.D. in Artificial Intelligence, Qualitative Methods, etc.500 EUR/year

Application process and timelines

A ‘doctorate’ or Ph.D. in France is comprised of six semesters for a standard 3-year Ph.D., resulting in two teachings (or research) semesters per year:

  • Autumn semester, which starts in late September- January with a holiday around Christmas and New Year
  • The spring semester starts in early February- June, with some institutions having a spring break at Easter. 

Institutions generally have exams at the end of each semester and a three-month summer holiday from July-September.

Cost of PhD in France for Indian Students

Tuition fees for Ph.D. programs in France are currently the same for all students regardless of nationality. However, the fee structure differs depending upon whether you take admission in a private or public institution. Below is the average fee you are supposed to pay based on the institution: 

  1. Public institution- Student fees are €380 annually. 
  2. Private institutions- The fees in private institutes are relatively high and can range between €3,000 and €10,000 annually. Additionally, the universities hold the ultimate right to charge administrative costs, which are affordable.

Apart from the tuition fees, other expenses like the cost of living would add to the total cost of studying Ph.D. in France.

The living price in France includes accommodation, transportation, health insurance, and personal expenses, among others. The range varies between 600- 800 EUR/month, but if you’re studying in the top cities, the living costs will increase, and it would range between 650- 1800 EUR/month. 

Career Opportunities for France PhD Holders

There are multiple career opportunities after a PhD in France, largely based on the specialization you have chosen. In addition, your practical knowledge matters a lot. With it, you can work as a professor in any reputed university, not only in France but across the world. 

You can also become a part of an education and research organization that welcomes fresher PhD graduates to add value to the ongoing programs. PhD qualified candidates are also eligible to appear for jobs in public sectors and even some private organizations that are highly competitive in terms of hiring employees.

Eligibility to Pursue Ph.D. in France for Indian Students

To apply for a Ph.D. in France, you must submit a research proposal. Apart from that, every French institution is free to create its standards and conduct independent enrollment assessments. However, here are the standard eligibility requirements are:

  1. To enroll as a Ph.D. student, you will typically need a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in the relevant subject.
  2. You are also eligible to apply if you are pursuing your Master’s degree and have completed it before starting the doctorate program.
  3. You must attain the cut-off marks of several university entrance exams and preparatory classes.
  4. Language requirements, too, are set by institutions individually. 

International students must submit all supporting documents to complete your Ph.D. in France requirements. Ensure the below is checked:

  • Degree certificates
  • CV (Resume)
  • All educational transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Thesis chosen + Thesis supervisor selected
  • English language proficiency test results
  • Two online references
  • Passport photo and ID proof
  • Research material
  • Application Fee payment ( 50 EUR- 60 EUR)

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Career Options

After completing your graduation from Ph.D. universities in France, there is a wide range of job profiles available like Assistant Professor, Senior Data Scientist and others. On average, Ph.D. graduates in France earn up to 46,000 € annually. 

          Job ProfileAverage Salary
Assistant Professor (French Literature)67,407 EUR/year
High School Teacher54, 188 EUR/year
Management Consultant45,711 EYR/year
Senior Data Scientist62,113 EUR/year


It can be concluded that PhD in France for Indian students is beneficial and capable of generating good career opportunities. All you need is a decent command of the language (French/ English/ Or both) and meet the eligibility requirement of the university you wish to be a part of. 

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Is a Ph.D. in France free?

Fees for Ph.D. in France are currently the same for all students regardless of nationality. However, the fee structure differs depending upon whether you are admission to a private or public institution.

Is it worth doing a Ph.D. in France?

Yes, pursuing a Ph.D. course in France is worth the time and effort as this country is home to the best universities worldwide, education system, and others

Gauri Agrawal

Sr. Content Writer

Gauri Agrawal is a passionate, professional and proactive content marketer who wants to grow in the field of content creation. She carries a rich experience of working in the Digital News sector with renowned names like Times Now Digital, and News X as a Copy Editor.

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