Study Chemistry in France

For 20 years, the mobility of students and scientists between the European countries and between countries all over the world has increased tremendously for several reasons ( i.e. European Union policy, rise of developing countries, harmonisation of higher education systems at the European level) and corresponds to the globalisation of economy and science worldwide.

Study Chemistry in France

Where can I study?

France has a long tradition in higher education and training with its own peculiarities. In fact, France has two parallel higher education systems: Universities and Higher education Schools (so-called "Grandes Ecoles"), which operate also for Chemistry studies. The University system is based on free entrance and low tuition fees. The "Grandes Ecoles" system is based on an entrance contest or a curriculum examination (2 – 4 years of studies after the Bachelor degree) and moderate fees. Experimental and technical training is more developed for the "Grandes Ecoles" system. Details on both systems can be found through the web sites of Universities (then click on " Relations internationales", printed in red ) and Grandes Ecoles.

In accordance with the Declaration of Bologna (1999) aimed aimed at creating a European Higher Education Area, students at both undergraduate and graduate levels are encouraged to stay for 1 to 6 semesters at universities outside their home country. This opportunity is attainable thanks to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This ensures that periods of study abroad are recognised by the home university. According to the Bologna process, Bachelor ("Licence", 6 semesters) qualification corresponds to 180 to 240 credits and Master ("Master", 4 semesters) courses, between 60 and 120 credits. At both levels, training periods in the Industry are very often mandatory and provide the students with valuable insight in the professional world. A Master’s degree (University) or Diploma ("Grandes Ecoles") is in most cases needed to enrol for a doctorate ("Thèse de l'Université"), which takes normally another 3 years of studies and experiments.

You can study Chemistry in France at 54 Universities, very often in partnership with the 17 "Grandes Ecoles" dealing with chemistry. The Technical universities and "Grandes Ecoles" mostly offer chemical engineering degrees. These programmes are accessible from the web site of SFC and details (full programmes, steps for registration, etc.) could be found on the web sites of the corresponding Universities and Grandes Ecoles. Note that many web sites are providing this information in English. Finally, a comprehensive list of doctoral schools, which offer PhD degrees, is provided on the web site of the French Chemical Society.

Information about scholarships and fellowships could be found at the governmental supported agencies: Egide and Eudfrance ( click on the name of the Country ). For French-speaking countries, an additional organisation, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie provides useful information about studies in France.

Where could I work after my studies?

For graduates in chemistry the main employers are the public sector and the chemical industry. Other industries are also offering interesting positions for chemists. For research position in industry or academia see Universities with teaching and research activities, for governmental agencies seeCNRS, ). The candidate usually is expected to have a PhD degree and hence about 50% of the current chemistry graduates in France leave university with a doctoral degree.

The French chemical industry is the second largest within the European Union and is ranked second in France for the turnover and first for the exports. It employs more than 230,000 people in France. Also other industries are offering interesting positions for chemists. More information could be found on the web site of UIC, the professional union of chemical industries.

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