International selection

Key dates

Sciences

Session 2019: Application from September 18 to October 19, 2018

Arts and Humanities

Session 2019: Application from September 18 to October 31, 2018

Presentation

The Ecole normale supérieure aims at varying its students’ profiles and incorporates students to be enrolled in the 3rd year of bachelor in Math and in Computing science (licence 3) or 1st year of master (master 1), coming from all over the world and from all disciplines. The competitive examination of the International selection is intended to young graduates in Arts & Humanities as well as Sciences, who justify at least of one year undergraduate studies in a foreign university and distinguish themselves with outstanding results.

The examination takes place in 2 steps: a selection based upon application, then oral and written tests in Paris (Arts&Humanities) or oral exams only (Sciences) for shortlisted candidates.

In 2019, ENS opens 10 positions in Sciences and 10 positions in Arts& Humanities.

Joining ENS through the competitive examination of the International selection gives access to training of excellence, through contact with exceptional researchers, in a privileged training and research environment. Integrated to the community of the normaliens, international students continue their studies at ENS and at the university at the same time, while benefiting from a 1000 euros/month grant for 3 years and from a room on one of the ENS campuses. At the end of their studies, these students have graduated with a master degree in their speciality and with the diploma of École normale supérieure.

Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates must be under 26 when they apply (must not have reached their 26th birthday)
  • Candidates apply only once to the International Selection
  • Candidates must not have lived in France more than 10 months during the academic year of the selection (September 1st – August 31st) nor the previous year.
  • Candidates must justify at least one year of undergraduate studies awarded by a foreign university (outside France) during the calendar year preceding the start of applications.
  • Candidates justify at least two years of undergraduate studies in a foreign university (outside France), on the 1st of September following admission.

 

On rare occasions, the Director of ENS may authorise applications from candidates whose academic background is non-standard.

Procedure

Application to International selection according to the calendars below.

  • If your file is complete, it is submitted to the jury.
  • If the jury selects your dossier, you are invited to take written and oral tests.
  • The marks obtained at the tests determine the list of admitted students.

NB: Applicants interested in the Department of Cognitive Studies can apply using the Science or Arts&Humanities forms indiscriminately. For more information, please visit the Cogmaster website.

International selection in Arts & Humanities
Program and choice of academic disciplines

During their 3 years of study, students from the International selection discover Paris in exceptional conditions. Above all, they benefit from the intellectual freedom and multidisciplinarity characterising training at the ENS. Beyond the outstanding academic results expected from the candidates, ENS looks for young students driven by curiosity, open-mindedness and a taste for research. ENS is rich of the diversity of its students’ profiles, experiences and origins, and is concerned with enhancing the aptitudes of each one. For studying Arts& Humanities, we recommend you to be fluent in French.

Read more about the ENS graduate degree in Arts & Humanities

Academic disciplines offered through International selection in Arts&Humanities: Anthropology, Archeology, Classical studies (Greek, Latin), Cinema, Theater studies, History of Art, Musicology, Cognitive sciences, Economics, Political studies, Geography, History, History and Philosophy of Law, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Linguistic, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology.

Application

List of documents to be submitted on the dedicated platform:

  • Passport-1st page only (for non-European candidates) or ID card (for European candidates)
  • High school degree
  • University transcript
  • Motivation letter (1 to 3 pages long fon : Times New Roman, 12 pt and 1.5 line spacing, 2000 to 5000 characters including spaces) - written in French
  • Study project in terms of education and, if applicable, research (maximum 10 000 characters including spaces).  This is not a cover letter but a research project: it should address a well-defined topic and deal with a core issue, then develop a set of arguments and provide for a few hypotheses. The material the research project relies on (e.g. fieldwork, corpus, database, archives, etc.) has to be precisely described. The research project refers to an existing scientific literature while selecting a small range of relevant and informed references.This project includes a bibliography (list of 10 books, including articles or literary works you have read and which turned out to be important in your intellectual career; three of them have to be in French.) - written in French
  • CV - written in French
  • 2 to 4 letters of recommendation from referees (the candidate provides the referees' names, Email address and phone number- the referees are contacted by ENS). They can be written either in French or in English

If incomplete, your application will not be taken into consideration.

2018 Schedule in Arts and Humanities

Dates

Actions

From September 18 to October 31, 2018

December 14, 2018

Admissibility results published online and at ENS

All candidates receive an Email, whether they have passed this first step or not

 

Warning: Some countries (see list) are under Campus France procedure for the visa “concours” application. Campus France Website:
www.campusfrance.org >Préparer son séjour >S’inscrire >Pays à procédure CEF, for the citizens of 41 following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic republic of Congo, Egypt, South Korea, Kuwait,  Ivory Coast, USA, Gabon, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Maurice, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Taiwan, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, Vietnam.

December 17, 2018

Candidates whose dossier has been chosen receive:

· An invitation letter

· An attestation for their visa application (both by Email and postal mail)

From December 17, 2018

Candidates whose dossier has been chosen must:

· Apply for their visa as soon as possible and inform us about the process of obtaining it

· Tell us whether they need to be housed at the ENS during the tests

· Precise their arrival and departure dates

February 11, 2019

Information and welcome meeting (10 am)

45 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris

February 11 and 12, 2019

The 2 written tests are:

  • test in your major (4h). The candidate can write in French or English.
  • French language test (4h), to be written in French

 During the tests, dictionaries are not allowed

February 13, 14 and 15, 2019

Oral tests (individual convocations are handed during the information meeting):

  • test in your major (Preparation: 1h - Oral itself: 30 minutes)
  • Interview with the jury

February 21, 2019

Admission results published online and at ENS

All candidates receive an Email, whether they are admitted or not

From Fedruary 21, 2019

The admitted candidates receive:

 · An invitation letter

· An attestation for the visa (by Email and postal mail, or they can come to the SAE and be handed it)

 · A list of documents to prepare for the administrative registration in September (University diplomas translated and certified, a birth certificate translated and certified, 3 ID photos,..)

· Information about French lessons

· Information about ENS, administrative registration, multifunction card, Health office, Health insurance (i.e sécurité sociale), liability insurance, opening a French bank account, residency permit

From February 21, 2019

The admitted candidates must:

· Apply for a visa for studies, i.e "pour études"

· Prepare the documents required by ENS for the administrative registration

Beginning of September 2019 (to be scheduled)

Beginning of the French courses for foreigners

Beginning of September 2019 (to be scheduled)

Administrative registration with:

· Setting up of the scholarship

· Dossier for the residency permit application (if needed)

Before the end of September 2019

All candidates summoned to Paris to take the tests (except EU citizens) can ask for a partial reimbursement of their flight. They have to hand to the SAE:

· A detailed bill (mentioning their name, trip, arrival and departure dates and cost)

· Their bank details

. boarding passes

October 10, 2019

1st payment of the scholarship (September and October). The next payments are made monthly, between the 5th and the 10th.

Competition tests in Arts & Humanities

There is no specific reading programme. After the pre-selection, the board of examiners conceives tests in order to evaluate candidates’ abilities to analyse, conceptualise and synthesise information. They also assess the scientific or literary culture and intellectual curiosity of candidates as well as the relevance of their projects.

The 2 written tests are:

  • Test in your major (4h). The candidate can write in French or English - Weight 3
  • French language test (4h), to be written in French - Weight 1

For the 2 oral tests, the candidate speaks either English or French. The tests are as follows:

  • Test in your discipline: questions /commentary of a document (preparation 1h, test 30 minutes) - Weight 3
  • Interview: presentation of your background and project, both academic and professional (10 minutes of presentation, and 20 minutes of questions set by the jury, in French only) - Weight 5

Disciplines proposed are : Anthropology, Archeology, Classical studies (Greek, Latin), Cinema, Theater studies, History of Art, Musicology, Cognitive studies, Economy, Political studies, geograph, History, History and Philosophy of Law, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Linguistic, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology.

Dictionaries or any personal document are forbidden.

 

Reports and previous examination questions

Reports are written each year by the President of the Board of Examiners as well as test coordinators. They provide information on requirements and examiners’ expectations to help candidates with their preparatory work. 

See previous years tests

Results of International selection in Arts & Humanities

List of selected students for session 2018: results

International selection in Sciences
Program and choice of academic disciplines

Students from the International selection are driven by curiosity, open-mindedness and a taste for research and innovation. Benefiting from good material and financial conditions (they are accommodated and receive a grant), they can dedicate themselves to their studies within a prestigious institution, while discovering Paris and living a good life.

They benefit from advanced training in their major scientific discipline and also from a multidisciplinary training, which allows them to improve their knowledge in other disciplines in Sciences and Humanities. The pursued training is customised thanks to a mentoring system. From the outset, the training is research-oriented, with lessons in their major disciplines given by the best researchers and with internship periods in laboratories.

The training begins with 3 weeks of conferences and debates in Sciences and Humanities, department visits, intensive French lessons, cultural visits of Paris as well as activities and entertainments organised by the various student associations of ENS.

Read more about the ENS graduate degree in Sciences

Academic disciplines offered through International selection in Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earthscience, Computing science, Mathematics, Physics, Cognitive sciences

 

Application

List of documents to be submitted on the dedicated platform:

  • Passport-1st page only (for non-European candidates) or ID card (for European candidates)
  • High school diploma
  • University transcript
  • Motivation letter (1 to 3 pages long : Times New Roman, 12 pt and 1.5 line spacing, 2000 to 5000 characters including spaces) - writen either in French or in English
  • 2 to 4 letters of recommendation from referees (the candidate provides the referees’ names, Email address and phone number- the referees are contacted by ENS). They can be written either in French or in English

If incomplete, your application will not be taken into consideration.

2018 Schedule in Sciences

Dates

Actions

From September 18 to October 19, 2018

November 29, 2018

Admissibility results published online and at ENS

Shortlist on: http://www.ens.fr/en/academics/admissions/international-selection

All candidates receive an Email, whether they have passed this first step or not

 

Warning: Some countries (see list above) are under Campus France procedure for the visa “concours” application. Campus France Website:
www.campusfrance.org >Préparer son séjour >S’inscrire >Pays à procédure CEF, for the citizens of 41 following countries: Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic republic of Congo, Egypt, South Korea, Kuwait,  Ivory Coast, USA, Gabon, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Maurice, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Taiwan, Tunisia, Togo, Turkey, Vietnam.

From November 29, 2018

Candidates whose dossier has been chosen receive:

· An invitation letter

· An attestation for their visa application (both by Email and postal mail)

From November 29, 2018

Candidates whose dossier has been chosen must:

· Apply for a visa as soon as possible and inform us about the process of obtaining it

· Tell us whether they need to be housed at the ENS during the tests

· Precise their arrival and departure dates

   
   

From January 28 to February 2, 2019

Oral tests according to the schedulle decided by each scientificdepartement

Some departments might propose oral test by videoconference

 

February 7, 2019

Admission results published online and at ENS

All candidates receive an email, whether they have passed this second step or not

February ,2019

The admitted candidates receive, or can be handed directly at the SAE:

 · An invitation letter

· An attestation for the visa (by email and postal mail, or they can come to the SAE and be handed it)

 . A list of documents to prepare for the administrative registration in September (University diplomas translated and certified, a birth certificate translated and certified, 3 ID photos,..)

· Information about French lessons

· Information about ENS, administrative registration, multifunction card, Health office, Health insurance (i.e sécurité sociale), liability insurance, opening a French bank account, residency permit

February 2019

The admitted candidates must:

· Apply for a visa for studies, i.e "pour études"

· Prepare the documents required by ENS for the administrative registration

Beginning of September 2019 (to be scheduled)

Beginning of the French courses for foreigners

Beginning of September (to be scheduled)

Administrative registration with:

· Setting up of the scholarship

· Dossier for the residency permit application (if needed)

Before the end of September

All candidates summoned to Paris (except EU citizens) can ask for a partial reimbursement of their flight. They have to hand to the SAE:

· A detailed bill (mentioning their name, trip, arrival and departure dates and cost)

· Their bank details

. Boarding passes

October 10

1 st payment of the scholarship (September and October). The next payments are made monthly, between the 5th and the 10th.

Competition tests in Sciences

There is no specific reading programme. After the pre-selection in November, the board of examiners conceives tests in order to evaluate candidates’ abilities to analyse, conceptualise and synthesise information. They also assess the scientific or literary culture and intellectual curiosity of candidates as well as the relevance of their projects.

The 2 oral tests are:

  • Oral interview on your major, 1 hour at least. This test might include a written preparation - Weight 6
  • Oral interview on the candidate’s scientific culture, major and minor, and motivation, from 45 minutes to 1 hour, including 15 minutes of preparation - Weight 3

Exercises are both in French and in English. The candidate chooses to answer either in French or in English.

Some departments might propose oral test by videoconference.

Disciplines proposed are: Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive studies, Earth Science, Computing science, Mathematics, Physics.

Calculators or any personal document are forbidden.

Reports and previous examination questions

Reports are written each year by the President of the Board of Examiners as well as test coordinators. They provide information on requirements and examiners’ expectations to help candidates with their preparatory work. 

See previous years tests

Results of International selection in Sciences

List of selected candidates for session 2018: results

 

Mis à jour le 24/4/2017