FAQ about International selection
École Normale Supérieure (ENS) is a higher education establishment for pre-doctoral and doctoral studies (graduate school) as well as a top-level research centre in France. ENS counts fifteen departments for education and research, spanning the main disciplines in humanities and sciences. It is the 1st French institution in many rankings.
ENS Paris is situated in the very heart of Paris, in the “Quartier Latin”, which has been known for centuries for its rich intellectual and cultural activity. It is a wonderful place to live and learn.
All documents for the application must be submitted on the on-line application portal.
Each year, the international office receives around 1600 applications, but only 320 to 340 of them are complete with the eligibility criteria respected. Around 70 to 80 candidates are on the shortlist and come to Paris. 20 students are finally selected to become the scholarship holders of the international selection.
Passport or ID card is not to be translated.
High school degree and university transcript must be in French or in English.
- International selection Arts & Humanities: Letter of motivation, study project and bibliography must be in French.
- International selection Sciences: letter of motivation and study project can be either in French or in English.
Yes, your referees can choose their own format.
If you want to, you have to fill out the application in April, on ENS’ Website. Admission to DENS doesn’t award you with any grant, but you will have the same career as a student admitted through the International selection, i.e. you will prepare both a master and the DENS diploma.
Some departments open applications to their master. For more information: www.ens.fr
During the interview, the candidates must introduce themselves for a maximum of 10 minutes to present their background and academic and professional projects.
Then the jury asks them questions for 10 minutes.
Jury members are French or foreign teachers, teaching at ENS or in any other university. The jury list is displayed on the ENS’ Website at the beginning of the tests.
Visas and Campus France
Candidates needing a visa to enter France apply for a visa “concours à entrées multiples 3 mois”.
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.
Some of those countries have specific programs and procedures for the application on Campus France. For more information, contact SAE by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +33 1 44 32 31 08.
No, campus France doesn’t forward any application to the international selection. But you need a pastel account on Campus France to apply for a visa to come for the tests.
ENS will not cover your travel expenses. But you can ask for a partial reimbursement if you are a non-European citizen. ENS offers each student tickets to have breakfast and lunch at the School restaurant.
Candidates invited for the tests can ask for a room (subject to avialability). The price for 10 nights is € 250 (and € 30 for each additional night). During the tests, bed linen is provided, as well as a pillow, a blanket and towels.
The international selection grant is € 1 000 a month, for 36 months. ENS is allowed to credit only a French bank account with this sum. That’s the reason why you have to open a French bank account.
In public universities in France, tuition fees are paid by the State.
Registration fees are evaluated each year. They are around € 600 to € 800 for the academic year.
In Paris, the living cost is around € 800 per month. The cost for food is € 280 to 300 per month.
- International selection Arts & Humanities: In Arts and Humanities, courses are in French.
- International selection Sciences: In Sciences, they are either in French or in English, depending on the department.
- International selection Arts & Humanities: Candidates in Humanities must read and write French easily enough to be able to understand courses and tests (B1 level), butwe don't require any official langauge degree.
- International selection Sciences: In Sciences, no level is officially required.
Students selected through international selection are allowed to ask up to 2 gap years during their studies (either annual or biannual). During the gap year (or semester), the grant is not paid.
The department of your major chooses your tutor.
You are given his/her name in August or September.
Yes, if selected by international selection, you must enrol in the ENS’ Diploma. To obtain this diploma, you have to earn 72 ECTS (credits) in addition to the credits you need for your master. You have 3 years to get these credits.
Yes, if selected, you must enrol in a Master (sometimes, you enrol first in the last undergraduate year, depending on the level of recruitment), either at ENS or in one of our partner universities.
Yes, ENS proposes French lessons all year round, at different levels.
An intensive French course is also offered to foreign students at the very beginning of September.
If admitted, you can ask for a room (the rent is € 320 a month). It is furnished but is not equipped with household linen. For more information: www.ens.fr/en/campus-life-paris