École Polytechnique, France: Ranking, Tuition Fees, Cost of Living and Admission Procedure

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École Polytechnique was founded in 1794 under the “École Centrale des Travaux Publics” which was established to cope with scarcity of senior managers and engineers in France. Renamed “École Polytechnique” in 1795, its primary mission is to give students a solid scientific training based on chemistry, physics and mathematics and also to train them to be incorporated in the special schools of public services of the State.

This institution has now grown to be a leading French institution that combines high level research, teaching and innovation at the foremost scientific and technological level. The institution lays great emphasis on a culture of excellence with a strong scientific influence anchored on noble humanistic traditions. The school trains responsible men and women who can be innovative to meet the society’s current and future challenges by carrying out complex research.

The school boasts of a strong alumni network and is known to have produced many mathematicians, economists, chemists, and renowned French state officials – Paul Levy, Maurice Allais, Jacques Rueff, Henri Becquerel, Augustin Fresnel, Louis Armand, Fabienne Keller, Georges Besse, and Albert Caquot amongst others.


The L’Usine Nouvelle L’Étudiant ranking of 2016 put the École Polytechnique at number 1 for the Best Universities of Science and Technology.

In the 2015/2016 QS World University Rankings of the Best European Universities, this institution grabbed the 13thplace and was No. 40 of the 863 Best International Universities.

4th position in the world in the 2017 Times Higher Education ranking of Best Small Universities. Based on the Fortune 500 “Alma mater index”, it was ranked No. 4 in the Global Higher Education Institutes for the Training of Entrepreneurs.Also, it was ranked at No. 16 in the world’s 150 most international universities.

It was ranked No. 6 in the Global higher education institutions for the number of Noble laureates among its graduates, published in Nature.

In the 2017 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, École Polytechnique was number 6 in the World’s top performing universities in terms of employability of students.

The institution was ranked at No. 36 in the 2016 Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) top 1000 universities.

In terms of international scientific publications, it was ranked No. 66 in the world’s top 750 universities in the Leiden 2015 ranking.

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Departments of the École Polytechnique

  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Economics
  • Humanities and Social Science Department
  • Department of Informatics
  • Languages and Culture
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Department of Applied Mathematics
  • Department of Mechanics
  • Department of Physics
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship


The École Polytechnique has a long history of picking the best students, locally and internationally. The school welcomed its first foreign students from northern Europe as far back as 1798 and the first Chinese student in 1913. Each year 500 polytechnic engineers (100 international students inclusive), 250 masters’ students (with half of them being international students), and 130 doctoral students (of which 40 percent are international) are incorporated in the institution.

The school is due to graduate students of the Bachelor program as from 2020. The Bachelor program is a highly selective three-year course. The language of instruction is English and it is aimed at both French and international students with high potential. The course is primarily based on hard sciences (Mathematics in the first place) and an openness towards the humanities and social science. Students will then choose an area of specialization in their second and third year.

  • For entry into year one, applicants must hold or is expected to hold before the commencement of the program, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
Program Relevant Majors / “Diplômed’ingénieur”
Internet of Things: Innovation and Management Bachelor’s degree in Technology, Science, Engineering or Mathematics
Corporate Strategy in New Markets Bachelor’s degree in Economics and/or Mathematics
Energy Environment Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Science or Physics
Metroeconomics Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Economics, Civil engineering and/or Transportation Studies

Candidates with other degrees may be considered if they have a strong background in the above subjects. Candidates must have a particularly exceptional Mathematics background as all academic programs involve a high level of mathematics. Moreover, the École Polytechnique is ranked among the world’s top 20 in Mathematics.

It is advised to include a personal statement about all the relevant courses (including mathematics courses).

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  • Only two academic programs likely offer a direct entry into the second year – Corporate Strategy for New Markets and Energy Environment: Science Technology and Management. Other graduate degrees only admit students in year 1.

Admission into year 2 is highly selective and students must have a minimum level of academic requirements:

Program Relevant Majors
Corporate Strategy in New Markets Master’s degree or M1 in Economics with emphasis on Quantitative Economics, or a “Diplômed’ingénieur” with a strong background in Quantitative economics
Energy and Environment Master’s degree or M1 in Applied Physics or Mechanics, Environment or Energy, or “Diplômed’ingénieur”with a major in Environment, Energy, Physics, Electrical Engineering or Mechanics.

The admission committee will evaluate the quality and relevance of the bachelor’s degree. The individual grade for the courses, the Graduate Point Average (GPA), academic awards and class rank will also be taken into account.

Masters at École Polytechnique

Masters at École Polytechnique cover a range of subjects: chemistry, economics, biology, physics, sciences for energy, computer science, mechanics, mathematics and environmental sciences. Each program has its own specific financial condition and are usually in two-level diploma – Master 1 and Master 2.

PhD Program

The PhD program offers research training to students who wish to pursue a career in academic institutions or leading companies internationally. Each student is supervised individually by a research expert. The PhD program is a single integrated five-year program leading to the diploma of Doctor.

Language Requirements

Candidates must be proficient in English Language. Accepted tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL IBT) and the Cambridge General English Tests. Minimum scores are 90 for TOEFL IBT, 6.5 for IELTS and Grade B – 176 for the Cambridge tests.

Applicants can submit their applications without English tests, provided that they hold an English taught degree completed in an English-speaking country. However, the committee reserves the right to refuse exemption requests.

Speaking French isn’t mandatoryto gain an admission into the Graduate degree programs but some basic French language skills are needed for everyday life in France.

Application Procedure

Candidates are required to create an account in the application website, fill in the application form and upload the required documents. The supporting documents should include scanned copies of transcripts of all previous post-secondary education, scanned copies of degree certificates, official letter from the candidate’s university explaining the grading system, personal statement, CV or resume, copy of passport or ID and a copy of TOEFL/IELTS (taken less than two years before).

The application fee is 80 euros (approx. 90 US dollars) for graduate degree programs and is non-refundable. Applications are reviewed in rounds, 3 times in a year.

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The École Polytechnique is best at creating value thatinspires students to excel. This institution places emphasis on the development of students.