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     Universities                                                                                                             France’s system of higher education enrolls 2.2 million students,
                                                                                                                               two-thirds of whom attend the country’s 83 public universities.
                                                                                                                   The nation’s universities have responded to the
                                                                                                                   needs of today’s world by developing degree                    Training in medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry is provided
                       France’s 83 publicly financed universities are well                                         programs that prepare graduates for careers,                   only in the universities, which operate in close
                                                                                                                   including many in technical fields.                            cooperation with major teaching hospitals, known as
                       distributed around the nation, from the Sorbonne in Paris                                                                                                  CHUs (centres hospitaliers universitaires). Education in
                                                                                                                   • University-based engineering programs now confer 60%
                       (founded in 1257) to the high-tech campus of the University                                                                                                these fields is organized around a common curriculum.
                                                                                                                   of the engineering degrees awarded in France each year.
                       of Nice-Sophia-Antipolis. Private schools and institutes                                    • Career-oriented licence degrees, known as licences pro-      International students and medical education in France
                       play an important but relatively small role in French                                       fessionnelles, are available in 700 different areas.           It is not possible to enter the general medicine
                       higher education.                                                                           • Technical programs are offered in 25 specialty areas in      curriculum mid-way through. Unless they have already
                                                                                                                   university-based institutes of technology (IUTs, instituts     obtained a medical degree in their home country,
     The universities offer programs                                                                               universitaires de technologie).                                international students from outside the European Union
     in all disciplines,                                                                                           • Management programs are available in university-             wishing to study medicine in France must, regardless
                                                                                                                   based institutes of business administration (IAE,              of their academic preparation, enroll in the first year of
     including the sciences (mathematics, chemistry,
                                                                                                                   instituts d’administration des entreprises).                   the first cycle of medical education, known as PCEM, and
     physics, biology), technology (computer science,
                                                                                                                                                                                  must pass the examination given at the end of that year.
     engineering, electrotechnics, materials), litera-                                                             • Programs in political science and economics are based
                                                                                                                                                                                  Students who pass that examination may then jump to the
     ture, languages, the arts, the social sciences, law,                                                          in university-based institutes of politics (IEP, instituts
                                                                                                                                                                                  level that they had reached in their home country, subject
     economics, business, health and medicine, and                                                                 d’études politiques).
                                                                                                                                                                                  to an assessment by the program’s administrators of the
     physical education. All of the nation’s universities                                                          • Journalism and communication are taught in                   equivalence of the student’s prior preparation. It is also
     are public.                                            Research, a key function                               specialized institutes in several universities. Examples       possible to take the concours d’internat de médecine à
     The universities offer programs at every level;        of the universities                                    include CELSA at the University of Paris-Sorbonne              titre étranger (internship exam for foreign candidates),
     their graduates receive nationally regulated           Energized by 62,000 research faculty, 300 doctoral     and the Centre Universitaire d’Enseignement du                 but the number of places is very small. Information is
     degrees known as national diplomas: the                departments spread throughout the nation’s             Journalisme at the University of Strasbourg.                   available from France’s embassy in your country.
     licence (3 years), master (5 years), and doctorate     universities manage research programs in close                                                                        Specialized degree programs have been created for
     (8 years).                                             cooperation with more than 1,200 university-                                                                          international medical students and graduates. Beginning in
                                                                                                                   What are diplômes d’université (DU)?                           fall 2010, the DFMS (diplôme de formation médicale spé-
                                                            based laboratories. France’s doctoral departments
                                                                                                                   In parallel with the system of national diplomas, which        cialisée, 1–2 years) and the DFMSA (diplôme de formation
                                                            have always been open to international exchanges,
                                                                                                                   do not vary from one university to another, individual         médicale spécialisée approfondie, 6 months to 1 year) 
                                                            but the pace of internationalization has accelerated
                                                                                                                   universities offer degrees that are not regulated at the       replace the old AFS (attestation de formation spécialisée)
                                                            markedly in recent years. Of 67,000 doctoral can-
                                                                                                                   national level. These have a variety of names, the most        and AFSA (attestation de formation spécialisée approfon-
                                                            didates in French institutions in 2008, more than
                                                                                                                   common of which is diplôme d’université (DU). Another is       die). Developed in cooperation with a number of countries
                                                            25,000 came from outside France.
                                                                                                                   diplôme d’études supérieures d’université, or DESU. DU and     to meet their needs for advanced medical training, the
                                                                                                                   DESU programs reflect academic orientations specific to the    degrees are recognized in the graduates’ countries.
                                                                                                                   university or respond to regional economic imperatives.        All these programs require a good knowledge of French,
                                                                                                                                                                                  evidence of which may be required.
                                                                                                                   They are not national diplomas, but they offer international
                                                                                                                   students many opportunities to gain university-level           www.campusfrance.org
                                                                                                                   knowledge and experience in very specific areas.               > find your course > Subject information sheets
                                                                                                                                                                                  > Medicine
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