Distributed among the southern Parisian suburbs lie the several campuses of Paris-Sud, including the biggest, 236 ha campus of Orsay. The University of Paris-Sud is one of the largest French universities, but also one of the most renowned in the fields of science and mathematics. The main campus hosts many of the top French laboratories in the fields of physics, electronics, nanoscience, and more, but it is also home to laboratories for biology, chemistry, engineering, and technology. About 30,000 students are currently enrolled at Paris-Sud. The university is also affiliated with two Nobel Prize winners of physics and a number of mathematicians awarded with the Fields Medal. They are dedicated to high-level research and understanding the word, but also to respond to the needs of society and the integration of students and doctoral students.
Get to know the University of Paris-Sud
As in other French universities, education is organized with the LMD system (Licence-Master-Doctorat). Paris-Sud offers 11 Bachelor’s degrees, 49 Master’s degrees and 31 vocational degrees in subjects like pharmacy, biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, technology, but also law, economics, management, or sport and physical education. There are 20 Master’s degrees taught in English, but no Bachelor’s degrees.
Learning languages at Paris-Sud is highly encouraged. The language department offers courses in French as a foreign language and even a special university diploma in French for students to get up to speed with the language before starting their French master’s degree at Paris-Sud. In addition, the university offers classes English, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, and Chinese.
Applying at the University of Paris-Sud
The admission process can take a long time, so the university recommends that you initiate your admission about a year before actually moving to France. As common in French universities, you first need to send an application and Paris-Sud will decide whether you have the requisite knowledge of studying in France. You can find out where and how you need to send your application by answering the three questions in this form on the Paris-Sud website. Unfortunately, they do not provide an English version at this point.
After a successful application, you will be awarded a skills endorsement certificate, which will allow you the further academic enrolment. The academic enrolment or the registration for courses typically starts in July each year and is organized by the responsible faculties and institutes.
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Students’ Opinions on the University of Paris-Sud
Clara was studying physics and was amazed by the curriculum, the location, and the well-organized studies. The professors, often with high academic degrees, are real experts in their fields and are passionate to teach and share their knowledge. Unfortunately, not all professors were such an inspiring presence to their students. Also, there are not many student’s clubs and associations, making it hard to socialize with others, especially because the university is quite far away from the city of Paris. If you are having a hard time approaching people, making new friends in Paris-Sud is not the easiest task. Had a similar experience like Clara at Paris-Sud? Make a new friend now!
Artubh speaks glowingly about the qualifications of the professors and the high scientific standards of the university. The experimental facilities are equipped well, making work and experiments more exciting. Also, being a student in the region of Paris-Sud gives you quite some respect and has some advantages. If you like to study in a place not so close to a city centre, the scientific environment of Paris-Sud might be the right choice for you. The English-taught classes are also at a fine level. Sadly, not speaking French can create some other obstacles in the administrative environment of the campus, as French is the language most spoken there. Looking for the right place to study science? Ask all your questions here!
Dali is enrolled as a PhD student and highly satisfied with the university, staff, and the courses. One thing she is missing is French courses that actually give you credits to help you advance with your PhD, since other foreign languages can give you those credits. This is something the university could improve for international PhD students. Any thoughts on doing your PhD in another language? Share them with us!
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When it comes to natural science or mathematics, Paris-Sud is the place to go in France. The university provides you with qualified staff, high-end laboratories and equipment, as well as the possibility to study in English and learn new languages. If the big city life is part of your student vision, you might get disappointed by the fact that the campuses of Orsay and the surrounding area are quite far away from Paris. If you are passionate about science and always wanted to get to know France, then you know where to apply.
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