How to apply to study in France

Education

Depending on the personal situation, 3 procedures are offered to students or future students in France:

  1. Applying for a Bachelor degree from the 1st year
  2. Applying for a Bachelor degree from the 2nd or 3rd year or a Master degree
  3. Applying for a PhD

Also in this article: applying in the arts field; confirming your enrollment

TAKE NOTE:

Etude en France (Study in France) is an international student application platform managed by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. International students from around the world complete this application prior to studying in France. It is each student’s responsibility to complete their Etudes en France application accurately.

All students accepted into an institution of higher education in France, and who are going to study for a period of more than 3 months, need to create an account on the Etudes en France platform before they can complete their visa application on France-Visas.

The EEF platform is used to apply for all levels of study (L1, L2, L3, Master’s and PhD) for the 2022 academic year.

 

THE FRENCH ACADEMIC YEAR STARTS IN SEPTEMBER EACH YEAR!

Generally, applications start in October the year before.

Refer to the institution’s website for the exact application dates and procedures to follow if the institution is not connected to the EEF platform, or if you do not have a Campus France office in your country (Lesotho & Malawi).

Click here to consult the application calendar for this year!

Take note! Only students residing in South Africa may use the EEF platform to apply to universities in France!

 

1. I WANT TO APPLY FOR A BACHELOR DEGREE FROM THE 1ST YEAR

If I have a non-European Secondary diploma (South African matric – NSC/ IEB)

DAP Procedure (white or yellow)

Would you like to apply for the first year of studies (Licence – L1) or the first year in Health Studies (PASS) in a French public university? In that case, the DAP (Preliminary Admission Request) is a mandatory procedure that a candidate must complete.

The DAP application procedure allows you to choose up to 3 courses and apply up to 3 universities, or 2 institutions for architecture. The White DAP is for normal applications to public universities, whereas the Yellow DAP is aimed for Architecture schools and institutions. Either way, the choices should be ranked based on your order of preference.

Applications for the academic year 2022/2023 starts on October 1st 2021 and ends on December 15th, 2021.

Applications are completed on the Etudes en France platform.
For a guide on how to complete your White or Yellow DAP application, click here

Important: French language exam (TCF or DELF) is mandatory for DAP

As part of the L1 registration, a compulsory test is organized by the French Language Institutes (TCF DAP, Delf-Dalf, TEF) to evaluate the candidates’ written and oral comprehension of the French language, as well as their writing skills.

If you have a DELF B2, then you are exempt from this test.

More information on exams and language tests: https://alliance.org.za/

 

If you are applying for a BTS, CPGE, DCG, then your application is on https://www.parcoursup.fr/. For more information, click here.

DAP vs Parcoursup? Click here.

Click here for a guide to the Etudes en France application procedure.

 

If I have a French or a European Secondary diploma (Baccalauréat)

If you are preparing a French or European baccalaureate (high school diploma), you must make your applications on the “Parcoursup” platform. This also applies for A-levels.

 

Once you’re accepted in a programme through DAP or Parcoursup, you must visit the complete your preconsular visa procedure through Campus France and then visit the France-Visas platform.

 

2. I WANT TO APPLY FOR 2ND/3RD YEAR (BACHELOR) OR FOR A MASTER DEGREE

I want to enrol in a public university (Licence, Master, B.U.T), a Business School or an Engineering School?

These are applications outside of the DAP procedure (Hors DAP or HDAP) and are completed on the Etudes en France platform.

Application dates for the academic year 2022/2023 are from 01 October 2021 to 15 December 2021.
IMPORTANT: Some universities require a parallel application. Make sure to verify the application procedure with the university/ies that you are interested in!

Click here for a guide to the Etudes en France application procedure.

 

3. I WANT TO APPLY FOR A PHD

Contact the doctoral school or potential supervisor directly.

If you would like to do a PhD, we advise that you read our article dedicated to PhD studies in France.

For the PhD, you must apply to a Doctoral school (attached to a university) by contacting the university directly.

Important: Each university centre holds its own calendar with specific application and registration deadlines. Doctoral offers are generally published in January, and state an application deadline between April and May for the start of the academic year in September of the same year.
Nevertheless, you can contact potential supervisors throughout the year to inquire about potential topics or to propose your own research topic.

 

Enrolling in an arts and architecture programme

The CampusArt platform is the entry-point for enrolling in an arts programme in France. It offers approximately one hundred institutes that offer programmes in fine art, design, fashion, music and architecture, from preparatory classes to the Doctorate.

The CampusArt application area is accessible from anywhere around the world. A single file is used for applying to several institutes or programmes at the same time. The filing fees are only invoiced if you are accepted. For more information, you can also consult the DAP vs Parcoursup article.

Once you’re accepted in a program through CampusArt, you must visit the France-Visas platform to start your visa procedure.

Important: You need to be fluent in French (B2 level at minimum)!

 

HOW DO YOU CONFIRM YOUR ENROLLMENT?

After your application is accepted (Licence, Masters, etc), you must confirm your enrollment in your university before classes start. For universities, final enrollment includes an administrative component and a pedagogical component. The first consists of filling-in your administrative file; the second involves you choosing a program and options (optional classes, sport, etc.).

Your university will then give you a certificate of school attendance and a student card that attest to your legal status as a student. The documents are given to you in person, after payment of enrollment fees has been received.

Note: for international students, these two procedures are done in France, when you arrive at the university (unless otherwise stated by your university).

THE LAST STEP: REGISTERING FOR CLASSES

On arriving in France, you—and every other student—will have to take the last step before classes begin. That last step to register in person at your new institution. As part of the registration process, you will choose your courses for the upcoming term and pay any balance due for tuition and fees.

When you register, you will receive a certificate of enrollment and a student ID card. These are important—they confirm your legal status as a student. These documents are delivered in person, and generally only after you have settled any outstanding balances.

For more information about preparing your stay in France and settling in upon arrival, click here!

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