Exact sciences

Studies in the exact sciences are varied. You will find a presentation of the different courses and establishments as well as a few factsheets on some of the existing scientific careers.


Scientific studies

Faster telecommunications, more effective medical treatments, a more pleasant way of life, a cleaner environment... The sciences offer exciting studies, innovative applications and guaranteed career opportunities. Scientists are in demand in both industry and the service sector.


Short studies

The BTS (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur) is prepared in 2 years after the Bac in secondary schools. The BUT (Bachelor Universitaire de Technologie) is prepared in 3 years after the Bac in the Instituts Universitaires de Technologie (IUT) which are part of the university. Professional bachelor's degrees are aimed at students with 2 years' higher education. They often provide specialisation in a specific field that corresponds to a professional project with a view to entry into working life.


Scientific degrees

There are around 15 scientific bachelor's degrees. These take 3 years to complete at university. Universities generally offer an L1, or even a L2, in the form of one or more multidisciplinary portals. For example: Maths-Physics-Computing or Physics-Chemistry-SVT. For 1 or 2 semesters (sometimes up to 4), students have time to try out different scientific disciplines before specialising in one area.


Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles (CPGE)

Classes Prépas offer a 2-year general education with a strong emphasis on science and technology. Above all, they prepare students to sit the competitive entrance exams for engineering schools. They are selective, based on applications, and require a great deal of hard work on a regular basis.

Maths plays a central role in all Prepas; the weighting of other scientific subjects (science and technology, physics and chemistry, computer science, engineering sciences, biology and biotechnology) varies according to the stream chosen.


Become an engineer

In France, as in many other countries, the word "ingénieur" primarily refers to a regulated professional title that is only awarded after specific training, normally of a scientific and/or technological nature, and only by institutions recognised by the CTI (Commission des titres d'ingénieurs).

There are several possible routes, but almost all of them have in common a strong scientific and technical focus, and a compulsory number of years of higher education: Bac+5.


Careers in science

Of the students who go on to study science, only a minority will go on to a truly 'scientific' career. Young graduates easily find their way into management positions, including finance and human resources in companies. A large number of them (mainly graduates of Grande Ecole) also go into finance, as jobs in this sector make extensive use of mathematical models. An even smaller number of students, attracted by research and participation in the creation of new knowledge, will become researchers or teacher-researchers.