Higher education

Like most European countries, France organizes university studies according to the BMD system: Bachelor-Master-Doctorate.

Higher education
This system covers three levels: bachelor's degree (3 years of studies after obtaining the Baccalaureate diploma = Bac +3), master's degree (2 years = Bac +5) and the doctor's degree (3 years = Bac +8). 
Degrees awarded in France are generally recognized by the State, which supervises the quality of education. This includes national degrees from public institutions (schools and universities). Degrees and diplomas awarded by the Grandes Ecoles of engineering and management are subject to extremely strict certification procedures. 

There are also a large number of degrees which are specific to each establishment. Don't let yourself be intimidated by the broad variety of diplomas proposed in the higher education system; see it as a prized feature of the French system.
Every diploma corresponds to a strictly defined qualification and course of studies, which is not always the case elsewhere. Your French degree clearly indicates what you have studied and what you are able to do. 

With the BMD system, your diploma is accompanied by a document that lists your course of studies, including knowledge acquired and activities related to your training. 

Students sign up for a major (their main interest) and also choose optional courses. Courses are grouped by U.E.s (Course Units), which are composed of a predefined number of credits. Students must have enough credits to validate their year and obtain a diploma. Courses are organized as CM (lecture courses), TC (tutorial classes) and TP (practical work). 

To obtain a Bachelor's degree, your must earn 180 credits in three years. 
For the Master's: 120 credits in two years. 
For the Doctorate: 300 credits in three years. 

For more information on the French system of higher education, click here.
Lyon has a large number of universities and schools. To see the list, click here.  

The University of Lyon COMUE* is a key component of university life. 
*Communauté d'universités et établissements (Community of Universities and Establishments)

Things to know

There is no automatic equivalence between foreign and French diplomas. An equivalence request allows evaluating the number of years of French higher education corresponding to studies made in the country of origin and is made when applying for admission. It also takes into account professional experience in the area concerned. Only the receiving establishment is qualified to accept admission and determine the level of admission.


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