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Ecole normale supérieure, Paris

45, rue d'Ulm Paris View map
#43
<2K
Public
Very High
1,907
178
374

Overview

The École normale supérieure (ENS) is a grande école, meaning it is outside the mainstream public university system in France. ENS is based in Paris and was originally conceived during the French Revolution, to provide the fledgling French Republic with a new body of professors, trained in the critical spirit and secular values of the Enlightenment. 

Providing a platform for students to pursue careers in government and academia is still its priority, and during their studies some ENS students actually hold the status of paid civil servants. Its alumni have gone on to make a significant contribution to the fields of science, math and philosophy. They include Louis Pasteur, the chemist who evented pasteurization, the feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir, and world-renowned thinker Michel Foucault.  

The school is small and selective: there are only 2,400 students in total, with 400 undergraduates, and 1,400 academic members of staff. The core student body, called normaliens, are admitted through a competitive exam called the concours. There are classes to prepare for the concours exam that last two years, and lead to two hundred normaliens being enrolled each year, half in the sciences and half in humanities. They receive a monthly salary of around €1,300 and in exchange sign a 10-year contract to work for the state. 

Student life at École Normale Supérieure is somewhat different from at other universities. For a start, students have the opportunity to live and study in the very heart of Paris. The university’s main Ulm campus is located in the Quartier Latin (Latin Quarter), with its ancient main building and cloistered courtyard, the Cour aux Ernest, which is adorned with busts of French thinkers, researchers and scientists who left their mark on history. 

It’s here amid the rue d’Ulm and rue Lhomond that the humanities and sciences departments are based, and where many students live. The district is renowned for its student life and lively streets, its numerous cinemas, theaters and bars, as well as some of the most prestigious academic institutions of Paris, such as the Sorbonne universities, the École des Mines de Paris, and the École des Arts décoratifs. 


University Highlights

Total students - 1,907

93%
7%

International students - 374

2%
98%

Total faculty staff - 178

75
103

Total students - 1,907

93%
7%

International students - 374

2%
98%

Total faculty staff - 178

103
75

Undergraduate Program

< 2,000
The fees above are an indicative annual course fee in US dollars. Please note that course fees will vary. Always check the exact cost of the program and bear in mind likely additional expenses.
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