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PhD in France: Best Universities, Requirements, Fees, Scholarships, Scope of PhD in France for Indian Students

Yocket Editorial Team

France produces over 15,000 doctorates graduate each year. Thus it isn’t wrong to say that studying PhD programs in France is a wise decision. France’s education system is globally recognized but apart from this, the affordable fees is a turning point that attracts millions of international students to continue their higher education here.

 PhD is one study level that is garnering popularity. The country also offers multiple scholarship opportunities to conveniently assist PhD research and studies. Thus if you’re keen to study PhD in France, this blog covers all the essential information to help you get started. 

Table Of Contents:

  1. Why Study PhD in France?
  2. An Overview Of PhD In France For Indian Students
  3. Top 5 PhD Universities In France To Consider In 2022
  4. Eligibility Criteria For PhD In France
  5. Admission Requirements To Pursue PhD Programs In France
  6. Documents Required for PhD In France
  7. Cost of Studying PhD In France In English
  8. Scholarship Opportunities For PhD In France For International Students
  9. Career Opportunities To Study PhD In France

Why Study PhD in France?

Before you can apply for PhD in France, let’s understand why this country is the preferred choice by multiple international students:


  1. Affordable Tuition Fees

To study PhD in France for international students the fee ranges between 243 EUR- 30,000 EUR/year. However, most French universities waive off the tuition fees and instead ask students to pay the registration fees. 


  1. Work Contracts

Most French host universities fund doctoral programs in the form of fellowships. This means that PhD students here receive work contracts of up to 3 years or in another equivalent format. 


  1. PhD in English

The great news for international students here is you can study PhD in France in English as well. The language of instruction is also available in French and covers other languages as well based on the universities offerings. 


  1. Top PhD Universities

Lastly, pursuing PhD in France for Indian students takes place with QS-ranked universities. To name a few are HEC Paris, University PSL, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Toulouse School of Management, etc. 

Suggested: Work Opportunities in France for International Students


An Overview Of Ph.D In France For Indian Students

So what to expect from a PhD in France? Here is an overview of PhD studies in the best education system globally:



Study Duration

3-6 years

Total PhD universities in France


Total PhD programs in France


PhD application openings

January and April

France Admission Intakes (All study levels)

January and September

Average PhD tuition Fees

380 EUR- 30,000 EUR/year

Language of Instruction

French, English (other languages too)

Popular PhD courses

Arts, Management, Sciences, Engineering, Business, etc

Total PhD awards



Top 5 PhD Universities In France To Consider In 2022

There are multiple popular PhD universities in France. All of them are QS-ranked and offer multiple PhD programs and specializations. Here is an overview of the top 5:

  • University PSL
  • Institut Polytechnique de Paris
  • Toulouse School of Management
  • HEC Paris
  • Rennes School of Business

University Name

Popular PhD programs

Average Tuition Fees


Universite PSL

PhD in Economics, Literature, Geography, Health, etc.

380 EUR/year

Paris, France

Institut Polytechnique de Paris

PhD in Physics, Biology and Chemistry, Mathematics, etc

Annual registration fee ( 256 EUR- 391 EUR/year)

Palaiseau, France

Toulouse School of Management

PhD in Finance, Marketing, Human resource management, and organizational behaviour, etc

Tuition fee waived. Annual registration fee ( 243 EUR- 980 EUR/year)

Toulouse, France

HEC Paris

PhD in Management, Finance, Accounting, etc

12,000 EUR- 30,000 EUR/year ( Tuition fee waved)

Jouy-en-Josas, France

Rennes School of Business

PhD in Artificial Intelligence, Qualitative Methods, etc

500 EUR/year

Rennes, France

Suggested: Studying In France - A Career Option!

Eligibility Criteria For PhD In France

French universities have certain eligibility criteria that need to be met. While these criterias differ from one university to another, there is a standard criteria that is followed by all:

  • A Bachelor's or Master's degree
  • English language proficiency
  • Motivation to join the university
  • Good Academic record
  • Professional Experience


1. A Bachelor's or Master degree

To join any PhD program in France, international students need to clear either a Bachelor's degree or Masters in France in the respective field of the course chosen or equivalent. 


2. English language proficiency

International students need to pass an English language proficiency test as part of their application process. The widely accepted exams are TOEFL (100) and IELTS (7.5). 


3. Motivation to join the university

Most French universities accept students who have the right zeal, energy, and purpose to join the university. 


4. Good Academic record

International students with good academic records are highly considered and have better leverage over others. 

5. Professional Experience

While professional experience isn't mandatory in most French universities, having one can enhance your application better. 


Admission Requirements To Pursue PhD Programs In France

Here is an overview of the admission process for PhD in France requirements:

  • Find a PhD in France you wish to pursue 
  • Choose your thesis and thesis supervisor. Get it approved by the university
  • Apply to the university and ensure you fit all entry requirements
  • Attend scheduled interview either online or face to face
  • Once confirmed, apply for a student visa and funding

Suggested: Steps in applying for visa in France


Documents Required for PhD In France

To complete your PhD in France requirements, international students need to submit all supporting documents. Ensure the below is checked:

  • Degree certificates
  • CV (Resume)
  • All educational transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Thesis chosen + Thesis supervisor selected
  • English language proficiency test results
  • Two online references
  • Passport photo and ID proof
  • Research material
  • Application Fee payment ( 50 EUR- 60 EUR)


Cost of Studying PhD In France In English

The cost of studying PhD in France is determined on two factors, tuition fees and cost of living. 

Let’s learn about them one by one:


Tuition Fees

The tuition fee to pursue PhD programs in France is 380 EUR- 30,000 EUR/year. However, most French universities waive off the tuition fees for all PhD students and instead ask them to pay an annual registration fee that ranges between 243 EUR- 980 EUR/year. 


Cost of Living

The cost of living in France ranges between 600- 800 EUR/month. If you’re studying in the top cities in France, living costs will range between 650- 1800 EUR/month. Your expenses will be accommodation, transportation, health insurance, personal expenses, etc. 


Scholarship Opportunities For PhD In France For International Students

While France offers affordable fees to pursue PhD in France for Indian students, the country also provides fully funded PhD in France scholarship opportunities too. Here is an overview of the popular ones:

Scholarship Name


Raman Charpak Fellowship

Pursue PhD programs in France in any science-related subjects (material sciences, computational sciences, etc)

  • Provides 1500 EUR/month for daily expenses + social security charges
  • One return air ticket
  • Insurance coverage
  • Additional support of up to 500 EUR for students traveling for workshops/seminars to host countries

Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program

Pursue doctoral research in France while being a part of a joint doctoral program. Subjects include science, social and human sciences)

  • Provides 1700 EUR/month
  • Provides international air travel, health insurance, local transportation, etc

PSL PhD Track Grants

Pursue Masters and then continue PhD studies for the same

  • Grant amount- 10.000 EUR/yea for 2 years of Masters
  • Equivalent of PhD contract based on french legislation

HEC Paris- Specialised Fellowship in Strategy and Business Policy Specialization

Pursue PhD studies

Awards 20.000 EUR broken into 5 years of PhD studies. 

Rennes SB Scholarships

Pursue PhD research positions

  • Receive 24,000 EUR/year scholarship contract
  • Onboarding services
  • Access to a learning center, etc

Suggested: Best scholarships in France for international students!


Career Opportunities To Study PhD In France

After you graduate from PhD universities in France, there is a range of job profiles available for you to choose from. On average PhD graduates can earn up to 46,000 EUR/year. 

The job profiles differ based on your subject choice. Here is an overview of PhD job profiles available and the average expected salary:

Job Profile

Average Salary

Assistant Professor (French Literature)

67,407 EUR/year

High School Teacher

54, 188 EUR/year

Management Consultant

45,711 EYR/year

Senior Data Scientist

62,113 EUR/year

Sales Consultant

63,465 EUR/year

France has a new identity in 2022, the new choice for higher education abroad. Pursuing  PhD in France opens doors to the best experts in the industry, graduate from QS-ranked universities, and indulge in meaningful learning that will enhance your career path. While this information is sufficient, make a confident choice by speaking to our Yocket counsellors today. 



Frequently Asked Questions About PhD In France

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Is it worth doing a PhD in France?

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