PhD programs

le doctorat à l'ENS

The PHD programs offered at the École normale supérieure is closely linked to research. More than 80% of the ENS students decide to pursue a PHD in France or internationally, while 700 PHD students, from the ENS or other institutions, are welcome in ENS laboratories. The work accomplished by PHD students is crucial for the scientific advancement of the ENS laboratories. At the end of their education, the PHD students receive a PHD degree that is highly valued to pursue a high-level career, especially an international one. 

Preparing a PHD at the ENS is conducted under the supervision of a director associated with an ENS laboratory within a graduate college or “École doctorale“ (ED) recognized by PSL. It is a three-year program leading to a public defense of the PHD dissertation when the student is given the “PHD diploma of PSL prepared at the ENS“.

The PHD dissertation can be academic, or linked with economic matters. Some grants and fundings for the PHD students are given after selection by the EDs that have fundings through different partner institutions, research agreements, private funds and companies’ investments (see le dispositif CIFRE). The PHD students can also be selected under certain conditions for complementary paid missions (teaching, scientific publications, expertise). 

The list of the completed or in progress PHD dissertations in French graduate institutions is available at

For more information, go to

Mis à jour le 4/5/2017