International selection

Key dates

Sciences

  • Application between October 15 and December 9, 2020
  • Application dossier to be submitted between October 15 and December 11, 2020
  • Shortlist : January 21, 2021
  • Tests: Between January 27 and February 10, 2021
  • Admission results on February 12, 2021

 

Arts and Humanities

  • Application between October 15 and December 29, 2020
  • Application dossier to be submitted between October 15 and December 30, 2020
  • Shortlist : February 12, 2021
  • Tests: Between March 1 and March 16, 2021
  • Admission results on March 22, 2021

Presentation

The Ecole normale supérieure aims at varying its students’ profiles and incorporates students to be enrolled in the 3rd year of bachelor in Math and in Computing science (licence 3) or 1st year of master (master 1), coming from all over the world and from all disciplines. The competitive examination of the International selection is intended to young graduates in Arts & Humanities as well as Sciences, who justify at least of one year undergraduate studies in a foreign university and distinguish themselves with outstanding results.

The examination takes place in 2 steps: a selection based upon application, then oral and written exams (Arts&Humanities) or oral exams only (Sciences) for shortlisted candidates.

ENS opens 10 positions in Sciences and 10 positions in Arts& Humanities.

Joining ENS through the competitive examination of the International selection gives access to training of excellence, through contact with exceptional researchers, in a privileged training and research environment. Integrated to the community of the normaliens, international students continue their studies at ENS and at the university at the same time, while benefiting from a 1000 euros/month grant for 3 years and from a room on one of the ENS campuses. At the end of their studies, these students have graduated with a master degree in their speciality and with the diploma of École normale supérieure.

Eligibility criteria

  • Candidates must be under 26 when they apply (must not have reached their 26th birthday)
  • Candidates apply only once to the International Selection
  • Candidates must not have lived in France more than 10 months during the academic year of the selection (September 1st – August 31st) nor the previous year.
  • Candidates must justify at least one year of undergraduate studies awarded by a foreign university (outside France) during the calendar year preceding the start of applications.
  • Candidates justify at least two years of undergraduate studies in a foreign university (outside France), on the 1st of September following admission.

 

On rare occasions, the Director of ENS may authorise applications from candidates whose academic background is non-standard.

Procedure

Application to International selection according to the calendars below.

  • If your file is complete, it is submitted to the jury.
  • If the jury selects your dossier, you are invited to take written and oral tests.
  • The marks obtained at the tests determine the list of admitted students.

NB: Applicants interested in the Department of Cognitive Studies (DEC) can apply using the Science or Arts&Humanities forms indiscriminately. This document shows the differences between these 2 options. All candidates MUST contact the DEC in order to choose the right way, based on their personal academic background.

International selection in Arts & Humanities
Program and choice of academic disciplines

During their 3 years of study, students from the International selection discover Paris in exceptional conditions. Above all, they benefit from the intellectual freedom and multidisciplinarity characterising training at the ENS. Beyond the outstanding academic results expected from the candidates, ENS looks for young students driven by curiosity, open-mindedness and a taste for research. ENS is rich of the diversity of its students’ profiles, experiences and origins, and is concerned with enhancing the aptitudes of each one. For studying Arts& Humanities, we recommend you to be fluent in French. 

The training begins with a welcome event (1 day) and 3 weeks of conferences and debates in Sciences and Humanities, department visits, intensive French lessons, cultural visits of Paris as well as activities and entertainments organised by the various student associations of ENS.

Read more about the ENS graduate degree in Arts & Humanities

Academic disciplines offered through International selection in Arts&Humanities: Anthropology, Archeology, Classical studies (Greek, Latin), Cinema, Theater studies, History of Art, Musicology, Cognitive sciences, Economics, Political studies, Geography, History, History and Philosophy of Law, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology.

Application dossier

 

List of documents to be submitted on the dedicated platform:

  • Detailed application form: HERE
  • Passport-1st page only (for non-European candidates) or ID card (for European candidates)
  • High school diploma
  • University transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter (1 to 3 pages long fon : Times New Roman, 12 pt and 1.5 line spacing) - written in French; Candidates in Economics, Linguistics or Cognitive studies must submit their motivation letter both in French and in English
  • Research project of 3 pages maximum (10 000 characters including spaces).  This is not a cover letter but a research project: it should address a well-defined topic and deal with a core issue, then develop a set of arguments and provide for a few hypotheses. The material the research project relies on (e.g. fieldwork, corpus, database, archives, etc.) has to be precisely described. The research project refers to an existing scientific literature while selecting a small range of relevant and informed references.This project includes a bibliography (list of 10 books, including articles or literary works you have read and which turned out to be important in your intellectual career). It comes in addition to the study project. - written in French; Candidates in Economics, Linguistics or Cognitive studies can submit their  project either in French or in English

All these documents must be deposited, merged as a unique Pdf, on a platform whose link will be sent once you have filled your initial application form on http://www.ens.fr/une-formation-d-exception/admission-concours/concours-selection-internationale-0

This unique pdf  must be named “Family Name-Given Name.pdf”

  • 2 to 4 letters of recommendation sent by Email by your referees; Sample to downmoad HERE

If incomplete, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Schedule in Arts and Humanities

Dates

Actions

Between October 15 and Decembre 30, 2020

  • Apply before December 29: application portal
  •  All documents must be submitted on the application portal before December 30. Once validated the initial application form (link above), the candidate receives an Email in order to create an account where to submit the complete application dossier.
February 13, 2021

Admissibility results published online and at ENS

Shortlist on: https://www.ens.psl.eu/en/academics/admissions/international-selection

All candidates receive an Email, whether they have passed this first step or not

   
   
Between March 1 and 16, 2021

Admission tests by videoconference:

-One writen test

-Two oral tests

   
   
   

March 22, 2021

Admission results published online and at ENS

All candidates receive an Email, whether they are admitted or not

After March 23, 2021

The admitted candidates receive:

 · An invitation letter

· An attestation for the visa (by Email and/or postal mail)

 · A list of documents to prepare for the administrative registration in September (University diplomas translated and certified, a birth certificate translated and certified, 3 ID photos,..)

· Information about French lessons

· Information about ENS, administrative registration, multifunction card, Health office, Health insurance (i.e sécurité sociale), liability insurance, opening a French bank account, residency permit

 

The admitted candidates must:

· Apply for a visa for studies, i.e "visa long séjour pour études"

· Prepare the documents required by ENS for the administrative registration

 

Beginning of the French courses for foreigners

Septembre 2021

Administrative registration with:

· Setting up of the scholarship

· Dossier for the residency permit application (if needed)

   

October 2021

1st payment of the scholarship (September and October). The next payments are made monthly, between the 5th and the 10th.

Competition tests in Arts & Humanities

There is no specific reading programme. After the pre-selection, the board of examiners conceives tests in order to evaluate candidates’ abilities to analyse, conceptualise and synthesise information. They also assess the scientific or literary culture and intellectual curiosity of candidates as well as the relevance of their projects.

The 3 exams are:

  • A written exam in French, related to the candidate’s discipline - Duration: see here - Weight 1.
  • An oral exam in front of a panel of the candidate’s discipline - Duration: see here - Weight 2.
  • An interview about both the candidate’s academic background and project, in front of a single panel for all candidates - Duration: 20 to 30' - Weight 2.

The regulations for distance tests are avialable for consultation HERE.

Both the oral exam and the interview are conducted in French. The candidate may use English.These exams will be organised as distance exams. They will be detailed later on our Web page

Disciplines proposed are : Anthropology, Archeology, Classical studies (Greek, Latin), Cinema, Theater studies, History of Art, Musicology, Cognitive studies, Economy, Political studies, geograph, History, History and Philosophy of Law, History and Philosophy of Sciences, Linguistic, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology.

Dictionaries or any personal document are forbidden.

 

Reports and previous examination questions

Reports are written each year by the President of the Board of Examiners as well as test coordinators. They provide information on requirements and examiners’ expectations to help candidates with their preparatory work. 

See previous years tests

Results of International selection in Arts & Humanities
International selection in Sciences
Program and choice of academic disciplines

Students from the International selection are driven by curiosity, open-mindedness and a taste for research and innovation. Benefiting from good material and financial conditions (they are accommodated and receive a grant), they can dedicate themselves to their studies within a prestigious institution, while discovering Paris and living a good life.

They benefit from advanced training in their major scientific discipline and also from a multidisciplinary training, which allows them to improve their knowledge in other disciplines in Sciences and Humanities. The pursued training is customised thanks to a mentoring system. From the outset, the training is research-oriented, with lessons in their major disciplines given by the best researchers and with internship periods in laboratories.

The training begins with a welcome event (1 day) and 3 weeks of conferences and debates in Sciences and Humanities, department visits, intensive French lessons, cultural visits of Paris as well as activities and entertainments organised by the various student associations of ENS.

Read more about the ENS graduate degree in Sciences

Academic disciplines offered through International selection in Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Earthscience, Computing science, Mathematics, Physics, Cognitive sciences

 

Curriculum for the medallists of the International Mathematical Olympiad: HERE

Application dossier

List of documents to be submitted on the dedicated platform:

  • Detailed application form: HERE
  • Passport-1st page only (for non-European candidates) or ID card (for European candidates)
  • High school diploma
  • University transcript
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter (1 to 3 pages long : Times New Roman, 12 pt and 1.5 line spacing) - writen either in French or in English

All these documents must be deposited, merged as a unique Pdf, on a platform whose link will be sent once you have filled your initial application form on http://www.ens.fr/une-formation-d-exception/admission-concours/concours-selection-internationale-0

This unique pdf  must be named “Family Name-Given Name.pdf”

  • 2 to 4 letters of recommendation sent by Email by your referees; Sample to downmoad HERE

If incomplete, your application will not be taken into consideration.

Schedule in Sciences

Dates

Actions

Between October 15 and December 11

  • Apply before December 9: application portal
  •  All documents must be submitted on the application portal before December 11. Once validated the initial application form (link above), the candidate receives an Email in order to create an account where to submit the complete application dossier.

January 21, 2021

Admissibility results published online and at ENS

Shortlist on: https://www.ens.psl.eu/en/academics/admissions/international-selection

All candidates receive an Email, whether they have passed this first step or not

   
   
   
   
  Personnal invitation to the tests is sent by Email

Between January 27 to February 10, 2021

Oral tests by videoconference according to the schedulle decided by each scientificdepartement

 

February 12, 2021

Admission results published online and at ENS

All candidates receive an email, whether they have passed this second step or not

After February 13, 2021

The admitted candidates receive, or can be handed directly at the SAE:

 · An invitation letter

· An attestation for the visa (by email and postal mail, or they can come to the SAE and be handed it)

 . A list of documents to prepare for the administrative registration in September (University diplomas translated and certified, a birth certificate translated and certified, 3 ID photos,..)

· Information about French lessons

· Information about ENS, administrative registration, multifunction card, Health office, Health insurance (i.e sécurité sociale), liability insurance, opening a French bank account, residency permit

 

The admitted candidates must:

· Apply for a visa for studies, i.e "visa long séjour pour études"

· Prepare the documents required by ENS for the administrative registration

 

Beginning of the French courses for foreigners

September 2021

Administrative registration with:

· Setting up of the scholarship

· Dossier for the residency permit application (if needed)

   

October 2021

1 st payment of the scholarship (September and October). The next payments are made monthly, between the 5th and the 10th.

Competition tests in Sciences

There is no specific reading programme. After the pre-selection, the board of examiners conceives tests in order to evaluate candidates’ abilities to analyse, conceptualise and synthesise information. They also assess the scientific or literary culture and intellectual curiosity of candidates as well as the relevance of their projects.

The 2 oral tests are:

  • Oral interview on your major, 1 hour at least. This test might include a written preparation - Weight 6
  • Oral interview on the candidate’s scientific culture, major and minor (if applicable), and motivation, from 45 minutes to 1 hour, including 15 minutes of preparation - Weight 3

Exercises are both in French and in English. The candidate chooses to answer either in French or in English.

Disciplines proposed are: Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive studies, Earth Science, Computing science, Mathematics, Physics. Candidates choose 1 major (mandatory) and 1 minor (optional).

Calculators or any personal document are forbidden.

Reports and previous examination questions

Reports are written each year by the President of the Board of Examiners as well as test coordinators. They provide information on requirements and examiners’ expectations to help candidates with their preparatory work. 

See previous years tests

Results of International selection in Sciences

Mis à jour le 12/2/2021