The ENS today

ens aujourd'hui

At the same time a French grande école and a university, the Ecole normale supérieure provides in Paris, at the heart of the Quartier latin, excellent training through research, leading to various teaching and research professions, and contributes to train through research the senior executives of public administrations as well as of French and European companies. The ENS also defines and applies scientific and technological research policies, from a multidisciplinary and international perspective.

Intellectual freedom, multidisciplinarity in humanities and sciences, individual attention to students, bountiful campus life, gathering students and professors from all disciplines, form the heart of the specificities of the Ecole normale supérieure. Since more than 2 centuries, the ENS prepares its students to the most various openings and the highest responsibilities, while being fully invested in the intellectual, scientific and cultural debates of its time – in particular through the multiplicity of the normaliens’ engagement.

Training through research

The training of the normaliens is based upon:

  • an internationally recognised research centre ;
  • a diploma open to the world (lien vers “Diplôme ENS”) anchored in disciplinary training through research, completed by:
  • linguistic and international openness (more than 20 modern languages taught, built-in stays in other countries)
  • beyond the walls experiences (in associations, professional environment, utilities, NGO, private companies…)
  • multidisciplinary training
  • intensive international mobility, with numerous foreign visitors, who are students, researchers or professors
  • tailored and original study paths.

While the world of work undergoes profound changes and seeks profiles capable of anticipating, adapting, presenting arguments, innovating, the normaliens’ training opens them a wide variety of openings in France and abroad. More than 80% of the normaliens continue studying for Ph.D programmes, which stand for international passports to high-level careers


The admission to the Ecole normale supérieure goes through 3 different kinds of competitive examination:

  • the élèves normaliens have the status of trainee civil servants and are recruited after a 2 or 3 years course in the preparatory classes to the elite schools (classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles
  • the normaliens étudiants, French or foreigners, recruited through the competitive examination for students (concours étudiants) or through the International selection 


Located in the heart of Paris, the Ecole normale supérieure boasts all the key features for student campus life: living and study spaces, libraries, sports and cultural facilities, etc.


The Ecole normale supérieure maintains close relationships with various partners, in France or abroad, in particular within the framework of international agreements, corporate sponsorship and initiatives taken by private individuals, relying on partner foundations.

Université PSL

The École normale supérieure is a member of Université PSL. This institution has been founded by 25 prestigious institutions established in Paris which have gathered together. All these institutions have in common to train their students through research and are all willing to create disciplinary convergences, make innovation and creativity more dynamic, attract and train the best students and make of research a real growth driver.


Mis à jour le 26/4/2024