First Graduating Class of the École Polytechnique Bachelor of Science Program
A virtual ceremony took place on July 17th 2020 in order to celebrate the graduation and success of this first Bachelor of Science class. This program, a pioneer in France, has attracted talented students with international profiles, confirming the competitive level of École Polytechnique and France as a whole in the global higher education and research landscape.
"Ecole Polytechnique launching this Bachelor Program with all of you was a game-changer, as it helped position l'X as a key French player in the fierce competition for the best scientific students after high school. Thus, it created a one-of-a-kind course, carried by your dedication: a multidisciplinary program anchored in the French scientific rigor and theoretical approach, while cultivating team-spirit and soft skills within an international environment", stated Eric Labaye, president of Ecole Polytechnique and of Institut Polytechnique de Paris while greeting the graduates.
Launched three years ago, this program, backed by research and taught entirely in English by École Polytechnique teacher-researchers, was intended to pave the way for higher education courses of excellence on an international level. With more than 70% of students having been admitted into programs at the best universities worldwide such as MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Columbia University, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, ETH Zurich, EPFL, or the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Bachelor of Science program at École Polytechnique has fully achieved its goal. These varied choices post-graduation demonstrate the international aspects of the program and its reputation. The multidisciplinary characteristic of the program (double majors – Mathematics & Computer Science, Mathematics & Economics, Mathematics & Physics) also played a key role in the variety of graduates’ choices.
"Academically speaking, this program is extremely enriching and provides with a strong mathematical background allowing to draw fascinating connections between the world around you and deep mathematical concepts. I believe that it is indeed one of the most complete programs in terms of the richness of the experiences and scientific knowledge that you can acquire in just three years", says Raymond Diab, a Lebanese-Belgian BX 2020 Math/Physics student who will now pursue a PhD in Physics at the MIT.
"Because of the small size of the program and the high teacher to student ratio, professors and administration are really very accessible and helpful. They’re all very accommodating, responsive to our remarks, professors and TAs are always eager to discuss their subject", tells Kayo Yin, a Math & Computer Science student. This fall, Kayo will attend Carnegie Mellon University for the Master in Language Technologies where she will gain further research experience in Natural Language Processing before aiming for an R&D industry position or a PhD.
"I would foremost recommend the bachelor program because of the immense amount of things I have learned. Leaning how to think and abstract can be more important than learning the material itself on many occasions. Whether you are looking to study pure math or planning on going into industry, I think this program is a good choice", said Elzette Janse Van Rensberg, a Math & Economics student.
"I would secondly recommend the program for its intimate and cohesive spirit", added the South African student who graduated from the International School of Kenya in Nairobi before joining the program. She plans to attend Oxford University for the Master of Sciences in Statistical Sciences and had been admitted to the Imperial College London (MSc. Machine Learning), the Technical University of Munich (MSc. Data Engineering and MSc. Actuarial Sciences), École Polytechnique (MSc Economics, Data Analytics…), and the LSE (Msc. Financial Mathematics). She also received an excellence fellowship at EPFL for a MSc. Financial Engineering.
With 67% international or bi-national students, the Bachelor program brings together students from more than 30 different countries in the last three classes of the program combined. These students, now all proficient in French (at least B2 level), have developed a strong attachment to France.
"You are carving out the way for your peers behind you and are not only the very first ambassadors of our Bachelor Program all around the world, but also ambassadors for France and French education in general", stressed Eric Labaye.
As the first graduating class, the BX 2020 students have gone through a unique experience, as shown by their testimonials and true attachment to their community. Some students will continue their studies in France at Institut Polytechnique de Paris or in other prestigious French institutions such as ENS Ulm or HEC Paris.