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Are you driven to start a research program in a leading French institute with top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology?


École Polytechnique offers a 5-years program designed for outstanding students of any nationality. It is a combination of a MSc (2 years) and a PhD (3 years).

Students work closely with academic tutors who will oversee their progress and help design their training with regards to their own interests and goals.

Students involved in the PhD program benefit from the attention and expertise of renowned experts in the following areas of research:

  • Applied Mathematics: Partial differential equations, Stochastic dynamics, Interacting Particles, Numerical analysis and numerical Probability, Statistical learning and computational statistics, Optimal control and differential games, automatics and robotics, Inverse problems, Applications to mechanics, physics, evolution and population dynamics, biology, economics, finance, shape optimization, signal and image analysis, data science
  • Biology: Biology and interfaces
  • Chemistry : Molecular chemistry, Chemistry of materials
  • Computer Science: Algorithms, complexity, combinatorics, constraints and optimization; Bioinformatics; Concurrent and distributed Systems, Security and Networks; Control (Hybrid) and Cyberphysical Systems; Symbolic Computation, Proofs and Types, Verification
  • Economics : Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Financial Economics, Economic Theory, Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics, Game Theory, Industrial Organisation, International Trade, Spatial Economics, Public Economics, Public Finance, Labour Economics.
  • Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship
  • Humanity and social sciences : Sciences and Technology History, Business and corporate History, Political Science, Ethics and philosophy, Litterature and Sciences, Cultures and Globalization
  • Mechanics: fluid and solid mechanics, environmental and geophysical science, bio-mechanics
  • Physics: Physics of the Two Infinities, High-energy physics; Optics, Lasers, and Plasmas; Nanoscience, Nanotechnology, Information, and Communications; Condensed Matter, Materials, Energy.
  • Pure Mathematics : Algebra & number theory, Analysis & partial differential equations, Geometry & dynamical systems

The first two years of the program are based on a customize selection of taught modules and lab experience to give students the tools to continue with a three-year long challenging research projects leading to a PhD degree of University Paris-Saclay.

Direct access to the program in the second year of the MSc may also be considered. (4-years PhD program).

While the program is rather demanding, students have the flexibility to refine their own goals and research interests within their chosen discipline during the first two years of the program. Direct access to the program in the second year of the MSc may also be considered.  In either case, progression to the PhD requires successful completion of the MSc.

Affiliation to École polytechnique is required during most of the program. Starting from the first year of the program, students work closely with academic tutors who will oversee their progress and help customize their training with regards to their own interests and goals.

Key steps:

>The application includes an interview to evaluate the students’ academic abilities, research interests and motivation.>Final acceptation within the program is conditioned by the fulfillment of the University Paris-Saclay admission rules for an MsC.>Shortlisted applicants will be assigned a tutor who will help to define a provisional 5-year study plan (this may be done via videoconference though face to face meetings are preferred).

Years 1 and 2 (MSc): 

>At the end of the fall term the student must submit a mid-year progress report and, with the tutor, define a research project, including the identification of a lab and a team.>At the end of each year: progress meeting and discussion of the study plan. Students may leave the PhD Program after year 1 or year 2 for personal or academic reasons; in this latter case, they may complete the Masters program.>Students are expected to complete an intensive research internship at the end of the first and second years of the program.

Years 3 to 5 (PhD): 

>During the period, at least one year must be spent teaching, participating in scientific outreach program or consulting for industry.>Annual progress reports at the end of years 3 and 4 plus a provisional timeline for year 5 at the end of year 4.>Written dissertation demonstrating the results of original research meeting the requirements for a PhD at the University Paris-Saclay.>Successfully orally defend the PhD research

Costs and funding:

Years 1 and 2 (MSc): 

>Annual Scholarship of 8,000€ minimum funded by the “Fondation de l’École polytechnique”>Annual registration fees: 256€ (rate applicable in 2017-18)>Annual compulsory social security fees: 217€ (rate applicable in 2017-18)

Years 3 to 5 (PhD): 

>Successful candidates will obtain a 3-year PhD scholarship with a minimum monthly gross salary of  1,750€ (rate applicable in 2017-18)>Annual registration fees: 391€ (rate applicable in 2017-18)

Entry requirements:

>Academic ability: Applicants will be chosen according to the excellence of their academic records (“Licence”, Bachelor or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline.>Applicants should demonstrate their strong interest in research in a written personal statement.>Two letters of recommendation from renowned academics supporting the application (motivation and suitability for research) are required.

During the first two years of the program, students will hold the status of Masters student and will obtain PhD candidate status upon successful completion of their Masters degree with distinction. Students wishing to continue in the PhD program must submit a formal application after completion of the Masters program.

With the support of “Fondation de l'École polytechnique” (FX) http://www.polytechnique.edu/fondation/page-accueil

For more information on postgraduate studies at École Polytechnique see : https://www.polytechnique.edu/en/masters-programs