France is among the top ten best countries to study Data Science because of its high-quality education and world-class teaching and learning facilities. Education in France, however, may be pretty expensive for international students. Non-EU/EEA students may also have an issue with visa requirements. Luckily, several universities in the country issue certificates or diplomas to part-time international students taking online courses.
The demand for globally competent data scientists increases with the rapid rise in available data in various fields, such as computer engineering, artificial intelligence, economics, and more. Data Science-related prospective careers available after graduation are among the most lucrative in today’s economy, increasing the number of students interested in the program.
As the world inches closer to more advanced technologies and society without any signs of backing down, many universities in France are investing in Data Science programs. Although the term Data Science is vague, French universities offer clear goals and course outlines, and relevant company internships to help students find a clear path to their future careers.
Top Universities for Data Science in France
1. École Polytechnique
Founded in 1794, École Polytechnique (L’X) is a top university for data science in France and a world-class French institution that has produced numerous renowned graduates, including three French Presidents, several economic leaders, and three Nobel Laureates. It consistently ranks among the top 2 best institutions in the country according to world rankings. L’X currently has 3,600 students—36% of whom come from 70 countries outside France. Roughly 40% of the academic staff also come from abroad.
The Bachelor’s Degree of the program lasts three years, and Non-EU students have to pay €16,800 per year. In their second and third years, students must select a double-major course in addition to Mathematics: Physics, Economics, or Computer Science. For the two-year Master’s Degree, students may choose among eight multidisciplinary programs. All programs are taught in English.
They may also pursue a five-year Ph.D. program, which can grant them a Master in Science degree after the first two years that include an intensive research internship. They may then earn a Ph.D. degree after the last three years. Outstanding Ph.D. applicants may receive an €8,000 scholarship.
2. EPITA School of Engineering and Computer Science
EPITA is one of the best data science schools in France. It was founded in 1984 and managed to climb up to a good spot in national rankings in less than 40 years. The school attracts international students with its international courses and English-taught programs. EPITA also offers summer language courses in French for non-native students.
The International Bachelor’s Degree is divided into six semesters that collectively last three years, making up 180 ECTS. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the global market after graduation. It is shown by the school’s high graduate employment prospects, employment rate, and annual gross salary.
Students may then pursue an English-taught Master’s Degree in any of the following fields: Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Artificial Intelligence Systems, or Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Strategy. The Master’s Degree programs include a 6-month in-company internship to help students acquire real-world skills.
CentraleSupélec is an excellent institution for data science in France that officially opened in 2015, but its roots date back to the 19th century when two institutions—Central School Paris (1829) and Higher School of Electricity (1894)—were opened to help France take an active role in the Industrial Era. Currently, French and international university rankings put the school among the top institutions.
The Master’s in Science program is divided into three periods. The first and second periods (P1 and P2) last eight to ten months, while the third (P3) lasts four to six months. P1 includes Refresher and Core Courses held at either CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus or ESSEC France Campus.
Students can take the Major in Data Science program by choosing at least four elective courses dedicated to the major for P2. Classes for this major are conducted at the CentraleSupélec Saclay Campus in France. The last period is for internship and the completion of the thesis.
4. EDC Paris Business School
EDC is a private institution and one of the best schools in France for data science founded in 1950. It became part of the Planeta Group in 2017, making it part of an extensive network of learners in three continents. The school has three campuses in France and another three abroad: Spain, Switzerland, and Morocco.
The school offers an English-taught Master of Science in Data Science and Business Analysis program with 120 ECTS in 24 months. Incoming students entering during the Fall Semester (September) must pay €26,500 annually. Those starting in spring must pay €13,000 in March and €15,900 in September.
The program aims to equip the students with data analysis and management skills they can use in the business sector. Graduates can gain competencies in four data science fields: Information Systems & Information Technology, Mathematics & Statistics, Business & Areas of Expertise, and Communication & Impact. With these skills, they can select from a wide range of prospective careers, such as Data Analyst, Data Consultant, or Business Intelligence Consultant.
5. Data ScienceTech Institute
Data ScienceTech Institute (DSTI) is a pretty young school that opened in 2015 and is considered as one of the best institutions for data science in France. It has two campuses: Sophia-Antipolis and Paris. Despite being young, the institute boasts a 100% employment rate among its graduates within six months after their internship. The number of students also grows by 15% annually.
The institute offers three Applied Master’s Degree programs related to Data Science: Data Analytics, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence, and Data Engineering for Artificial Intelligence. DSTI allows international students to select from three study setups: on-campus, off-campus, or SPOC—where students can study anywhere at their own pace.
The tuition fees for international students vary depending on the program and the setup. The Data Analytics program ranges from €10,500 to €14,200. Tuition fees for the other two majors range from €12,500 to €16,950, with the off-campus setup being the cheapest.
I hope that this article on Best Universities for Data Science in France was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Data Science Programs for International Students!