Universities in France are quite popular among those who plan to get an education abroad. Studying in the Universities of France has long since become a sort of tradition among people all over the world seeking the best opportunities in terms of Bachelor’s or Master’s educational programs. The tradition is more than 800 years old.

Back in the time when Sorbonne was established prospective students applied to different universities in order to acquire a degree in Law, Medicine, and Engineering. Today nothing has changed. The trend remains. Here are the statistical data:

  • Every year about 2 million foreigners are enrolled at different universities based in France.
  • The majority of the prospective students come from Asia, America, and Africa.
  • As a rule, students prefer the universities located in the following cities: Paris, Montpellier, Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg, and Toulouse.

Whether you are interested in Bachelor’s educational programs or post-graduation opportunities, there is one important thing you need to keep in mind: as a foreigner, you will be required to prove your command of the English language. (If the program you choose is taught completely in English and English is not your native language).

The most convenient way to prove your fluency in English is to pass the IELTS exam. The certificate you get is acknowledged by universities all over the world, including the ones in France. The exam is quite complicated, so make sure you have enough time to prepare for it. It has 2 modules General and Academic. The General Module is for those who plan to work abroad whereas the Academic Module is for those who plan to study. The test itself consists of four parts (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking). Your results in each of the sections will be assessed on a scale of bands from 0 to 9. The total score is based on the average of the bands you get in each of the sections. This is the score that will be taken into consideration at the stage of application.

So, what are the minimum IELTS scores that foreign applicants need to get if they want to study in France? Let’s see…

Minimum IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in France

1. University of Sorbonne

The most well-known public university in France allows students to study for free. With 32 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners, the university has been contributing to the world as far as academic excellence and competent professionals go.

The main building of the university houses 3 faculties: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Medicine. The faculty of Law is based in the Pantheon-Assas University which is part of the Sorbonne University complex.

2. Pierre and Marie Curie University

  • IELTS Band Requirement: minimum of  6.0

This university, which merged with Sorbonne in 2018, is the best option for those who want to build a career in the area of medicine and health. It ranks high in the League of the European Research Universities.  The minimum IELTS score to attend this university in France is 6.0.

3. University of Strasbourg

  • IELTS Band Requirement: minimum of 6.5

The university previously consisted of 3 campuses that were united in 2009 in the context of the university reconstruction process. The University of Strasbourg welcomes students who want to study at one of the following faculties: Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Applied Language Studies, Faculty of Economics and Management, and Faculty of Foreign Languages and Cultures.

4. Jean Moulin Lyon University

  • IELTS Band Requirement: band 6.5 (no section score below band 6.0)

Being part of the Lyon Academy, the university is comprised of 3 campuses. In total, it has 6 faculties. It will be an ideal option for those who want to study law, foreign languages, arts and civilizations, philosophy, management, and technology.

5. University of Montpellier

  • IELTS Band Requirement: minimum of 6.0

The oldest and one of the largest universities in France consists of two united higher education institutions and Paul Valery University which still remains independent. The university has many faculties and a set of schools providing knowledge and education in the areas of administration, technology, and engineering. This university in France requires an IELTS Band of 6.0.

6. Aix-Marseille University

  • IELTS Band Requirement: minimum 6.0

The youngest of the universities in France is gaining popularity rapidly. Currently, it is the largest university by the total number of students and staff. If you plan to build a career in the area of literature, politics or law, economics or management science or health, this university should definitely be on your list of higher education institutions to consider.

7. Paul Sabatier University

  • IELTS Band Requirement: minimum 6.5

This is one of the most highly-ranked universities in Toulouse offering a wide range of educational programs in sciences, technology, health, and athletics. The university also carries out research in the fields of chemistry, computer science, climate, and earth sciences.

Based on the information provided above the conclusion that can be made is the following: those aiming to be enrolled in one of the universities in France need to pass the IELTS exam with at least band 6.0. That is understandable. In order to develop new skills and acquire new knowledge, you should have a good command of the English language. Without it, you won’t be able to complete the courses successfully and get a Diploma.

Make sure to invest enough time and energy into the process of preparation. Your efforts will certainly pay off. Upon graduation from one of the universities in France, you will get a Diploma acknowledged worldwide. This is a great first step on the way to a successful career in the future. Besides, while studying in France you will have an opportunity to improve your ability to speak French. (All foreign students are offered French Language courses conducted at the universities they study in). That is one more advantage because employees fluent in several languages have the privilege when applying for this or that position.


We hope that this article on the IELTS Band Requirements for universities in France was helpful.  If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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