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Important information

Target audience

AudienceAsylum seekers, Statutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Beneficiaries of temporary protection, Stateless people, French citizens
Level of FrenchB2, C1, C2


Have a end of high school level

Where is it?

Applying to university

Updated on il y a 3 mois

What is it?

Registering at university allows you to start or continue studies in France.

There are 3 types of higher education establishments in France:

  • public universities
  • private universities
  • large public or private schools.

There are around 80 public universities on French territory, in all fields (sciences, letters, languages, arts, human sciences, health, sport, etc.).

They are financed by the French State and deliver national diplomas (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate).

The main conditions for enrolling at the university are:

  • have the baccalaureate level or have completed high school (12 years of school) (step 1)
  • have at least a B2 level in French (step 2).

Take the time to find out about universities and training courses (step 3), and prepare the documents for your file in advance (step 4).

The registration dates and procedures for sending a file are different depending on the universities and courses: it is essential to know the university calendar (step 5).

Private universities and large public or private schools have specific registration conditions and procedures and often chargeable training. It is advisable to contact each establishment separately for information before starting registration.

How to do it?

You must have an equivalent of the baccalaureate or have completed high school (12 years of school) in your country of origin.

  • If you have a foreign diploma, you can request a certificate of comparability of your diploma from the ENIC-NARIC center (national information center on the academic recognition of foreign diplomas in France). You need to show official documents (diploma, transcripts, training certificate, etc.). The certificate given by the ENIC-NARIC center is official, but has no legal value and is not obligatory. Each university is free to request, accept or refuse this certificate to register.

    > Read: the Réfugié sheet “Having a foreign diploma recognized in France”
Depending on the university, if you have a Master 2 in your country of origin, you may be accepted into a Master 1 or a Master 2 in France, but not always into a doctorate directly. Sometimes you have to do another year again. It is therefore advisable to apply for a certificate as soon as possible, to know at which level to register.

Level B2 in French is required to register at university.

But certain courses, such as law or social sciences and in general all Masters, require level C1 in French.

There are several methods to certify the level of French:

There is no certification that is easier or more complicated to pass, each has its own particularities.

> To read: the Réfugié sheet “Having an official certification of the French level”

If you are not able to take an official language certification, it is sometimes possible to ask the university to assess your level of French (assessment interview, written test, etc.).

If you do not yet have level B2 or C1, you can apply for "DU Passerelle" training: it allows refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary and temporary protection, stateless people and asylum seekers to reach the level of French to study at university. The name, duration, program and criteria are different depending on the university.

> Everything is explained in the Réfugié sheet “Doing bridge training”
> DU Passerelle training courses in France are referenced here .
> The form to apply for the DU Passerelle d’Île-de-France is here .

Training can be offered by several universities in France, and some universities have specialties. It is therefore advisable to choose according to the place you live, your skills, your projects, the number of places available, etc.

To help you find a university, the Campus France site allows you to search for courses by field of study and by region:
- license level (bac +1, bac + 2, bac +3) by clicking here ,
- master level (bac + 4, bac + 5) here .

You can also ask for help:

Refugee students can also be accompanied by a CROUS advisor after registration.

A - To register for the first year:

 You must withdraw, complete and submit a file to the university. You have to phone or contact the education department or the international relations service of the university _ by email _ to find out where to collect the file to complete.

B - For other years:

 The file must be completed online on the university website.


 Good to know : A CV, cover letters, copy of your diploma(s) obtained and a French level certificate are generally required.

The documents requested for the application file are generally:

  • A CV
  • A cover letter
  • An official certification of the French level
  • The diploma(s) obtained in your country of origin translated(s)
    OR the ENIC-NARIC comparability certificate
    OR the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR)

> Read: the Réfugié sheet “ Request the official translation of a document

If you send an application to several universities, you must adapt your cover letter to each training course.
Explain what you have done before and why you want to do this training, even if you have changed fields or stopped studying for a while.

Other documents may be requested depending on your situation (certificate of training completed in France, employer certificate, letters of recommendation, level of English, etc.).

If you need to send your file by email or download it from the website of the university that interests you, you must have all the documents in electronic version (PDF format).

> To read: the Réfugié sheet “Scan a document”

> For registration in the first year of the license

Between January and March, registration requests must be made on “Parcoursup”, a website which brings together and distributes future students. Each student chooses several universities and several courses (“formulation of wishes”).

Between March and April, each student confirms their “wishes” and sends application files.

Between June and July, Parcoursup makes the distribution between the students and the chosen universities (“main admission phase”).

If you are accepted, classes start between September and October.

> For registration from the second year of license

It is not necessary to go through Parcoursup, you can contact the university directly using the contact details of the training manager or on the eCandidat website. Check the dates on the website carefully.

> For master’s registration

You must go to the My Master website while respecting this schedule .

> For registration for DU Passerelle training

Everything is explained in the Réfugié sheet “Take a DU Passerelle course”

DU Passerelle courses in France are referenced here .

The form to apply for the DU Passerelle in Île-de-France is here .

Application periods, deadlines and training durations are different each year and for each university. It is advisable to contact the education department or the international relations department to find out the schedule and send the file at the right time.
Beneficiaries of international protection (refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary or temporary protection, and stateless persons) do not need to make a prior admission request (DAP) to apply to university. Asylum seekers must make one.

What happens next?

Beneficiaries of international protection (refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary or temporary protection, and stateless persons) do not pay registration fees at public universities.

  • You have the possibility to request financial aid to live properly during your studies.
    > Everything is explained on the Réfugié sheet “ Apply for a scholarship
It is not possible to be a student and receive RSA (Active Solidarity Income sent by CAF), except in 2 situations specified here .

If the registration dates have passed, it is sometimes still possible to register: you must contact the university directly (tuition service, training manager, reception office for mobile students, etc.).

If it is no longer possible to register for training or if your application has not been accepted, you can follow online courses while waiting for the next registrations, for example with:

You do not receive an official diploma at the end of these training courses. But it is possible to have a certificate which confirms that you have completed distance learning. Some distance learning courses require payment.
More information about online training here .

You can also continue to practice French to progress before registering for the next training:

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