10 Best Medical Schools in France-Cost & Rankings

Did you know that France Is the most-visited country in the world with approximately 89 million people visiting every year to take in the culture, enjoy diverse palatable cuisines, and wines, and for tourist attractions?

France, a country located in Western Europe, encompasses beautiful medieval cities, alpine villages, and Mediterranean beaches. Paris which is the capital city is famous for its fashion houses, monuments like the Eiffel Tower, and much more. 

France was voted the best place in the world to live for the fifth year in a row by International Living magazine, which has been analyzing data and publishing its annual Quality of Life Index for 30 years. Can you beat that?

Aside from the beautiful culture and cuisines, France houses the largest art museum in the world, so large that it would take you approximately 100 days to go through the entire museum if you decide to spend 30 seconds admiring each piece of art. France is indeed a beautiful place.

Why study in France?

France is without doubt one of the best education destinations in the world. Here are a few reasons:

Aside from having the best institutions, tuition fees in France are quite attractive.

Quality higher education is tailored to suit students’ academic needs.

France offers outstanding research and development opportunities.

The country France is a world-class economic power and houses leading international corporations: Airbus, Total, Orange, L’Oréal, to mention a few.

Young talents are valued in France’s innovation and entrepreneurship sectors.

Paris in France is the #1 student city according to QS Best Student Cities ranking in 2014.

France is unarguably an appealing study destination for students worldwide and according to research, 9 out of 10 international students recommend France as a study destination.

Why Study Medicine in France?

France is one of the few countries that has an age-long great medical tradition that has gained international recognition. A typical example is the13 Nobel prizes won by French Citizens for physiology/medicine and nearly 80 medical breakthroughs achieved by French practitioners between 1950 and 2011. Here are some of the breakthroughs: the first kidney transplant from a related donor (1959) and the allogeneic face transplant (2005) to mention a few.

The medical profession is highly prestigious and offers a great deal of autonomy in France. As a medical doctor, if you choose to work in your own practice, there are numerous options to do so and a relatively high level of demand.

If you desire to pursue your medical practice in France, then it’s best you study medicine in France because gaining your training and knowledge in the country where you want to practice is essential and very helpful indeed as France prides itself on its educational system.

French professionals in the medical field are usually respected internationally. You will also be able to enjoy a high salary, excellent working conditions, and flexible work hours. A Doctor/ Physician in France typically earns around 116,000 EUR per year. Salaries range from 42,800 EUR (lowest average) to 197,000 EUR (highest average) depending on your area of specialty.

How to Become a Medical Doctor in France

First, you need to overcome the language barrier. Becoming a medical doctor in France is nearly impossible without fluent French language as almost all the undergraduate medical courses are taught in French. To this end, you will need to ensure you speak a good level of French before you enter medical school or you can enroll in a French language course in your college for free while undergoing your medical program.

Medical studies in France vary between 9 years long for a general medical degree and 11 years, for specializations. Students will enter three cycles of study, starting with the first one just after finishing the equivalent of high school.

In order to gain admission to the university of medicine, students have to present their baccalauréat results (having graduated from a French high school) or equivalent from other countries. Subsequently, you need to pass an entrance exam.

Once you have enrolled in one of the best medical schools in France that will be listed subsequently in this article, you will finish your studies with a residency period to which you have access following exams which are taken at the national level, allowing you to obtain a ranking with which you can then choose where to do your residency.

The residency or third cycle of studies is also open to students coming from the European Union, Switzerland, Andorra or other states which are part of an agreement with France in this regard, who did not study medicine in France.

During residency, a total of 6 different rotations are expected together with theoretical seminars, depending on your specialty. In the end, you will prepare a residency thesis that is focused on research, and which you will have to defend.

In order to actually practice as a doctor in France, you need to both obtain a DES (diploma of specialized studies) at the end of your residency and pass your thesis defense. In the end, you receive a diploma in medicine.

Once you have your DES and you have successfully defended your thesis, you will not be qualified to work as a medical doctor in France yet until you register with the Ordre des médecins. Only when accepted within this order, will you receive a medical license and can also practice as a doctor. 

Students who have finished their studies and obtained their diploma can apply to receive their license from the national council of the Ordre des Médecins after which they can either choose to seek employment in a hospital or begin their own personal practice and be set to have their best life.

Best Medical Schools in France

  • Sorbonne University
  • Paris Diderot University
  • Aix- Marseille University
  • University of Bordeaux
  • University Paris Sud
  • Claude Bernard University
  • University of Montpelier
  • University of Strasbourg
  • University of Lille
  • The University of Nice- Sophia Antipolis

Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University in French: Sorbonne Université; la Sorbonne: AKA ‘the Sorbonne’ is a public research university located in Paris, France. The institution was established in 1257 by Robert de Sorbon as one of the first universities in Europe then bearing Sorbonne College. In 2018 the prestigious Pierre and Marie Curie University and Paris- Sorbonne University which had the best medical schools were further merged into Sorbonne University making the institution remarkably outstanding.

Sorbonne University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Europe and the world. It has a world-class reputation in academia and industry; Known for its selectivity, Sorbonne University is one of the most sought-after universities by students and researchers from France, Europe, and the French-speaking countries. Sorbonne University, France can boast of having one of the best Medical Schools.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #2 in France
  • #120 in Europe
  • #338 in the World

Programs offered: The Sorbonne University Faculty of Medicine shapes the doctors and health professionals of tomorrow, from their first year of study to their third cycle, by offering a range of degree programs including paramedical training in speech therapy, psychomotricity and orthoptics.

Admission Requirements: Each candidate must present an official diploma attesting to level C1 in French unless he holds a French baccalaureate.

The selection is based on the marks of the baccalaureate in the science subjects (Maths, Physics, Chemistry), your motivation, and your plans for the future. 

Tuition: Bachelor’s degree (foreigners): 189 USD/year, Master’s degree (foreigners): 266 USD/year. Living expenses: $906 -1,621 USD/month.

Paris Diderot university

Paris Diderot University, also known as Paris 7, in French: Université Paris Diderot was a French university located in Paris, France.

It was one of the inheritors of the historic University of Paris, which was split into 13 universities in 1970. Paris Diderot merged with Paris Descartes University in 2019 to form Paris Cité University.

It was established as a multidisciplinary university “of humanities and health sciences” “des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Santé”.

It focused on the areas of medical sciences, biomedical sciences, law, computer science, social sciences, economics, and psychology.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #1 in France
  • #97 in Europe
  • #283 in the World

Programs offered: Université Paris Cité provides its students with international joint programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as programmers taught in English. 

Being the first health faculty in France, it offers high-level training and cutting-edge research in Medicine, Pharmacy and Odontology. Its strength and potential position it as one of the leaders in Europe.

Admission requirements: TOEFL: 83 | IELTS: 6 | PTE: 62 | GRE: 301 | GMAT: 540 and GPA of 2.0. Visit Admissions for more information on admission requirements and processes for international and exchange students.

Tuition: Bachelor’s degree (citizens): 996 USD/year, Master’s degree (citizens): 996 USD/year. Bachelor’s degree (foreigners): 187 USD/year, Master’s degree (foreigners): 255 USD/year. Living expenses: $906 -1,621 USD/month.

Aix- Marseille University

Aix-Marseille University (AMU), in French: Aix-Marseille Université; formally incorporated as Université d’Aix-Marseille is a public research university located in the Provence region of southern France.

It was founded in 1409 making it one of the oldest university-level institutions in France. The institution came into its current form following the reunification of the University of Provence, the University of the Mediterranean and Paul Cézanne University in January 2012, resulting in the creation of the largest university in the French-speaking world.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #3 in France
  • #144 in Europe
  • #412 in the World

Programs offered: Medicine: General medicine, Dentistry. Midwifery: General education, State diploma of midwifery.

Rehabilitation Sciences: Occupational therapy, Orthoptics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech therapy. Nursing: Bachelor’s degree, Advanced Practice, Diploma of health executive, State diploma of a nursery nurse.

Admission requirements: Aix Marseille University requires students to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in order to stand a good chance to get admission into Aix Marseille University.

Students must also participate in other activities like sports, and lead some projects and community services to improve their chances of admission.

Tuition: Bachelor’s degree(citizens): 996 USD/year, Master’s degree(citizens): 242 USD/year. Bachelor’s degree (foreigners): 187 USD/year, Master’s degree (foreigners): 3,754 USD/year. Living expenses: $562 -1,059 USD/month.

University of Bourdeaux

The University of Bordeaux in French: Université de Bordeaux is a public university based in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France. Established in 1441.

The aim of its medical department is to create synergies between its research units in order to contribute to major biological advances and to medicine in the future.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #4 in France
  • #152 in Europe
  • #433 in the World

Programs offered: Specialist Medical Training Diploma / Advanced Medical Training Diploma.

Admission requirements: The conditions of admission depend on many factors: level of study, country of origin, student status – exchange student (mobility program) or free mover (degree-seeking). Find all the information you need from the Admission page.

Tuition: one of the interesting things about the University of Bordeaux is that international students can obtain a partial exoneration of the tuition and fees applied to students coming from outside of the EU and the EEA for the duration of their courses.You will therefore pay the same fees as a French student and can even ask for a registration fee refund. 

University Paris Sud

Paris-Sud University in French: Université Paris-Sud also known as University of Paris — XI, was a French research university distributed among several campuses in the southern suburbs of Paris, with the main campus located in Orsay.

Paris-Sud is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in France and has since 2020 been replaced by Paris- Saclay University in The League of European Research Universities (LERU).

Paris-Saclay University in French: Université Paris-Saclay is a public research university based in Paris, France.

It is one of the 13 prestigious universities that were produced from the division of the University of Paris. Paris- Saclay University medical school is a training and research unit of the Paris-Saclay University located at the Kremlin-Bicêtre and founded in 1968.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #5 in France
  • #160 in Europe
  • #456 in the World

Programs offered: masters programs in life science and health: Gene, Cell and development. Visit Admission & Tuition for more information.

Claude Bernard University Lyon 1

Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 in French: Université Claude-Bernard Lyon 1, shortened as UCBL is one of the three public universities of Lyon, France.

It is named after the French physiologist Claude Bernard and specializes in science and technology, medicine, and sports science.

It was established in 1971 by the merger of the ‘faculté des sciences de Lyon’ with the ‘faculté de médecine making it one of the best medical schools in France.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #6 in France
  • #172 in Europe
  • #490 in the World

Programs offered: The study programs offered in the health sciences faculty of Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 give access to the totality of the medical professions (doctor of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and midwifery) and paramedical professions (audioprothesis, ergotherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, orthoptics, physiotherapy with specialty in psychomotor integration).

Admission requirements: To be able to get a successful admission to Claude Bernard University Lyon 1 in France students need strong proficiency in the English Language with a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, a GPA of 2.0, and an average IB score of 25.

Tuition: Tuition Fees for Medicine and Health care for a year is EUR 254

University of Montpellier

The University of Montpellier, in French: Université de Montpellier is a public research university located in Montpellier, in southeast France. Established in 1220, the University of Montpellier is one of the oldest universities in the world.

University of Montpellier Faculty of Medicine is the oldest and best medical school in the West that is still functioning after Salerno, Italy which has long gone into extinction.

Hence Montpelier is known as the birth place of Medicine.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #7 in France
  • #173 in Europe
  • #491 in the World

Programs offered: University of Montpellier Faculty of Medicine offers degree programs in general medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.

Admission requirements: Average Academic Score: GPA: 2.7, IB score: 30, IELTS: 6 and TOEFL score of 79 if the applicant’s native language is not English.

Tuition: The tuition fees for a Bachelor’s degree for one academic year is 170 euros, 243 euros for a year in the Master’s program and 380 euros for a year in a Doctorate program.

University of Strasbourg

The University of Strasbourg in French: Université de Strasbourg, AKA Unistra is a public research university located in Strasbourg, Alsace, France.

University of Strasbourg faculty of Medicine is one of the oldest faculties in Strasbourg and has a long and fascinating history.

It has managed to reach international recognition through building strong ties with European faculties as well as Russian, American, Algerian, Madagascan, Brazilian, and Chinese.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #10 in France
  • #201 in Europe
  • #594 in the World

Programs offered: University of Strasbourg faculty of medicine offers degree programs in general medicine, dentistry and pharmacy

Admission requirements: University of Strasbourg Admission requirements depend on the year of study you wish to apply to (1st year of bachelor (License) degree or higher level), your nationality, and current residence. 

Tuition: Tuition fee for undergraduate degree programs License (bachelor’s degree)  is €184/academic year and Master’s degrees is €256/academic year

University of Lille

The University of Lille, in French: Université de Lille, abbreviated as ULille is a public French research university located in Lille, Hauts-de-France. It has its origins in the University of Douai as far back as 1559 and has been funded since 2017 as one of the French universities of excellence. 

Lille University School of Medicine is the largest training and research center for physicians in France in all fields of specialty and is affiliated with one of the best-ranked Hospitals in France,

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #11 in France
  • #203 in Europe
  • #599 in the World

Programs offered: Lille University School of Medicine offers programs in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental Surgery and Health Management.

Admissions requirements: TOEFL: 83 | IELTS: 6 | PTE: 62 | GRE: 301 | GMAT: 540.

The University of Nice- Sophia Antipolis

The University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, in French: Université Nice Sophia Antipolis is a university located in Nice, France and neighboring areas.

It was founded in 1965 and was organized into eight faculties, two autonomous institutes and an engineering school. It was merged in 2019 into the Côte d’ Azur University.

Ranking: For Medicine:

  • #12 in France
  • #248 in Europe
  • #727 in the World

Programs offered: the University of Nice- Sophia Antipolis Faculty of Medicine offers degree programs in Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy, all in the English language.

Tuition: Medicine: 6 years – 8000€ per year, Dentistry: 6 years – 8000€ per year and Pharmacy: 6 years – 8000€ per year.

Can I Study Medicine in France in English?

Yes! Although studying medicine in public universities in France is in the French language only. 

Is Medical School Free in France?

Medical School is free in public universities for only French students.

Is Medical School in France Hard?

French medical education is quite selective. As students need to pass their medical exam which can be quite difficult and just has a few percentages of students scaling through.

How Long is Medical School in France?

Medical training takes a minimum of nine years after the baccalauréat and concludes with a thesis.

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