Share this page:

The ENS System

Initial training (ENS system vs International system)

ENS system vs University system


ENS system : Admission by highly selective national competition usually taken after a two-year post-baccalauréat preparatory programm
University system : Admission on the basis of qualification: students must hold a French baccalauréat (secondary school national diploma) or equivalent diplomas


ENS system : Normalien status = student + trainee civil servant
University system : Student

Course of study

ENS system : Double curriculum = University curriculum + complementary training within ENS Rennes – from Bachelor's to Ph.D levels
University system : University curriculum (from post-baccalauréat to PhD levels)

Number of students

ENS system : Around 3,000 normalien students in all 4 ENS
University system : Around 1,300,000 students in the French State Universities


ENS system :  The presidents of the Écoles Normales Supérieures are appointed by the President of the French Republic
University system : The presidents of the universities are elected by their respective University Councils

ENS Rennes has close links with partner universities within the framework of their traditional degree programs: Rennes 1 and Rennes 2 Universities.

Date of update June 14, 2017