Masters funding in France is available from a wide range of sources. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, there’s plenty of financial support available for you in the world’s most popular non-Anglophone study abroad destination.
Here you can read about fees and funding for Masters degrees at French universities. This includes a guide to the average cost of a French Masters degree and information on major sources of funding for postgraduate courses in France.
If you’re looking for more general information on postgraduate study in France, you can check out our comprehensive guide to French Masters degrees. Or perhaps you’ve already started that postgraduate study in France is for you? If so, why not get started searching the many Masters degrees in France listed on FindAMasters.com.
The cost of studying a Masters in France is offset by generous national investment in higher education – with the French government spending around €10,000 ($11,250 USD) per student, per year.
Tuition fees at public universities are also capped by law. Private institutions are free to charge more, but will not always do so.
The cost of a French Masters degree at most public universities is set at €256 ($288 USD) per year. In addition, a fee of €215 ($242 USD) is charged per year to all students aged 20-28 for social security. Most programmes are two years long, so on average your complete tuition could cost as little as €942 ($1,060 USD).
Private universities (including France’s prestigious grandes ecoles) are free to charge more for their postgraduate programmes. Average fees are still very favourable at around €600 per year, though costs can be higher – up to €10,000 in some cases.
No, fees for a Masters in France are the same for domestic and international students. It’s possible that supplementary costs may be charged for tuition on English-language programmes, but this isn't a universal requirement.
In addition to tuition fees, you may have to pay some other costs as a Masters student in France.
The most substantial of these concerns healthcare:
Some universities also charge small supplementary fees for registration and administration (‘frais de dossier’) or student union services. These are usually charged in tens of euros.
Your postgraduate study budget will also need to factor in the cost of living in France as a Masters student.
The French Government currently estimates a monthly student budget of €725-825 ($815-928 USD). Costs in Paris are closer to €1,000 ($1,125 USD). These amounts include the price of accommodation. You will need less if you live in university halls of residence.
International students in France are required to demonstrate access to at least €615 ($692 USD) a month to support themselves. These resources cannot be dependent on employment in France.
To find out more about living in France as a postgraduate, check out our detailed guide.
The French government offers various forms of support for its own citizens to study a Masters at French universities. This includes a system of domestic grants and loans, as well as scholarships for returning expatriates.
Need-based grants are available to French students on Masters programmes, according to their economic circumstances. They are awarded by the Centre régional des œuvres universitaires et scolaires (CROUS).
Grants from CROUS are intended to assist you with maintenance costs, but they also entitle you to a fee waiver. Around 35% of French students receive this kind of support, across both first cycle (Bachelors) and second cycle (Masters) study.
CROUS grants are means-tested. The amount you receive will depend on your financial circumstances and will consider factors such as your family income. The current maximum is €5,500 ($6,190 USD) per year, awarded to students with significant financial difficulties. Others will receive smaller grants, or simply be awarded a fee waiver.
To be eligible for a Grant you must be under 28 years of age and either a French national, an EU citizen or an international student with the right to live in France. Non-French students may need to demonstrate that they have been resident in France for a set period before receiving a grant.
Applications for grants are usually made via universities. More information is available at the CROUS website.
Students in France can also apply for loans to help cover their study costs. These are funded by private banks, but managed according to guarantees from the French government.
Like grants, loans for Masters study in France are only available to students under 28 years of age, with French nationality or EU citizenship (and corresponding proof of residence in France). Unlike grants, loans are not means-tested and are awarded without respect to your financial background.
Loans are available up to €15,000 ($16,900 USD), with interest rates determined by the issuing bank. You can find out more about student loans in France on the French civil service website.
If you are a French national living abroad, you may be eligible for support to study in France as part of the Major Scholarships programme (French: Bourses d’Excellence Major).
These are awarded to students of French schools overseas. Eligible institutions are members of the Agency for French Training Abroad (AEFE) (French: Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Étranger).
Major scholarships are merit-based and begin at undergraduate level. To be eligible you will need to have received a distinction with your high school baccalaureate. Following completion of a two-year undergraduate scholarship, you may receive up to three more years of funding, sufficient to complete a Masters degree.
More information is available at the AEFE website.
It’s not only French nationals that benefit from funding to study a Masters in France. As an international postgraduate you’ll benefit from France’s low tuition fees and have access to a wide range of funding. There’s a reason France is one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations – and it’s not just the cheese and wine!
EU citizens will be eligible for some of the same funding options as French nationals. These include the student grants and loans described above (subject to residency requirements).
There are also various other funding schemes and exchange programmes, specifically designed to attract and support international postgraduates at French universities.
Various forms of funding for international postgraduates are offered by French embassies and consulates. Some are means-tested grants to assist with living costs and accommodation. Others are targeted at specific study programmes and subject areas.
The best way to investigate the support that may be available to you is to contact a French embassy or consulate in your home country. More information is available from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Eiffel programme is a prestigious scholarship scheme, designed to attract the best international postgraduates to study in France. It awards a variety of funding at both Masters and PhD level, including bursaries for complete degrees, as well as support for periods of study mobility.
Eiffel funding for Masters programmes in France is targeted at three priority subject areas: Science; Economics and Management; and Law and Political Science. Bursaries take the form of a monthly allowance (currently around €1,181 / $1,325 USD) and may also include housing allowances. Funds are intended to offset living costs and cannot be used for tuition fees.
Applications for Eiffel funding are usually made via French institutions. More information is available via the Campus France website.
The Agence Universitaire de la Francophone is a network connecting different French-speaking higher education institutions around the world.
If your home country is a member of the AUF, you may be eligible for a Masters scholarship. These support students to study for part of their degree in another AUF member country, including France itself. Funding is normally available for up to 10 months. See the AUF website for more information.
Entente cordiale scholarships fund study exchanges between France and Britain. British students can receive a scholarship to study in France (and vice versa).
Entente cordiale funding is available in all subject areas and no age limit applies. The selection process is highly competitive, however. You will need to provide evidence of a strong academic record, whilst also demonstrating your intention to further Franco-British relations through your Masters and subsequent career.
Knowledge of French is advantageous, but specific language requirements will depend on your programme of study.
Further information and details of application procedures are available from the website of the French Consulate in London.
France is divided into 22 separate administrative regions (plus five other overseas regions). Each of these has a degree of autonomy in organising local higher education. This can extend to the provision of funding initiatives, with some Conseils Regional offering scholarships to attract international postgraduate students.
The best way to investigate the availability of regional scholarships is to visit the website of the Conseil Regional for the region in which you wish to study your Masters.
Universities in France will usually offer their own funding to attract and support Masters students. The best way to find this is to first identify a suitable Masters programme and then inquire about funding from the university responsible. You can get started by searching for a French Masters in our course listings – all programmes provide contact details for further inquiries.
Want to know more about life for international students in France? Our detailed guide covers everything from universities and courses to applications and visas.
Both French and international students can benefit from funding opportunities offered by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.
Erasmus+ Masters funding helps support international study and exchange. It funds Joint Masters Programmes (offered by international university consortia) as well as shorter periods of study abroad. From 2015 the Erasmus+ programme will also begin offering loans for students to study a Masters in another participating country.
For more information, see our comprehensive guides to Erasmus+ Masters funding.
The Erasmus+ programme is an excellent option for postgraduate funding to study abroad - in France, or elsewhere. Our guide explains what kinds of support are available, what they offer and who is eligible.
A wide range of other funding types are also available to support you on a Masters programme in France.
It’s impossible to list them all here, but thankfully, we don’t need to. You can use our sister-site, PostgraduateFunding.com, to search a wide range of opportunities for Masters funding in France. These include individual university scholarships, charitable grants, travel bursaries, exchange programmes and much more.
You can filter your search by nationality, academic discipline and location – or search using specific keywords. Why not start by taking a look at the hundreds of awards available for Masters funding in France?
Hopefully the information on this page has given you a good idea of the cost of a Masters degree in France and how to go about funding it. There's one more funding opportunity to mention before you go though: our own FindAMasters scholarships! This year we're offering one £5,000 scholarship and four £500 scholarships to any student beginning a Masters at a university listed on this website.
Last updated - 11/11/2016