France’s long tradition of excellence and innovation in art, design and architecture makes it an ideal place to start or advance a career in these exciting fields.

Schools of art and design

France has more than 120 schools of fine and applied arts, known as écoles supérieures. These are outstanding public institutions that confer nationally regulated diplomas after three or five years of study. Students can specialize in fine art, design, or visual communication. Private schools of art and those affiliated with chambers of commerce and industry (known as écoles consulaires) confer certificates or professional titles.

Campus France has created CampusArt, an online system that allows prospective students to apply simultaneously to 120 carefully selected French schools of art and applied arts. The CampusArt network offers a choice of some 200 art programs at the Licence and Master's levels.


Schools of architecture

French degree programs in architecture follow the European system of degrees based on the Bachelor’s (Licence), Master’s, and doctoral degrees.

  • The first cycle of postsecondary study lasts three years and results in the diplôme d’études en architecture, equivalent to a Licence or Bachelor’s degree.
  • The second cycle lasts two years and leads to the diplôme d’état d’architecte, equivalent to a Master’s degree.
  • The HMONP (habilitation à la maîtrise d’oeuvre en nom propre) is the professional credential that entitles an architect to apply for a building permit. It requires a sixth year of study and an internship.
  • The third cycle includes a variety of specialized Master’s degrees, as well as doctoral programs in university-affiliated research laboratories.

All 20 national schools of architecture regulated by the French Ministry of Culture confer the above degrees and diplomas. Two other types of schools, which are not regulated by the French Ministry of Culture, deliver degrees that are considered equivalent: