Recruitment and admission methods

The École Centrale Paris is an institution of higher education whose principal mission is to prepare highly qualified, general engineers for all types of professions in industry and research.

The course of study lasts 3 years. The 16-month plan of studies for final year students is organized along the following lines: an Area of Concentration to be chosen amongst 8 sciences or industry-related sectors and a choose between 5 Professional Tracks as they are applicable to the graduate's "debut" in an engineering profession.

How to become a Centralien

The educational project of École Centrale Paris assumes that its students, who have a huge capacity for work, have acquired a rigorous sense of logic, an ability to work in the abstract, and intellectual agility.

This is why admission to École Centrale Paris is based almost entirely on nationwide competitive examinations taken after preparatory studies: 330 places are available through the Centrale-Supélec entrance examinations.

Admission modes

The other places are filled through different methods of selection: 150 places are available to university transfer students and foreign students meeting specific selection requirements:
  • First year entrance examinations: Preparatory studies,
  • Foreign students,
  • University program,
  • Admission for disabled persons,
  • Practical information.
First year entrance examinations: Preparatory studies

The students accepted through the entrance examinations are admitted as engineering students ("élève-ingénieur").

This entrance examination is based on the Preparatory studies program for Grandes Écoles Scientifiques. The level corresponds to a minimum of two years preparatory work after the Baccalaureate. This preparatory work is generally carried out in Preparatory Study Classes for the Grandes Écoles in selected secondary schools.

Places available:
  • 140 places through the MP program,
  • 85 places through the PC program,
  • 85 places through the PSI program,
  • 10 places through the PT program,
  • 10 places through the TSI program,
Foreign students

In addition to the selection procedures available to French candidates, other non-French candidates may apply for admission to the first year as a élève-stagiaire (trainee student). A student's nationality is deemed to be the nationality, which he or she holds on the closing date for admission applications.
The trainee students that meet, at the end of the first year, the conditions required of engineering students to be admitted into the second year, then become full engineering students themselves. It is only under very exceptional circumstances that trainee students that have not attained the engineering student qualification are allowed to continue their studies at the École.

There are two ways of obtaining admission as a trainee student:
  • Special examination: This examination is based on the MP, PC, and PSI programs of the Preparatory Classes for Grandes Écoles Scientifiques. It offers 20 places. It is reserved for foreign candidates who have taken part in the Preparatory Classes for Grandes Écoles Scientifiques program in France,
  • International program: Admission to the international program is open to foreign candidates that have already completed 2 or 3 years of university education, have obtained abroad a diploma equivalent to the baccalaureate, and have not already taken up any higher education studies in France. 100 places are available for this type of admission. Trainee students studying for a TIME program double degree are admitted by this route.
The École Centrale Paris offers other taught courses to foreign students : Mastère Spécialisé (Mastère Spécialisé is a specialized, postgraduate training programme.), Research Master.

University program : Candidates with a Licence ès Sciences degree
  • Candidates with a Licence ès Sciences degree that wish to follow engineering education may be admitted to the first year of École Centrale Paris, providing that they apply in the third year after obtaining their Baccalaureate (a dispensation of one year is given for long term illness),
  • Holders of equivalent foreign degrees may apply under the same conditions.

The aim of this access route into the École is to admit candidates that have followed a complete university degree course. As a consequence, candidates that have gone through the preparatory classes for Grande Écoles will not be accepted, except in exceptional circumstances as deemed by the jury. 20 places are proposed each year.

The five Ecoles Centrales (Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes) accept students from the university within the framework of the Intergroup.
EC LYON, Mme TRONCOSO, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue 69134 Ecully cedex ( - 04 72 18 63 23)

Practical information

Further information may be obtained in the booklet " Conditions d'admission à l'École Centrale Paris " (Conditions for admission to École Centrale Paris) and "Instructions relatives au Concours Centrale-Supélec " (Instructions relating to the Centrale-Supélec entrance examinations), published each year by the Admissions Service of the ECP.

Each candidate must undertake, in participating in the entrance examinations, to strictly conform to the instructions provided and to any decision taken by the jury, whose decisions are final. Any breach of the regulations, any fraud or attempt at fraud, either in the information provided during the application stage, or during the written or oral examinations, may give rise to disciplinary action leading to the annulment of the application or the loss of any right or advantage gained (particularly admission to an École), and definitive exclusion from taking part in the entrance examinations.

Students in preparatory classes who wish to consult past examination papers and the reports of the jury should: 

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