École Polytechnique is a leading French institute that combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. The school produces socially responsible professionals who excel in leading complex and innovative projects which address current and future challenges facing our society.
École Polytechnique, also known as l'X, is an historic institution. Founded in 1794, it holds a leading role in the French academic tradition – Poincaré, Ampère, Schwartz and Fresnel are just a few of the prestigious scientists to have studied here. Three French presidents, three Nobel Prizes (including Jean Tirole in 2014), one Fields Medalist and many illustrious CEOs like Citroën or Schlumberger, also walked the halls. However, no need to time travel to find proof of our academic excellence: our Alumni, researchers and professors receive prestigious awards and distinctions years after years.
Academic rankings demonstrate the competitiveness of École Polytechnique in France and abroad. Leader of scientific and technological institutes in France, l'X was also ranked 13th best European University in the QS university ranking 2015/16 thanks to our emphasis on innovative teaching methods and our continued presence at the forefront of French research. Our renowned Alumni, including numerous current CEOs of French and international companies, visit frequently and you will reap the benefits of having them share their knowledge in special seminars and conferences.
As part of our commitment to innovation, l'X has been the pioneer of MOOCs and e-learning in France, with several courses available on various platforms including Coursera and more under development.
Eric Betzig, Chemistry Nobel laureate, giving a lecture at l'X
On campus, École Polytechnique has around 1,500 student apartments and a hotel with around fifty rooms. Find out all about housing for Bachelor Students, Ingénieur Polytechnicien students, Master's students, PhD program students, Exchange students.
On-Campus Dining and Services
With its restaurant Le Magnan and its cafeteria, École Polytechnique offers students, staff and also day students two eating options on-site.
Access to these services is gained by presenting a card or buying a meal voucher at the checkout.
Located in the heart of the campus, the central library provides lecturers, students and researchers with the documents they need for their work and offers all members the means to pursue an individual or group cultural activity.
With only around 3600 students and a campus of 164 hectares, l'X is a relatively small university. Our students make up a close-knit community and though you will blend in, you certainly will not fade away. Our international students contribute to the diversity of our small community – about 70 different nationalities are represented on campus, with 36% of the student body and 39% of the faculty coming from abroad.
École Polytechnique's vibrant student life can be attributed to the wide range of associations available to students. In total, our students take part in almost 250 associations in a great variety of cultural, artistic, social, scientific, religious and sporting activities.
Extracurricular activities promote a huge range of clubs for all interests, so whether you enjoy skiing, sushi-making or want to get involved in community volunteer projects, it will be easy for you to ignite an old passion or find a new one. Our compact community offers you the ideal environment to start your unique activity or help others to discover their own interests.
" L’X is a great place to learn French and the culture. There are language courses, student clubs, and sport sections, which allow us to get integrated into “la vie en France”. " Zhiyuan YAO, student in the Internet of Things: Innovation and Management Master
It is important to us that our students revel in the diversity of campus activites. That’s why sports are vital to campus life. We have state-of-the-art facilities across campus, including a semi-artificial lake, an equestrian center, swimming pool and shooting range to name but a few.
Sports as Leisure: On a voluntary basis and on your free time, you may also participate in the École polytechnique’s Sport Association, called « Le club sportif de l’X » or « CSX ». The Association offers almost 40 different sports and leisure activities. Trainings usually take place at lunchtime or between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. In order to subscribe, you will have to pay the following fees: 23 euros for the membership card and a subscription fee whose amount depends on the sport that you choose (between 15 to 170 euros per year).
For further information, you can consult the CSX website (only available in French. For non-French speaking candidates, please contact us if you have any questions).
Sports in Competition: If your schedule allows it, you may join the Sports Sections (Sections sportives) with advanced trainings and inter-university competition in one specific sport. It includes 4 to 6 hours of practice per week (during term 1 and 2) as well as regular competition participation (matches and meetings can be held at École Polytechnique but also in other campuses or facilities. They may also take place on weekends). Please note that attendance to competition is compulsory.
As these courses are intermediate or even advanced-level, no beginners are accepted. A pre-selection is done based on the information you provide via the online administrative enrollment form. If your request is pre-approved, you will then be requested to do a test in September with a coach from the Office for Physical Education (Bureau de la Formation Sportive – BFS).
With central Paris just 25km away, l'X puts within easy reach one of the world's top tourist and cultural destinations. Paris is a vibrant city and the perfect setting for an unforgettable student experience. International students relish in the opportunity to be immersed in the distinctly French way of life, one that prioritizes freedom and creativity, and welcomes the exchange of ideas.
Over 278,000 international students choose to study in France each year and l’X was ranked the 28th Most International University Worldwide by the Times Higher Education Guide in 2014. Part of the reason for this popularity is the fact that international students are eligible to receive government funding to support costs of room and board, and health insurance, just like French students. This helps to cement France’s status as the most popular international student destination four years running. In 2016, Paris has come out on top in the QS best student cities rankings for the fourth year running.
“Paris is proud to be ranked as the best world student city. Our youth represents our greatest strength and incarnates our greatest hope. We carry an ambitious politic to make youth able to blossom, be successful, be able to choose and to build its future. We will continue to support students by offering them opportunities, in an open, dynamic and creative city.” Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
Beyond Paris, France is a culturally rich and incredibly diverse country, whether you are interested in music or architecture, classical design or contemporary styles. You are sure to find something of interest in the hundreds of cities offering numerous museums, galleries, cinemas and festivals. Each of the 22 regions has something unique to offer, a singular landscape, rhythm, heritage or cuisine – this is after all the land of 450 different types of cheese.
Should you crave a change of scenery and a more adventurous experience, you can easily travel between the 26 countries of the Schengen area on a single visa, eight of which share a border with France.
Founded in 1945, AX is the association that gathers former students and graduates of École Polytechnique. It stemmed from the merging of the Société amicale de secours des anciens élèves de l'École polytechnique and the Société des amis de l'École polytechnique, two former associations dating back 1864 and 1908.
École Polytechnique Alumni Association aims to maintain and develop solidarity and friendship within the École Polytechnique community, to represent its members in political bodies and in the media, and to support the development of the institution. The AX connects its 20,000 alumni through professional and cultural clubs, mentoring programs and networking events in France and around the world.
The Board of Directors holds at least five meetings a year and is composed of twenty-five members elected by the General Assembly. The Board is conducting tasks within the framework of committees led by volunteers on different subjects (subscriptions costs, careers, international development, etc.).
Each year, jointly with the students, the AX organizes the "Bal de l’X" (École Polytechnique annual ball), which usually takes place at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. All the benefits generated during the event go towards the association. Since 1948, the AX has been the editor of the monthly magazine of École Polytechnique network, « La Jaune et la Rouge » (Yellow and Red), which title refers to the institution’s historic colors.