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Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon


The Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, colloquially know as “Normale Sup’ Lyon” is, like her Parisian sister, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, is a prestigious “Grande Ecole”.

Founded in 1880 by Jules Ferry, often referred to as the father of modern French education, the School comprises of two campuses specialized in Sciences and humanities.

A number of alumni have been awarded with Field Medals and other important national distinctions. For example, Cedric Villani, Field Medal Winner in Mathematics teaches and studied at ENS Lyon.

The ENS is an elite university respected and recognized internationally in the Humanities and Sciences for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The School is a prestigious research authority in France and worldwide the rankings support this.The School’s motto is “training for research through research”. The School is also known for the individualised support offered to its students.

  • Year established
  • Registered students

Academic specialism

Humanities are taught on the René Descartes Campus: Arts, Languages, Modern Literature, Civilisation and languages, Geography, History, Literature and languages; Philosophy and Social Sciences.

Sciences are taught on the on the Jacques Monod Campus: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Geosciences, Mathematics and Physics.

Most of the courses are taught in French in fields of Humanities. In Sciences, most Master level courses are in English. French as a Foreign Languages is taught before and during academic year.


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Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon
International Office - International students
Campus R.Descartes
BP 7000 69342 Cedex 07
View Location
+33 4 37 37 66 82

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Lyon is the capital of its region, Rhône-Alpes, which is one of the most dynamic areas in science and business in France. The School is situated on the left Bank of the Rhôneand is a 15 minute walk from the historical centre of Lyon. The School is served by underground line B that connects to the Rail station La Part Dieu. The Airport “Saint Exupery” is 30 minutes away from the station with the Rhônexpress tram.