Predoctoral program

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/ Three years leading to the ENS diploma

During three years the students follow high-level courses offered mainly at the ENS. If they obtain 60 credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) in the first year, the students will be awarded an L3 diploma. With an additional set of 2 x 60 = 120 ECTS credits in second and third years, the students obtain a Master's degree. If they acquire 36 additional ECTS credits in the course of the 3 years, the students will also obtain the ENS Diploma. This provides evidence of having completed the entire programme.

/ High-level courses covering modern concepts of chemistry, leading to numerous openings
- Courses in chemistry characterized by a strong conceptual contents and a broad coverage of many exciting areas of modern chemistry, in particular molecular chemistry, physical chemistry, and theoretical chemistry.

First year (L3) : basic concepts
Second year (M1) : more specialized courses, including many optional courses
Third year (M2) : essentially full-time research

- Discussions of interdisciplinary areas involving chemistry and biology, physics, mathematics, etc., are integrated in the programme. Additional courses can be chosen in other ENS departments (biology, physics, languages, philosophy, economics, etc.)

/ Training for teaching and research at university level
- The independence of the students is fostered through their active participation in research laboratories,
- Connections with related disciplines (biology, physics, earth sciences, etc.) are encouraged,
- It is possible to prepare and sit for competitive examinations (agrégation) that allow students to be appointed to teaching positions in the French secondary education system (lycées) and in Universities.

/ Training by research
- Two different 1-month training periods in research laboratories in the first L3 year, plus one training period of 5 months in the second M1 year, the latter usually in a laboratory abroad.
- Research in libraries and databases
- Presentation of scientific articles in group seminars
- Active participation in research seminars
- Master's thesis at the end of the third M2 year

/ Strong interactions with French and foreign faculty
- Interactive research seminars
- Tutorials,
- Exceptionally favourable staff-to-student ratio of about 2:1.

/ Personalized programmes
- Courses in the second and third years can be chosen à la carte, with the help of tutors,
- Each student defines his own project,
- A minimum of 24 additional ECTS credits must be chosen among a broad offer
in other ENS departments (biology, physics, languages, philosophy, economics, etc.)

/ A context of intellectual stimulation and scientific maturity
- The formal courses take only five half-days per week, the remaining time being free to pursue personal interests, read papers, meet tutors, follow-up on courses taken in other departments, etc.

/ International aspects
- Programmes refer to scientific literature in English
- Some of the lectures can be given in English
- The 5-month training in the second year is usually carried out in a laboratory abroad
- Presence of many foreign students in the group