PSL Graduate Program in Computer Science
The Computer Science Graduate Program offers a comprehensive curriculum of advanced studies and research, from Master (M1) to Doctoral degree. Two departments of PSL are particularly involved in computer science research: the DI ENS located at École Normale Supérieure (ENS), and the LAMSADE laboratory located at Université Paris-Dauphine. The graduate program in computer science offers Master's degrees and PhD degrees. See here for the Master's programs taught in Dauphine, and here for the Master's programs taught at École Normale Supérieure.
As in most of Europe, a Master's program is a two-year curriculum. In France, these two years (M1 and M2) are largely organized as independent one-year programs, but it is of course possible to attend both years.
You can apply to the M1 year if you have obtained an undergraduate degree (i.e., a Bachelor's or Licence) in a relevant field (computer science, computer engineering, mathematics, etc.) or if you will have obtained such a degree by the time classes start (in September). At the end of the first year (M1), you obtain a certificate of achievement, which can be used to apply for a second-year (M2) Master's program at PSL (or in another university). Admission to the second year is not guaranteed.
You can also directly apply at the M2 level if you have already successfully completed the first-year of a Master's program in a relevant field (or if you have completed a four-year undergraduate degree). At the end of the M2, you obtain an internationally recognized Master's degree.
PSL's Master's program in computer science includes several different tracks of studies, at the M1 and M2 levels:
- M1 tracks
- I2D (at Université Paris-Dauphine). This is PSL's main track for the M1 level; it provides a generalist computer science curriculum with some specializations in data science, operations research, and decision support.
- Foundations of computer science (at ENS). This is a special research-oriented track reserved for students who have been admitted to ENS; it provides a generalist computer science curriculum with focus on academic research.
- MIAGE (at Université Paris-Dauphine). This track is specializing towards business informatics (digital sciences, business management) rather than pure computer science.
- M2 tracks
- IASD. This M2 track covers all aspects of artificial intelligence and data science, from a computer science perspective.
- MODO. This M2 track covers all aspects of decision science and operations research.
- Algorithms and Foundations of Programming (MPRI). This M2 track, joint between PSL and a number of other universities throughout the Paris area, covers all aspects of theoretical computer science.
- MIAGE. This is a series of tracks that continues the M1 MIAGE track in business informatics.
How to apply
The exact procedure depends on the track you choose to apply to:
- Application procedure for tracks operated by Dauphine (M1 I2D, M2 IASD, M2 MODO, and M1/M2 MIAGE)
- Admission to ENS's M1 track on Foundations of computer science is reserved to ENS students; admission to ENS is not done at the Master's level but in the final year of the Bachelor's (L3): Application procedure for L3 admission to ENS in computer science.
- Application procedure for M2 MPRI (unless you are already a PSL student, application should be to Université Paris-Cité; if you are a PSL student, contact the head of your Master's track)
PhD studies in France usually last three years; though PhD students may take some classes and be involved in other activities (such as teaching or consulting for a company), most of these three years are dedicated to academic research. PhD students receive a salary for the entirety of their studies. There are various sources of funding for PhDs; in particular, the PSL Graduate Program funds several PhD scholarships every year.
How to apply
There is no centralized procedure for application. You should first get in touch with a potential PhD advisor who should be a researcher within one of PSL's academic departments working on a topic of interest to you (some may publicly advertise available PhD positions, but it is also fine to contact them even if no position is available). Though it is possible to start a PhD at any time of the year, most PhDs start in September or October, and most PhD funding opportunities have deadlines around May, so this should be prepared well ahead of time. To find potential supervisors, start with the Web sites of the two main computer science departments of ENS: DI ENS and LAMSADE (other schools within PSL may also have relevant research). If a PhD advisor is willing to take you on, they will guide you to prepare a formal application.