B or C level?
Enrolling in a bachelor or master degree in France requires strong linguistic skills. International students must be able to understand all the lectures, conferences, tutorial classes, texts etc. that will be part of their curriculum. Therefore, Level B1 or B2 – according to the criteria of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
Non francophone students subject to the national pre-registration procedure in the 1st year of the license (DAP procedure) must assess their level in French by taking a test, unless they can attest to a B2 level.
Though students wishing to follow a course delivered in English don’t need to master the French language, some establishments might still test their level in English.
Diplomas and tests
As an international student wishing to register for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a French university, you will therefore have to demonstrate your level in French. To do so, the French knowledge test – test de connaissance du français or TCF – is a reliable tool: the TCF allows an accurate assessment ranging from the “elementary” level (A1) to “advanced or superior” (C2). However, it can be interesting to obtain a diploma, a test only being valid for two years. The diploma in French language – diplôme en langue française or DELF – is designed for beginners and intermediates, covering levels A2 to B2. For advanced French language users, the advanced diploma in French language – diplôme approfondi en langue française, DALF – is recommended, levels C1 and C2 may be mandatory to enroll to certain licenses and masters. Regardless of the diploma or test chosen, your written and oral skills will be assessed to determine whether enrollment in higher education is possible in a French university.