ONLYLYON Ambassadors

If you want to study abroad, France is one of the best choices! With its many campuses, it welcomes students from all over the world. Lyon, in particular, is famous for its many prestigious institutions and its accommodation offer, which is cheaper than in Paris. Each year, its universities welcome 175,000 students, including 21,000 foreigners. Are you wondering where to study there? You have the choice of attending one of the state universities. They offer very low tuition fees (especially compared to the United Kingdom or the United States) for a very high quality of education. But don't forget about the private institutions that also offer recognised degrees. Here are some of the best universities in Lyon!

Claude Bernard University Lyon 1

When you come to study in Lyon, you can choose to study at Claude Bernard University Lyon 1. It is specialised in science and technology, medicine and sports sciences, and welcomes more than 46,000 students. From licence to doctorate, you can pursue your entire studies there and work in one of its 62 laboratories.

If you choose medicine, you can specialise in odontology, midwifery, general medicine or pharmacology.

Science and technology curricula are varied and you can choose from a wide range of fields such as earth sciences, applied mathematics or biomedical engineering.

If you want to specialise in sports, you will have several specialisations to choose from, such as sports management, social development and mediation through sport or ageing and adapted physical activities.

Lumière University Lyon 2

This university specialises in arts, humanities and social sciences. Here as well, you can pursue your studies from licence to doctorate. With two campuses, one near the Rhône in the centre of Lyon and the other, Portes des Alpes, on the outskirts of the city, it has more than 27,000 students (including 5,000 international students) and 32 research laboratories.

This institution offers programmes in many fields, such as: anthropology, law, languages, linguistics, economy and management, psychology, etc. This is the perfect university for those who want to acquire a deep understanding of human societies and culture.

Jean Moulin University Lyon 3

The Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, shared between the heart of Lyon and Bourg-en-Bresse, 57 kilometres away, is specialised in humanities and social sciences, from two-year foundation degrees to doctorates. Each year, more than 27,000 students come to study there, with 4,000 of them coming from abroad. Along with Lyon 2, it is one of the best places for students passionate about the human sciences.

You can choose between the faculties of law, languages, arts and civilisations, philosophy or management. With its 19 research units, it has an international reputation and its researchers work with major partner universities in other countries.

Catholic University of Lyon (UCLy)

The Catholic University of Lyon, known as UCLy, has long been a major player in higher education: it was founded in 1875. It offers a wide range of programmes with an international dimension (it has 350 partner universities on all 5 continents). There is, of course, a faculty of theology and religious sciences, but the university also has faculties of:

  • economic sciences and management,
  • sciences and biotechnology,
  • modern languages and literature,
  • legal, political and social sciences,
  • philosophy, psychology and education.

It has 11,700 students, 1,800 of whom come from abroad. It is a not-for-profit organisation with public interest status.

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS Lyon)

ENS Lyon is a prestigious school, one of the 4 écoles normales supérieures in France (the country’s top research and education institutions). You can study there from master’s degree to doctorate in fundamental and experimental sciences and humanities. Its 2,400 students specialise in many subjects, including:

  • physics and chemistry,
  • biosciences and modelling of complex systems,
  • spatial humanities,
  • advanced mathematics,
  • modern literature,
  • hispanic studies,
  • biosciences for healthcare,
  • digital humanities,
  • socio-ecological systems: heritage, dynamics, management,
  • contemporary philosophy,
  • ancient history…

Since the 19th century, it has been one of the main institutions training researchers in France.


INSA Lyon is one of France’s leading engineering schools. It is accessible after a highly competitive selection process (14,000 high school students apply each year). It is located in Villeurbanne, next to Lyon. It trains 5,400 students each year, 28% of whom are international students. INSA encourages the international mobility of its students: 78% of them go abroad during their studies.

After two years of preparatory level, you can start a master’s degree, a master of science (in acoustics or micro and nanotechnologies). You can then continue your studies with a doctorate. If you opt for a master’s degree, you can choose from 9 engineering fields:

  • Biotechnology engineering and bioinformatics,
  • electronics engineering,
  • Industrial engineering,
  • Civil engineering and urban planning engineering,
  • Energetics and environmental engineering,
  • Mechanical engineering,
  • Computer science,
  • Materials science,
  • Telecommunications.

EM Lyon Business School

EM Lyon is a business school that offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 9000 students (representing 125 nationalities). The school has 6 campuses around the world (Saint-Étienne, Paris, Shanghai, Bhubaneswar and Mumbai), but is based in Lyon.

At EM Lyon Business School, you can start your studies with a Global BBA or a Bachelor of Science in Data Science for Responsible Business, then start a master in management. The school also offers several MScs in subjects such as: International Marketing & Business Development, Digital Marketing & Data Science, Cybersecurity & Defense Management, Sports Industry Management, Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship, etc.

Come to study in Lyon!

Of course, this is just a selection of some of the most prestigious universities and private schools in Lyon. There are many more to choose from, in all fields of study. The best university in Lyon for you may not be the most famous, but the one that best suits your project. Have you found an institution that matches your goal? With the large number of programmes, everyone can find their own curriculum. With its strong economy, Lyon offers many opportunities for your first job after graduation.

Do you want to find out more about student life? Do you want to look for the perfect university or school?

Prepare here your studies in Lyon

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