École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. The school produces socially responsible professionals who excel in leading complex and innovative projects which address current and future challenges facing our society.
Strategy and Missions
In today’s climate of fierce economic competition, innovation is the only route to prosperity. École Polytechnique trains leaders with solid backgrounds in multidisciplinary science through ample exposure to both the business and research worlds.
École Polytechnique's DNA: faith in innovation, the driving force of prosperity
École Polytechnique was founded in 1794, a period marked not only by political and economic upheaval but also by the end of the Age of Enlightenment. During this unique moment in history, the Comité de Salut Public (French Public Welfare Committee) anticipated the future applications of the myriad scientific and technical discoveries that occurred during the 18th century and triggered the Industrial Revolution. It entrusted Gaspard Monge, Lazare Carnot and several other scholars with enlisting, by means of a competitive recruitment process, the best minds of their time, and teaching them science for the benefit of the French Republic.
In 1804, Napoleon confirmed Polytechnique’s role in serving the nation by granting École Polytechnique military status and giving the school its motto:
"Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire" ("For the Homeland, Science and Glory").
Now, at the start of the 21st century, another era characterized by geopolitical, economic and environmental difficulties as well as numerous groundbreaking technologies, École Polytechnique maintains the same philosophical core. A staunch defender of the idea that innovation is the only driving force of collective prosperity, the university is a significant contributor to promoting responsible productive, economic and scientific development.
École Polytechnique produces and shares multidisciplinary knowledge of the highest level
As a higher education establishment, l'X naturally seeks to share the most up-to-date knowledge to benefit its students, selected based on the criteria of excellence for which it is renowned.
However, École Polytechnique also creates knowledge, for its professors are both teachers and researchers. It hosts around twenty laboratories, which are closely connected to French national research institutions and committed to prestigious international collaboration. The aim of these laboratories is to achieve results in the form of intellectual property rights and publications in leading journals in both fundamental and applied research.
École Polytechnique’s credo is to be multidisciplinary both in its teaching and research. Structured around ten scientific disciplines, including humanities and social sciences, it focuses its research on eight themes that involve collaboration between the laboratories. Such a model stems from the observation that fruitful innovations accepted by society are born from the confrontation and cooperation of disciplines, including philosophy.
École Polytechnique serves society, companies and its students
In an informed and mobile society, today's best students throughout the world can choose from any number of universities. Higher education is an international competition and l'X has its own share of competitors— which incidentally are often partners —whose financial means, from both public and private sources, are substantial.
In this stimulating environment, École Polytechnique’s aim is to be recognized by the most exceptional students from around the world as an institution where they can acquire a knowledge base and know-how and gain access to a network of former students which will allow them to have a fulfilling professional life in line with their ambitions.
The university is also developing its activities designed to benefit companies, which generate value. It hopes to offer them research and development results which will allow them to prosper both on an industrial and economic level.
Finally, École Polytechnique does not forget its role in society. The university's role of spreading knowledge is not limited to research publications and now extends to online teaching through “Formations en Ligne Ouvertes à Tous” (Online Training Sessions Open to All). Its influence throughout the community can be seen on more than just an educational and scientific level; though its actions to promote the business creation, the university's reach has now extended to include economic development.
Values to complete knowledge
L'X does not just settle for creating knowledge. It aspires to develop exemplary values in its students and research professors.
Science and conscience: the cult of integrity and sense of public interest are part of its deeply rooted culture. More widely, École Polytechnique is open to the world and enthusiastically welcomes new experiences.
The university now combines these essential characteristics with qualities that are just as important, namely audacity and an entrepreneurial spirit, and which constitute crucial qualities in a world that smiles upon teams that are agile and willing to take risks.
Proud of its past, l'X is committed to making scientific, technological and industrial revolutions possible in the 21st century.
Overcoming major societal challenges is integral to the history and tradition of École Polytechnique, in its pursuit of excellence, progress, and science. With its perspectives of acceptance and accessibility, the school is actively committed to a policy of sustainable development and social responsibility.
> Equal Opportunities
Turning diversity into a strength is a major ambition of École Polytechnique, which supports equal opportunities. To face this challenge, École Polytechnique has created a Diversity and Success Center, which coordinates all of the various on-campus activities and programs developed to promote equal opportunities. These activities involve several different key groups and participants.
> Sustainable Development
École Polytechnique is one of four pilot sites for sustainable development selected by the Ministry of Defense. Energy efficiency and environmental conservation are central to its operations, led by committed participants across various domains of activity.
Since 2010, École Polytechnique has sought to formalize its strategy for sustainable development through the creation of a Sustainable Development Committee. This committee participates in the "Plan Vert" Guidelines set by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE). Its activities cover 5 major areas: academics, research, living environment, transportation, and student clubs.
École Polytechnique is a top French engineering school which is competitive on a national and international scale.
N°1 Best French Grandes Écoles in Science and Technology
All French rankings combined
> European rankings
N°13 Best European Universities
QS World University Rankings 2015/2016
> World rankings
N°3 World's best small universities
Times Higher Education 2016
N°6 Worldwide among higher education institutions in terms of the number of Nobel Prize winners among its graduates
According to the ranking published in Nature
N°6 most attractive institution in the world for employers
QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017
N°22 Best university in terms of student employability
Times Higher Education 2017
N°16 Top 150 Most International Universities Worldwide
Times Higher Education 2017
N°115 Top 1,000 universities in the world - The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018
Times Higher Education 2018
N°40 Top 863 Most International Universities Worldwide
QS World University Rankings 2015/2016
N°36 Top 1000 best Universities Worldwide
CWUR (Center for World University Rankings) 2016
N°66 Top 750 best universities in terms of international scientific publications
The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015
This school offers programs in: