The International Centre for Fundamental Physics and its interfaces at Ecole normale supérieure (ENS-ICFP) offers a two-year masters program in Physics. The curriculum provides a thorough understanding of the theoretical and experimental basis of Fundamental Physics, covering a broad spectrum including statistical physics, high energy physics, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics and physics for biology.
The program is spread over two years (120 ECTS/full-time). It is also possible to join the program directly for the second year. The academic year is divided into two semesters. Each year starts with the course activities (first semester- 30 ECTS). The second semester of the first year is dedicated to an internship in France or abroad. The second semester of the second year begins with a short research internship and finishes with optional courses.
The first year presents an in-depth introduction to modern physics, particularly in statistical physics, quantum mechanics and relativity. Starting in September 2012, most courses will be taught in English.
The second year offers the student the possibility to specialize in the field of their choice including a mandatory research internship. It often takes place in a foreign laboratory and it represents genuine research work: very often students realize their first scientific publication. The second year is organized in four programs of study:
Written examinations usually take place at the end of each semester.
The masters degree in Fundamental Physics is led by the department of Physics- International Centre for Fundamental Physics- at the Ecole normale supérieure. Courses are jointly organized with the following partner universities and institutions:
The degree awarded after two years is a diplôme national de master (120 ECTS- equivalent to a Master of Science). It can be delivered by the Ecole normale supérieure and partner institutions, and gives access to doctoral studies.
As part of their studies, students also have access to several courses of foreign languages (French as a foreign language but also English, German, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, etc.).
The Master of Fundamental Physics is a prestigious degree that is specifically intended for outstanding French and international students wishing to obtain a first-class education in fundamental physics. Since its founding in 1794, the ENS has played a pivotal role in educating the French academic elite (among them many Nobel laureates, most recently in Physics Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (1997), Albert Fert (2007) and Serge Haroche (2012)).
By choosing this masters degree, you can be assured of four things:
Physics research at ENS received an overall A+ ranking (highest ranking) at the 2008 AERES evaluation (French evaluation agency for research and higher education).
The first year
The first year offers a wealth of lectures covering advanced topics in modern physics, ranging from fundamental interaction and particle physics to hydrodynamics, from statistical field theory to quantum computation and quantum coherence, from general relativity and gravitation to non-linear physics and computational physics, .... Students follow those lectures, chosen according to their interests and for a total of 30 ECTS, during the first semester. The second semester is devoted to a 6-month research internship in French or foreign laboratories, in any field of physics or its interfaces.
The second year
The second year is organized around four different programs: Theoretical physics; Quantum Physics: from atom to solid state; Physics of macroscopic and complex systems and Condensed Matter Physics. The first semester is dedicated to courses (30 ECTS). Each student enrolls in a program in which he/she follows compulsory and optional courses. In exceptional cases, the student can include in his/her program one optional course from another area of study, in agreement with his/her head of studies. In the second semester, students are expected to complete an internship relevant to their course of study (18 ECTS) plus four optional courses chosen from any program (4x 3 ECTS). These optional courses must be approved by the head of the studies.
The International Centre for Fundamental Physics welcomes applications from highly qualified French and international students with a solid background in physics and mathematics who hold a Bachelors degree or an equivalent academic qualification.
Direct admission into the second year is possible for suitably qualified French and international students. As a general rule, students from French engineering schools and students who already hold a minimum of 60 ECTS in the field of interest at post-graduate level are welcomed.
Please note that the Master in Fundamental Physics is part of the study program of the International Centre for Fundamental Physics at Ecole normale supérieure. Admission to each level is highly selective, and an overall assessment will be made of the applicants suitability to complete the full curriculum.
Good working ability in English is required for admission.
There is no formal French language requirement. International students can attend courses in French as a foreign language during their studies at ENS
Thanks to the funding support of the French national research agency, the ICFP is pleased to launch a new scholarship program. Each year, 6 to 10 scholarships will be awarded. Awards are available for full-time study in the masters program in Physics at ENS-ICFP.
These scholarships are intended to support students of the highest calibre with outstanding academic record and may be offered to applicants of any country that meet the academic requirements.
The scholarship provides a living stipend (up to 12000 euros/year) and is awarded for one year. It may be renewed once for students following the two-year program depending on their academic achievement.
You may apply to Scholarships via the online application process.
You are normally required to take an English Proficiency Test if you come from a non-English speaking country.
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