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A doctoral degree is typically earned three years after the completion of a master’s degree program or an equivalent degree. This research-oriented degree program allows students to gain high-level scientific and professional skills.

The doctorate is a national diploma. The doctoral degree program lasts three to six years and can be started once a student earns a national master’s diploma or an equivalent degree. After defending their thesis, students will be awarded their doctorate (eight years of education after high school).

A thesis can focus on any of the fields taught at Paris Descartes, including hard sciences, human and social sciences, law, health, economics and business, and more.

The doctoral program allows students to enter the public or private research sector as well as management positions in all socio-economic sectors in France and abroad. A doctorate is the most widely recognized diploma internationally and is the equivalent of a PhD.

Contact :

Doctoral Degree Institute
12, rue de l’Ecole de Médecine
75006 PARIS
Doctoral degree services

Enrolling in the doctoral program

The doctorate is organized by one of the doctoral faculties at Paris Descartes, each of which includes several research laboratories. Paris Descartes operates six doctoral faculties and certifies an additional six through its partners. These doctoral faculties organize and oversee the activities of doctoral candidates in collaboration with the thesis director.

Students may enroll in the doctoral program through the Paris Descartes Doctoral Degree Institute.


Writing a thesis

In addition to conducting experiments or completing coursework, doctoral candidates must write a thesis. The thesis lays out the student’s methodology and results and demonstrates his or her technical or scientific knowledge and skills, such as their ability to synthesize information, adopt a critical mindset, reference existing literature, etc.

During the degree program, the doctoral candidate signs a contract that gives him or her access to a small stipend. Funding from public and private organizations is also available.

Once the thesis has been written and approved by two referees, the candidate presents his or her thesis through an oral defense. The candidate is given an opportunity to explain his or her research method and results before answering the jury’s questions.


European Doctorate certification

The “European Doctorate” or “Doctor Europaeus” is a type of certification awarded by Paris Descartes University. It applies to the national doctorate diploma and emphasizes the European scope of the doctoral degree program.

It is open to doctoral candidates enrolled in the doctorate programs of universities located within member countries of the European Community. The program also includes other countries in the European Free Trade Association, namely Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein. To qualify, the following conditions must be met:

  1. part of the doctorate must have been prepared during a period of at least three months in another European country.
  2. students are authorized to defend their thesis based on reports written by at least two professors or equivalent parties belonging to universities from two different European countries. The thesis referees cannot belong to the university where the thesis is being defended.
  3. one member of the jury must come from a university located in a different European country than where the thesis is being defended.
  4. a part of the oral presentation must be done in a national European language other than the native language(s) of the country where the thesis is being defended.

This certification is independent from the co-supervision system but can be combined with it.

Any candidate who would like to receive “European doctorate” certification must follow Paris Descartes University’s doctoral thesis presentation procedure, which stipulates that the process must begin three months before the scheduled date of the oral defense.


The Cartesian Association

The Cartesian Association of Doctors and Doctoral Students of Paris includes all doctors and doctoral candidates from all disciplines offered at Paris Descartes University. It has two primary goals, namely to create a network of doctors and to showcase the doctoral program.

Website and email : lescartesiens.asso[at]