In France degree programs always start with the winter semester. Starting in a summer semester is not possible. For applying you need a secondary education graduation, whether an advanced vocational certificate of education is accepted you need to check individually. As a European citizen you can apply directly with the universities.
Exceptions are valid for the degree programs of medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine and if you want to study in and around Paris. In these cases prospective students direct their application to the French embassy or the ministry of education. The following documents should be attached to the application: cover letter, an international or translated birth certificate, an accredited transcript of records.
In general everybody in France is accepted for their aspired degree program, so there are no minimum grades required. But be aware that after the first or second year of study in many degree programs (e.g. Medicine) there are tests that decide who is allowed to continue their study. Only those who pass the test will finish the program.
In general applications in France are processed online.
First applicants have to fill out an application form. The applicants can either request that the French university sends it to them or it can be downloaded from the website. Usually it can be found under the menu item Inscription.
The form should be filled out well in advance of the application deadline accompanied by these documents:
Some universities may request further information. Therefore it is advisable to contact the respective university beforehand and ask for information material as well as request application documents.
Those who are accepted by the university receive a confirmation letter (Lettre de confirmation) and the inscription form. The inscription form has to be filled out and handed to the matriculation office (inscription administrative). The official inscription then happens at the university where the study fees have to be paid. Finally you receive the matriculation form (Certificat de scolarité) and your personal student card (Carte détudiant).
To be accepted at a French university, you need a certificate of secondary education that equals the French Baccalauréat.
If you have a university of applied sciences entrance qualification you can take a special test to get the Diplôme daccès aux études universitaires (DAEU).
This diploma certifies that you can access a French university without the regular certificate of secondary education. To be able to take this special test you have to request an exception permit with the head of the respective institute you are applying for.
Furthermore you might have to proof your French language proficiency. An officially recognized language test like the DALF (Diplôme approfondi de Langue Française) is accepted if it was passed with at least satisfactory.
As every university can decide on its own what the exact admission requirements are often times EU citizens do not have to hand in a language proof.
To be sure, however, it is advisable to check with the respective university beforehand. Usually there are international offices or contact persons at the respective institutes that care for the needs of international students.
For studying at a Grandes Écoles special admission tests called concours have to be passed.