The International Center for Fundamental Physics and its interfaces at Ecole normale supérieure - PSL (ENS - ICFP) offers an English-speaking two-year master's program in Physics. The curriculum provide a thorough understanding of the theoretical and experimental basis of Fundamental Physics.
It spans a broad spectrum of disciplines, including high energy physics, statistical physics, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, astrophysics, and physics for biology.
This master's program is part of PSL Physics graduate program.
The master’s degree in Fundamental Physics is led by the department of Physics - International Centre for Fundamental Physics and its interface at the Ecole normale supérieure - PSL. Courses are jointly organized with the following partner universities and institutions:
• Sorbonne Université
• Université de Paris (previously Paris Diderot)
• Université Paris-Saclay
• Institut Polytechnique de Paris in Year 2 (previously Ecole Polytechnique)
The program is spread over two years and 120 ECTS, requesting full-time studies. The academic year is divided into two semesters:
• course activities during the first semester (30 ECTS) for both Year 1 and 2
• second semester dedicated to:
- an internship in France or abroad, for Year 1
- short research internship and optional courses, for Year 2
The first year of study provides a general introduction to fundamental physics, particularly in statistical physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity.
In the second year of study, students can specialize in an area of their choice. The research internship, which takes place at the end of the second semester, is often the opportunity for students to complete their first scientific publication.
The second year includes four separate tracks:
- Condensed matter physics
- Soft matter and biological physics
- Quantum physics: from atoms to the solid state
- Theoretical physics
Who should apply?
The Master’s in Fundamental Physics is available to students with Bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering) who have received a solid basic education in fundamental physics and mathematics.
This Master provides a general course of study during the first year and opportunities for specialization in the second year. Students have the opportunity to work in laboratories covering most of the fields of fundamental physics, including the most highly applied forms.
Upon completion of a dissertation, students have mainly access to careers in academia or with major research agencies (CNRS, CEA, IN2P3). Students can also leverage their hands-on research experience to proceed along a different professional path, ranging from teaching, public administration and consulting, to industrial or business careers.
The second year includes a seminar dedicated to research professions.
Note bene : This degree primarily leads to careers in public or industrial research.
Students interested in teaching careers at secondary education level are advised to follow a more suitable curriculum, in order to prepare the French Ministry of National Education’s competitive hiring exams (CAPES and Agrégation).
Students from France or abroad can enter the program directly into the second year (M2), provided they have completed 60 recognized ECTS at the M1 level in disciplines compatible with the selected program. Students falling within this category may be coming from non-specialized university physics programs (M1 “Physics and Applications” majors, for example) or from engineering schools (such as École Polytechnique) with a concentration in fundamental physics courses. Prospective students must have already received thorough training in quantum mechanics and statistical physics in particular.
2023/24 online application deadlines
Online applications (Master's degree Year 1 and Year 2) : January 10, 2023 to March 10, 2023 on ICFP portal
Tuition fees are set by ministerial decree (€243 in 2022/23). Please note that you will also need to provide proof of payment for the CVEC (Student Life and Campus Fee) of €100. More information.
Institution for registration: ENS - PSL
Degree issued: French Master’s degree delivered by Université PSL
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