Office of International Programs

Engineering Program in Gif-sur-Yvette

Centrale SupélecCentrale SupélecAt a Glance

City: Gif-sur-Yvette (near Paris) 
Housing: Residence Hall
Partner: CentraleSupélec (Centrale)
Language Requirement: none; FREN 100 or FREN 200 recommended
Calendar: Semester or Year
Accepts Non-Brown Students: Yes


Brown University’s Engineering program in France offers students a unique opportunity to experience a multidisciplinary approach to engineering studies, combining theoretical concepts with practical connections to French industry. This specialized program allows students to take science and engineering coursework in English and in French, while improving their command of French with required French language courses.


Students begin their semester with a three-week (spring semester) or four-week (fall semester) intensive language and orientation program in Vichy, located a three-hour train ride south of Paris in the Auvergne region in central France. Based at Cavilam-Alliance Française (Centre d’Approches Vivantes des Langues et des Médias), students enroll for credit in a French as a Foreign Language immersion course. Fall and academic-year students begin their language studies in Vichy in late July, and spring semester students begin in early January.

In Gif-sur-Yvette, students directly enroll in courses at CentraleSupélec, known for its multidisciplinary approach to the engineering sciences and collaboration with industry. Students begin their semester at Centrale with a one-week long orientation program (end of August or end of January), right before beginning their regular courses. Students participate in cultural activities (clubs, trips, associations, etc.) of their choice organized by the numerous and varied student groups at Centrale.


Students may choose from coursework in energy science, computer science and electrical engineering, mathematics, mechanical and civil engineering, physics, chemical engineering, and industrial engineering, management and economic systems; there are also a limited number of courses in humanities and social sciences. In addition, all students are required to enroll in a French as a Foreign Language course for credit.

Students need to obtain 27-30 European credits, which will transfer as 4 Brown credits and which corresponds to a full semester load. The course in Vichy carries 4 European credits, and semester students must sign up for a minimum of 23 European credits at ECP itself. Year students have to sign up for a minimum of 27 European credits for the spring semester.

During the fall, students may choose from the following courses in English*:

  • Advanced Programming
  • Nanomechanics
  • Structural Dynamics and Acoustics OR Chemical Engineering for Industrial Applications
  • The Genome
  • Advanced Heat Transfer
  • Signal Processing

During the spring semester, students may choose the following courses in English*:

  • Computational Analysis
  • Nuclear Engineering; Numerical Optimization and Applications; Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Physics; Advanced Materials and Novel Devices for Information Technologies; OR Introduction to Purchasing
  • Combustion Modeling and Simulation; Programming Mobile Devices; Introduction to Computer and Artificial Vision; Introduction to Machine Learning; Science-Fiction & Physics; OR Cogeneration and Energy Production
  • Multiscale Surface Analysis; Advanced Numerical Simulation; High Performance Computing for Engineering and Finance; A Crash Course in Modern Mathematical Physics; OR Risk Assessment and Management
  • Heat Transfer; Introduction to Random Modeling; Multi-agent Modeling of Complex Systems; Applications of the Finite Element Method;  OR Production Planning and Scheduling.

*Courses subject to change. Please refer to the most recent course listings from ECP for more information.

Academic Calendar
Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year. 
Please refer to the Spring 2018 program calendar 
for specific information about program dates. 

  • Fall semester:  late July to mid-January
  • Spring semester: early January to end of June
  • Academic year: late July to end of June


In Vichy, students live with a host family, taking breakfast and evening meals with their host. At Centrale, students are housed in single rooms in student residence halls. Cultural, leisure, and athletic facilities as well as a library, auditorium and cafeteria are available on campus.

Eligibility and Requirements

Students must be in good academic standing and should have a strong background in math and physics. Second semester college-level French (FREN 0200/Basic French) or the equivalent recommended, but not required.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown’s online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early. A host institution application also is required with CentraleSupélec.

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