Private engineering school: status, price, program

cours en amphithéâtre à l'ECE
Home » FAQ: all the answers to your questions » Private engineering school: status, price, program

Contact us to learn more about our programs

Would you like to join us?

What is a private engineering school?

A private engineering school is an institution accredited by the Commission des titres d’ingénieurs(CTI). Through the 185 training courses offered throughout the country (in continuing education or alternating courses), its function is to train future engineers and ensure that their skills are perfectly matched. There are 54 private schools among the 200 present on the territory. Access is through the initiative of common competitions such as :

  • Alpha Power
  • Avenir Bac
  • Advance

The attractiveness of these establishments is no longer in question and annual enrolments are still higher than those of the public.

What are the differences between a private engineering school and a public engineering school?

  • The vast majority of engineering schools are public and their cost is limited to university registration fees (between 600 and 1000 euros per year). These institutions are mostly under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESRI), but also of more technical ministries, such as those of agriculture, the economy, or the ecological transition. These public structures receive grants and research credits. The entrance being more accessible, the social mix within the public institutions is more represented.
  • A smaller minority of private schools (also known as community schools) have a much higher registration fee (between 3,000 and 9,000 euros per year). In order to help the most disadvantaged students, the Ministry of Higher Education provides financial aid to help them complete their studies. Although enrollment in these types of institutions remains lower, there has been a steady increase over the past several years. Just like public schools, students who go through a private institution benefit from the same opportunities for internships, apprenticeships and contact with companies to facilitate future employment. On the other hand, they benefit from a large network of alumni to help them enter the job market, which is a real asset in a competitive environment.

CTI accreditations: are they different between private and public engineering schools?

The CTI (Commission des titres d’ingénieurs) is the only body that officially validates engineering training. This accreditation guarantees the conformity of the programs and the teaching delivered. This independent commission applies its selection criteria to both private and public schools in the same way. Each year, it publishes an interministerial decree online validating the establishments that meet their selection criteria.

Private engineering schools: what are the statutes?

Depending on the institution, the status of private engineering schools may vary:

  • First, they may use the term association schools. These establishments are governed by the law of July 1, 1901, or foundations recognized as being of public utility.
  • They can also be called consular schools. They are assimilated to private schools, although in form, these establishments are hybrids. They have been progressively recognized since 2010 and depend on the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, itself a public institution attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Their status is officially recognized because they “participate in the public service mission of higher education and present innovative characteristics in terms of professional integration”.

Are there tuition differences between private and public engineering schools?

Both private and public engineering schools have tuition fees. In fact, private institutions offer much higher rates. Since they receive very little subsidy from the state, these schools must diversify their services and sources of income by using :

  • tuition fees
  • research contracts
  • foundation
  • apprenticeship tax

Although costs may be an obstacle for future candidates, numerous financial aid packages are available to students to facilitate their study and meet the growing demand for qualified engineers.

Pedagogy and professional integration: is there a difference between a private and a public engineering school?

In concrete terms, public and private engineering schools use similar teaching methods. In addition, they also maintain privileged relationships with partner companies in order to promote their future hiring. The teaching is partly theoretical, but also based on practical training and case studies. Although considered more prestigious, graduates of private schools have the same skills and background as those who have gone through public schools.

Accessibility of private engineering schools: which baccalaureate should I take to enter this type of training?

Overall, the engineering profession requires a certain interest in scientific subjects. In view of the skills expected in the engineering field, mastery of mathematics and physics appears to be essential for successful training.

Thus, having a Scientific Baccalaureate is the first option to start an engineering training.

It is also possible to go through a more general or technological stream, no Bac is discriminating to try to enter a school. You will still have to choose 2 scientific specialties in Première and Terminale to justify your approach. In addition to mathematics, some subjects are also required. These include:

  • Physics Chemistry
  • Engineering Sciences
  • Life and Earth Sciences

Therefore, there is no typical path to success. Engineering requires the mastery of a large number of complementary disciplines and general culture. Literature, languages, law or economics are necessary disciplines for a successful curriculum. However, in order to apply for the competitive entrance exams of the Grandes Ecoles, scientific specialization in the first and last years of high school is an indispensable way to prepare for entry into an engineering school.

ECE, a recognized private engineering school

Inaugurated in 1919 in Paris, ECE is since then a reference in terms of private institutions dedicated to engineering. A multitude of career paths are possible thanks to the many specialties offered. The combination of majors and minors, along with options for further study, ensures a comprehensive and specialized learning experience. The construction of the course is totally personalized, in continuing education or in alternating courses.

Within an accessible and high-tech campus, the teaching team accompanying the students offers innovative teaching methods, in direct contact with partner companies. The choice of the ECE for its study program assures the graduates an assured employability and a guaranteed opening on an international engineering career.

Learn more about engineering training

Updated 2 January 2024