The system of degrees awarded in French higher education reflects a common European architecture. The LMD system—for licence (bachelor), master, and doctorate—is based on the number of semesters completed since leaving secondary school, and their equivalent in European credits under the European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS)*:
Licence = 6 semesters = 180 ECTS (Baccalauréat + 3 years)
Master = 10 semesters = 300 ECTS (Baccalauréat + 5 years)
Doctorate = 16 semesters (Baccalauréat + 8 years)
Nearly all of the degrees offered in France’s system of higher education are backed by the national government.
The universities confer “national diplomas,” which have the same weight regardless of the institution that confers them.
Like the licence, master, and doctorate, the diplôme d’ingénieur is a national diploma. The schools that award it are accredited by the French national commission on engineering degrees (CTI).
A similar accreditation procedure exists for government-recognized schools of business and management, the diplomas of which are approved by the Ministry of National Education and, in many cases, have obtained international recognition or accreditation.
France’s schools of art and specialized schools also undergo national certification.