Coordinates: 48°50′29″N 2°20′49″E / 48.84139°N 2.34694°E

TypeGrandes Ecoles
Campus5th arrondissement of Paris
AffiliationsPSL Research University,
ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology),
IDEA League,
WebsiteESPCI Paris

ESPCI Paris (officially the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la Ville de Paris; The City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution) is an institution of higher education founded in 1882 by the city of Paris, France. It educates undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry and biology and conducts high-level research in those fields. It is ranked as the first French École d'Ingénieurs in the 2017 Shanghai Ranking.[1]

ESPCI Paris is a constituent college of PSL Research University and a founding member of the ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology) alliance.

5 researchers and alumni from ESPCI Paris have been awarded the Nobel Prize:

Two thirds of the students enter the School following a competitive examination (concours X-ESPCI-ENS) following at least two years of Classes Préparatoires. The other students are recruited by submitting applications. The School itself is also known as Physique-Chimie or simply PC.

ESPCI Paris nurtures relationships with many industrial partners such as Schlumberger, Rhodia, Total, Thales, Arkema, Michelin, Withings, which sponsors groups of students and has research contracts with ESPCI laboratories. ESPCI Paris also has partnerships with L'Oréal and Saint-Gobain for professional recruitment.


At the end of the 19th century, following the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine by Germany, France lost the École de Chimie de Mulhouse (Mulhouse Chemistry School), which was at that time the best chemistry school in the country. One of its professors, Charles Lauth, obtained permission from the government in 1878 to create a Grande École. In 1882 the École Supérieure de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris was established and became ESPCI, its current name, in 1948. Since its foundation, the founders of the school have emphasized pluridisciplinarity. Biology was introduced in 1994. There are no tuition fees at ESPCI.

After its establishment, the School rapidly became a meeting spot for the best scientists. From 1880 on, Pierre and Jacques Curie started a serie of research on crystal electrical properties that led to the piezoelectricity discovery. In 1897, Marie Curie started her work on uranic rays discovered by Becquerel one year earlier. After numerous experiments in the ESPCI laboratories, she discovered that pitchblende was 4 times more radioactive than uranium or thorium.[2] In July 1898, the Curies announced the discovery of polonium and in December of the same year that of radium. Pierre and Marie Curie received the Physics Nobel Prize in 1903. After the death of her husband, Marie Curie was granted the Chemistry Nobel Prize in 1911.

Many former students have distinguished themselves, amongst which are Georges Claude (5th year), founder of Air Liquide, Paul Langevin (7th year), physicist and inventor and Frédéric Joliot-Curie (39th year), founder of the CEA and Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 with his wife Irène.

In 1976, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (Nobel Prize 1991) became Director of the School and remained in this position until his retirement in 2002.

In 2015, the city of Paris announced a major renovation plan, in order to modernize the buildings and laboratories of the school. Renovation work should start in 2018 and last five years.


The course of study lasts four years.[3] The two first years give the students a strong basic education in physics, chemistry and biology. The students can major in physics, chemistry or physico-chemistry. Laboratory research projects are also carried out. During the third year, the students carry out an industrial internship, which lasts from 4 to 6 months. More than 50% of the students do their internship abroad, in European countries, the United-States, Japan, China, Australia, or other countries. During the fourth year, the students can either begin doctoral studies or do a masters abroad or in France. In 2002 a masters program in bioengineering was created.

The quality of the education at ESPCI enables its students to work in any industrial sector (telecommunication, computing, chemistry, pharmacology, biology, and other fields), mostly in Research and Development (47% in R&D, 10% in production, 10% in consultancy, 5% in environmental work, 3% in teaching, 3% in computing, 22% in other fields such as marketing or management).


The primary mode of admission (60 out of 90 students every year) is a competitive examination open to candidates enrolled in the PC (Physics-Chemistry) section of the Preparatory Classes to the Grandes écoles. The examinations are the same as for the Ecole Polytechnique but the components are weighted differently.

Candidates to the competitive examination must have their licence or an equivalent diploma. They must be aged between 17 and 22 on 1 January of the examination year. Foreign candidates must be under 26 and can attempt this examination three times.

It is also possible for students from the MP section (Maths-Physics), PSI section (Physics and Engineering Sciences), and BCPST section (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences) of the preparatory classes or having completed 2 or 3 years of physics or chemistry in a French university to apply for ESPCI Paris. Admission is reserved to first class honours students selected according to their academic results.

Directors of the ESPCI

Professors of ESPCI Paris

Notable alumni


ESPCI hosts high levels laboratories:[4]

The ESPCI Paris International Scientific Committee




  1. ^ Shanghai Ranking 2017
  2. ^ Sklodowska Curie, Marie (1898). "Rays emitted by compounds of uranium and of thorium". Comptes Rendus. 126: 1101–1103. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  3. ^ Complete curriculum description
  4. ^ [1](in French)
  5. ^ The ESPCI Paris ISC(in French)

External links

International Physicists' Tournament

The International Physicists' Tournament (IPT) is a physics competition for undergraduate students, bachelors or master level (or equivalent), in which students representing their nation and institution have typically 9 months to solve a set of challenging unsolved physics problems, then present and defend them to other teams. The tournament originated in Ukraine in 2009 between the Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but, it has since grown to encompass numerous countries spanning multiple continents. It was initially inspired by the International Young Physicists' Tournament (IYPT) and follows a similar model. Undergraduates may be accompanied by team leaders, who are usually academic research staff or doctoral research students.

Jacques Lewiner

Jacques Lewiner, born in 1943 is a French physicist and inventor. He is Professor and Honorary Scientific Director of École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI Paris), and dean of innovation and entrepreneurship at PSL Research University.

Jacques Lewiner has carried out basic and applied research in various domains of Physics. After his PhD he taught at Catholic University of America and specialized in the study of the electrical properties of solid matter. Back in France he was nominated Professor in charge of the Electromagnetism Chair at ESPCI Paris where Georges Charpak arrived in 1980. In 1987 Pierre-Gilles de Gennes asks him to become Scientific Director of ESPCI Paris, a position he will keep until 2001.

His works have been devoted to electrical insulators and particularly electrets, instrumentation and sensors, for instance in medical imaging, or on the improvement of telecommunication networks.

Jacques Lewiner has filed a large number of patent applications leading to industrial development, either through licenses granted to industrial companies or through start-up companies often created with former students or researchers. He has participated in the creation of various technology oriented start up companies, for instance Inventel, specializing in Telecommunications, Finsécur which develops and markets fire detection systems, Sculpteo which is an online 3D printing platform, Roowin in the field of chemical synthesis and Cynove in embedded electronics devices. Most of these companies have experienced a strong growth. For instance Inventel, which was the French leader for multimedia gateways was bought by Thomson SA in 2005. With Jean-Louis Viovy he created Fluigent which develops fluid motion systems for micro-fluidic applications.

Jacques Lewiner is laureate of the French Academy of Sciences in 1990, Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor, member of the French Academy of Technologies since 2005, Honorary Fellow of the Technion, Doctor Honoris Causa from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Doctor Honoris Causa from Technion. In 2017 he has received the Marius Lavet Special Prize.

Janine Cossy

Janine Cossy (born in 1950) is a French chemist who specialises in the synthesis of biologically-active products and is a professor of organic chemistry at ESPCI ParisTech.

Julia Higgins

Dame Julia Stretton Higgins (née Downes; born 1 July 1942) is a polymer scientist. Since 1976 she has been based at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, where (since 2007) she is Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator.

Laurette Tuckerman

Laurette Stephanie Tuckerman (born 1956) is a mathematical physicist working in the areas of hydrodynamic instability, bifurcation theory, and computational fluid dynamics. She is currently a director of research for the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, at the Physics and Mechanics of Heterogeneous Media Laboratory of ESPCI Paris.

List of Nobel laureates by university affiliation II

This page is the appendix of the main page List of Nobel laureates by university affiliation which only lists the top 50 universities by the number of affiliated Nobel laureates. In this appendix, rankings of universities with no more than 10 affiliated laureates are not shown explicitly, and universities with 1 - 5 affiliates are set hidden.

Abbreviations: UG (Undergraduate), Grad (Graduate), Med (Medical), Atten (Attendee), Prof (Professor), Assoc (Associate), Asst (Assistant), Adj (Adjunct), PSD (Postdoc), Lect (Lecturer), Inst (Instructor), Res (Research/Researcher), Sci (Scientist), Fel (Fellow), Sch (Scholar), Vis (Visit/Visitor).

Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie (; French: [kyʁi]; Polish: [kʲiˈri]; born Maria Salomea Skłodowska; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

She was born in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element she discovered polonium, after her native country.Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.

Marvin L. Cohen

Marvin L. Cohen (born Montreal on March 3, 1935) is a Canadian-born University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin studied under John D. Joannopoulos, a student of Cohen's.

Cohen received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1964, under Professor Jim Phillips. He has received the Oliver E. Buckley Prize in 1979, the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize in 1994, the National Medal of Science in 2001, and the Dickson Prize in Science in 2011. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2005, he served as President of the American Physical Society. He is noted for studies of materials, especially semiconductors, which are the basis for computers and Internet lasers From the top down

Top physical scientists by h-index:


1. Ed Witten 124

(Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)

2. Marvin Cohen 102

(University of California, Berkeley)

3. Philip Warren Anderson 102

(Princeton University)

4. Manuel Cardona 100

(Max Planck Institute for Solid

State Research, Stuttgart, Germany)

5. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes 88

(ESPCI, Paris)

PSL Research University

Université PSL (officially Université de recherche Paris Sciences et Lettres in French and Paris Sciences & Lettres - PSL Research University or Paris Sciences & Lettres - PSL University in English) is a French collegiate university, currently organized as a ComUE (university community). PSL was formed in 2010 and is made up of 9 members. It has 10 associates and receives support from 3 national research entities. PSL is located in Paris, with its main sites in the Latin Quarter, at the Jourdan campus, at Porte Dauphine, in northern Paris, and at Carré Richelieu.

PSL awards Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD diplomas for its member schools & institutes. It offers an education based on research and interdisciplinary instruction, and its 20,000 students have access to a broad range of disciplines in science, engineering, humanities and social science, and the arts. Three of PSL University’s programs, from Bachelor's through PhD level, include CPES multidisciplinary undergraduate degree, ICFP-ENS, and SACRe doctoral program.

PSL has 181 laboratories and 101 ERC grants, and runs cross-cutting flagship programs such as the Scripta Interdisciplinary and Strategic Research Initiative (IRIS), the PSL Mathematics program, and the Q-Life Institut.

PSL students and researchers have access to 92 specialized and general libraries, archives, and photo libraries as well as online databases and journals. PSL has framework agreements with the University of Cambridge, UCL, EPFL, New York University, Columbia, Beijing University, Tsinghua University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


ParisTech (former Institut des sciences et technologies de Paris (Paris Institute of Technology)) is a foundation that brings together 10 renowned engineering schools located in Paris, France, that specialise in science and business.

Engineering grandes écoles
Business schools
Universities abroad
Accredited degrees
Colleges and institutes

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