ENS Diploma

The ENS de Lyon diploma precisely describes the characteristics and specificities of the ENS training.

The ENS de Lyon diploma, which confers the master's degree, is the common framework for Normalienne education. All students admitted to the first year must enroll in the ENS de Lyon diploma to complete a full 4-year training course at the School. It is also possible to be admitted to the ENS de Lyon diploma in the second year. The term "Normalien" or "Normalienne" applies to all students enrolled in the ENS de Lyon diploma: "normalien-élève" for admissions by competitive examination and "normalien-étudiant" for admissions on file. Normalienne education offers training through research and gives each student the opportunity to build their career according to their professional project: open to the international, it promotes multidisciplinarity and leads to careers in research and teaching, but also towards research and development in business or senior public administration.

In the Physics Department, graduation involves:

  • The completion and validation of at least three internships in the event of enrollment in the first year of the diploma (level L3) or two internships in the event of direct enrollment in the second year of the diploma (level M1), including at least one internship M2 level in all cases;
  • Obtaining a master’s degree;
  • An international experience of at least three months, which can take the form of a study trip, a research internship, a research stay;
  • Obtaining Cambridge Advanced English (level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages);
  • The validation, over the entire course, of at least 30 credits not validated by the student for obtaining another diploma in his specialty discipline; these credits can be ECTS if the student follows, in his field or in another, courses allocated ECTS or “School Credits” if they are allocated to specific activities of the School diploma. The "School Credit" is reserved for activities that are not valued within the framework of national diplomas. Of these 30 Credits, at least 15 must be validated during the first year of the ENS de Lyon diploma; they are assigned to well-defined activities (research training, digital skills, multidisciplinarity).

First year of the diploma in the department of physics

The first year is always carried out at the ENS de Lyon. Its main objective is to train students in research methods, by giving them the necessary foundations for the training through research that they will follow later. This research training is organized differently, depending on whether the student holds 120 ECTS or 180 ECTS upon joining the School.

  • If the student holds 120 ECTS
    • Enrollment in the first year of the diploma;
    • Enrollment in L3 Physics in the SDM course;
    • Validation of at least 15 compulsory credits from the first year of the diploma.
  • If the student holds 180 ECTS, two options are available :
    • enroll in the first year of the diploma:
      • Either by following a year of training at the School equivalent to 60 ECTS and by validating at least the 15 compulsory Credits of the first year of the diploma;
      • Or by enrolling in another L3 than the one they already hold, to construct the additional training necessary for their academic and professional project. They will also have to validate at least the 15 compulsory Credits of the first year of the diploma.
    • enroll in the second year of the diploma:
      • Enrollment in M1 SDM (Physics major) according to a study plan validated by the School;
      • Validation of at least 15 compulsory credits from the first year of the diploma.

Continuation of the program: 2nd, 3rd and 4th years

The continuation of the course may include:

  • Research-oriented master's degree


  • Master’s in Teaching Training, Agrégation and Professional Development (FEADéP);
  • Double diploma or double training;
  • Long research project;
  • Public administration training;
  • Gaining experience in a professional environment;
  • Complementary training, in the specialty discipline;
  • Complementary training in another discipline.

The ENS diploma offers specific activities common to all departments or specific to the physics department. These are listed in the ENS diploma booklet, which is updated each year.