Télécom ParisTech

Making a PhD

The PhD degree has been delivered by Telecom ParisTech since 1984. Being the highest academic degree in France, its support and promotion has been since then a major role of a top level engineering institute such as Telecom ParisTech. PhD students are deeply involved in - and are strong contributors to - the scientific production of Telecom ParisTech research laboratories.

Doctoral programs

All PhD students are enrolled in a « doctoral school ». From 2015 and beyond, Telecom ParisTech participates in 3 main doctoral school areas of the newly established world level University Paris-Saclay , of which Telecom ParisTech is a founding member:

  • Information and Communication Science and technology (ED STIC)
  • Humanities (ED SHS)
  • Mathematics (ED MH)

The main role of doctoral schools is to ensure the quality of the delivered PhD degree. This is achieved through the selection/admission of the applicants, through the offering of scientific courses and professional training and through a policy of encouragement and supervision of the doctoral work progress over the nominal duration of 3 years of the French doctorate.

Some PhD thesis are jointly supervised with another international institutions (“co-tutelle”), bringing the double degree diploma. This requires a contractual agreement between all parties and need be arranged well before the PhD start.

Research and tutoring

The PhD research is conducted under the supervision of a professor/researcher being officially granted this responsibility for the whole duration of the thesis, under strict requirements according to the rules of the doctoral school. This ensures that the PhD student is properly advised and has the capacity to progress quickly by gathering part of the mentor and other close researchers’ experience. A large fraction of the PhD works takes place within collaborative projects involving not only local scientists but also partners from other academic laboratories or from SMEs/industry.

The education & research departments hosting PhD students are the following:

They are organized in 17 research groups, covering a broad spectrum of science and technology within the LTCI laboratory  and the i3/SES laboratory.

PhD objectives

PhD Comics

In perspective of the favorable environment and working/supervision conditions offered by Telecom ParisTech, it is expected that PhD students will be capable to reach a high standard for the scientific quality level when defending. This generally means:

  • Participation at several major selective and international conferences
  • At least one sizeable impact journal paper accepted, or under minor revision


The PhD admission process involves 3 steps:

  • Getting in touch with the supervisor offering a Phd research subject, first by e-mail together with a CV and associated data, followed by meetings and deep exchanges under the supervisor invitation
  • If the candidacy is supported by the supervisor, formal application through the web based doctoral information system of Paris-Saclay university  (ADUM)
  • After acceptance by the doctoral school, administrative registration according to instructions provided

Depending on the time period, the funding scheme and other specificities, the whole process can be effected between 3 weeks and 3 months. For foreign students, especially for non Europeans, visa formalities or authorization of a contractual recruitment may take several weeks and should best be treated early enough after granting of PhD admission by the doctoral school.

PhD subjects offering

The main portal for the publication of PhD thesis subjects (2015-2016  and 2016-2017 ) is through Paris-Saclay...

Some examples of recent PhD oral defenses can be found here.

More details on the PhD pages in French


All PhD students must be financially supported in a way or another, allowing them to live in suitable comfort conditions. Most PhD students are proposed a doctoral contract for 3 years, although some of them receive a grant from their home government or from other sources. About a quarter of the PhD students are part or most time in an industry laboratory under the academic supervision of a researcher from Telecom ParisTech, in which case the contract is delivered by the company.

Living in Paris, language

PhD in Paris

Telecom ParisTech is located in the very heart of Paris and brings students all the immense cultural richness of the city. Facilities can be provided for lodging to part of the PhD students, according to availabilities.

French is the usual language everywhere in Telecom ParisTech and foreign PhD students are warmly encouraged to learn it, in order to better grasp the local culture and bring some of it back home. Still, many students have a limited mastering of French, even at the defense time. English can be used throughout the thesis duration, subject to supervisor agreement, even for the manuscript writing and the oral defense.

See also the international studies page.

Key figures

  • Telecom ParisTech hosts around 250 PhD students in its laboratories
  • 50 % are French, 15 % come from Asia, 14 % from Africa, 11 % from Europe, 6 % from Near and Middle-East and 4 % from the Americas. 34 countries are currently represented among the PhD students population
  • 30 % PhD students are female
  • The Telecom ParisTech faculty counts 180 full professors, associate professors and full time researchers, among whom 2/3 have the official capacity to supervise a PhD thesis
  • PhD graduates are part of the Telecom ParisTech Alumni  network, rich of nearly 18 000 members distributed over the world