Strategy and Missions
In today’s climate of fierce economic competition, innovation is the only route to prosperity. École Polytechnique trains leaders with solid backgrounds in multidisciplinary science through ample exposure to both the business and research worlds.
École Polytechnique’s DNA: faith in innovation, the driving force of prosperity
École Polytechnique was founded in 1794, a period marked not only by political and economic upheaval, but also by the end of the Age of Enlightenment. During this unique moment in history, the Comité de Salut Public (French Public Welfare Committee) anticipated the future applications of the myriad scientific and technical discoveries that occurred during the 18th century and triggered the Industrial Revolution. It entrusted Gaspard Monge, Lazare Carnot and several other scholars with enlisting, by means of a competitive recruitment process, the best minds of their time, and teaching them science for the benefit of the French Republic.
In 1804, Napoleon confirmed Polytechnique’s role in serving the nation by granting École Polytechnique military status and giving the school its motto:
“Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire” (“For the Homeland, Science and Glory”).
Now, at the start of the 21st century, another era characterized by geopolitical, economic and environmental difficulties as well as numerous groundbreaking technologies, École Polytechnique maintains the same philosophical core. A staunch defender of the idea that innovation is the only driving force of collective prosperity, the university is a significant contributor to promoting responsible productive, economic and scientific development.
École Polytechnique produces and shares multidisciplinary knowledge of the highest level
As a higher education establishment, l’X naturally seeks to share the most up-to-date knowledge to benefit its students, selected based on the criteria of excellence for which it is renowned.
However, École Polytechnique also creates knowledge, for its professors are both teachers and researchers. It hosts around twenty laboratories, which are closely connected to French national research institutions and committed to prestigious international collaboration. The aim of these laboratories is to achieve results in the form of intellectual property rights and publications in leading journals in both fundamental and applied research.
École Polytechnique’s credo is to be multidisciplinary both in its teaching and research. Structured around ten scientific disciplines, including humanities and social sciences, it focuses its research on eight themes that involve collaboration between the laboratories. Such a model stems from the observation that fruitful innovations accepted by society are born from the confrontation and cooperation of disciplines, including philosophy.
École Polytechnique serves society, companies and its students
In an informed and mobile society, today’s best students throughout the world can choose from any number of universities. Higher education is an international competition and l’X has its own share of competitors— which incidentally are often partners —whose financial means, from both public and private sources, are substantial.
In this stimulating environment, École Polytechnique’s aim is to be recognized by the most exceptional students from around the world as an institution where they can acquire a knowledge base and know-how and gain access to a network of former students which will allow them to have a fulfilling professional life in line with their ambitions.
The university is also developing its activities designed to benefit companies, which generate value. It hopes to offer them research and development results which will allow them to prosper both on an industrial and economic level.
Finally, École Polytechnique does not forget its role in society. The university’s role of spreading knowledge is not limited to research publications, and now extends to online teaching through “Formations en Ligne Ouvertes à Tous” (Online Training Sessions Open to All). Its influence throughout the community can be seen on more than just an educational and scientific level; though its actions to promote business creation, the university’s reach has now extended to include economic development.
Values to complete knowledge
L’X does not just settle for creating knowledge. It aspires to develop exemplary values in its students and researching professors. Science and conscience: the cult of integrity and sense of public interest are part of its deeply rooted culture. More widely, École Polytechnique is open to the world and enthusiastically welcomes new experiences.
The university now combines these essential characteristics with qualities that are just as important, namely audacity and an entrepreneurial spirit, and which constitute crucial qualities in a world that smiles upon teams that are agile and willing to take risks. Proud of its past, l’X is committed to making scientific, technological and industrial revolutions possible in the 21st century.
École Polytechnique is a top French engineering school which is competitive on a national and international scale.
> European rankings
N°2 France and N°15 Best European Universities
QS World University Rankings 2020
> World rankings
N°1 France and N°2 World’s best small universities
Times Higher Education 2019
N°1 France and N°32 World in Top 2000 best Universities
CWUR (Center for World University Rankings) 2019
N°2 France and N°87 World’s Top 1,500+ universities
Times Higher Education 2021
N°1 France and N°4 Worldwide for education business leaders
According to THE Alma Mater Index 2017
N°2 France and N°6 Worldwide among higher education institutions in terms of the number of Nobel Prize winners among its graduates
According to the ranking published in Nature
N°1 France and N°18 World’s Best university in terms of student employability
N°2 France and N°28 World’s Best university in terms of student employability
Times Higher Education 2019
N°1 France and N°33 Worldwide among the Most International Universities
Times Higher Education 2021
N°1 France and N°30 Worldwide for student-to-staff ratio
According to THE 2018
Location of Ecole Polytechnique in Paris