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The Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon or INSA de Lyon is a Grande École d'Ingénieurs. INSA was founded in 1957 to train highly qualified engineers, support continuing education, and conduct research and testing. The five-year curriculum aims at training engineers who possess humane qualities and are well versed in the primary areas of science and engineering. Graduates from INSA are called "Insaliens".

The education is divided into two parts:
  • the first cycle, which is a highly selective part of the studies and which aims at giving the basis for future engineering studies,
  • the second cycle, for which the students have the choice of 12 specialties. The future engineer chooses here a specialisation, and have then the possibility to pursue a PhD.

The university is located on a campus called La Doua. This is a large campus which encompasses many other science-oriented schools and universities. La Doua is located in Villeurbannemarker, a suburb of Lyonmarker.

First cycle

The five year academic curriculum starts with a foundation course (preparatory cycle) where students focus on fundamental sciences (maths, physics, chemistry, mechanics and computer sciences) and then progressively open to specialized areas in science and technology. This generalist preparatory cycle ensures that all INSA engineers acquire a solid background in terms of skills and competence, thus allowing them to reorient their career independently of their initial specialization. The first cycle is the highly selective part of the studies. During the first year the examination is very hard to test if the student is really able to go on with the engineering studies.

Some special sections are available:

  • "Sport Etudes" (Sport and Science) combining a good level of education in sport and science,
  • 5 sections of "Art études" (Art and Science).
  • SCAN section: the students follow their engineering courses in English,
  • GRAL section: the students follow their engineering courses in German,
  • Langues O (oriental languages) section: this section has been made for students that want to have more hours to learn an oriental language such as Japanese, Russian or Chinese.

Second cycle (Masters of Engineering)

The second cycle is completed in 3 years which offers 12 different options.

  • Computer science,
  • Biochemistry,
  • Bioinformatics,
  • Civil engineering and urbanism,
  • Electrical/Electronic engineering,
  • Energy engineering and environment,
  • Mechanical engineering and design,
  • Mechanical engineering and development,
  • Mechanical engineering and plasturgy processes,
  • Industrial engineering,
  • Materials science and engineering,
  • Telecommunications


Admission granted based on diplomas, academic file and interview. Only students with GPA of 3.9 or above, as well as a strong science background are eligible for INSA.

An international school

The INSA Lyon has been one of the first universities in France to orientate its policy towards "international" education.

  • A mobility abroad 6 months to one year for 77% of the graduates,
  • A voluntarist strategy of reception of foreign students (28%),
  • 10 taught languages - at least 2 languages are required to get the diploma,
  • 220 partner universities in the world.

INSA Lyon proposes special international sections for its students. These sections allow the French student to study and work with students from other countries. This is the only French university to propose such a concept.
  • EURINSA: approximately 120 students in 1st year including 1/3 of French students, 1/3 of the European Union and 1/3 of the other European countries.
  • ASINSA: a class of approximately 80 students in 1st year, made up approximately for half of French students and half of Asian students coming from China, Viêt Nam, South Korea, India, Singapore, Thailand.
  • AMERINSA: 50 students in 1st year, made up for half of French students and half of Latin-American students, coming mainly from Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Colombia.

INSA is highly interested in international exchange; about 600 foreign students from 35 countries study at the institute annually. Total enrolment: 4,500, including 1,000 at the doctoral level. The INSA Lyon has a partnership with about 200 universities.

Masters of Science

The INSA Lyon proposes 10 masters for students that are interested in research careers. This offer directed towards the formation with and by research, is pressed on the 27 research laboratories. Its fund is the largest among those in France.


Due to the second largest fund among Grandes Ecoles in France, it is one of the most powerful research center.With its 27 laboratories, whose 18 contractualized with EPST (15 CNRS, 1 INSERM, 1 INRA, 1 INRIA), the INSA Lyon constitutes one of the most powerful French complexes of research positioned in response to social-economic stakes.

  • 500 Professors
  • 250 Master students
  • 500 PhD students
  • 120 Theses supported each year

Student life

On-campus accommodation

Since its creation , INSA Lyon has offered its students the possibility to reside on-campus:
  • numerous clubs and associations covering a wide range of activities (e.g. musical groups, prototype vehicle manufacturing, astronomy, drama, choir, charity clubs...).
  • personal internet access
  • documentation centre enabling information research for all types of documents and data bases
  • restaurants, self-service cafeteria, lounges, library, etc
  • counseling provided to first and second year students ; a full time social worker is available to help with the various kinds of difficulties that a student may encounter


The campus of "la DOUA" offers many sports facilities that are also available to INSA students. INSA was awarded the title of the best sports university in France. The “Centre des Sports” (sports centre) is run by 18 specialised sports teachers and has four objectives: to supervise sports practices, to run the “Association Sportive” (Sports Association), to supervise students in the top athletes sports section, and to coordinate technological research applied to sports equipments.This association brings together students who wish to specialise in the practice of a particular sport. It runs on the basis of one or more training session per week and participates in the French University Championships Approximately one third of INSA students are licensed with the Sports Association. The Association’s achievements are excellent, with many French Championship titles being won every year. INSA Lyon students are frequently selected to represent the French National University team at the various University World Championships and in the “Universiades”, participating in many of the Olympic Sports.


Since 1981, INSA has been entrusted by the Departments of “Education Nationale” and of “Jeunesse et des Sports”, with the administration of a “Sport Etudes” section (Sports and Studies) called Top Athletes section.11 students from this section have participated in the Olympic Games.2 World Champions have graduated from INSA.


It is considered as one of the best Grandes Ecoles in France. INSA Lyon achieved 10th place in the ranking of the top 40 French “Grandes Ecoles” and Engineering Universities, carried out by the French magazine “Nouvel Economiste” (March 2006) and achieved 1st place in the ranking performed by weekly magazine Le Point (Le Point - 17/02/2005 - N°1692) of the top French engineering schools (with admittance directly after high school/secondary school). INSA Lyon is also ranked among the top 5 preferred Engineering Schools for recruiters. The magazine “l'Expansion” placed the school in 15th position with respect to salary offered for the first employment and after 3 years experience. INSA Lyon is in an excellent position in the ranking of French Computer Engineering Graduate Schools, it achieved 2nd place in the ranking of IT Engineering Schools, according to a survey carried out by the magazine “Le Monde Informatique” 2006. (1 Supelec 2 INSA de Lyon 3 Mines 4 Polytechnique 5 Centrale Paris )


Over a hundred clubs have been registered so far.

  • Students' Union(BdE): Association of the students in engineering of the INSA
  • 24 hours of the INSA Lyon
  • ARGIL: Association of management and entertainment of student centre of INSA Lyon
  • OBJECTIF 21: Association coed for the promotion of the durable development on the INSA Lyon
  • CLES FACIL: Aeronautical rocket Club of the INSA Lyon
  • ClubElek : Robotics Club of the INSA Lyon
  • INSAERO: Aeronautical association of the INSA Lyon
  • Etic INSA Technologies: Junior Undertaken of the INSA Lyon
  • Exit: Campus Gay and Lesbian association
  • BCI: Billiards Club INSA?
  • Ciné Club of the INSA Lyon : Movies projections on campus
  • Club Data base: club comic strips
  • The INSATIABLE One: Newspaper of the students of the INSA Lyon
  • BACCHUS: club of enology
  • SLIDE: Standards Latinos INSA Dance Entertainement, Club of Latin dances
  • INSA Dojang: club of Taekwondo
  • Adeibt Association of raised resulting from technological vat
  • Group of Pinguins free: Association of promotion of the free software
  • BEST Lyon: Board of European Students of Technology
  • SCI: Ski Club of the INSA Lyon
  • ADIL: Association of the Doctorands of Insa Lyon
  • SHIOT: Street Hockey Insa Olympic TEAM, club of Roller-Hockey of Insa Lyon

Annual events

1.The "24 hours": one of the biggest student associations in France.

2.Karnaval: it is the association in charge of organising a great costumed parade on Shrove Tuesday, involving both students and children from primary schools. A student party is given in the evening. The event is part of a week during which many cultural and humanitarian relief activities are organised.

3. the Gala: it is the ceremony where INSA award degrees for the alumni. After the ceremony a dinner and a celebration party are organised.

See also

External links

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