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IMaLiS Master

The Paris Science and Letters Research University (PSL) is the premier degree-granting research institution in France. Within the framework of the PSL Master’s in Life Sciences, the Biology Department of the ENS offers a high-level, generalist course of study that incorporates key interdisciplinary content bringing together biology, physics, computer science and mathematics, and provides specialization in one of four Master’s curricula :

- Systems biology, genomics and bioinformatics
- Neurosciences
- Ecology and evolution
- Fundamental biology for health

These curricula are collectively referred to as IMaLiS (Interdisciplinary Master’s in Life Sciences). IMaLiS aims to nurture both interdisciplinary cross-pollination and the development of formalized, quantitative approaches, preparing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and physicians to address emerging problems in contemporary biology. Classes can be taken at world-renowned partner schools which also provide internship opportunities : Collège de France (CdF), Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), Ecole Supérieure de Physique Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI), Ecole des Mines ParisTech, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique (IBPC), Institut Curie and Institut Pasteur. Collaborations with several leading French teaching institutions (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, AgroParisTech) and foreign universities (University of Arizona) provide additional courses and internship opportunities. The program partners with world-class laboratories and is highly international in scope, with international recruiting, courses taught in English, and internship opportunities abroad.

IMaLiS coordinator : Denis Thieffry
Secretary : Anne Zalmanski


IMaLiS is a two-year program offering advanced classes, practical tutorials, laboratory internships and conference series. We foster the learning of research through the practice of research ; the second semester of each year is fully devoted to a long internship (5 months) in top-level laboratories in France or abroad. Application procedures for each year can be found on the Master 1 or Master 2 Web pages. Yearly matriculation fees are low (on the order of 300 €). Competitive scholarships are available for each year. A faculty mentor is assigned to guide each student in choosing courses, looking for an internship, and preparing a course of study.

In the Master 1 year, students are free to select a variety of courses in cellular and developmental biology, medical sciences, genetics, neurosciences, computational biology and informatics, systems biology, evolution and ecology. Specific combinations of coursework can be suggested by faculty, and optional training in career skills (foreign languages, scientific communication, statistics, grant-writing, ethics, etc.) is provided.

In the Master 2 year, students specialize by choosing one of the four curricula detailed above. Cross-sampling between disciplinary curricula is still possible provided faculty are in agreement.

When the course schedule allows it, students are encouraged to follow courses offered by other departments of the ENS (Chemistry, CERES, DEC, Physics, Computer Sciences, etc.) or by other institutions.

Who should apply ?

The Master 1 year is open to students with a Bachelor of Science (Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Science and Technology, Earth and Life Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Math, etc.) and to students from France’s engineering schools who have received basic education in Life Sciences.
Given its cross-disciplinary nature, this program is also suitable for students who have completed the first three years of medical/pharmaceutical studies and who seek additional training in science (see also our Medicine/Science track designed for second year medical/pharmaceutical students) at a stage where they have not yet chosen their area of specialization.


This Master’s program prepares students primarily for careers as researchers, research professors, or research physicians in the public sector, or as Research and Development professionals in the private sector, particularly innovative pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Dual Master

Our department, together with that of Cognitive Sciences, also proposes a Dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences, in partnership with the Pierre et Marie Curie University and the University College London.

Dual master coordinator : Andréa Dumoulin