Created in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, the École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) is one of France's Grandes Ecoles and one of the top business schools in Europe. Students are offered many opportunities, both professionally and academically, through the wide range of management courses and specializations. HEC's outstanding academic achievement and the high quality of research undertaken in all fields of management reflect the intellectual profile of its students and the world-class research of its faculty.
For additional information, visit the HEC Paris website
The Town of Jouy-en-Josas
Jouy-en-Josas is situated four kilometers to the south east of Versailles, right in the middle of the valley of the Bièvre River. A small town with nearly eight thousand inhabitants, half of Jouy-en-Josas is covered by forest. It is home to HEC and is located approximately ten miles from the center of Paris.
Did you know…?
Jouy-en-Josas dates back to the ninth century when monks from the abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés settled the area.
The program at HEC Paris is for Wharton students only.
French nationals and/or any student with completed formal education/degree from France are not eligible for this program.
Minimum GPA Requirement
- Huntsman Students are required to complete at least 4 semesters of college-level French or the equivalent by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure, with at least a grade of “B”.
- Wharton Students are required to complete 2 semesters of college-level French or the equivalent by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. Students must enroll in a French course during the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.
Language of Instruction
A full course load at HEC Paris consists of 24-30 ECTS credits per semester. The total number of courses in which a student enrolls will depend upon the ECTS value of each individual course. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad. Penn Abroad recommends that each course be 5-7 ECTS credits. While ultimately at the discretion of your home school, 5-7 ECTS per course appropriately equates to 1 CU of coursework.
Students will select their courses from a number of different types currently offered by the HEC:
HEC offers several courses in English that are open to all students. Huntsman students may take a maximum of one course in English per term; the remaining courses must be in French. Huntsman students must also take one French language course. Wharton Students are encouraged to take content courses in French, but can opt to take courses abroad in English. Wharton students are required to take one French language course.
HEC Paris Program Brochure for Incoming Exchange Students
- The Cours Obligatoires (Core Courses): These courses make up part of the required curriculum for all HEC degree candidates and include coursework in accounting, management, business law, marketing and business strategy. Penn students must select at least two cours obligatoires as part of their program of study.
- Cours Optionnels (Electives): These courses cover a wide variety of subjects in business and the humanities.
- French Language and Culture Courses: All participants are required to enroll in the appropriate French language course as part of their coursework at HEC.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. Be sure to review Penn Abroad’s academic policies
Grades are given using the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) A to F scale.
Grades are reported to Penn on the ECTS and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by HEC Paris prior to the start of each semester. More information on HEC Paris’s orientation activities will be provided upon acceptance to the program.
If studying in the spring semester, students are able to complete non-credit-bearing internships in the surrounding region during the summer following their studies. Upon arrival, you should inform the host university exchange program advisor about your interest.
The International Office at HEC organizes various events for exchange students each semester. In the past, such events have included evenings in Paris, weekend trips to French towns, and a trip to Disneyland Paris.
Penn students studying at HEC Paris have access to a wide range of student activities and associations
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
All exchange participants will either live in housing nearby campus
or will live on-campus in one of the HEC student dormitories
. On-campus accommodation consists of 14 student halls, which are divided into individual furnished rooms and flats. Most rooms have a shared shower system (others have private facilities for an extra cost), a single bed without sheets and pillows, a bedside table, a desk, shelves, two chairs, a wardrobe, a telephone and plugs for TV and network connection, and most have a balcony. A student restaurant, snack shop and bar are all available on the HEC School of Management campus and are popular among the students.
Important Housing Note: The on-campus housing option tends to fill up quickly, in which case, please be prepared to possibly live in the housing nearby campus. It is recommended that you apply for on-campus housing ASAP if you want this option.
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. Be sure to review Penn Abroad’s financial policies
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. Visit SFS's website for more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university.
Please review the Penn Abroad application process, policies, and procedures
. To open an application or learn more about the program, please schedule an appointment
with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager. For a student perspective on life and academics in France, contact a Penn Abroad Past Participant.
Important note: You will be required to apply for a visa to study in France. While this process has some steps, your Global Programs Manager will support you during the process. Your Global Programs Manager will send you an email with visa application instructions, and it is imperative that you act promptly so that there is no delay in processing your visa. As part of this process, your passport will not be in your possession for about 2-3 weeks, so please plan accordingly. (This does not apply to EU citizens/passport holders)