For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Collège de France.

Collège de France

Collège de France
Coat of arms of the Collège de France, given by Louis XIV with letters patent in 1699
Latin: Collegium Franciæ Regium
Former names
Collège royal, Collège impérial
Docet omnia (Latin)
Motto in English
Teaches all
Established1530; 494 years ago (1530) (royal charter)
FounderFrancis I of France
AffiliationPSL University, Consortium Couperin[1]
AdministratorThomas Römer
Academic staff
47 chairs (2016)
48°50′57″N 002°20′44″E / 48.84917°N 2.34556°E / 48.84917; 2.34556
The primary entrance to the Collège de France

The Collège de France (French pronunciation: [kɔlɛʒ fʁɑ̃s]), formerly known as the Collège Royal or as the Collège impérial founded in 1530 by François I, is a higher education and research establishment (grand établissement) in France. It is located in Paris near La Sorbonne. The Collège de France is considered to be France's most prestigious research establishment.[2][3]

Research and teaching are closely linked at the Collège de France, whose ambition is to teach "the knowledge that is being built up in all fields of literature, science and the arts". It offers high-level courses that are free, nondegree-granting and open to all without condition or registration. This gives it a special place in the French intellectual landscape.


As of 2021, 21 Nobel Prize winners and 9 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with the Collège. It does not grant degrees. Each professor is required to give lectures where attendance is free and open to anyone. Professors, about 50 in number, are chosen by the professors themselves, from a variety of disciplines, in both science and the humanities. The motto of the Collège is Docet Omnia, Latin for "It teaches everything"; its goal is to "teach science in the making" and can be best summed up by Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phrase: "Not acquired truths, but the idea of freely-executed research"[4] which is inscribed in golden letters above the main hall.

It is an associate member of University PSL.[5]

The courtyard of the Collège de France

The Collège has research laboratories and one of the best research libraries of Europe, with sections focusing on history with rare books, humanities, social sciences and also chemistry and physics.

As of June 2009, over 650 audio podcasts of Collège de France lectures are available on iTunes. Some are also available in English and Chinese. Similarly, the Collège de France's website hosts several videos of classes. The classes are followed by various students, from senior researchers to PhD or master's students, or even undergraduates. Moreover, the "leçons inaugurales" (first lessons) are important events in Paris intellectual and social life and attract a very large public of curious Parisians.


The Collège was established by King Francis I of France, modeled after the Collegium Trilingue in Louvain, at the urging of Guillaume Budé. Of humanist inspiration, the school was established as an alternative to the Sorbonne to promote such disciplines as Hebrew, Ancient Greek (the first teacher being the celebrated scholar Janus Lascaris) and Mathematics.[6] Initially called Collège royal, and later Collège des trois langues (Latin, ancient Greek and Hebrew), Collège national, and Collège impérial, it was named Collège de France in 1870. In 2010, it became a founding associate of PSL Research University (a community of Parisian universities).


  • 1853–1854: Jacques Rinn [fr]


The faculty of the Collège de France currently comprises fifty-two Professors, elected by the Professors themselves from among Francophone scholars[7] in subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, history, archaeology, linguistics, oriental studies, philosophy, the social sciences and other fields. Two chairs are reserved for foreign scholars who are invited to give lectures.

Notable faculty members include Serge Haroche, awarded with Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012. Notably, eight Fields medal winners have been affiliated with the College.

Past faculty include:

See also


  1. ^ "Les membres de Couperin", (in French), archived from the original on 17 November 2022, retrieved 12 July 2018
  2. ^ Appelrouth, Scott; Edles, Laura Desfor (2008). Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory: Text and Readings. Pine Forge Press. p. 641. ISBN 9780761927938. OCLC 1148204416.
  3. ^ John Culbert (2011). Paralyses: Literature, Travel, and Ethnography in French Modernity. U of Nebraska Press. p. 257. ISBN 978-0803234192.
  4. ^ "Non pas des vérités acquises, mais l'idée d'une recherche libre". The entire sentence is in fact: "Ce que le Collège de France, depuis sa fondation, est chargé de donner à ses auditeurs, ce ne sont pas des vérités acquises, c'est l'idée d'une recherche libre." From Merleau-Ponty's inaugural lecture at the Collège de France, reproduced in: Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Éloge de la philosophie et autres essais, Paris: Gallimard, 1989, p. 13.
  5. ^ "Decree 2019-1130 creating Université Paris sciences et lettres (Université PSL)". Archived from the original on 2020-07-23. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  6. ^ Byzance et l'Europe : Colloque à la Maison de l'Europe, Paris, 22 avril 1994, H. Antoniadis-Bibicou (Ed.), 2001, ISBN/ISSN/EAN: 291142720.
  7. ^ Francophone only in the sense that they have to be able to teach in French; they are not required to be native speakers of French or to come from or to have studied in a Francophone country: see for example Sanjay Subrahmanyam who is Indian: Sanjay Subrahmanyam's biography on the site of the Collège de France Archived 2017-12-01 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Guillaume Du Val (1644). Le Collège Royal de France. Institution, Establissement et Catalogue des Lecteurs et Professeurs Ordinaires du Roy (in French). Bovillette. p. 68. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Anne Cheng Biographie Archived 2017-04-01 at the Wayback Machine." Collège de France. Retrieved on 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ (in French) Biography at Collège de France website Archived 2016-06-30 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ (in French) Biography at Collège de France website Archived 2018-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ (in French) Nécrologie de M. Jean Yoyotte (1927–2009) par Christiane Zivie-Coche Archived 2014-09-08 at the Wayback Machine
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Collège de France
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?