|Established||1409 (University of Provence)
1896 (University of Aix-Marseille)
1970 (University of Provence)
1970 (University of the Mediterranean)
1973 (Paul Cézanne University)
2012 (Aix-Marseille University)
|Location||Aix-en-Provence and Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
|Affiliations||Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED), Association of MBAs (AMBA), European University Association (EUA), European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)|
Aix-Marseille University (AMU) (French: Aix-Marseille Université) is a public research university located in Provence, southern France. It was founded in 1409 when Louis II of Anjou, Count of Provence, petitioned the Pisan Antipope Alexander V to create the University of Provence. The university as it is today was formed by the merger of the University of Provence, the University of the Mediterranean and Paul Cézanne University. The merger became effective on 1 January 2012, resulting in the creation of the largest university in France and the French-speaking world, with about 70,000 students. AMU has the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the Francophone world, standing at €650 million.
The university is organized around five main campuses situated in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. Apart from its major campuses, AMU owns and operates facilities in Arles, Aubagne, Avignon, Digne-les-Bains, Gap, La Ciotat, Lambesc and Salon-de-Provence. The university is headquartered at the Pharo, Marseille.
AMU has produced many notable alumni in the fields of law, politics, business, economics and literature. To date, there have been four Nobel Laureates amongst its alumni and faculty, as well as a two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, three César Award winners, several heads of state, parliamentary speakers, government ministers, ambassadors and members of the Institut de France.
AMU has hundreds of research and teaching partnerships, including close collaboration with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA). AMU is a member of numerous academic organisations including the European University Association (EUA) and the Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED).
- 1 History
- 2 Activities
- 3 Organization
- 4 Governance
- 5 Alumni
- 6 Notable faculty and staff
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early history (1409–1800)
The institution developed out of the original University of Provence, founded on 9 December 1409 as a Studium Generale by Louis II of Anjou, Count of Provence, and recognized by Papal Bull issued by the Pisan Antipope Alexander V. However, there is evidence that teaching in Aix existed in some form from the beginning of the 12th century, since there were a doctor of theology in 1100, a doctor of law in 1200 and a professor of law in 1320 on the books. The decision to establish the university was, in part, a response to the already-thriving University of Paris. As a result, in order to be sure of the viability of the new institution, Louis II compelled his Provençal students to study in Aix only. Thus, the letters patent for the university were granted, and the government of the university was created. The Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence Thomas de Puppio was appointed as the first chancellor of the university for the rest of his life. After his death in 1420, a new chancellor was elected by the rector, masters, and licentiates – an uncommon arrangement not repeated at any other French university. The rector had to be an “ordinary student”, who had unrestricted civil and criminal jurisdiction in all cases where one party was a doctor or scholar of the university. Those displeased with the rector’s decisions could appeal to a doctor legens. Eleven consiliarii provided assistance to the rector, being elected yearly by their predecessors. These individuals represented all faculties, but were elected from among the students. The constitution was of a student-university, and the instructors did not have great authority except in granting degrees. Mention should be made that a resident doctor or student who married was required to pay charivari to the university, the amount varying with the degree or status of the man, and being increased if the bride was a widow. Refusal to submit to this statutable extortion was punished by the assemblage of students at the summons of the rector with frying-pans, bassoons, and horns at the house of the newly married couple. Continued recusancy was followed by the piling up of dirt in front of their door upon every Feast-day. These injunctions were justified on the ground that the money extorted was devoted to divine service.
In 1486 Provence passed to the French crown. The university's continued existence was approved by Louis XII of France, and Aix-en-Provence continued to be a significant provincial centre. It was, for instance, the seat of the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence from 1501 to 1789, no doubt aided by the presence of the law faculty.
In 1603 Henry IV of France established the Collège Royal de Bourbon in Aix-en-Provence for the study of belles-lettres and philosophy, supplementing the traditional faculties of the university, but not formally a part of it. This college de plain exercice became a significant seat of learning, under the control of the Jesuit order. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the college frequently served as a preparatory, but unaffiliated, school for the university. Only the university was entitled to award degrees in the theology, law, and medicine; but candidates for degrees had first to pass an examination in philosophy, which was only provided by the college. Universities basically accepted candidates who had studied in colleges formally affiliated with them, which in reality required both college and university to be situated in the same city. In 1762 the Jesuits were forced to leave France, and in 1763 the Collège Royal de Bourbon was officially affiliated with the university as a faculty of arts.
The addition of the Collège Royal de Bourbon essentially widened the scope of courses provided at the University of Provence. Formal instruction in French was initially provided at the college, with texts and a structured course of study. Subsequently physics became a part of the curriculum at the college as a part of the philosophy course in the 18th century. Equipment for carrying out experiments was obtained and the first course in experimental physics was provided at Aix-en-Provence in 1741. Classical mechanics, nevertheless, was merely taught after 1755, when the physicist Paulian offered his first class and Isaac Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica and commentaries were obtained for the library.
The French Revolution, with its focus on the individual and an end to inherited privilege, saw the suppression of the universities. To the revolutionaries, universities embodied bastions of corporatism and established interests. Moreover, lands owned by the universities and utilized for their support, represented a source of wealth to be tapped by the revolutionary government, just as property possessed by the Church had been confiscated. In 1792, the University of Provence, along with twenty-one other universities, was dissolved. Specialized ecoles, with rigorous entrance examinations and open to anyone with talent, were eventually created in order to offer professional training in specialized areas. Nonetheless, the government found it necessary to allow the faculties of law and medicine to continue in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille in the early 19th century.
Modern era (1800–1968)
During the 19th century, additional faculties were created in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille to serve the changing needs of French society. For instance, Hippolyte Fortoul, later Minister of National Education and Public Worship of France, was the first dean and professor of a new faculty in French literature established in Aix-en-Provence in the 1840s. In 1896, the departmental council of the Bouches-du-Rhône founded a chair in the faculty of letters at Aix-en-Provence in the language and literature of Mediterranean Europe; their aim was to assist the commercial exploitation of the region by French business. A new science faculty was created in Marseille to support the growing industrialization of the region. At about the same time, a special training program was created in the faculty of medicine in order to train doctors in colonial medicine for France’s expanding colonial empire.
The most significant development for the university in the 19th century, nevertheless, was the recreation of French universities in 1896. Facing acute competition from prestigious German universities following the Franco-Prussian War, French legislators were anxious to have their own universities. In 1896 a law was passed creating seventeen autonomous regional universities financed mainly by the state. The various faculties in Aix-en-Provence and Marseille were grouped into the new University of Aix-Marseille.
Through two world wars and a depression, the University of Aix-Marseille continued to develop. Increasing numbers of women and foreign students joined the student body, and an overwhelming majority of students majored in the science, medicine, and law. Individual faculties were almost autonomous from university administration and the Ministry of Education frequently intervened directly among the faculties.
Recent history (1968–present)
Following riots among university students in May 1968, a reform of French education occurred. The Orientation Act (Loi d’Orientation de l’Enseignement Superieur) of 1968 divided the old faculties into smaller subject departments, decreased the power of the Ministry of Education, and created smaller universities, with strengthened administrations. Subsequently, the University of Aix-Marseille was divided into two institutions. Each university had different areas of concentration of study and the faculties were divided as follows:
- University of Aix-Marseille I: law, political science, history, psychology, sociology, ethnology, philosophy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, natural sciences, languages, literature and civilization
- University of Aix-Marseille II: economic science, geography, technology, medicine, pharmacy, dental surgery, topical medicine, physical education and ocean science
In 1973, conservative faculty members led by Charles Debbasch, demanded and obtained the creation of the University of Aix-Marseille III, grouping law, political science, applied economics, earth science, ecology and technological studies.
Nearly 40 years later, in June 2007, the three universities of Aix-Marseille expressed their intention to merge in order to form one university. The merger was gradually prepared, respecting a schedule which allowed for long discussions at each stage, after which it was approved by vote of the Board of Directors of each university. Thus, Aix-Marseille University was established by decree No. 2011-1010 of 24 August 2011 and officially opened its doors on 1 January 2012.
Aix-Marseille University enrolls almost 71,000 students, including more than 10,000 international students from 128 different countries. The university, with its wide range of general and vocational courses including 600 degree courses, offers teaching in fields as varied as the Arts, Social Sciences, Health, Sport and Economics, Law and Political Sciences, Applied Economics and Management, and Exact Sciences such as Mathematics, Data-processing, Physical Sciences, Astrophysical Sciences, Chemistry and Biology. Its 132 recognized research units and 21 faculties make it a centre of international excellence in social and natural sciences. With more than 500 international agreements, the university participates in the creation of European area of education and research and in the development of mobility. A policy in the direction of Asian countries has led to increase its enrollments of excellent international students. Programmes in French and/or English have been organized in order to favour the welcome and the integration of international students, in particular thanks to the presence within the university of the Institute of French Studies for Foreign Students (Institut d'Etudes Françaises Pour Etudiants Etrangers (IEFEE)). The IEFEE was founded in 1953 and is regarded as one of the best French-language teaching centres in the country. About a thousand students from 65 countries attend the institute throughout the academic year. The institute is also a notable centre for teachers of French as a foreign language, and its function is to provide training and perfecting of linguistic abilities in French as a scientific and cultural means of communication. Furthermore, the university is "one of the most distinguished in France, second only to the University of Paris in the areas of French literature, history, and linguistics", according to Harvard University's website.
The university’s library system comprises 59 libraries, with 662,000 volumes, 20,000 online periodical titles, and thousands of digital resources, making it one of the largest and most diverse academic library systems in France. The overall area occupied by the libraries is equal to 37,056 m², including 19,703 m² public access space. The libraries offer 49.2 kilometers of open-stacks shelving and 4,219 seats for student study. In addition, there are 487 computer workstations, which are available to the public for research purposes.
The university's Institute of Political Studies (Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence), also known as Sciences Po Aix, was established in 1956. The institute is housed in the Palais de l'université, a monument historique designed by architect Georges Vallon in 1734. It is one of a network of 10 world-famous IEPs (Instituts d’Etudes Politiques) in France, including those in Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Paris, Rennes, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Strasbourg and Toulouse. The IEP is a Grande école in political science and its primary aim is to train senior executives for the public, semi-public, and private sectors. Although the IEP offers a multitude of disciplines, its main focus is on politics, including related subjects such as history, law, economics, languages, international relations, and media studies. Its admissions process is among the toughest and most selective in the country. It should be noted that by means of a partnership with the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Sciences Po Aix offers a French-German bilingual degree, awarding students with a double diploma. In addition, Sciences Po Aix and the UCLA School of Law, the law school of the University of California, Los Angeles, signed an agreement for academic cooperation in order to promote exchanges for research and study. Thus, the IEP now has numerous exchange programs through partnerships with close to 100 different universities in the world: the school therefore welcomes 120 foreign students a year. On top of these academic exchanges, students have the opportunity to do internships abroad in large international firms.
Many of the institute's graduates have gone on to high positions within both the French government and in foreign governments. Among the best-known people who studied at Sciences Po Aix are the current Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, the current High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, the 5th President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, the current Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration of Luxembourg, Nicolas Schmit, former Minister of Justice of France, Élisabeth Guigou, former Presidents of the National Assembly of France, Philippe Séguin and Patrick Ollier.
The law school at AMU dates back to the university's foundation in 1409. The school had far-reaching influence, since written law, which in France originated in Aix-en-Provence, spread from there, eventually replacing the common law practiced throughout the rest of Northern Gaul. The law school has a long tradition of self-management, with a strongly institutionalized culture and practices enrooted in the social and economic realities of the region. Today, it is one of the largest law schools in France, and is considered to be one of the nation's leading centres for legal research and teaching. As of 2014/15 the law school was ranked 3rd nationally by SMBG, following Panthéon-Assas and Panthéon-Sorbonne universities. The school is unique among French law schools for the breadth of courses offered and the extent of research undertaken in a wide range of fields. Other than Panthéon-Assas, the school "has attracted the most prestigious law faculty in France", according to the University of Connecticut's website. The teaching faculty comprises 155 professors and 172 adjunct lecturers, the latter drawn from private practice, the civil service, the judiciary and other organizations. Much of the legal research at the university is done under the auspices of its many research institutes – there is one in almost every field of law. Research activity is buttressed by a network of libraries, which holds an impressive collection of monographs and periodicals, including an important collection of 16th-century manuscripts. Moreover, the libraries have several specialized rooms dedicated to specific fields of law, in particular in International and European Law and Legal Theory.
The law school, in conjunction with the UCL Faculty of Laws, operates a joint LLB programme. This four-year programme includes a year at AMU and leads to the award of a Bachelor of Laws degree from University College London (UCL) together with a Diploma/Certificate in French Law.
The school has produced a large number of luminaries in law and politics including the 2nd President of France, Adolphe Thiers, former President of the National Assembly of France, Félix Gouin, former Minister of Justice of France, Adolphe Crémieux, and former Prime Minister of France, Édouard Balladur. The school has also educated two Nobel Laureates: René Cassin, winner of the 1968 Nobel Peace Prize, and Frédéric Mistral, winner of the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature. Alumni also include the 3rd President of Lebanon, Émile Eddé, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Vasil Kolarov, former Prime Minister of Angola, Fernando José de França Dias Van-Dúnem, and former Prime Minister of Cambodia, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. In addition, from 1858 to 1861, complying with his father's wishes, a prominent French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne attended the school, while also receiving drawing lessons.
Business and Management Studies
The Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management, commonly known as IAE Aix-en-Provence, was the first Graduate School of Management in the French public university system. IAE Aix is “a prestigious, double-accredited institution, with an international approach to business combining both classic and innovative teaching methods”, according to The Independent. It is the only French public university entity to receive dual international accreditation: the European standard of excellence EQUIS in 1999, and the AMBA accreditation in 2004 for its MBA Change & Innovation, in 2005 for its Master’s programmes and in 2007 for its Executive Part-time MBA. The school is composed of 40 permanent faculty members, and invites more than 30 international professors and 150 business speakers each year to conduct lectures and courses within the various programmes. IAE Aix offers graduate level programmes in general management, international management, internal audit of organisations, service management, internal and external communications management, management and information technologies, international financial management and applied marketing. In 2011, the M.Sc. in General Management was ranked 2nd in France along with the M.Sc. in Services Management and Marketing being ranked 3rd and the M.Sc. in Audit and Corporate Governance also being ranked 3rd in the country by SMBG.
In 1990, IAE Aix and ESSEC Business School (École supérieure des sciences économiques et commerciales) signed an agreement to unite and offer a joint Doctorate Programme, allowing ESSEC professors to teach in the Research Oriented Master programme in Aix-en-Provence. Furthermore, after Research Oriented Master graduation, students can attend the ESSEC Doctorate seminars and have an ESSEC Research Advisor (Directeur de Recherche). In the same way, ESSEC students can enroll in the IAE Aix's Research Oriented Master and Doctorate programmes. In both cases, the members of the thesis juries come from both IAE Aix and ESSEC. The Doctorate title is awarded by Aix-Marseille University.
Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE) is a gathering of three big laboratories in economics, part of AMU: GREQAM (Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d’Aix Marseille), SESSTIM (Sciences Economiques & Sociales de la Santé & Traitement de l’Information Médicale), and IDEP (Institut D’Economie Publique). GREQAM is a research center which specializes in all areas of economics, with strong concentrations in macroeconomics, econometrics, game theory, economic philosophy and public economics. It counts two Fellows of the Econometric Society among its members, and is consistently ranked as one of the top five research centers in economics in France. SESSTIM consists of three teams in social and economic sciences, as well as social epidemiology, focusing on applications in the following fields: cancer, infectious and transmissible diseases, and aging. IDEP aims at federating competences in the field of Public Economics broadly defined as the part of economics that studies the causes and the consequences of public intervention in the economic sphere.
AMSE has a triple aim in terms of research development about “Globalization and public action”, education regarding Master and PhD degrees and valorization toward local authorities, administrations and corporations, and of information aiming at all public. The AMSE Master is a two-year Master programme in Economics jointly organized with Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Ecole Centrale de Marseille. It aims to provide high-level courses and training in the main fields of specialization of AMSE: Development Economics, Econometrics, Public Economics, Environmental Economics, Finance/Insurance, Macroeconomics, Economic Philosophy, and Health Economics. The doctoral programme of AMSE brings together more than seventy PhD students. Ten to fifteen new PhD students join the programme each year. These PhD students cover all the research topics available at AMSE. The PhD programme is a member of the European Doctoral Group in Economics (EDGE) with University of Cambridge, University of Copenhagen, University College Dublin, Bocconi University, and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
The Faculty of Medicine at AMU can trace its origins to a college of medicine established in 1645 and recognized by a decree issued by the Council of State of France in 1683. During the revolution, although a faculty of medicine was created in Montpellier, Marseille was left aside, probably because of its close proximity. In 1818, École Secondaire de Médecine et de Pharmacie opened in Marseille and this later became an École de Plein Exercice in 1841. Consequently, it was not until 1930 that a faculty of medicine was formally organised in Marseille. However, the town’s geographical position meant that it was able to exert a strong influence upon the Mediterranean. The most significant example of this was Antoine Clot, known as Clot Bey, who with the help of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, founded a school of medicine in Cairo in 1827. This enabled Egyptian students to travel to France and encouraged exchanges between western and eastern medicine. In Marseille, medical practices adapted to tropical diseases developed under the influence of the military department of medicine. Physiology at the faculty dates back to Charles Livon, who was named professeur suppléant (deputy professor) and then professeur agrégé (associate professor) of anatomy and physiology having presented his thesis in Paris. He conducted research on hypophysis and pneumogastric physiology, which earned him the Monthyon Prize at the French Academy of Sciences. Following his work with Louis Pasteur, he opened an anti-rabies clinic and became Mayor of Marseille in 1895. The first dean of the faculty was Leon Imbert, who arrived in Marseille in 1904 as a former interne des hôpitaux and professeur agrégé at the Montpellier faculty. Originally a surgeon, he established one of the first centers for maxillofacial prosthetics for the gueules cassées (broken faces) of the Great War. An anti-cancer center was developed by Lucien Cornill, who was originally from Vichy and studied in Paris. During the First World War, he worked at the neurological center in the 7th Military region of Besancon under the supervision of Gustave Roussy. After the war, he became a professeur agrégé of pathological anatomy. He became dean of the faculty in 1937 and held this position until 1952. His main work related to clinical neurology and medullary pathology.
The Faculty of Pharmacy started its independent activity after being separated from the faculty in 1970. Subsequently, the Faculty of Odontology also became independent from the Faculty of Medicine. Thus, these three faculties form the Division of Health of the university.
Earth Sciences and Astronomy
The university's Astronomy Observatory of Marseille-Provence (OAMP) is one of the French National observatories under the auspices of the National Institute of Astronomy (INSU) of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), with a large financial participation by the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES). Basic research at the OAMP is organized around three priority themes: cosmology and research on dark matter and dark energy, galaxy formation and evolution, stellar and planetary system formation and exploration of the solar system. The OAMP also contributes to the area of environmental sciences and especially the study of the climatic system. The OAMP is very active in technological research and development, mainly in optics and opto-mechanics, for the development of the main observational instruments that will be deployed on the ground and in space in the coming decades. For many years OAMP research teams have had close ties with the French and European space and optical industry. The OAMP takes part in university education in astrophysics, physics and mathematics, as well as in instrumentation and signal processing from the first year of university to the doctorate level. These programs lead to openings in the fields of research and high-tech industry. The OAMP organizes many astronomy outreach activities in order to share important discoveries with the public. The OAMP consists of two establishments: the Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille (LAM) and the Observatory of Haute-Provence (OHP), along with the Département Gassendi, which is a common administrative and technical support unit. With over 50 researchers, 160 engineers, technical and administrative personnel, plus some 20 graduate students and post-docs, the OAMP is one of the most important research institutes in the region.
Polytech Marseille is a Grande Ecole d’Ingénieurs (Graduate School of Science and Engineering), part of AMU. The School offers 8 specialist courses in New Technologies which lead to an engineering degree after 5 years of studies. Polytech Marseille is also a member of the Polytech Group which comprises 13 engineering schools of French leading universities. Polytech Marseille's advanced level courses have a strong professional focus. They include compulsory work placements in a professional organisation. These programs also benefit from a top rank scientific environment, with teaching staff drawn from laboratories attached to major French research organisations that are among the leaders in their field. Students are recruited on the basis of a selective admissions process which goes via one of two nationwide competitive admissions examinations (concours): either after the baccalauréat (national secondary school graduation examination) for admission to a five-year course or after two years of higher education for admission to a three-year course. The courses are approved by the Commission des Titres d'Ingénieur (CTI), the French authority that authorizes recognised engineering schools to deliver the Diplôme d'Ingénieur (a state-recognised title, recognised equivalent to a “Master in Engineering” by AACRAO) and thus guarantees the quality of the courses. The courses are also accredited by EUR-ACE.
Rankings and reputation
|Academic Ranking of World Universities||101–150||36|
|QS World University Rankings||341||155|
|U.S. News & World Report||185||70|
In the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), AMU is ranked joint 101st–150th in the world. In the subject tables it is ranked joint 76th–100th in the world for Natural Sciences and Mathematics, joint 101st–150th in the world for Life and Agricultural Sciences, joint 151st–200th in the world for Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, joint 47th in the world for Mathematics, and joint 76th–100th in the world for Physics.
In the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings, AMU is ranked joint 341st in the world. In the subject tables it is ranked joint 151st–200th in the world for Accounting and Finance, joint 101st–150th in the world for Earth and Marine Sciences, joint 101st–150th in the world for Environmental Studies, joint 101st–150th in the world for History and Archaeology, joint 151st–200th in the world for Law and Legal Studies, joint 151st–200th in the world for Medicine, and joint 151st–200th in the world for Psychology.
In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report's Best Global Universities Rankings, AMU is ranked joint 185th in the world. In the subject tables it is ranked 99th in the world for Biology and Biochemistry, 92nd in the world for Geosciences, 60th in the world for Immunology, joint 77th in the world for Mathematics, 35th in the world for Microbiology, and 44th in the world for Space Science.
Aix-Marseille University is organized into five sectors:
- Law and Political Science
- Faculty of Law and Political Science
- Institute of Public Management and Territorial Governance
- Economics and Management
- Faculty of Economics and Management
- Journalism and Communication School of Marseille
- Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management
- Regional Institute of Labour
- Arts, Literature, Languages and Human Sciences
- Faculty of Arts, Literature, Languages and Human Sciences
- Training Centre for Musicians
- The Mediterranean House of Human Sciences (Maison méditerranéenne des sciences de l'homme)
- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Odontology
- Faculty of Pharmacy
- Midwives' University School Marseille Méditerranée
- Sciences and Technology
- Faculty of Sciences
- Faculty of Sports
- Observatory of Universe Sciences – Pytheas Institute
- Polytech Marseille
Aix-Marseille University is governed by three councils: two of them (the council of studies and student life for the teaching side and the scientific council for research matters) have an advisory role, the third one (the administrative council) is the decision body under the direction of the president of the university. The president is elected for a five-year period by the assembly of the three councils. The members of the councils are representatives of the students, the administrative staff, the faculty, or external personalities. The University statutes define the division into different schools or institutes. Each one of those, headed by a dean or a director, has its administrative council that decides on policy issues.
If the president of the university is the most important actor in defining the mission and the strategies of the university, he also has the necessary power to impulse or to sustain the projects that relate to these strategies. Before implementing these projects, they have to be accepted by the University Council and if necessary they have to be included in the planning processes.
There are two main planning processes in the definition of projects in the university that have to be followed in order to be financed or even authorised and accredited by the public (national and local) authorities.
The first process takes place every six years and involves the central government, the region as well as the university. It is devoted to major investment projects, for instance building a new school, a new campus, a new library, etc. It is a catalogue of projects and for each of them it defines the financial burden accepted by each partner in the contract.
The second process covers four years and has to be approved by the French Ministry of Education. In this process, the university sets its objectives at the pedagogical and research levels (new degrees, research projects).
This planning process is very important because the university is free to define its own strategy, to be approved by the decision makers. Each process generates an important brainstorming period at all levels of the university in order to identify and build new ideas, new needs, and opportunities, to prioritise them, after an analysis of strengths and weaknesses. Other choices can be made after each process is closed, but they are more difficult to implement because other sources of funding and other ways of authorisation must be found.
- René Cassin – winner of the 1968 Nobel Peace Prize
- J. M. G. Le Clézio – winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature
- Frédéric Mistral – winner of the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature
Politics and government
Heads of state and government
- Mohamed Abbou – Minister-Delegate for Industry, Trade, Investment and the Digital Economy of Morocco: 2013–present; Member of the House of Representatives of Morocco: 1997–present
- Nizar Baraka – Minister of Economy and Finance of Morocco: 2012–2013; President of the CESE (Social, Economic & Environmental Council): 2013–present
- Driss Benzekri – Moroccan left-wing political and human rights activist
- Albert Borschette – European Commissioner for Competition: 1970–1976; Luxembourgian European Commissioner: 1970–1976
- Brian Campion – American politician, member of the Vermont House of Representatives
- Adolfo Costa du Rels – President of the Council of the League of Nations: 1940–1946; Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia: 1948; Bolivian Ambassador to France: 1948–1952
- Nigel Davies – former MP for Epping, UK
- Thomas Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde, PC – British politician, the Leader of the House of Lords, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and the Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords
- Hermann Höcherl – Minister of the Interior of Germany: 1961-1965; Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Germany: 1965-1969
- Idriss Azami Al Idrissi – Moroccan politician of the Justice and Development Party, Minister-Delegate for the Budget in the cabinet of Abdelilah Benkirane
- Mamadou Koulibaly – President of the National Assembly of Côte d'Ivoire: 2001–2012
- Luzolo Bambi Lessa – Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: 2008–present
- Penda Mbow – Minister of Culture of Senegal: 2001
- Kunio Mikuriya – Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO): 2009–present
- Federica Mogherini – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy: Feb–Oct 2014; High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission: 2014–present
- Benoît Pelletier – Minister of Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs: 2003–2008; Leader of the Government in Parliament: 2007–2008
- Josué Pierre-Louis – Minister of Justice of Haiti: Oct–Nov 2011
- Daniel Rajakoba – Malagasy politician, founder of the Fihavanantsika party
- Roy Reding – Member of the Parliament of Luxembourg, Vice President of the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR), and treasurer of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR)
- Johnson Roussety – former Chief Commissioner of Rodrigues, Mauritius
- Nicolas Schmit – Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration of Luxembourg: 2009–present
- Iain Sproat – Minister for Sport and Tourism (UK): 1993–1997; Member of Parliament for Harwich: 1992–1997; Member of Parliament for Aberdeen South: 1970–1983
- René Steichen – European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development: 1992–1995; Luxembourgian European Commissioner: 1992–1995
- Jorge Telerman – Argentine politician and journalist, the 4th Chief of Government of Buenos Aires City
- Roland Theis – the General Secretary of the Christian Democrat Union in Saarland, Germany
- Erik Ullenhag – Minister of Integration of Sweden: 2010–2014; Leader of the Liberal People's Party in the Swedish Riksdag: 2014–present
- Benjamin Abram – Mayor of Aix-en-Provence: 1888–1896
- Yann Aguila – Councillor of State of France: 1990–2010
- Antoine Aude – Mayor of Aix-en-Provence: 1835–1848
- Félix Baret – Mayor of Marseille: 1887–1892
- Jacques Barrot – Member of the Constitutional Council of France: 2010–2014; Vice-President of the European Commission: 2004–2010; European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship: 2008–2010; European Commissioner for Transport: 2004–2008; Minister of Social Affairs of France: 1995–1997; Minister of Health of France: 1979–1981; Minister of Commerce and Industry of France: 1978–1979
- Victor Barthélemy – French political activist
- Joseph Cabassol – Mayor of Aix-en-Provence: 1902–1908
- Adolphe Crémieux – Minister of Justice of France: Feb–Jun 1848; 1870–1871
- Thomas Degos – Prefect of Mayotte: 2011–2013
- Blaise Diagne – French politician who was the first black African elected to the French Chamber of Deputies, and the first to hold a position in the French government
- Charles Giraud – Minister of National Education of France/Minister of Public Worship of France: Jan–Apr/Oct–Dec 1851
- Louis Gros – Member of the Constitutional Council of France: 1977–1984
- Élisabeth Guigou – Minister of Justice of France: 1997–2000; Minister of Social Affairs of France: 2000–2002
- Alain Joissains – Mayor of Aix-en-Provence: 1978–1983
- Sébastien Jumel – French politician, member of the French Communist Party (PCF)
- Roger Karoutchi – former French Ambassador to the OECD, and former Secretary of State to the French Prime Minister, with responsibility for Relations with Parliament
- Christine Lagarde – Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF): 2011–present; Minister of the Economy, Industry and Employment of France: 2007–2011; Minister of Agriculture of France: May–Jun 2007
- Émile Lisbonne – Minister of Health of France: Oct–Nov 1933; Jan–Feb 1934
- Charles-Marie Livon – Mayor of Marseille: 1895
- Jean-Charles Marchiani – French prefect and politician
- Pierre Moitessier – Director of the National Police of France: 1936–1938; Councillor of State of France: 1938–1944
- Jules-Joseph-Félix-Théodore Onfroy – Mayor of Marseille: 1861–1862
- Claude-Emmanuel de Pastoret – President of the Legislative Assembly of France: 1791; Chairman of the Council of Five Hundred: 1796; President of the Chamber of Peers of France: 1829–1830
- Germaine Poinso-Chapuis – Minister of Health of France: 1947–1948
- Jean-Étienne-Marie Portalis – Minister of Public Worship of France: 1804–1807
- Patrick Subrémon – French civil servant and prefect
- Dominique Vian – French overseas departments administrator
Members of the National Assembly of France
- Henri Aiguier – Deputy: 1919–1924
- Olivier Audibert-Troin – Deputy: 2012–present
- Roland Blum – Deputy: 1988–1993/1993–1997/1997–2002/2002–2007/2007–2012
- Alfred Borriglione – Deputy: 1876–1894
- Valérie Boyer – Deputy: 2007–2012/2012–present
- Christophe Castaner – Deputy: 2012–present
- Raymond Cayol – Deputy: 1946–1951
- Jean-Baptiste-Amable Chanot – Deputy: 1910–1914
- Jean-David Ciot – Deputy: 2012–present
- Alexandre Clapier – Deputy: 1846–1848/1871–1876
- Gilbert Collard – Deputy: 2012–present
- Jean-Michel Couve – Deputy: 1988–1993/1993–1997/1997–2002/2002–2007/2007–2012/2012–present
- Olivier Darrason – Deputy: 1993–1997
- Gustave Delestrac – Deputy: 1898–1902
- Alfred Donadei – Deputy: 1906–1914
- Toussaint-Bernard Émeric-David – Deputy: 1809–1815
- Sauveur Gandolfi-Scheit – Deputy: 2007–2012/2012–present
- Alphonse Gent – Deputy: Jun–Dec 1848/1871–1881
- Maryse Joissains-Masini – Deputy: 2002–2007/2007–2012
- Bertrand Kern – Deputy: 1998–2002
- Richard Mallié – Deputy: 2002–2007/2007–2012
- Antoine Maure – Deputy: 1902–1906
- Patrick Mennucci – Deputy: 2012–present
- Isidore Méritan – Deputy: 1919–1924
- Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau – President of the National Assembly of France: Jan–Feb 1791; Deputy: 1789–1791
- Patrick Ollier – President of the National Assembly of France: Mar–Jun 2007; Vice-President of the National Assembly of France: 1998–2002; Deputy: 1988–2002/2002–2010/2012–present
- Rodolphe Pesce – Deputy: 1978–1988
- Michel Pezet – Deputy: 1986–1988/1988–1993
- Pierre Marie Pietri – Deputy: 1848–1849
- Jean Joseph François Poujoulat – Deputy: 1849–1851
- Simon Renucci – Deputy: 2002–2007/2007–2012
- René Ribière – Deputy: 1958–1962/1967–1978
- Didier Robert – Deputy: 2007–2010
- Philippe Séguin – President of the National Assembly of France: 1993–1997; Vice-President of the National Assembly of France: 1981–1986; Deputy: 1978–1986/1988–2002
- Dominique Tian – Deputy: 2002–2007/2007–2012/2012–present
Members of the Senate of France
- Vincent-Marie Farinole – Senator: 1894–1903
- Félix Anglès – Senator: 1891–1897
- Francis Giraud – Senator: 1998–2008
- Adrien Gouteyron – Senator: 1978–2011
- Sophie Joissains – Senator: 2008–present
- Philippe Kaltenbach – Senator: 2011–present
- Richard Tuheiava – Senator: 2008–present
Members of the European Parliament
- Félix de Beaujour – French Ambassador to the United States: 1804
- Alphonse Berns – Ambassador of Luxembourg to the United States: 1991–1998; Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the UN: 2002–2005; Ambassador of Luxembourg to Belgium: 2005–2011; Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to NATO: 2005–2011; Ambassador of Luxembourg to the UK: 2011–2013
- Zouheir Chokr – former Lebanese Ambassador to Qatar, and former President of the Lebanese University
- Jürgen Chrobog – German Ambassador to the United States: 1995–2001
- Roland Eng – Cambodian Ambassador to the United States: 2000–2005
- Cherif Guellal – post-colonial Algeria's first Ambassador to the United States
- Kenneth H. Merten – United States Ambassador to Haiti: 2009–2012; United States Ambassador to Croatia: 2012–present
- Walter Jürgen Schmid – German Ambassador to the Russian Federation: 2005–2010; German Ambassador to the Holy See: 2010–2011; German Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea: 1992–1994
Lawyers, judges, and legal academics
- Peter Annis – Judge of the Federal Court (Canada): 2013–present
- Gaston Crémieux – French lawyer, journalist and writer
- Charles Annibal Fabrot – French jurisconsult
- Jean-Pierre Gibert – French Canon lawyer
- Claude Jorda – French jurist, former Judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
- Jeff Kurzon – American attorney and politician
- Iulia Motoc – Member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, judge of the Constitutional Court of Romania, and judge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
- Grégoire Mourre – President of the First Civil Division of the Court of Cassation of France: 1811–1815; Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Cassation of France: 1815–1830
- Joseph Louis Elzéar Ortolan – French jurist and former Chair of Comparative Criminal Law at Sorbonne University
- Herdis Thorgeirsdottir – Icelandic lawyer and political scientist
- Colin Tyre, Lord Tyre CBE – Scottish lawyer, former President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, and a Senator of the College of Justice, a judge of the Supreme Courts of Scotland
- Albert Jan van den Berg – the Arbitration Chair at Erasmus University Rotterdam and the President of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute
- Prosper Weil – French lawyer, professor emeritus at Panthéon-Assas University, member of the Institut de France (Académie des sciences morales et politiques)
Arts, literature, humanities, and entertainment
- Kiarash Anvari – Iranian film maker, video artist and script writer
- Fanny Ardant – French actress, winner of the 1997 César Award for Best Actress
- Ariane Ascaride – French actress, winner of the 1998 César Award for Best Actress
- Ishmael Bernal – Filipino film, stage and television director
- Carole Bienaimé – French film and television producer
- Robin Campillo – French screenwriter, editor and film director
- Bradley Cooper – American actor and film producer, four-time Academy Award nominee
- Sadaf Foroughi – Iranian film maker, video artist and film editor
- Robert Guédiguian – French film director, actor, screenwriter and producer
- Ken Hom – Chinese American chef, author and British television-show presenter
- Caroline Huppert – French film director and screenwriter, the sister of actress Isabelle Huppert
- Ariane Labed – French actress, who was awarded the Coppa Volpi for the Best Actress at the 67th Venice International Film Festival
- Xavier Laurent – French actor
- Richard Marquand – Welsh film director
- Paul Meurisse – French actor
- Marcel Pagnol – French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker, who became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française
- François Juste Marie Raynouard – French dramatist and academic
- Jean Renoir – French film director, screenwriter, actor, producer and author, son of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Richard Sammel – German actor
- Pam Seatle – TV newscaster on Citytv in Toronto, Canada, on CityNews at 6 and CityNews Tonight
- Corinne Touzet – French actress
- Jean-Louis Trintignant – French actor, winner of the Best Actor Award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival and the 2013 César Award for Best Actor
- Xavier Accart – French historian of ideas
- Karima Dirèche – French Algerian historian specialising in the contemporary history of the Maghreb
- Marc Fumaroli – French historian and essayist
- Bernard Lugan – French historian and Associate Professor of African history at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3
- Antoine Pagi – French ecclesiastical historian
- Régine Pernoud – French historian and medievalist
- Ambroise Roux-Alphéran – French historian
- Abdeljelil Temimi – Tunisian historian
- Matthias Theodor Vogt – German historian and musicologist
- Ali Bach Hamba – Tunisian journalist
- Jim Hoagland – American journalist, an associate editor, senior foreign correspondent and columnist for The Washington Post, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize
- Lutz Kleveman – German investigative journalist and photographer
- François Mignet – French journalist and historian
- Jean-Marc Morandini – French journalist
- Terry Phillips – American journalist, author and media consultant
- David Pujadas – French journalist
- Chris Agee – Irish poet, essayist and editor
- Jean Aicard – French poet, dramatist and novelist
- Paul Alexis – French novelist, dramatist and journalist
- Joseph d'Arbaud – French poet
- Christophe Arleston – French comics writer and editor
- Léon de Berluc-Pérussis – French poet and historian
- Mongo Beti – Cameroonian writer
- Beverley Bie Brahic – American poet and translator
- Marcel Brion – French essayist, literary critic, novelist and historian
- Ashley Bryan – American writer and illustrator of children's books, winner of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
- Marion May Campbell – Australian novelist and academic
- Raphaël Confiant – French writer
- Ferdinand Duviard – French writer and novelist
- Jean Echenoz – French writer
- Marian Engel – Canadian novelist
- José Frèches – French historical novelist
- Madeleine Gagnon – Quebec educator, literary critic and writer
- Joachim Gasquet – French author, poet, and art critic
- Sebhat Gebre-Egziabher – Ethiopian writer
- Pétur Gunnarsson – Icelandic writer
- Malek Haddad – Algerian poet and writer
- William Kreiten – German literary critic and poet
- Pierre La Mure – French author
- Abdelwahab Meddeb – an award-winning French-language poet, novelist, essayist, translator, editor, Islamic scholar, cultural critic, political commentator, radio producer, public intellectual and professor of comparative literature at the University of Paris X-Nanterre
- Stoyan Mihaylovski – Bulgarian writer and social figure
- Denise Morel – French writer and psychiatrist
- Suzanne Prou – French novelist, winner of the 1973 Prix Renaudot
- André de Richaud – French poet and writer
- Boris Schreiber – French writer
- Patrick Süskind – German writer and screenwriter
- Bahaa Trabelsi – Moroccan novelist
- Ana Lydia Vega – Puerto Rican writer
- Keith Waldrop – American poet, writer and translator, Professor Emeritus at Brown University, winner of the 2009 National Book Award for Poetry
- Rosmarie Waldrop – American poet, translator and publisher
- Choe Yun – Korean writer, winner of the 1994 Yi Sang Literary Award
- Thierry Amiel – French singer and songwriter
- Françoise Atlan – French singer
- Paul Bastide – French conductor and composer
- Emmanuel Boyer de Fonscolombe – French composer
- Régis Campo – French composer
- Anaïs Croze – French singer
- Nick Drake – English singer-songwriter and musician
- Francisco Negrin – award winning stage director working in opera
- Henry Padovani – a musician from the Mediterranean French isle of Corsica, noted for being the original guitarist for the Police
- Mélanie Pain – French indie pop singer
- Jean-Pierre Rampal – French flautist
- Nicolas Vatomanga – saxophonist, flutist, bandleader and composer
- Gilles Barbier – French contemporary artist
- Paul Cézanne – French artist and Post-Impressionist painter
- Lucien Clergue – French photographer, Chairman of the Academy of Fine Arts
- Roger Excoffon – French graphic designer
- Xiao Ge – Chinese artist and curator
- Jeremy Houghton – British fine artist
- George Morrison – American landscape painter and sculptor
- Michael Reinhardt – American photographer whose images were featured in magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Sports Illustrated
- Haim Steinbach – American artist
- Catherine Walker – designer of Diana, Princess of Wales
Scientists and academics
- Philippe Baumard – organizational scientist who has held visiting professorships at New York University, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and is currently École Polytechnique's Chair on Innovation & Regulation, and President of the Scientific Council of France's High Council for Strategic Education and Research
- Ariel Beresniak – Swiss specialist in Public Health and Health Economics
- Saviour Bernard – Maltese medical practitioner, scientist, and major philosopher
- Jean Boutière – French philologist
- Emmanuel Brunet Jailly – Canadian politics and public policy scholar
- Veronica Dahl – Argentine/Canadian computer scientist
- Michel Darluc – French naturalist
- Marcelo Dascal – Israeli philosopher and linguist, professor of philosophy at Tel Aviv University
- Alexandre del Valle – Italo-French political scientist and geopolitician
- Maurice Dongier – neuropsychiatrist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute
- François Doumenge – French geographer
- Tony Downes – the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law of the University of Reading
- Pierre-Michel Duffieux – French physicist, the founder of Fourier optics
- William A. Earle – American philosopher
- Mansour Mohamed El-Kikhia – Libyan academic and politician
- Pascal Engel – French philosopher, who works on the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of logic
- Bruno Étienne – French sociologist and political analyst
- Arthur Fallot – French physician
- F. J. Friend-Pereira – Indian academic and author
- Roger Garaudy – French philosopher
- Pierre Joseph Garidel – French botanist
- Pierre Gassendi – French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer and mathematician
- Henri Gastaut – French neurologist
- Antoine Marc Gaudin – professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a founding member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
- Éric Geoffroy – French philosopher, islamologist, writer and scholar
- Paul Gourret – French zoologist
- Jean-Marc Guichet – French orthopedic surgeon
- Yang Huanming – Chinese genetics researcher, Director of the Beijing Genomics Institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Fredric Jameson – American literary critic and Marxist political theorist, who has taught at Harvard and Yale
- Eugène Jamot – French physician
- Miro Kačić – Croatian linguist
- Henry-Louis de La Grange – musicologist and biographer of Gustav Mahler
- Saadi Lahlou – Professor in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics (LSE)
- Janja Lalich – Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico
- Thomas LaMarre – Canadian academic, author, Japanologist and member of the faculty of McGill University
- Henri Lefebvre – French sociologist, Marxist intellectual and philosopher
- Éliane Amado Levy-Valensi – French-Israeli psychologist, psychoanalyst and philosopher
- Joseph Lieutaud – a pediatrician to the Louis XV of France's court, the personal physician to Louis XVI of France, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Society
- Raphaël Liogier – French sociologist, director of the Observatoire du religieux
- Randal Marlin – Canadian philosophy professor at Carleton University
- Jean-François Mattéi – French philosopher
- Simon Claude Mimouni – French biblical scholar
- Jean-Baptiste Morin – French mathematician, astrologer and astronomer
- Jean-Jacques Nattiez, OC, CQ, FRSC – Canadian semiotician, professor of Musicology at the Université de Montréal
- Nicola Padfield – Head of Fitzwilliam College of the University of Cambridge
- Philip M. Parker – INSEAD Chaired Professor of Management Science
- Elisabeth Pate-Cornell – specialist in engineering risk analysis, and professor of management science at Stanford University
- René Pomeau – French scholar
- Jean-Bernard Racine – Professor of Geography at the Institute of Geography, Faculty of Geosciences and Environment of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and at HEC Lausanne Business School
- Léon Rostan – French internist, member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine, and foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
- Louis Roule – French zoologist
- Laurent Sagart – director of research at the Centre de recherches linguistiques sur l'Asie orientale, unit of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
- Enric Sala – marine ecologist and an Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic
- Peng Shige – Chinese mathematician, member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Jean-Athanase Sicard – French neurologist and radiologist
- Antônio Roberto Monteiro Simões – linguist, an associate professor at the University of Kansas
- Gustavo Uzielli – Italian geologist, historian, and scientist
- Jean Véronis – French linguist, computer scientist and blogger
- Jane Zemiro – Australian academic and author
Business and economics
- Olivier Baussan – French businessman, the founder of L'Occitane en Provence, Oliviers & Co and Première Pression Provence
- Sunil Benimadhu – the Chief Executive of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM): 1998–present
- Philippe Bourguignon – Member of the Board of Directors of eBay, former co-Chief Executive Officer of the World Economic Forum (WEF)
- Pierre Falcone – French businessman, the Chairman of Pierson Capital Group
- Peter Hambro – founder of Peter Hambro Mining and a Non-Executive Director of the Private Banking Division of Société Générale
- Chips Keswick – non-executive director of DeBeers Sa, Investec Bank, Persimmon plc, Arsenal Holdings plc (the parent company of Arsenal F.C.), and former Director of the Bank of England
- Hugh D. MacPhie – Canadian author, consultant, and founder and a principal with MacPhie & Company
- Jens Weidmann – 8th President of the German Federal Bank: 2011–present; Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB): 2011–present; Governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF): 2011–present
- Barry Jean Ancelet – Cajun folklorist, expert in Cajun music and Cajun French
- Isabelle Arvers – French media art curator, critic and author, specializing in video and computer games, web animation, digital cinema, retrogaming, chiptunes and machinima
- Sandrine Aubert – four-time winner in Alpine Skiing World Cup
- Dominique Bénard – former Deputy Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)
- Gaston Berger – French futurist, industrialist and philosopher
- James Birch – English art dealer, curator and gallery owner
- Frédérick Bousquet – French freestyle and butterfly swimmer
- Jean-Baptiste de Brancas – Bishop of La Rochelle: 1725–1729; Archbishop of Aix-en-Provence: 1729–1770
- Pape Diouf – President of Olympique de Marseille: 2005–2009
- Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux – French naval officer, explorer and colonial governor
- Christopher Fomunyoh – Senior Associate for Africa and Regional Director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)
- Romain Gary – French diplomat, novelist, film director and World War II aviator
- Anthony Giacobazzi – French rugby union player, who plays as scrum half for RC Toulonnais
- Emmanuel Goffi – French Air Force Officer
- Jean-Luc Gripond – President of FC Nantes: 2001–2005
- Jason Lamy-Chappuis – French skier, Olympic gold medallist in combined events 2010
- Dai Llewellyn – Welsh socialite
- Alain Mosconi – French swimmer, Olympic medalist and world record holder
- Michel Nandan – Monaco-based motor sport executive
- Claude Njiké-Bergeret – development aid volunteer
- Jean-Michel Parasiliti di Para, Prince Antoine IV – the head of household for the Kingdom of Araucanía and Patagonia
- Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc – French astronomer, antiquary and savant
- Henri Antoine Marie Teissier – French-Algerian Catholic Bishop and Archbishop Emeritus of Algiers
- Nguyen Xuan Vinh – Commander of Vietnam Air Force: 1958–1962
Notable faculty and staff
Politics and government
- Chedly Ayari – Minister of Planning of Tunisia: 1969–1970/1974–1975; Minister of Youth and Sports of Tunisia: Jun–Nov 1970; Minister of Education of Tunisia: 1970–1971; Minister of Economy of Tunisia: 1972–1974
- Renato Balduzzi – Minister of Health of Italy: 2011–2013
- Boudewijn Bouckaert – Belgian politician, Member of the Flemish Parliament
- Sadok Chaabane – Minister of Justice of Tunisia: 1992–1997; Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia: 1999–2004
- Tullio De Mauro – Minister of Education of Italy: 2000–2001
- Francis Delpérée – Member of Belgian Senate: 2007–2011
- Nikolaos Politis – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece: 1916–1920
- Kenneth F. Simpson – a one-term Republican member of the United States House of Representatives
- Michel van den Abeele – former Director-General of the European Commission
- Joseph Barthélemy – Minister of Justice of France: 1941–1943
- Hippolyte Fortoul – Minister of the Navy and Colonies of France: Oct–Dec 1851; Minister of National Education of France/Minister of Public Worship of France: 1851–1856
- Hubert Haenel – French politician, member of the Constitutional Council of France
- Jean-François Mattei – Minister of Health of France: 2002–2004
- Didier Maus – Councillor of State of France: 2001–2011
- Jean-Paul Proust – Minister of State of Monaco: 2005–2010; Prefect of Police of Paris: 2001–2004
- Joseph Jérôme, comte Siméon – President of the National Assembly of France: Aug–Sep 1797; Minister of National Education of France: Feb–Oct 1820; Minister of the Interior of France: 1820–1821; President of the Court of Financial Auditors of France: 1837–1839
Members of the National Assembly of France
- Joseph Comiti – Deputy: 1968–1981
- Jean-Pierre Giran – Deputy: 1997–2002/2002–2007/2007–2012/2012–present
- Ambroise Mottet – Deputy: 1835–1842/1844–1848
- Paul Patriarche – Deputy: 1997–2002
- Camille Perreau – Deputy: 1898–1902
- Philippe Sanmarco – Deputy: 1981–1993
- Dominique Taddéi – Deputy: 1978–1981/1981–1986
- Maurice Toga – Deputy: 1986–1988
Members of the Senate of France
- Alain Delcamp – Secretary-General: 2007–2013
- Claude Domeizel – Senator: 1998–present
- Hélène Masson-Maret – Senator: 2013–present
- Princess Bajrakitiyabha – Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Republic of Austria, the first grandchild of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, and the only child of Crown Prince Maha Vajralongkorn with Princess Soamsavali
- Gilles-Henry Garault – French Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal: 2007–2010
- Jeane Kirkpatrick – United States Ambassador to the United Nations: 1981–1985
Lawyers, judges, and legal academics
- Sami A. Aldeeb – Head of the Arab and Islamic Law Department at the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, and Director of the Center of Arab and Islamic Law
- Harry Blackmun – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: 1970–1994
- Jay Bybee – federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: 2003–present
- Mirjan Damaška – Sterling Professor emeritus at Yale Law School
- Louis Favoreu – French academic and jurist
- Barry E. Friedman – American academic with an expertise in federal courts, working at the intersections of law, politics and history
- Giorgio Gaja – judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ): 2011–present
- Alon Harel – the Phillip P. Mizock & Estelle Mizock Chair in Administrative and Criminal Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr. – Trustee Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the Thomas E. Miller Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, and Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School
- Ayşe Işıl Karakaş – Turkish academic, judge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)
- Peter Lindseth – the Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law and the Director of International Programs at the University of Connecticut School of Law
- Ejan Mackaay – Professor of Law at the Université de Montréal
- John F. Murphy – American lawyer and a professor at Villanova University
- John L. Murray – Chief Justice of Ireland: 2004–2011; Judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland: 1999–present; Judge of the European Court of Justice (ECJ): 1992–1999; Attorney General of Ireland: 1982/1987–1991
- Francesco Parisi – the Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School
- Raymond Ranjeva – Member of the International Court of Justice (ICJ): 1991–2009; Vice-President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ): 2003–2006
- Hjalte Rasmussen – former professor of EU Law at the University of Copenhagen
- Michel Rosenfeld – Justice Sydney L. Robins Professor of Human Rights, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
- Eli Salzberger – Law Professor at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law
- Antonin Scalia – Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court: 1986–present
- Bernhard Schlink – German jurist and writer
- Ronald Sokol – American lawyer and writer
- Alec Stone Sweet – Leitner Professor of Law, Politics and International Studies at Yale Law School
- Symeon C. Symeonides – Dean of the Willamette University College of Law
- Michael Tigar – American criminal defense attorney
Arts, literature, humanities, and entertainment
- Gabriel Camps – French historian
- Georges Duby – French historian, member of the French Academy
- Georges Foucart – French historian and Egyptologist
- Douglas Johnson – British historian, an advisor to the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on all matters concerning France
- Nora Lafi – French historian
- Angus Maddison – British economist, former Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Groningen
- Paolo Malanima – Italian economic historian
- Jean-Rémy Palanque – professor of ancient history
- Théodore Eugène César Ruyssen – French historian
- Rafał Taubenschlag – Polish historian of law, a specialist in Roman law and papyrology
- Arundhati Virmani – Indian historian
- Jules Sylvain Zeller – French historian, lecturer at Sorbonne University
- Mazarine Pingeot – French journalist, writer and professor, the daughter of former President of France, François Mitterrand
- Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol – French journalist and essayist, member of the French Academy
- Yves Bonnefoy – French poet and essayist
- Paule Constant – French novelist
- Louis O. Coxe – American poet, playwright, essayist, and professor
- Frieda Ekotto – Francophone African novelist and literary critic, professor of Afro-American and African Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan
- Henri Fluchère – chairman of the Société Française Shakespeare and a literary critic
- Urbano Tavares Rodrigues – Portuguese professor of literature, a literary critic and a fiction writer
- Roselyne Sibille – French poet
- William E. Wilson – American writer
- André Bon – French composer
- André Boucourechliev – French composer
- Barry Conyngham – Australian composer and academic
- Jean-Claude Risset – French composer
Scientists and academics
- Jean-Claude Abric – professor in social psychology
- Giulio Angioni – Italian writer and anthropologist, professor at the University of Cagliari, fellow of St Antony's College of the University of Oxford
- Nicolas Maurice Arthus – French immunologist and physiologist
- Anthony Barnes Atkinson – Fellow of the British Academy, a Senior Research Fellow of Nuffield College of the University of Oxford and Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE)
- Sydney Hervé Aufrère – French Egyptologist, archaeologist, and director of research at CNRS
- Philip Augustine – Indian gastroenterologist, specialist in gastrointestinal endoscopy
- François Victor Alphonse Aulard – professor of the history of the French Revolution at Sorbonne University
- Henri Bacry – visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study and a researcher at CERN
- Patrick Baert – Belgian sociologist and social theorist, Reader in Social Theory at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge
- René Baillaud – French astronomer
- Ugo Bardi – Professor in Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence
- Reinhold Bertlmann – Austrian physicist, Professor of Physics at the University of Vienna
- Eugenio Bianchi – Italian theoretical physicist
- Danielle Bleitrach – French sociologist
- Maurice Blondel – French philosopher
- David E. Bloom – the Chair of Harvard University's Department of Global Health and Population, Professor of Economics and Demography at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Director of the Program on the Global Demography of Aging
- Jean Bosler – French astronomer
- Svetlana Broz – Bosnian–Serbian author and physician, the granddaughter of the 1st President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito
- Henri Buisson – French physicist
- François Burgat – French political scientist and arabist, Senior Research Fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and the Head of the French Institute of the Near East
- Jean Cabannes – French physicist
- Christian Cambillau – French scientist at the CNRS in Structural Biology
- Forrest Capie – Professor Emeritus of Economic History at the Cass Business School, City University London
- Carlo Carraro – President of the University of Venice, Director of the Sustainable Development Programme of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, and Director of the Climate Impacts and Policy Division of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC)
- Maurice Caullery – French biologist, lecturer at Sorbonne University
- Jean Chacornac – French astronomer
- Jérôme Eugène Coggia – French astronomer
- Henri Coquand – French geologist and paleontologist
- Pablo Cottenot – French astronomer
- Brian Lee Crowley – Managing Director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and the founding President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS)
- Boris Cyrulnik – French doctor, ethologist, neurologist and psychiatrist
- Jacques Daviel – French ophthalmologist, oculist to Louis XV of France, Fellow of the Royal Society, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
- Christie Davies – British sociologist, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Reading
- Rajeev Dehejia – professor of public policy in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University
- Charles Depéret – French geologist and paleontologist, member of the French Academy of Sciences and the Société géologique de France
- August Alphonse Derbès – French naturalist, zoologist and botanist
- Jean Dufay – French astronomer, member of the French Academy of Sciences
- Jean-Yves Empereur – French archeologist and egyptologist
- Roger Establet – French scholar of the sociology of education
- Honoré Fabri – French Jesuit theologian, mathematician, physicist and controversialist
- Charles Fabry – former Professor of General Physics at Sorbonne University and the École Polytechnique
- Charles Fehrenbach – French astronomer, member of the French Academy of Sciences, and Director of the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP)
- John F. Forester – American planning theorist with a particular emphasis on participatory planning, former Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University
- Jean-Félix Adolphe Gambart – French astronomer
- Jean-Yves Girard – French logician
- Louis Godart – the chair of philology at the University of Naples Federico II
- Lucien Golvin – French university professor who specialized in the study of art from the peoples of the Maghreb
- Sanjeev Goyal – Indian economist, Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge
- Gérard Granel – French philosopher and translator
- Gilles-Gaston Granger – French analytic philosopher
- Pierre Gros – contemporary scholar of ancient Roman architecture and the Latin language
- Maurice Gross – French linguist and scholar of Romance languages
- Gene Grossman – the Jacob Viner Professor of International Economics at Princeton University
- Alex Grossmann – Croatian-French physicist
- Rudolf Haag – German physicist
- Bernard Harcourt – the chair of the Political Science Department, professor of political science and the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law at the University of Chicago
- Édouard Marie Heckel – French botanist and medical doctor, former director of the Jardin botanique E.M. Heckel, and founder of the Colonial Institute and Museum of Marseille
- Isao Imai – Japanese theoretical physicist
- Charles Joret – French literary historian, philologist and botanical author
- Henri Lucien Jumelle – French botanist
- Daniel Kastler – French theoretical physicist
- Joseph J. Katz – American chemist at Argonne National Laboratory, member of the US National Academy of Science
- Antoine Émile Henry Labeyrie – French astronomer
- Deepak Lal – the James S. Coleman Professor of International Development Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Antonio Lanzavecchia – Italian immunologist
- Lucien Laubier – French oceanographer
- Jean-Louis Le Moigne – French specialist on systems theory and constructivist epistemology
- Leigh Lisker – American linguist and phonetician
- Carlo Lottieri – Political Philosophy professor
- John Loughlin – Director of the Von Hügel Institute, and a Senior Fellow and Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge
- Henry de Lumley – French archeologist, geologist and prehistorian
- John L. Lumley – Professor Emeritus, Graduate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University
- Roger Malina – physicist, astronomer, Executive Editor of Leonardo Publications at the MIT Press
- Antoine Fortuné Marion – French naturalist
- Audier Marius – the founder of the Institute of Social Gerontology (Institut de Gérontologie Sociale)
- Octave Merlier – expert on the Modern Greek language
- Antoine Mérindol – French physician, doctor to Louis XIII of France
- Georges Mounin – French linguist, translator and semiotician
- George E. Mowry – American historian focusing primarily on the Progressive Era, professor at UCLA and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Gunasekaran Paramasamy – Vice-Chancellor of Thiruvalluvar University
- Jules Payot – French educationist
- Jean-Pierre Petit – French scientist, senior researcher at National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) as an astrophysicist in Marseille Observatory
- Marcin Odlanicki Poczobutt – Polish–Lithuanian Jesuit astronomer and mathematician, former Rector of Vilnius University
- Jean-Louis Pons – French astronomer
- Didier Raoult – French biology researcher
- François Ricard - writer, professor at McGill University
- Serge Ricard – professor of American Civilization at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle
- Charles Rostaing – French linguist specialising in toponymy
- Carlo Rovelli – Italian physicist
- Évry Schatzman – French astrophysicist
- Mark Seidenberg – Hilldale and Donald O. Hebb Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories
- Samah Selim – Egyptian scholar and translator of Arabic literature
- Bernard Sellato – former Director of the Institute for Research on Southeast Asia
- Étienne Souriau – French philosopher
- Paul Souriau – French philosopher
- William H. Starbuck – organizational scientist who held professorships in social relations (Johns Hopkins University), sociology (Cornell University), business administration (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee), and management (New York University)
- Édouard Stephan – French astronomer
- Nikola Stoyanov – Bulgarian scientist, economist and financier
- Eero Tarasti – Finnish musicologist and semiologist
- Wilhelm Tempel – German astronomer
- Jose L. Torero – professor in fire safety engineering at the University of Edinburgh
- Nicolas Tournadre – professor specializing in morphosyntax and typology, member of the LACITO lab of the CNRS
- Benjamin Valz – French astronomer
- Philippe Van Parijs – Belgian philosopher and political economist
- Jean Varenne – French Indologist
- Albert Jean Baptiste Marie Vayssière – French scientist
- Paul Veyne – French archaeologist and historian
- John Waterbury – American academic, professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
- Margaret Weitz – professor emeritus at Suffolk University
- Dan Werthimer – co-founder and chief scientist of the SETI@home project
- Józef Maria Hoene-Wroński – Polish philosopher
- Francisco José Ynduráin – Spanish theoretical physicist
- Andrey Zaliznyak – Russian linguist
- Christoph Zürcher – professor of Political Science at the Free University of Berlin
Business and economics
- Georges Anderla – French economist
- Bruce Caldwell – Research Professor of Economics at Duke University, and Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy
- Jean-Pierre Danthine – Swiss-Belgian economist, Vice President of the Swiss National Bank
- Lars Feld – Director of the Walter Eucken Institut, Professor for Economic Policy at the University of Freiburg, and member of the German Council of Economic Experts
- Rick Gilmore – President/CEO of GIC Trade, Inc. (the GIC Group), Special External Advisor to the White House/USAID for the Private Sector/Global Food Security and Managing Director of the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF) in Beijing
- Victor Ginsburgh – Belgian economist
- Richard Lyons – the 14th Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
- Henry Mintzberg, OC OQ FRSC – academic and author on business and management, the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University
- Abhiroop Mukhopadhyay – Indian economist
- Nikolay Nenovsky – Bulgarian economist
- Pierre Pestieau – Belgian economist
- George Selgin – the Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Professor Emeritus of economics at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, and an associate editor of Econ Journal Watch
- Mark P. Taylor – the Dean of Warwick Business School (WBS) at the University of Warwick and an academic in the fields of International Finance and Economics
- Lawrence H. White – American economics professor at George Mason University
- Myrna Wooders – Canadian economist, Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University and the University of Warwick
- Sergio Albeverio – Swiss mathematician working in the field of differential equations and mathematical physics
- Peter Balazs – Austrian mathematician working at the Acoustics Research Institute Vienna of the Austrian Academy of Sciences
- Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat – French mathematician and physicist, who was the first woman to be elected to the French Academy of Sciences
- Joachim Cuntz – German mathematician, fellow of the American Mathematical Society
- Roland Fraïssé – French mathematical logician
- John H. Hubbard – American mathematician, professor at Cornell University
- Henri Padé – French mathematician, known for his development of approximation techniques for functions using rational functions
- Nicolas Sarrabat – French mathematician and scientist, the son of the painter Daniel Sarrabat
- Jean-Marie Souriau – French mathematician, known for works in symplectic geometry
- Masamichi Takesaki – Japanese mathematician, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and fellow of the American Mathematical Society
- David Trotman – British mathematician, leading expert in an area of singularity theory known as the theory of stratifications
- André Weil – French mathematician, known for his foundational work in number theory and algebraic geometry
- Robert Chaudenson – French linguist, a specialist in creole languages
- Alain Colmerauer – French computer scientist
- Jean-François Delmas – French librarian, chief curator of the Bibliothèque Inguimbertine and the Musées de Carpentras
- Michel Duc-Goninaz – member of the World Esperanto Youth Organization (TEJO), and co-editor of La Folieto
- Roger Duchêne – French biographer specializing in the letters of Madame de Sévigné
- Leonard Liggio – classical liberal author, research professor of law at George Mason University, and executive vice president of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia
- Tuncer Őren – Turkish/Canadian systems engineer, professor emeritus of Computer Science at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Ottawa
- Rascas de Bagarris – founder of the science of historical numismatics and one of the most notable antiquaries of his time
- Willy Ronis – French photographer
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