Institut national des sciences appliquées de Lyon

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Institut national des sciences appliquées de Lyon
Logo INSA Lyon.svg
Motto L'imagination technologique ("The technological imagination")
Type Public (École d'ingénieurs EPSCP)
Established 1957
Endowment €162.3 millions
President Éric Maurincomme
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 5440
Location Lyon - Villeurbanne, France
Campus LyonTech - La Doua (Urban)

The Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon or INSA Lyon is a Grande École d'Ingénieurs. INSA Lyon is ranked among the top universities of Science and Technology in Europe, pluridisciplinary and international, at the heart of the European Higher Education Area.[1] The school was founded in 1957 to train highly qualified engineers, support continuing education, and conduct research and testing. The five-year curriculum aims at training engineers who possess human qualities and are well versed in the primary areas of science and engineering. Graduates from INSA are called "Insaliens".

The education is organised as follows:

  • the first cycle: highly selective, students acquire the necessary scientific background for future engineering studies.
  • the second cycle: students are given the choice between 12 fields of specialisation. They may pursue a Phd upon completion of the 5-year curriculum.

The university is located on the La Doua-LyonTech campus, home of science-related universities. La Doua is located in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon.

First cycle[edit]

The five-year academic curriculum starts with a foundation course (preparatory cycle) where students focus on fundamental sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Mechanics and Computer Science) and then progress to specialized areas in science and technology. This general foundation cycle aims to provide INSA engineers with a wide range of skills and competencies, thus allowing them to redirect their careers independently of their initial specialization.

Most of the selection takes place during the first cycle[citation needed].

Some special sections are available:

  • "EURINSA": 50% of the group come from a European country
  • "AMERINSA": 50% of the group come from Latin American countries
  • "ASINSA": 50% of the group come from an Asian country
  • "Sportif de haut niveau" (Student Athlete) for high level athletes
  • 5 sections of "Art études" (Art and Science).
  • "SCAN": the students follow their engineering courses in English.

Second cycle (Masters of Engineering)[edit]

The second cycle is completed in 3 years and offers 10 different options.

  • Computer science,
  • Biochemistry and Biotechnologies,
  • Bioinformatics,
  • Civil engineering and urban planning,
  • Electrical engineering,
  • Energy engineering and environment,
  • Mechanical engineering (design, development, plasturgy processes),
  • Industrial engineering,
  • Materials science and engineering,
  • Telecommunications

The three following departments: Mechanical Engineering Design, Mechanical Engineering Development, Mechanical Engineering Plasturgy Processes merge in September 2017 in a unique Mechanical Engineering department.


INSA Lyon is the most selective grande école post-bac (i.e. engineering schools recruiting after high school). Students admitted for the academic year 2012-2013 had an average of 16.9/20 on France's national secondary-school (lycée) diploma.[2] Admission may also be granted to top ranked high school students upon their academic records as well as their performance during an evaluation interview.

An international school[edit]

The INSA Lyon has a policy of encouraging "international" education with:

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

INSA Lyon proposes special international sections for its students. These sections allow the French students to study and work with students from other countries.

  • EURINSA: approximately 120 students in 1st year including 1/3 of French students, 1/3 of the European Union and 1/3 of the other European countries.
  • ASINSA: a class of approximately 80 students in 1st year, made up approximately for half of French students and half of Asian students coming from China, Viêt Nam, South Korea and Malaysia.
  • AMERINSA: 100 students in 1st year, made up for half of French students and half of Latin-American students, coming mainly from Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Colombia.
  • SCAN: 50 students in first year (half of them being foreigners) and 50 students in second year. During these two years, most of the teaching is done in English.[3]

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

Masters of Science[edit]

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

Doctoral Program[edit]

INSA Lyon enrolls over 600 doctoral students in its 21 research laboratories.


L'INSA de Lyon is blessed with the largest research funding among Grande École in France [4] .

It features 27 laboratories, 500 Professors, 250 Master students, 500 PhD students and supports 120 Theses each year[citation needed].

Student life[edit]

Since its creation, INSA Lyon has offered its students the possibility to live on-campus and provide various facilities including various clubs, library, restaurants…

Over a hundred clubs have been registered so far.

  • Students' Union(BdE): Association of the students in engineering of the INSA
  • Forum Organisation: Student-run recruitment association, organizes each year Forum Rhône-Alpes, the biggest engineering job fair of the country.
  • Les 24 Heures de l'INSA (24 hours of the INSA Lyon)
  • Adege : ADEGE ('Association Des Elèves en Génie Electrique' / Electrical Engineering Student Association) is the association for students in Electrical Engineering at INSA de Lyon.
  • AJIL : Association des Jongleurs de l'INSA de Lyon
  • ARGIL : Association of management and entertainment of student centre of INSA Lyon
  • OBJECTIF 21 : Association coed for the promotion of sustainable development on the school's campus
  • CLES FACIL : Aeronautical rocket Club of the INSA Lyon
  • ClubElek : Robotics Club of the INSA Lyon
  • INSAERO : Aeronautical association of the INSA Lyon
  • ESTIEM : European STudents of Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Etic INSA Technologies : Junior Enterprise of the INSA Lyon
  • Exit : Campus Gay and Lesbian association
  • Ciné Club of the INSA Lyon : Movies projections on campus
  • La Mouette : video association
  • Graines d'Images : photography association
  • Club BD : club comic strips
  • L'INSATIABLE : Insa Students newspaper
  • BACCHUS : club of enology
  • SLIDE : Standards Latinos INSA Dance Entertainment, Club of Latin dances
  • INSA Dojang: club of Taekwondo
  • Adeibt Association of raised resulting from technological vat
  • Group of Pinguins free: Association of promotion of the free software
  • BEST Lyon: Board of European Students of Technology
  • Ski Club: Ski Club of the INSA Lyon
  • ADIL : Association of the Doctorands of Insa Lyon
  • SHIOT : Street Hockey Insa Olympic TEAM, club of Roller-Hockey of Insa Lyon



  • 1st place in the ranking performed by weekly magazine Le Point (Le Point - 17/02/2005 - N°1692) of the top French engineering schools (with admittance directly after high school/secondary school). INSA Lyon is also ranked among the top 5 preferred Engineering Schools for recruiters.
  • 2nd position according to the magazine “l'Expansion”, with respect to salary offered for the first employment and after 3 years experience.
  • 2nd place in the ranking of French Computer Engineering Graduate Schools, according to a survey carried out by the magazine “Le Monde Informatique” 2006. (1 Supelec, 2 INSA de Lyon, 3 Mines, 4 Polytechnique, 5 Centrale Paris )
  • 1st place according to L'Express (06/01/2010), among 5-year schools. In the French education system, high school graduates go to "Prepa" courses for 2 years, then compete for engineering schools where they spend 3 more years; whereas other schools like INSA include the "Prepa" as part of their 5-year cursus. Ranking differ between these 2 categories.


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

Top athletes

Since 1981, INSA has been entrusted by the Departments of “Education Nationale” and of “Jeunesse et des Sports”, with the administration of a “Sport Etudes” section (Sports and Studies) called Top Athletes section. 11 students from this section have participated in the Olympic Games. 2 World Champions have graduated from INSA. François Gabart is a French professional offshore yacht racer who won the 7th Vendée Globe race in 2013 and established a new record.

Annual events[edit]

  • The "24 hours": 3-days completely free student festival with over 60 animations and concerts.
  • Karnaval: it is the association in charge of organising a great costumed parade on Shrove Tuesday, involving both students and children from primary schools. A student party is given in the evening. The event is part of a week during which many cultural and humanitarian relief activities are organised.
  • the Gala: it is the ceremony where INSA award degrees for the alumni. After the ceremony a dinner and a celebration party are organised at the Palais des congrès de Lyon.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°46′53″N 4°52′20″E / 45.78139°N 4.87222°E / 45.78139; 4.87222