Paris (French: Université de Paris), metonymically
known as the
Sorbonne (French: [sɔʁbɔn], one of its
buildings), was a university in Paris, France, from around 1150 to
1793, from 1806 to 1970.
Emerging around 1150 as a corporation associated with the cathedral
school of Notre Dame de Paris, it was considered the second-oldest
university in Europe. Officially chartered in 1200 by
II (Philippe-Auguste) of
France and recognised in 1215 by Pope
Innocent III, it was later often nicknamed after its theological
Sorbonne founded by
Robert de Sorbon
Robert de Sorbon and chartered by
King Saint Louis around 1257.
Internationally highly reputed for its academic performance in the
humanities ever since the Middle Ages – notably in theology and
philosophy – it introduced several academic standards and traditions
that have endured ever since and spread internationally, such as
doctoral degrees and student nations. Vast numbers of popes,
scientists, intellectuals and royalty were educated at the University
In 1793, during the
French Revolution period, the university was
closed and by Item-27 of the Revolutionary Convention, the college
endowments and buildings were sold. A new
University of France
replaced it in 1806 with four independent faculties: the Faculty of
Humanities ("Faculté des Lettres"), the Faculty of
including Economics), the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Medicine
and the Faculty of
Theology (closed in 1885).
In 1970, following the May 1968 events, the university was divided
into 13 autonomous universities. Although all the thirteen
universities that resulted of the original
can be considered its inheritors, just three universities of the
post-1968 universities inherited the name "Sorbonne", as well as its
physical location in the Latin Quarter (i.e. Pantheon-Sorbonne
Sorbonne Nouvelle; and
From 2010, several of the
Paris successors started to
reorganise themselves into different groups of universities and
institutions (COMUE), that, later, were upgraded to "pôles de
recherche et d'enseignement supérieur". As a result, nowadays we have
different university groups in the Parisian area, such as Sorbonne
Paris-Seine, and so on.
In 2018, two of the inheritors of the old
University of Paris,
University and Pierre and
Marie Curie University, will
become a single university called
In 2019, two other inheritors of the
University of Paris, namely Paris
Paris Descartes University, are also expected
2 12th century: Organisation
3 13th-14th century: Expansion
3.2 Four "nations"
4 15th-18th century: Influence in
France and Europe
5 1793: Abolition by the French Revolution
6 1806-1968 : Re-establishment
7 May 1968-1970: Shutdown
8 1970: Dissolution
9 2018 : Fusions
10 Notable people
10.3 Nobel prizes
11 External links
In 1150, the future
Paris was a student-teacher
corporation operating as an annex of the Notre-Dame cathedral school.
The earliest historical reference to it is found in Matthew of Paris'
reference to the studies of his own teacher (an abbot of St. Albans)
and his acceptance into "the fellowship of the elect Masters" there in
about 1170, and it is known that
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III completed his
studies there in 1182 at the age of 21.
The corporation was formally recognised as a "Universitas" in an edict
Philippe-Auguste in 1200: in it, amongst other accommodations
granted to future students, he allowed the corporation to operate
under ecclesiastic law which would be governed by the elders of the
Notre-Dame Cathedral school, and assured all those completing courses
there that they would be granted a diploma.
The university had four faculties: Arts, Medicine, Law, and Theology.
Faculty of Arts was the lowest in rank, but also the largest, as
students had to graduate there in order to be admitted to one of the
higher faculties. The students were divided into four nationes
according to language or regional origin: France, Normandy, Picardy,
and England. The last came to be known as the Alemannian (German)
nation. Recruitment to each nation was wider than the names might
imply: the English-German nation included students from Scandinavia
and Eastern Europe.
The faculty and nation system of the
Paris (along with
that of the
University of Bologna) became the model for all later
medieval universities. Under the governance of the Church, students
wore robes and shaved the tops of their heads in tonsure, to signify
they were under the protection of the church. Students followed the
rules and laws of the Church and were not subject to the king's laws
or courts. This presented problems for the city of Paris, as students
ran wild, and its official had to appeal to Church courts for justice.
Students were often very young, entering the school at age 13 or 14
and staying for 6 to 12 years.
12th century: Organisation
Three schools were especially famous in Paris: the palatine or palace
school, the school of Notre-Dame, and that of Sainte-Geneviève Abbey.
The decline of royalty brought about the decline of the first. The
other two were ancient but did not have much visibility in the early
centuries. The glory of the palatine school doubtless eclipsed theirs,
until it completely gave way to them. These two centres were much
frequented and many of their masters were esteemed for their learning.
The first renowned professor at the school of Ste-Geneviève was
Hubold, who lived in the tenth century. Not content with the courses
at Liège, he continued his studies at Paris, entered or allied
himself with the chapter of Ste-Geneviève, and attracted many pupils
via his teaching. Distinguished professors from the school of
Notre-Dame in the eleventh century include Lambert, disciple of
Fulbert of Chartres; Drogo of Paris; Manegold of Germany; and Anselm
of Laon. These two schools attracted scholars from every country and
produced many illustrious men, among whom were: St. Stanislaus of
Szczepanów, Bishop of Kraków; Gebbard, Archbishop of Salzburg; St.
Stephen, third Abbot of Cîteaux; Robert d'Arbrissel, founder of the
Abbey of Fontevrault
Abbey of Fontevrault etc. Three other men who added prestige to the
schools of Notre-Dame and Ste-Geneviève were William of Champeaux,
Abélard, and Peter Lombard.
Humanistic instruction comprised grammar, rhetoric, dialectics,
arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (trivium and quadrivium).
To the higher instruction belonged dogmatic and moral theology, whose
source was the Scriptures and the Patristic Fathers. It was completed
by the study of Canon law. The School of Saint-Victor arose to rival
those of Notre-Dame and Ste-Geneviève. It was founded by William of
Champeaux when he withdrew to the Abbey of Saint-Victor. Its most
famous professors are
Hugh of St. Victor
Hugh of St. Victor and Richard of St. Victor.
The plan of studies expanded in the schools of Paris, as it did
elsewhere. A Bolognese compendium of canon law called the Decretum
Gratiani brought about a division of the theology department. Hitherto
the discipline of the Church had not been separate from so-called
theology; they were studied together under the same professor. But
this vast collection necessitated a special course, which was
undertaken first at Bologna, where
Roman law was taught. In France,
Orléans and then
Paris erected chairs of canon law. Before the
end of the twelfth century, the Decretals of Gerard La Pucelle,
Mathieu d'Angers, and Anselm (or Anselle) of Paris, were added to the
Decretum Gratiani. However, civil law was not included at Paris. In
the twelfth century, medicine began to be publicly taught at Paris:
the first professor of medicine in
Paris records is Hugo, physicus
excellens qui quadrivium docuit.
Professors were required to have measurable knowledge and be appointed
by the university. Applicants had to be assessed by examination; if
successful, the examiner, who was the head of the school, and known as
scholasticus, capiscol, and chancellor, appointed an individual to
teach. This was called the licence or faculty to teach. The licence
had to be granted freely. No one could teach without it; on the other
hand, the examiner could not refuse to award it when the applicant
The school of Saint-Victor, under the abbey, conferred the licence in
its own right; the school of Notre-Dame depended on the diocese, that
of Ste-Geneviève on the abbey or chapter. The diocese and the abbey
or chapter, through their chancellor, gave professorial investiture in
their respective territories where they had jurisdiction. Besides
Notre-Dame, Ste-Geneviève, and Saint-Victor, there were several
schools on the "Island" and on the "Mount". "Whoever", says Crevier
"had the right to teach might open a school where he pleased, provided
it was not in the vicinity of a principal school." Thus a certain
Adam, who was of English origin, kept his "near the Petit Pont";
another Adam, Parisian by birth, "taught at the Grand Pont which is
called the Pont-au-Change" (Hist. de l'Univers. de Paris, I, 272).
The number of students in the school of the capital grew constantly,
so that lodgings were insufficient. French students included princes
of the blood, sons of the nobility, and ranking gentry. The courses at
Paris were considered so necessary as a completion of studies that
many foreigners flocked to them.
Popes Celestine II, Adrian IV and
Innocent III studied at Paris, and Alexander III sent his nephews
there. Noted German and English students included Otto of Freisingen,
Cardinal Conrad, Archbishop of Mainz, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and
John of Salisbury; while Ste-Geneviève became practically the
seminary for Denmark. The chroniclers of the time called
city of letters par excellence, placing it above Athens, Alexandria,
Rome, and other cities: "At that time, there flourished at Paris
philosophy and all branches of learning, and there the seven arts were
studied and held in such esteem as they never were at Athens, Egypt,
Rome, or elsewhere in the world." ("Les gestes de Philippe-Auguste").
Poets extolled the university in their verses, comparing it to all
that was greatest, noblest, and most valuable in the world.
Sorbonne covered by snow.
As the university developed, it became more institutionalized. First,
the professors formed an association, for according to Matthew Paris,
John of Celles, twenty-first Abbot of St Albans, England, was admitted
as a member of the teaching corps of
Paris after he had followed the
courses (Vita Joannis I, XXI, abbat. S. Alban). The masters, as well
as the students, were divided according to national origin,. Alban
wrote that Henry II,
King of England, in his difficulties with St.
Thomas of Canterbury, wanted to submit his cause to a tribunal
composed of professors of Paris, chosen from various provinces (Hist.
major, Henry II, to end of 1169). This was likely the start of the
division according to "nations," which was later to play an important
part in the university. Celestine III ruled that both professors and
students had the privilege of being subject only to the ecclesiastical
courts, not to civil courts.
The three schools: Notre-Dame, Sainte-Geneviève, and Saint-Victor,
may be regarded as the triple cradle of the Universitas scholarium,
which included masters and students; hence the name University. Henry
Denifle and some others hold that this honour is exclusive to the
school of Notre-Dame (Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis), but the
reasons do not seem convincing. He excludes Saint-Victor because, at
the request of the abbot and the religious of Saint-Victor, Gregory IX
in 1237 authorized them to resume the interrupted teaching of
theology. But the university was largely founded about 1208, as is
shown by a Bull of Innocent III. Consequently, the schools of
Saint-Victor might well have contributed to its formation. Secondly,
Denifle excludes the schools of Ste-Geneviève because there had been
no interruption in the teaching of the liberal arts. This is debatable
and through the period, theology was taught. The chancellor of
Ste-Geneviève continued to give degrees in arts, something he would
have ceased if his abbey had no part in the university organization.
13th-14th century: Expansion
Meeting of doctors at the
University of Paris. From a 16th-century
King Philip II issued a diploma "for the security of the
scholars of Paris," which affirmed that students were subject only to
ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The provost and other officers were
forbidden to arrest a student for any offence, unless to transfer him
to ecclesiastical authority. The king's officers could not intervene
with any member unless having a mandate from an ecclesiastical
authority. His action followed a violent incident between students and
officers outside the city walls at a pub.
In 1215, the Apostolic legate, Robert de Courçon, issued new rules
governing who could become a professor. To teach the arts, a candidate
had to be at least twenty-one, to have studied these arts at least six
years, and to take an engagement as professor for at least two years.
For a chair in theology, the candidate had to be thirty years of age,
with eight years of theological studies, of which the last three years
were devoted to special courses of lectures in preparation for the
mastership. These studies had to be made in the local schools under
the direction of a master. In Paris, one was regarded as a scholar
only by studies with particular masters. Lastly, purity of morals was
as important as reading. The licence was granted, according to custom,
gratuitously, without oath or condition. Masters and students were
permitted to unite, even by oath, in defence of their rights, when
they could not otherwise obtain justice in serious matters. No mention
is made either of law or of medicine, probably because these sciences
were less prominent.
Paris strike of 1229
In 1229, a denial of justice by the queen led to suspension of the
courses. The pope intervened with a Bull that began with lavish praise
of the university: "Paris", said Gregory IX, "mother of the sciences,
is another Cariath-Sepher, city of letters". He commissioned the
Bishops of Le Mans and Senlis and the Archdeacon of Châlons to
negotiate with the French Court for the restoration of the university,
but by the end of 1230 they had accomplished nothing. Gregory IX then
addressed a Bull of 1231 to the masters and scholars of Paris. Not
only did he settle the dispute, he empowered the university to frame
statutes concerning the discipline of the schools, the method of
instruction, the defence of theses, the costume of the professors, and
the obsequies of masters and students (expanding upon Robert de
Courçon's statutes). Most importantly, the pope granted the
university the right to suspend its courses, if justice were denied
it, until it should receive full satisfaction.
The pope authorized Pierre Le Mangeur to collect a moderate fee for
the conferring of the license of professorship. Also, for the first
time, the scholars had to pay tuition fees for their education: two
sous weekly, to be deposited in the common fund.
The university was organized as follows: at the head of the teaching
body was a rector. The office was elective and of short duration; at
first it was limited to four or six weeks. Simon de Brion, legate of
Holy See in France, realizing that such frequent changes caused
serious inconvenience, decided that the rectorate should last three
months, and this rule was observed for three years. Then the term was
lengthened to one, two, and sometimes three years. The right of
election belonged to the procurators of the four nations.
Map showing the territories covered by the four nations of the
Paris during the Middle Ages.
The "nations" appeared in the second half of the twelfth century. They
were mentioned in the Bull of
Honorius III in 1222. Later, they formed
a distinct body. By 1249, the four nations existed with their
procurators, their rights (more or less well-defined), and their keen
rivalries: the nations were the French, English, Normans, and Picards.
After the Hundred Years' War, the English nation was replaced by the
Germanic. The four nations constituted the faculty of arts or letters.
The territories covered by the four nations were:
French nation: all the Romance-speaking parts of Europe except those
included within the Norman and Picard nations
English nation (renamed 'German nation' after the Hundred Years' War):
the British Isles, the Germanic-speaking parts of continental Europe
(except those included within the Picard nation), and the
Slavic-speaking parts of Europe. The majority of students within that
nation came from Germany and Scotland, and when it was renamed 'German
nation' it was also sometimes called natio Germanorum et Scotorum
("nation of the Germans and Scots").
Norman nation: the ecclesiastical province of Rouen, which
corresponded approximately to the Duchy of Normandy. This was a
Romance-speaking territory, but it was not included within the French
Picard nation: the Romance-speaking bishoprics of Beauvais, Noyon,
Amiens, Laon, and Arras; the bilingual (Romance and Germanic-speaking)
bishoprics of Thérouanne, Cambrai, and Tournai; a large part of the
bilingual bishopric of Liège; and the southernmost part of the
Germanic-speaking bishopric of Utrecht (the part of that bishopric
located south of the Meuse River; the rest of the bishopric north of
Meuse River belonged to the English nation). It was estimated that
about half of the students in the Picard nation were Romance-speakers
(Picard and Walloon), and the other half were Germanic-speakers (West
Flemish, East Flemish,
To classify professors' knowledge, the schools of
divided into faculties. Professors of the same science were brought
into closer contact until the community of rights and interests
cemented the union and made them distinct groups. The faculty of
medicine seems to have been the last to form. But the four faculties
were already formally established by 1254, when the university
described in a letter "theology, jurisprudence, medicine, and
rational, natural, and moral philosophy". The masters of theology
often set the example for the other faculties—e.g., they were the
first to adopt an official seal.
The faculties of theology, canon law, and medicine, were called
"superior faculties". The title of "Dean" as designating the head of a
faculty, came into use by 1268 in the faculties of law and medicine,
and by 1296 in the faculty of theology. It seems that at first the
deans were the oldest masters. The faculty of arts continued to have
four procurators of its four nations and its head was the rector. As
the faculties became more fully organized, the division into four
nations partially disappeared for theology, law and medicine, though
it continued in arts. Eventually the superior faculties included only
doctors, leaving the bachelors to the faculty of arts. At this period,
therefore, the university had two principal degrees, the baccalaureate
and the doctorate. It was not until much later that the licentiate and
the DEA became intermediate degrees.
Rue Saint-Jacques and the
Sorbonne in Paris
The scattered condition of the scholars in
Paris often made lodging
difficult. Some students rented rooms from townspeople, who often
exacted high rates while the students demanded lower. This tension
between scholars and citizens would have developed into a sort of
civil war if
Robert de Courçon had not found the remedy of taxation.
It was upheld in the Bull of Gregory IX of 1231, but with an important
modification: its exercise was to be shared with the citizens. The aim
was to offer the students a shelter where they would fear neither
annoyance from the owners nor the dangers of the world. Thus were
founded the colleges (colligere, to assemble); meaning not centers of
instruction, but simple student boarding-houses. Each had a special
goal, being established for students of the same nationality or the
same science. Often, masters lived in each college and oversaw its
Four colleges appeared in the 12th century; they became more numerous
in the 13th, including
Collège d'Harcourt (1280) and the Collège de
Sorbonne (1257). Thus the
Paris assumed its basic form.
It was composed of seven groups, the four nations of the faculty of
arts, and the three superior faculties of theology, law, and medicine.
Men who had studied at
Paris became an increasing presence in the high
ranks of the Church hierarchy; eventually, students at the University
Paris saw it as a right that they would be eligible to benefices.
Church officials such as St. Louis and Clement IV lavishly praised the
Besides the famous Collège de Sorbonne, other collegia provided
housing and meals to students, sometimes for those of the same
geographical origin in a more restricted sense than that represented
by the nations. There were 8 or 9 collegia for foreign students: the
oldest one was the Danish college, the Collegium danicum or dacicum,
founded in 1257. Swedish students could, during the 13th and 14th
centuries, live in one of three Swedish colleges, the Collegium
Upsaliense, the Collegium Scarense or the Collegium Lincopense, named
after the Swedish dioceses of Uppsala,
Skara and Linköping.
The Collège de
Navarre was founded in 1305, originally aimed at
students from Navarre, but due to its size, wealth, and the links
between the crowns of
France and Navarre, it quickly accepted students
from other nations. The establishment of the
Navarre was a
turning point in the University's history: Navarra was the first
college to offer teaching to its students, which at the time set it
apart from all previous colleges, founded as charitable institutions
that provided lodging, but no tuition. Navarre's model combining
lodging and tuition would be reproduced by other colleges, both in
Paris and other universities. 
The German College, Collegium alemanicum is mentioned as early as
1345, the Scots college or Collegium scoticum was founded in 1325. The
Lombard college or Collegium lombardicum was founded in the 1330s. The
Collegium constantinopolitanum was, according to a tradition, founded
in the 13th century to facilitate a merging of the eastern and western
churches. It was later reorganized as a French institution, the
Collège de la Marche-Winville. The
Collège de Montaigu
Collège de Montaigu was founded
Archbishop of Rouen
Archbishop of Rouen in the 14th century, and reformed in the
15th century by the humanist Jan Standonck, when it attracted
reformers from within the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church (such as
Ignatius of Loyola) and those who subsequently became Protestants
John Calvin and John Knox).
At this time, the university also went the controversy of the
condemnations of 1210–1277.
15th-18th century: Influence in
France and Europe
Sorbonne on fire in 1670.
The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th-century engraving
In the fifteenth century, Guillaume d'Estouteville, a cardinal and
Apostolic legate, reformed the university, correcting its perceived
abuses and introducing various modifications. This reform was less an
innovation than a recall to observance of the old rules, as was the
reform of 1600, undertaken by the royal government with regard to the
three higher faculties. Nonetheless, and as to the faculty of arts,
the reform of 1600 introduced the study of Greek, of French poets and
orators, and of additional classical figures like Hesiod, Plato,
Demosthenes, Cicero, Virgil, and Sallust. The prohibition from
teaching civil law was never well observed at Paris, but in 1679 Louis
XIV officially authorized the teaching of civil law in the faculty of
decretals. The "faculty of law" hence replaced the "faculty of
decretals". The colleges meantime had multiplied; those of Cardinal
Navarre were founded in the fourteenth century. The
Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War was fatal to these establishments, but the
university set about remedying the injury.
Besides its teaching, the
Paris played an important part
in several disputes: in the Church, during the Great Schism; in the
councils, in dealing with heresies and divisions; in the State, during
national crises. Under the domination of England it played a role in
the trial of Joan of Arc.
Proud of its rights and privileges, the
energetically to maintain them, hence the long struggle against the
mendicant orders on academic as well as on religious grounds. Hence
also the shorter conflict against the Jesuits, who claimed by word and
action a share in its teaching. It made extensive use of its right to
decide administratively according to occasion and necessity. In some
instances it openly endorsed the censures of the faculty of theology
and pronounced condemnation in its own name, as in the case of the
Its patriotism was especially manifested on two occasions. During the
King John, when
Paris was given over to factions, the
university sought to restore peace; and under Louis XIV, when the
Spaniards crossed the Somme and threatened the capital, it placed two
hundred men at the king's disposal and offered the Master of Arts
degree gratuitously to scholars who should present certificates of
service in the army (Jourdain, Hist. de l'Univers. de
Paris au XVIIe
et XVIIIe siècle, 132-34; Archiv. du ministère de l'instruction
1793: Abolition by the French Revolution
Sorbonne as seen from rue des Écoles.
The ancient university disappeared with the ancien régime in the
French Revolution. On 15 September 1793, petitioned by the Department
Paris and several departmental groups, the National Convention
decided that independently of the primary schools,
"there should be established in the Republic three progressive degrees
of instruction; the first for the knowledge indispensable to artisans
and workmen of all kinds; the second for further knowledge necessary
to those intending to embrace the other professions of society; and
the third for those branches of instruction the study of which is not
within the reach of all men".
Measures were to be taken immediately: "For means of execution the
department and the municipality of
Paris are authorized to consult
with the Committee of Public Instruction of the National Convention,
in order that these establishments shall be put in action by 1
November next, and consequently colleges now in operation and the
faculties of theology, medicine, arts, and law are suppressed
throughout the Republic". This was the death-sentence of the
university. It was not to be restored after the Revolution had
subsided, no more than those of the provinces.
1806-1968 : Re-establishment
The university was re-established by
Napoleon on 1 May 1806. All the
faculties were replaced by a single centre, the
University of France.
The decree of 17 March 1808 created five distinct faculties: Law,
Medicine, Letters/Humanities, Sciences, and Theology; traditionally,
Letters and Sciences had been grouped together into one faculty, that
of "Arts". After a century, people recognized that the new system was
less favourable to study. The defeat of 1870 at the hands of Prussia
was partially blamed on the growth of the superiority of the German
university system of the 19th century, and led to another serious
reform of the French university. In the 1880s, the "licence"
(bachelor) degree is divided into, for the Faculty of Letters:
Letters, Philosophy, History, Modern Languages, with French, Latin and
Greek being requirements for all of them; and for the Faculty of
Science, into: Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Natural Sciences;
the Faculty of
Theology is abolished by the Republic. At this time,
the building of the
Sorbonne was fully renovated.
May 1968-1970: Shutdown
In 1966, after a student revolt in Paris, Christian Fouchet, minister
of education, had proposed "the reorganisation of university studies
into separate two- and four-year degrees, alongside the introduction
of selective admission criteria" as a response to overcrowding in
lecture halls. Dissatisfied with these educational reforms,
students began protesting in November 1967, at the campus of the
Paris in Nanterre; indeed, according to James
Marshall, these reforms were seen "as the manifestations of the
technocratic-capitalist state by some, and by others as attempts to
destroy the liberal university". After student activists protested
the Vietnam War, the campus was closed by authorities on March 22
and again on May 2, 1968. Agitation spread to the Sorbonne
the next day, and many students were arrested in the following
week. Barricades were erected throughout the Latin Quarter, and a
massive demonstration took place on May 13, gathering students
and workers on strike. The number of workers on strike reached
about nine million by May 22. As explained by Bill Readings:
[President Charles de Gaulle] responded on May 24 by calling for a
referendum, and [...] the revolutionaries, led by informal action
committees, attacked and burned the
Paris Stock Exchange in response.
The Gaullist government then held talks with union leaders, who agreed
to a package of wage-rises and increases in union rights. The
strikers, however, simply refused the plan. With the French state
tottering, de Gaulle fled
France on May 29 for a French military
base in Germany. He later returned and, with the assurance of military
support, announced [general] elections [within] forty days. [...] Over
the next two months, the strikes were broken (or broke up) while the
election was won by the Gaullists with an increased majority.
Following the disruption, de Gaulle appointed
Edgar Faure as minister
of education; Faure was assigned to draft reforms about the French
university system, with the help of academics. Their proposal was
adopted on November 12; in accordance with the new law, the
faculties of the
Paris were to reorganize
Some of the new universities took over the old faculties and the
majority of their professors: social sciences by Panthéon-Sorbonne
University; law by Panthéon-Assas University; humanities by
Sorbonne Nouvelle and Paris-
Sorbonne University; natural
Paris Descartes University and Pierre and Marie
The thirteen successor universities to the
Paris are now
split over the three academies of the Île-de-
Academy of Paris
Humanities, Social sciences, Economics
Academy of Paris
Sorbonne Nouvelle University
Academy of Paris
Academy of Paris
René Descartes University
Academy of Paris
Medicine, Social sciences, Humanities
Academy of Paris
Denis Diderot University
Academy of Paris
Science, Medicine, Humanities
University of Vincennes in Saint-Denis
Academy of Créteil
Paris Dauphine University
Academy of Paris
Academy of Versailles
Academy of Versailles
Academy of Créteil
Academy of Créteil
Science, Social sciences, Medicine
Most of these successor universities have the joined the six groups of
universities and (higher education) institutions in the
created in the 2010s.
2018 : Fusions
In January 2018, the universities of Paris-
Sorbonne and Pierre and
University merged into
By January 2019, the
University and the
University are also to merge.
See also: List of
Honoré de Balzac
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Carlos Alvarado-Larroucau, writer
Paul Biya, President of Cameroon
Jean-François Delmas, archivist, Director of the Bibliothèque
Inguimbertine and the museums of Carpentras
Aklilu Habte-Wold, Ethiopian politician that served in Haile
Ekaterina Fleischitz, first female Russian criminal defense lawyer
Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs of
Jean Peyrelevade, French civil servant, politician and business
Issei Sagawa, cannibal and murderer
Michel Sapin, Deputy Minister of Justice from May 1991 to April 1992,
Finance Minister from April 1992 to March 1993, and Minister of Civil
Servants and State Reforms from March 2000 to May 2002.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson , Head of the Chabad-Lubavitch
Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar
Pol Theis, attorney, interior designer, and founder of P&T
Interiors in New York City
Jean-Pierre Thiollet, French writer
Loïc Vadelorge, French historian
Reynald Abad, historian, winner of the Guizot Prize of the Académie
Jean Baechler, historian, member of the Académie des sciences morales
Ranvijay Patwardhan, lawyer, psychologist, art critic, litrateur and
member of the Nobel Committee for Literature
Abhigyan Patwardhan, lawyer, historian, political commentator and
member of the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques
Yves-Marie Bercé, historian, winner of the Madeleine Laurain-Portemer
Prize of the
Académie des sciences morales et politiques
Académie des sciences morales et politiques and member
of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques
Kulbhushan Nikhanj, Lauded Professor of
Sorbonne, Lawyer, Portrait Painter and Art Collector, Recipient of
Legion of Honor
Legion of Honor of France
Janine Chanteur, philosopher, winner of the Biguet Prize of the
Jean-Claude Cheynet, historian and professor at the Collège de France
Shivansh Balsavar, Noted English Barrister, Professor of International
human rights law at Edinburgh
Manimala Maravar, Professor of
Ancient History and
Figurative art and
member of Académie française
Rukmini Dave, Professor of International
Law and Political Philosophy
Paris - Sorbonne, Member of the Pulitzer Prize
Committee and Visiting Professor at SOAS, London
Antoine Compagnon, professor of French literature at the Collège de
Philippe Contamine, historian, member of the Académie des
inscriptions et belles-lettres
Denis Crouzet, Renaissance historian, winner of the Madeleine
Laurain-Portemer Prize of the Académie des sciences morales et
Marc Fumaroli, member of the
Académie française and professor at the
Collège de France* Olivier Forcade, historian of Political and
International relations at the
University of Paris-
Sciences-Po Paris, member of the French National Council of
Nrupadh Pendharkar, Member of Sciences-Po Paris, Linguist, Advisor on
Human rights issues to UNICEF
Jean-Robert Pitte, geographist, member of the Académie des sciences
morales et politiques
Arvind Shripad Mukherjee, Felicitated architect, lawyer, visiting
professor at the Grenoble School of Management
William Broughtons, Noted Architect, Professor of Human Resource
Management at European Business School Paris
Jean Favier, historian, member of the Académie des inscriptions et
belles-lettres, President of the French Commission for UNESCO
Nicolas Grimal, egyptologist, winner of the Gaston-Maspero prize of
Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres
Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres et member of the
Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, winner of the Diane
Potier-Boes Prize of the Académie française.
Claude Lecouteux, professor of Medieval German literature, winner of
the Strasbourg Prize of the Académie française
Jean-Luc Marion, philosopher, member of the Académie française
Danièle Pistone, musicologist, member of the Académie des beaux-arts
Jean-Yves Tadié, professor of French literature, Grand Prize of the
Jean Tulard, historian, member of the Académie des sciences morales
Philippe G. Ciarlet
The university counts 49
Nobel Prize winners, placing it in 14th
position globally, and 2nd outside of the English-speaking world. The
Sorbonne has taught 11 French Presidents, almost 50 French heads of
government, 2 Popes, as well as many other political and social
Sorbonne has also educated leaders of Albania, Canada,
the Dominican Republic, Gabon, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Tunisia
and Niger among others. List of
Nobel Prize winners that had attended
Paris or one of its thirteen successors.
Albert Fert (PhD) - 2007
Alfred Kastler (DSc) - 1966
Gabriel Lippmann (DSc) - 1908
Jean Perrin (DSc) - 1926
Louis Néel (MSc) - 1970
Louis de Broglie
Louis de Broglie (DSc) - 1929
[Ph.] [Ch.] Marie Curie (DSc) - 1903, 1911
Pierre Curie (DSc) - 1903
Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (DSc) - 1991
Serge Haroche (PhD, DSc) - 2012
Frédéric Joliot-Curie (DSc) - 1935
Gerhard Ertl (Attendee) - 2007
Henri Moissan (DSc) - 1906
Irène Joliot-Curie (DSc) - 1935
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff (Attendee) - 2007
André Frédéric Cournand
André Frédéric Cournand (M.D) - 1956
André Lwoff (M.D, DSc) - 1965
Bert Sakmann (Attendee) - 1991
Charles Nicolle (M.D) - 1928
Charles Richet (M.D, DSc) - 1913
François Jacob (M.D) - 1965
Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (PhD) - 2008
Jacques Monod (DSc) - 1965
Jean Dausset (MD) - 1980
Luc Montagnier (MD) - 2008
Gérard Debreu (DSc) - 1983
Maurice Allais (D.Eng.) - 1988
Jean Tirole (PhD) - 2014
Albert Schweitzer (PhD) - 1952
Charles Albert Gobat
Charles Albert Gobat (Attendee) - 1902
Ferdinand Buisson (DLitt) - 1927
Léon Bourgeois (DCL) - 1920
[Pe.] Louis Renault (DCL) - 1907
René Cassin (DCL) - 1968
Giorgos Seferis (LLB) - 1963
Henri Bergson (B.A) - 1927
Jean-Paul Sartre (B.A) - 1964
Patrick Modiano (Attendee) - 2014
Romain Rolland (D Litt) - 1915
T.S.Eliot (Attendee) - 1979
Marie Skłodowska Curie
Nobel Prize winners that were affiliated with the University
Paris or one of its thirteen successors.
George Smoot (Professor) - 2006
Gabriel Lippmann (Professor) - 1908*
Jean Perrin (Professor) - 1926*
Louis de Broglie
Louis de Broglie (Professor) - 1929*
[Ph.][Ch.] Marie Curie (Professor) - 1903*, 1911*
Alfred Kastler (Researcher) - 1966
Henri Moissan (Professor) - 1906*
Irène Joliot-Curie (Professor) - 1935*
[Ch.] Peter Debye (Visiting Lecturer) - 1936
Charles Richet (Professor) - 1913*
Jules Bordet (Researcher) - 1919
Roger Guillemin (Researcher) - 1977
Jean Dausset (Professor) - 1980*
[Pe.] Louis Renault (Professor) - 1907*
[Li.] T.S. Eliot (Visitor) - 1948
T. S. Eliot
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Deuchrie. Life and death of
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