Paris Descartes University

Paris Descartes University (French: Université Paris 5 René Descartes), also known as Paris V, was a French public research university located in Paris.

Paris Descartes University
Université Paris 5 René Descartes
BudgetEuro 340 Million(US $476 Million)
ChancellorPatrick Gérard
Chancellor of the Universities of Paris
PresidentFrédéric Dardel
Students33 500
Undergraduates15 000
Postgraduates18 500

48°51′05″N 2°20′26″E
ColoursMagenta and white   
AffiliationsUniversity of Paris
France Paris

It was one of the inheritors of the University of Paris (often referred as the Sorbonne), which was split into multiple separate institutions in 1970. Paris Descartes completely merged with Paris Diderot University in 2019 to form a new University of Paris.

It was established as a multidisciplinary university "of humanities and health sciences" ("des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Santé". It focuses in the areas of medical sciences, biomedical sciences, law, computer science, economics and psychology.[1]

Its main campus was in the historic École de Chirurgie in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.


The historic University of Paris (French: Université de Paris) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was divided into thirteen universities, managed by a common rectorate, the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris, after the student protests of the French May.



Descartes University has ten campuses in Paris. Its headquarters are centered on the "Collège de chirurgie", which was built in place of the "Collège de Bourgogne", in the Quartier Latin, on the rue des Écoles. The teaching facilities and the research laboratories are housed in the Saints-Pères university center, as far as the medical school and the social sciences school are concerned. The refurbished Henri-Piéron center contains the school of psychology, whereas the Law school is located in Malakoff. The dentistry school is located in Montrouge.


The undergraduate program of Paris Descartes is selective, with an acceptance rate of 11%. Admission to the second year of the university's master programs is selective as well, some of these programs admitting only 1.7% of applicants which can represent 25 students by programs.

International conventions

The University Paris V has signed over 150 conventions with foreign universities across five continents, including Manchester, Warwick, Copenhagen, Rome, Madrid, Rotterdam, Helsinki, Stockholm or Ghent.[2]



The university focuses on medical sciences (medicine, dental medicine, pharmacy, psychology), biomedical sciences (cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, biomedical physics), social sciences (sociology, anthropology, linguistics, demographics, science of education), mathematics, computer science and law (information technology law, business law, tax law, public law, private law...).

The University Paris Descartes supports a modern approach of social sciences on the basis of fieldwork, participant observation and ethnography (Master's degree in cultural and social anthropology, at the School of humanities and social sciences - Sorbonne). The dual master's degree ("Economics and Psychology" and "Cogmaster") in partnership with other important French academic institutions such as Pantheon-Sorbonne University and the École Normale Supérieure emphasizes opportunities offered as far as research is concerned.


University rankings
Global – Overall
QS World[3]=441-450 (2018)

Paris Descartes was rated by the 2017 QS World University Ranking by Subject:

It was also rated by the 2016/17 The Times Higher Education Subject Rankings as:

  • 201–250 (4th ex aequo in France) in Medicine,
  • 201–250 (1st in France) in Psychology.[5]

In Law, in 2016/17, it was not ranked among the top 10 of France of Eduniversal rankings.[6]

Notable people

Faculty members


Points of interest

See also


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