New model of the École des mines de Paris: an elite school in “Montessori” mode

Published on 21 February 2024
Une école d'élite "Montessori".
How to train the engineer of the future? École des Mines de Paris unveils the new model for its engineering curriculum.

École des Mines de Paris revealed the new model for its engineering curriculum at a press conference on 12 March 2019.

In line with its 2025 strategic plan, École des Mines de Paris, one of France’s leading engineering schools and a member of PSL University, is redesigning its Civil Engineering Cycle from the start of the new academic year in September 2019. The aim? To better prepare the engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs of the future to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

This new model for our engineering curriculum will enable us, with the pedagogical innovation and scientific rigour that characterise MINES ParisTech, to prepare students to embody the values of entrepreneurship, to become promoters of meaningful sustainable, ecological and societal development, and to be players in the digital transformation, in France and internationally.
From the start of the 2019 academic year, MINES ParisTech will therefore be offering a more modular Civil Engineering Cycle, to encourage international mobility and enable students to take full advantage of the wealth offered by PSL University, while retaining what has been our strength since 1783: a generalist and humanist School, which welcomes its students on an individual basis and offers excellent teaching combining theory and practice.

Vincent Laflèche, Director of École des mines de Paris

The new opportunities offered by the engineering curriculum

  • A student-centred teaching approach that combines face-to-face teaching, supervised individual work, group projects, immersion in companies and community life
  • Reinforced theoretical and practical teaching on two major challenges facing the engineer of the 21st century: the energy transition and the digital transition (with, in particular, the scientific tools of AI as part of the core curriculum from the first year).
  • A modular curriculum from the second year to encourage mobility and double degrees, in PSL University schools and internationally (35 partner universities around the world)
  • Immersion in the world of research, with a term spent in one of the School’s or PSL’s research centres (Quartier Latin in Paris, in the Paris region or in Sophia Antipolis), or in international partner universities
  • Multidisciplinary engineering projects in agile mode (from design to prototyping) based on learning by doing.
  • The creation of an “Entrepreneurship week” in 1st year, to introduce engineering students to the methodologies and tools of business creation
  • Emphasis on the acquisition of ‘soft skills’ and linguistic, creative and artistic activities (in particular via the other PSL University schools)

A collaborative project for engineering students who are active players in and contributors to their training

The Civil Engineering Cycle is a 3-year engineering course aimed primarily at students recruited by competitive examination after two years of Classes Préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles.

Drawing on the expertise of its 235 teacher-researchers, who are constantly in touch with the business world and major societal issues, as well as the contributions of its students and recent graduates and its partners in the worlds of research, business and academia via PSL University, École des Mines de Paris has set up a collaborative project to overhaul its engineering curriculum, based in particular on :

A project group made up of 16 teacher-researchers from the École des mines de Paris.

An educational hackathon, the H4CK@MINES, which brought together 125 students to come up with concrete, constructive proposals for improving the way the engineering course is run and taught.

Tripartite working groups made up of students, lecturers, researchers and industrialists from companies of all sizes, whose role is to organise, develop and monitor the curriculum, thereby enabling the cycle to be continually redesigned.

The new Civil Engineering Cycle model will be rolled out from the start of the 2019 academic year, for future 2021 graduates.

Aftermovie of H4CK@MINES

Discover the aftermovie of the H4CK@MINES (educational hackathon) which mobilised students and alumni to contribute to the development of the future curriculum.

An article in L’Usine Nouvelle

The magazine L’Usine Nouvelle has produced a summary, written by Guillaume Lecompte-Boinet.

Autonomy, creativity, experimentation. Following in the footsteps of the famous Montessori method, the École des mines de Paris is heading in the direction of alternative teaching methods. Engineering courses at the École des mines de Paris are not abandoning the traditional lecture theatre. However, the new engineering curriculum planned for the start of the 2019 academic year will give pride of place to project-based teaching and “soft skills”. A real turning point. […]