Universities in Montpellier - QS Best Student Cities Ranking | Top Universities


By Sabrina Collier

Updated April 16, 2024 Updated April 16, 2024

Montpellier for students

An up-and-coming study destination, Montpellier is one of the largest cities on France’s southern coast, and has a significant student population – of the 590,000 residents, around a third are students, giving it a youthful student vibe. 

The city has also gained a reputation as an education center, and is home to the Université de Montpellier, one of the oldest institutions in the world (established in 1289), which houses the oldest medical school still in operation.

Most courses are taught in French, but there are a small number of English-taught courses (you can search for these here).

Best universities in Montpellier - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 100th

World ranking



Université de Montpellier


Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3

More about Montpellier

Home to two of France’s top universities, Montpellier is a popular study destination. Aside from the city’s many beautiful beaches and its rich cultural heritage, Montpellier is also incredibly affordable for students. The city ranks 36th worldwide for affordability this year, due to its exceptionally low international tuition fees.

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

Université de Montpellier (511-520)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Montpellier

Close to other French cities

Montpellier’s location is ideal for students hoping to travel, within easy reach of neighboring cities Marseilles, Nice and Cannes. 

Low tuition fees

Ranking an impressive 36th in the affordability indicator this year, Montpellier has incredibly low tuition fees, with tuition costing an average of US$400 annually for international students. 

The beaches

If you fancy studying next to a white sand beach, there’s no better place to go than Montpellier, which has a stunning coastline of beaches and marinas of the Mediterranean.

The magnificent architecture

Don’t miss Montpellier’s own Arc de Triomphe, the Promenade du Peyrou and the Saint-Clément Aqueduct. 

Cost of studying in Montpellier

Montpellier is a great option if you want to study in France without the eye-watering living costs of Paris. It is one of the most affordable student cities in the world, according to the most recent QS Best Student Cities rankings, ranking 36th in the affordability indicator.

This high score for affordability is partly due to the extremely low annual tuition fees for international students. When studying in Montpellier, international students can expect to pay an average of US$400 annually.

Living costs are slightly higher, with Numbeo estimating that a single person would need around US$960 per month for living expenses and an additional US$780 per month for accommodation. However, rent costs are 51 percent lower than Paris.

Life and culture in Montpellier

Unlike many other large French cities, Montpellier doesn’t have any Roman heritage, having been founded in the 10th century by counts from Toulouse. Although it has a comparatively shorter history, it’s nonetheless full of charming, narrow medieval streets and attractive 18th and 19th century architecture, found at spots such as the Place de la Comédie square.

The nearby gorgeous white-sand beaches mean you’ll need to be prepared for an influx of sun-worshipping tourists in the summer months. However, as a student you’ll also get the chance to enjoy the beaches and surrounding area during the quieter times of year.

One of the fastest-growing French cities, Montpellier has an excellent café culture and laid-back, multi-cultural Mediterranean atmosphere. 

Cultural events include the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, an annual summer music festival devoted to classical and jazz music. 

Careers in Montpellier

Montpellier’s job market is extremely diverse, with its tourism industry creating plenty of exciting jobs for graduates, due to the city’s location in the south of France. The city ranks 124th in the employer activity indicator this year.

Employees working in Montpellier enjoy the same benefits as other French residents. For example, healthcare will be either provided or subsidized by the government.

This article was originally published in February 2017 . It was last updated in April 2024

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