IAE, the French Public reference for management


Management schools
within universities

Created by France’s Ministry of National Education in 1955, the role of IAEs is to develop research and higher education in business and management within French universities.

An IAE defines itself as a University School of Management and offers management training for students, executives and managers.

IAEs offer Degrees, Masters and Doctorates as well as MBAs and university diplomas in all areas of business and management: General Management, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Communication, Sales, Human Resources, Purchasing, Logistics, International, Public Management etc.


Certified and accredited
teaching organisations

Like all public establishments, IAEs are regularly monitored and evaluated by the Ministry and HCERES (France’s High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education).

In 2004 and in collaboration with SGS, the world leader in inspection, monitoring, analysis and certification, the IAE FRANCE Network developed an unprecedented tool for evaluating university management training: a set of standards called ‘University training and research activities in the field of management sciences’ leading to the Qualicert certification. Approved by the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry, the Qualicert standard was published in France’s Official Journal on May 8, 2005. This approach was recognised and encouraged by the supervisory authorities, in particular DGES (Directorate General of Higher Education) and CPU (Conference of University Presidents). The first IAE to obtain the certification in 2005 was Toulouse. With a view to continuous quality improvement, these standards have constantly evolved since their creation. They are now in their sixth version and aim to increase the level of requirements to approach those of international benchmarks.

Since 2014, all IAEs belonging to the IAE FRANCE network have been Qualicert certified or have international accreditation for their establishment. In fact, in line with their strategies, some IAEs have also taken steps to obtain other national or international certifications and accreditations (EPAS, EQUIS, AMBA, AACSB, ISO etc.).


Mixed DNA:
between school and university

IAEs are an integral part of universities and, like the model of large international campuses, each university with an IAE can claim a ‘Business School’ in its training offer.

Within universities, IAEs benefit for the most part from a special status (art. L 713-9 of France’s Education Code) giving them autonomy in terms of strategy and how they function. In addition, they represent a rare approach in universities as they are based on a triptych of ‘teaching-research-businesses’ making it possible to combine academic excellence with professional skills.

The IAE model has undeniable advantages and offers an original model within universities, bringing together:

  • Dynamic and innovative establishments
  • Student selection and guidance
  • Reduced staff and close supervision
  • Top quality teaching and research
  • Proximity to teachers and staff
  • Participation of business professionals
  • A rich student and community life
  • Access to numerous sporting and other university facilities
  • Welcoming break-out areas
  • Student services for accommodation and internship/job searches
  • Quality diplomas, recognised and authorised by the State
  • A specific model to match international standards
  • A public service remit dedicated to student success
  • Excellent rates of professional integration

IAEs are therefore a clever combination of the advantages of private or consular management schools and university values.

IAEs issue diplomas accredited by the State and recognised by companies !


IAEs offer quality management training providing access to State-recognised generalist or specialised diplomas in combination with research. These university management schools play a key role in social mobility through a selection based on work and intelligence and training at university prices. Thanks to the good name they gained from their creation in the 1950s, their well-recognised diplomas and the partnerships forged with companies, IAEs offer excellent professional integration. Today, IAEs bring together more than 500,000 alumni working in France and elsewhere. They are a real community, maintaining the IAE spirit.

Eric Lamarque

President IAE FRANCE