Study at ENSAPC

Degrees and credit for previous experience

ENSAPC’s five-year curriculum is marked by the award of two national diplomas.

Diplôme national d'art (DNA)
Master of art – diplôme national supérieur d’expression plastique (DNSEP)
DNSEP earned through credit awarded for previous experience



The DNA is conferred upon completion of the first (undergraduate) cycle of the curriculum—that is, the first three years, the same level of study represented in the university system by the Licence (the French equivalent of the bachelor’s degree). The DNA attests to sustained and rigorous pursuit of achievement in art. It signifies the recipient’s capacity for well-substantiated individual artistic work. The degree is awarded by a jury, two of the members of which must be from outside the school and recognized in their artistic specialty.


The DNSEP marks the completion of the second (graduate) cycle of the curriculum. It is earned in two years of work following award of the DNA. Because it represents a total of five years of postsecondary education, it is equivalent to the French and European master. Its award attests to the students capacity to engage independently and autonomously in artistic work, to conceive and execute original works of plastic art, and to perform research toward those goals. The DNSEP is conferred by decision of a five-member jury. Four members of the jury must be qualified in the student’s artistic domain, one at the doctoral level. Recipients of the DNSEP (master of art) may perform a variety of art-related functions, among them art sales; criticism; producing and managing cultural and artistic projects; presenting art to the public (e.g., as a museum guide); and teaching art.

The composition and functioning of DNSEP juries is set forth in an official decree dated 16 July 2013. Its chief provisions are as follows:

The jury for the DNSEP shall consist of five members: two members of the school’s faculty, one of whom serves on the jury hearing the student’s thesis defense; three qualified professionals in the field. The jury shall be appointed by the director of the school. The chairman shall be chosen from among the outside professionals.

The jury for the thesis defense consists of one of the representatives of the school and one of the qualified outside professionals. The chairman must hold a doctoral degree. The thesis is defended during the student’s tenth semester on a date determined by the faculty in consultation with the student. Following the defense, the jury shall prepare a written report that is shared with the other members of the DNSEP jury. At the end of semester 10, the entire DNSEP jury attends the student’s presentation of his or her work. Following the presentation, the jury shall decide whether to award the DNSEP, taking into account the report submitted by the jury for the thesis defense. The jury confers credits corresponding to the student’s art work (25) and thesis (5).


ENSAPC also confers the DNSEP (master of art) through credit awarded for previous experience. This path is open to working individuals who can show that they have at least one year of professional experience related to the credential sought, whether that experience was acquired continuously or in segments, through full-time or part-time work, and in France or abroad. This path to a professional credential enables applicants to receive academic recognition for their professional experience and skills.

Once the candidate submits an application, a committee examines the fit between the experience described therein and the credential sought. If the application is accepted, an individualized educational support plan may be proposed by the school. The methodological and other assistance called for under the plan is provided by members of the ENSAPC faculty in the form of specialized meetings (six two-hour sessions).

The degree is granted as follows:  After a 30-minute interview focusing on the artistic and professional achievements of the candidate, the latter has 40 minutes to present his or her work. The jury is composed of five art professionals: one employer and one employee who must be from outside the school; one theoretically oriented faculty member of doctoral rank; one faculty member who is a practicing artist; and one other individual qualified in the field of art of the applicant.

The cost to applicants of determining whether the experience they present justifies award of the DNSEP is €80. If a candidate is rejected, the fee is forfeited. If the candidate’s application is accepted, he or she must make a second payment of €700, representing the full cost of the assessment process.

Candidates may apply to have their fees paid by a mutually agreed entity (business, organization, local government) following a favorable decision by the assessment committee. If no sponsor is found to pay the fee, the head of the institution applies a reduced fee of €350. To obtain this discount, the candidate must certify that no entity could be found to finance his degree by recognition of experience. Applicants who are unemployed may ask that their local employment center pay the fee.

In 2017, the degree will be awarded in September. Applications were downloaded from the schools website at the end of September 2016. Applications had to be submitted or postmarked by November 14, 2016.

The jury may decide to grant the degree provisionally upon the condition that the applicant make up any deficiencies identify by the jury, which will specify the knowledge and skills that the applicant must acquire before the degree can be awarded in full. The provisional award remains valid for five years.

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Centers for the assessment of the academic value of previous experience (in french)


Application for assessment of academic value of previous experience (in French)


Record of applicant’s experience (Cerfa) (in French)


Instructions for completing the record of experience (Cerfa) (in French)


Frequently asked questions about the academic recognition of work experience (In French)


Decisions of the assessment committee, september 2018