| Press Release

Coronavirus – Covid -19: Latest Update on March 20th

École Polytechnique is closed since Monday, March 16th and until further notice. The school's priority is to protect the health and safety of its students and its staff and to ensure the continuity of its missions in the best possible way.

The swift mobilization of all staff, academic personnel, and students as well as the observance of given instructions allowed for the closure of the campus to take place in respectable conditions and to put emergency measures in place as quickly as possible. 

Despite the constraints of confinement, École Polytechnique continues to operate on a daily basis. A crisis unit meets regularly to deal with the various actions necessary for business and campus continuity.

All students are aked to move to a place, from where they will be able to comply best with the authorities’ provisions and to attend online courses from Monday 23 March.  Those who do not have such an option, and have to stay on campus, should get registered with their supervisor. Individual follow-ups have been set up for international students both who were or are still on campus and who are currently abroad in order to keep them informed and support them as needed.

Pedagogical continuity is ensured. 150 teacher-researchers have been trained on digital tools in order to be able to deliver online courses from March 23 and benefit from the support of the e-learning team. Each course will be put in place using the most appropriate pedagogical approach possible in order to enable the on-going acquisition of skills and knowledge.

Regarding internships and courses, substitution and adaptation measures have been put in place. The rules for diploma requirements have been adapted in accordance with the directives from the CTI (Commission des titres d’ingénieur) and the MESRI (Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation) so that the epidemic does not hinder students’ credits towards graduation. For students whose internship has been postponed, alternative solutions are being sought out. Changes have been implemented in order to allow students to carry out their internship via remote working when possible. New internship proposals are also being worked on through the mobilization of the École Polytechnique Alumni Association (AX) and laboratories.

The educational departments are currently working on the consequences of exam cancellations and make-up test periods as well as how to best reorganize the remainder of the semester.

Pending government directives, the Entrance Exam committee for the Cycle Ingénieur Polytechnicien program is actively working on various options in collaboration with our partners X-ENS-ESPCI and with the SCEI (Service de Concours Écoles d’Ingénieurs) for the entrance exams for all French Grandes Écoles.

The academic teams remain available and work together on a daily basis in order to best respond to requests and continue finding solutions regarding all subjects: Recruitment committees, project presentations, Bachelor theses, etc. 

The Executive Education teams have also adapted their programs in order to offer online tools and courses for companies.

In regards to the Research Center, the École Polytechnique laboratories were closed in consultation with all research organizations involved (CNRS, INRIA, etc.) as well as our IP Paris partners. Research continues remotely. Only absolutely crucial maintenance research is being carried out according to the business continuity plan. Thesis defenses are postponed until further notice. Support services such as the SR2PI or the Grants Office continue their activities via remote working.

The Drahi X – Novation Center is closed. Start-ups affiliated with the Drahi X – Novation Center are supported to adapt to the current situation and continue their business development, notably through the use of video conferences and personalized coaching using digital tools. 

Regarding administrative and technical services and operations on campus, essential services are maintained on site or provided remotely.

For staff members, remote working remains mandatory. Any exception to this rule must be authorized by the Director General or the Provost after a specific request by the relevant supervisor. Authorizations will only be granted for staffers critical to business continuity.

The Magnan (on-campus cafeteria) is closed since March 17th, and until further notice.

The School’s management and staff are fully committed to face these tough times and to provide the needed help and support.

Basic protective and hygiene measures to follow:

As of March 17th at noon, outings will only be authorized, with a certificate, to:

  • Go to work, if remote working is not possible;
  • Go to your local grocery store;
  • Go to a medical appointment;
  • Take your children to daycare or to take care of an elderly person;
  • To work out close to your home.

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The virus does not spread on its own. People who have contracted the virus are the ones who then spread it. Therefore, the following measures can help you protect yourself (and others) from the virus:

  • Wash your hands very often;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or with a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
  • Use single-use tissues, and then throw them away;
  • Do not shake hands or greet people with kisses on the cheek;
  • Avoid gatherings, reduce travel and contacts.


What should you do if you are feeling ill?
If, while you are in France, you have signs of a respiratory infection (a fever or feverish feeling, or cough), stay home and call a doctor. If the symptoms get worse, dial 15 or call or send a text to 114 if you have a speech or hearing impairment.

Should you wear a mask?
The French government has requisitioned all stock and production of masks in France. They are now exclusively reserved for medical use.

Surgical masks are not recommended unless you are sick. Masks are not the right solution for the general public because they cannot be worn at all times and are not necessary unless you are in direct and prolonged contact with a sick person.

About École Polytechnique

École Polytechnique, also known as L’X, is the leading French institution combining top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its various undergraduate and graduate-level programs – Bachelor of Science, Ingénieur Polytechnicien (Master’s level program), Master’s, and PhD – are highly selective and promote a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. As a widely internationalized university, École Polytechnique offers a variety of international programs and attracts a growing number of foreign students and researchers from around the globe (currently 41% of students and 40% of faculty members).

École Polytechnique offers an exceptional education to prepare bright men and women to excel in top-level key positions and lead complex and innovative projects which meet the challenges of 21st century society, all while maintaining a keen sense of their civil and social responsibilities. With its 23 laboratories, 22 of which are joint research units with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the École Polytechnique Research Center explores the frontiers of interdisciplinary knowledge to provide major contributions to science, technology, and society. École Polytechnique is a founding member of Institut Polytechnique de Paris.