École Polytechnique (also know as "X") is one of the most respected and selective elite universities in France, known as grandes écoles. It is a French public institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, a suburb south of Paris. The school was a founding member of the University of Paris-Saclay, but later left to join the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, since summer 2019.
École Polytechnique was founded in 1794, a period marked not only by political and economic upheaval, but also by the end of the Age of Enlightenment. During this unique moment in history, the Comité de Salut Public (French Public Welfare Committee) anticipated the future applications of the myriad scientific and technical discoveries that occurred during the 18th century and triggered the Industrial Revolution. It entrusted Gaspard Monge, Lazare Carnot and several other scholars with enlisting, by means of a competitive recruitment process, the best minds of their time, and teaching them science for the benefit of the French Republic.
In 1804, Napoleon confirmed Polytechnique’s role in serving the nation by granting École Polytechnique military status and giving the school its motto "Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire" ("For the Homeland, Science and Glory").
Now, at the start of the 21st century, another era characterized by geopolitical, economic and environmental difficulties as well as numerous groundbreaking technologies, École Polytechnique maintains the same philosophical core. A staunch defender of the idea that innovation is the only driving force of collective prosperity, the university is a significant contributor to promoting responsible productive, economic and scientific development.
Overcoming major societal challenges is integral to the history and tradition of École Polytechnique, in its pursuit of excellence, progress and science. With its perspectives of acceptance and accessibility, the school is actively committed to a policy of sustainable development and social responsibility.
Equal Opportunities: Turning diversity into a strength is a major ambition of École Polytechnique, which supports equal opportunities. To face this challenge, École Polytechnique has created a Diversity and Success Center, which coordinates all of the various on-campus activities and programs developed to promote equal opportunities. These activities involve several different key groups and participants.
Sustainable Development: École Polytechnique is one of four pilot sites for sustainable development selected by the Ministry of Defense. Energy efficiency and environmental conservation are central to its operations, led by committed participants across various domains of activity. Since 2010, École Polytechnique has sought to formalize its strategy for sustainable development through the creation of a Sustainable Development Committee. This committee participates in the "Plan Vert" Guidelines set by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE). Its activities cover 5 major areas: academics, research, living environment, transportation, and student clubs.